CyanogenMod 11 M7 rolls out, Android 4.4.3 update primed for July

Summary:CyanogenMod's M7 update brings password protected apps and Glass support for the CM calculator.

zdnet-android-kitkat
CyanogenMod has released an update for its KitKat-based OS.

The developers behind custom ROM CyanogenMod (CM) have released CM 11 M7, its latest monthly stable release of feature updates and bug fixes for the KitKat-based OS. 

While some smartphone owners are still waiting for their handset vendors and carriers to release KitKat, those who have switched to the popular custom ROM can now grab the seventh set of features that have been added since Google released Android 4.4 last November.

Owners with any of the 50 devices currently supported can install the M7 "snapshot" from CyanogenMod's download page

M7, which is based on Android 4.4.2, includes a number of interesting new features that let users customise their device's interface and in general take control of their device. Some updates apply to all devices and two relate to the CM 'Trebuchet' launcher.

The changelog published yesterday as the updates rolled out includes:

  • Common: Theme Chooser UI Overhaul
  • Common: Calculator app redesign (courtesy Xlythe)
  • Common: Performance Profiles
  • Common: Improved theming performance on low memory devices (~512MB RAM or less)
  • Trebuchet: Move settings to new slide-out panel
  • Trebuchet: Consolidate settings for home and drawer options
  • Media: Add FFMPEG support (expanded media format support)
  • Bluetooth: Improved support for new car audio systems and docks
  • Various small bug fixes, global and device-specific

The M7 update also carries performance improvements for low memory devices, which should mean fewer issues for hardware running on 512MB of RAM, according to CyanogenMod.

The update for CM's calculator also delivers a few interesting features, including Google Glass support and a widget UI that matches stock apps.

Meanwhile, Performance Profiles offers CM users several new tools to control power consumption, such as low-battery options and high-power mode for gamers.

Among the additional UI customisation features in Trebechet, M7 also brings a new "protected app" feature that lets users designate which apps require a passcode to open. It's one of many additional security features CM developers have built into the firmware, including support for encrypted SMS and messaging .   

As CyanogenMod developers noted last month, its M-releases are the most stable version of CyanogenMod it will release , having pulled the plug on stable.

M7 comes as Google and some carriers begin rolling out Android 4.4.3 to Nexus, Google Play Edition, and Motorola's trio of Moto smartphones.

Ahead of its release, Google released the firmware on the Android Open Source Project, which is where CM developers and other custom ROM makers source their builds.

Android 4.4.3 has now been merged into CM's nightlies stream and should make its appearance in the M8 release in early July.

Read more on CyanogenMod

Topics: Mobility, Android, Mobile OS

About

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, s... Full Bio

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