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31 August 2010, 11:00

CyanogenMod 6.0 brings Android 2.2 to older devices

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CyanogenMod Logo The CyanogenMod project developers have announced the release of version 6.0 of their modified Android firmware. The CyanogenMod project offers free, community-built custom ROMs that don't include Google's custom closed source applications, such as GMail or Google Maps and YouTube, for a variety of Android phones. The custom ROMs are popular as they are often more up-to-date than the official model-specific Android releases and typically extend the capabilities of the phones.

The stable version of CyanogenMod 6.0 is based on the latest Android 2.2 "Froyo" release, which adds a number of new features to Google's open source mobile operating system, including a new Dalvik JIT compiler that improves overall CPU-bound code performance by two to five times compared to the previous release. Other improvements and changes include support for Adobe Flash 10.1, a faster web browser that includes the V8 JavaScript engine, resulting in up to a 3 times improvement in JavaScript performance, and the addition of several new APIs and services, such as a new data backup APIs that can be used to, for example, back up and restore applications

According to Android programmer Steve Kondik, the developers have hit their target list of devices. For example, the custom ROMs are currently available for the HTC Dream (also known the T-Mobile G1 – the first ever Android phone), HTC Magic (AKA the T-Mobile myTouch 3G), the HTC Desire and Google's Nexus One smartphone. While the popular Motorola Droid on US CDMA carrier Verizon is included in the list of supported devices, the European GSM version known as the Motorola Milestone is not present due to a locked bootloader that prevents users from importing third party firmware.

Further information about the release can be found in the official release announcement and in the change log. ROM download links for the HTC Dream, HTC Magic, Google Nexus One and others can be found in the CyanogenMod Forums. Installation instructions are provided on the project's wiki. The H reminds users that, as with all custom ROMs, inexperienced users are not advised to flash their devices with unofficial firmware as they could unintentionally brick them and cause them to stop functioning entirely.

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