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01 October 2012, 15:38

CyanogenMod is getting its own OTA update manager

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Zoom The new CM Updater functionality provides over-the-air updates to CyanogenMod 10 installs
Source: Ricardo Cerqueira

According to a Google+ post by CyanogenMod developer Ricardo Cerqueira, the latest development versions of CyanogenMod 10 now include their own update manager. This is a significant change for the alternative open source ROM for Android devices. CyanogenMod had bundled the third-party ROM Manager utility for several versions, but the developers have decided to switch away from it in favour of an open source solution.

With the new feature, CyanogenMod 10 (which is based upon Android 4.1.x "Jelly Bean") will be able to receive direct over-the-air (OTA) updates for the first time, making the update experience more akin to Google's vanilla Android version. The new updater will download ROM images directly from, the project's official distribution servers. While it lacks the flexibility of ROM Manager, the new updater will be easier to use for inexperienced users as it automatically checks for updates (a feature that is only available in the paid-for version of ROM Manager) and only shows updates for the version of CyanogenMod that is actually installed. For users who want more flexibility, ROM Manager is still available as a separate application.

The updater will not use push notifications, as that functionality requires the proprietary Google Services Framework. Instead, the application will itself check the CyanogenMod servers at a fixed interval, which can be customised by the user. The update manager will update all parts of the user's CyanogenMod install except the Google Apps package that might be installed alongside it, since CyanogenMod is not legally allowed to distribute these applications. Usually, though, Google's applications are updated on their own through Google Play once they have been installed on the device. Many users install appropriate Google apps packages for their phone and tablets as part of installing CyanogenMod for the first time.

Users who want to experiment with the new feature, can download a nightly build of CyanogenMod compatible with their device. However, The H reminds users that, as with all custom firmware, inexperienced users are advised not to flash their devices as they could unintentionally "brick" them, resulting in a complete loss of functionality.


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