Still running Gingerbread? CyanogenMod 9 circumvents Google for long overdue Android updates

New mascot, Cid, for CyanogenMod 9If you’re an Android user, chances are you’ve fiddled around with rooting and customization once or twice. You also probably know rooting is sometimes the only way to get your hands on the latest Android version since smartphone manufacturers tend to drag their feet when it comes to updating. Google attempted to fix this problem with ICS but, as we know, it failed.

Google’s inability to solve Android’s fragmentation is precisely why the folks behind CyanogenMod should be celebrated for consistently churning out modified builds of the latest Android versions for the masses who can’t access the official builds. What does this mean for you? Well, if your smartphone is stuck with Gingerbread or worse, then you can head over to CyanogenMod to see if CM 9 is compatible with your phone. They even include detailed guides for installing the custom builds.

“Many have wondered why we bothered to finish CM 9 when we are already active in CM 10 development,” Cyanogen wrote in a recent blog post. “To that, our answer is: We don’t like to leave things incomplete. There is no profit gained from what we do, so the satisfaction of completing a goal is our only reward.”

As a refresher, ICS brings a lot of new features to the table like improved multitasking, a revamped camera (no shutter lag), notifications you can swipe away, unified design across apps, and a whole lot more. On top of ICS’s many additions to Android, Cyanogen tacks on some killer features of its own like displaying the current weather and upcoming calendar events on the lockscreen, including power toggles in the notification bar to quickly modify settings like Wi-Fi or GPS, supporting themes to change the look of your phone, and a handful of performance tweaks to get the most out of your device.

It’s no Jelly Bean, but ICS can definitely give your Android device a major overhaul. The performance tweaks alone make it worth the upgrade in our opinion. But what do you think? Will you be installing CM 9 or are you content to wait for CM 10 to get your hands on some Jelly Bean goodness?

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