CyanogenMod Installer now in Google Play store

After crossing the 9 million user mark, CyanogenMod releases an Android installer to simplify swapping your phone's current version of Android for CyanogenMod's custom ROM.

Seth Rosenblatt Former Senior Writer / News
Senior writer Seth Rosenblatt covered Google and security for CNET News, with occasional forays into tech and pop culture. Formerly a CNET Reviews senior editor for software, he has written about nearly every category of software and app available.
Seth Rosenblatt
2 min read
Start screen of the CyanogenMod Installer app. CyanogenMod

One of Android's biggest hang-ups could be going the way of the rotary phone, thanks to a new app released on Tuesday by CyanogenMod.

The first app published by CyanogenMod since it received $7 million in funding and incorporated in September is the CyanogenMod Installer, which streamlines installing the customized version of Android.

Installing custom versions of Android, called custom ROMs, is tricky business. CyanogenMod's new installer app aims overcome the learning curve and make it easy for any Android user to install its custom ROM.

While CyanogenMod didn't immediately have many details available, an explanation of how the installer would work by CyanogenMod co-founder and developer Steve Kondik made it clear that it would not be a "one-click" root-and-ROM procedure.

Kondik told CNET in September that the app would include step-by-step instructions, have the ability to resume installing in case of power failure, and that it would restore your device's factory settings if the install failed.

"It's horrifying to install CyanogenMod," said CyanogenMod's CEO Kirt McMaster at the time.

At its launch, the installer is limited in scope. Unlike the current version of CyanogenMod, the Installer will only work on a limited number of devices from the Google Nexus, Samsung Galaxy, and HTC One hardware lines.

The installation procedure requires connecting your phone to a Windows computer and running a Windows MSI file. A CyanogenMod representative said that Mac compatibility is in the works.

CyanogenMod also offers several cautions. It advises that if you use the installer, you should back up your data; use a high-quality USB cable that can handle data transfer; avoid moving the phone around until the install is complete; to install only with a fully charged battery; to not use a USB hub; and to disable your antivirus software during installation.

CyanogenMod's 9 million users make it the most popular aftermarket version of Android. McMaster and Kondik hope that if their company can attract that many users with its more complicated, "command-line" installation, as McMaster described it, then an easier installation path will lead to even more people using it.