The open source nature of Android allows users to do anything they want with the platform in respect of customisation. This has prompted open source ROMs to hit the internet, a collaborative effort from developers to better the features of Android. An ecosystem once tied to the smart tinkerers over at XDA Developer Forums, Android ROM installations are now extending to the mainstream.
CyanogenMod, one of the more well-known and stable custom ROMs, has become much easier to install for the laymen. CyanogenMod Installer has been released to Google Play alongside a PC client component. The combo will allow users to root their device and upload it with the latest version of CyanogenMod, or what the development firm calls "a custom Android OS."
Once the app is installed on your Android device, the directions are pretty straightforward. You will need a Windows PC running Windows Vista or higher and a USB cable. The rest of the process will be completed over on the PC app. Compare this to a process of manually rooting and installing files, the new CyanogenMod Installer makes the process much simpler.
Mac and Linux users may feel left in the dark. CyanogenMod has confirmed that apps for both platforms will be released soon, and the Linux app will be more of a manual process aimed at enthusiasts (which make sense given who uses Linux).
The range of supported devices for CyanogenMod Installer includes the all of Google's Nexus devices, Samsung Galaxy S II, Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung Galaxy Note II, and the HTC One. "We will continue to work on supporting additional devices beyond the initial set, but we are proud to say that we are supporting the majority of flagship models currently on the market," CyanogenMod said on its blog.