CyanogenMod 11 – Why did I wait so long?

What is CyanogenMod ?

It’s an open source operating system that is based on Android, and usually optimizes the functions that Android offers out of the box. It’s faster and a lot closer to vanilla Android.
Out of the box it comes with some new apps and replaces others, but I haven’t found any of them that aren’t useful or good, so it shows that they have put a lot of thought into this.

I’ve played with CyanogenMod in 2011 when I had my last Android device before I switched to iOS for a while.
Now, since September I think I’m back on Android with a Galaxy S4 and I’m really happy with the device, but have hated some of the Samsung bloatware that was on the device since day one. That, combined with the fact that twice I found the device frozen while charging pushed me into making the change, which I should’ve made a lot sooner.

Straight away I realised how much they have optimized the install experience compared to 2011. You can now follow a few simple steps and get the new OS on your phone.
Please note that if you decide to move forward with this, you will be deleting your existing OS and all your data, so make backups.

There is no point for me to describe the process, as you can find it very detailed on their website:

http://beta.download.cyanogenmod.org/install

After you’ve installed CyanogenMod you will notice a huge difference on the UI of your phone, or possibly a small one if you had a Google edition phone. But in that case, why did you install CyanogenMod ? Were you bored ? :-)
Don’t be scared about the UI change. It’s easy to get used to the new one and straight away you will notice how much faster your phone is.

Not that there was anything wrong with the launcher that came with CM 11, but I decided to install Nova Launcher as I wanted some custom icon packs, so the final result is this:

Nova Launcher + Velur Icons CyanogenMod 11 Galaxy S4

So, if you want to speed up your Android phone, this is an easy and simple solution for it.
Keep in mind that it doesn’t work on absolutely all devices, but you can find a list of those that do work here: http://wiki.cyanogenmod.org/w/Devices

Something else to keep in mind if you do decide to install CyanogenMod, is that if you have Google 2-factor authentication enabled and the only way to receive the code is the phone number inside the phone, then you need to disable that, or you won’t be able to finish the install.

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