One of the things the phone services don’t like about Android is the fact that you can step outside of their walled garden and upgrade your phone whenever you like. Which means you can extend the life of your handset instead of opting for an upgrade, and enjoy a faster, more powerful phone without all the bloatware the service providers install. But until now upgrading has been a bit of a pain, because you need to have nerd knowledge to do it safely.
The new CyanogenMod Installer aims to change all that. This free software tool consists of a phone app, and a computer program (Windows) which cooperate to make the upgrade process much easier.
Once you’ve loaded up the two parts of the system, just follow the on-screen wizard to set up the upgrade process and you’ll be able to download and install a new CyanogenMod operating system on your phone in two shakes of a good geek’s hand.
The process supports a finite number of phone models, although they just happen to be some of the most popular handsets in the world, including most Samsung Galaxy models, HTC, Sony and other major brands. Check first to see if yours is on the list.
With all this said, do be aware that any time you start messing with your phone’s operating system, you’re risking a bit of mental sanity if it goes wrong. Sure there are roll-back procedures along the way, and you MUST backup all your data onto a separate microSD card first, but even so, there are risks.
We did it the old manual geek way many years ago with an old HTC Magic phone, and it definitely extended the life of the phone by a year or two, since it was a much smaller operating system, which helped the phone run faster and cope with the newer apps. But be warned, even with neat new installers like this you’re stepping outside your warranty, with all that entails. But if you’re brave and cool enough, it’s a great way to go, seriously.