CyanogenMod has evolved quite a bit over the years just as Android has. What was once a little custom ROM project from a couple of guys working out of their garage has now turned into a full-fledged company that’s launching it’s own version of Android built into phones by Oppo and OnePlus. Of course the flagship phone coming soon is the OnePlus One, a phone recently announced by a new Chinese manufacturer that brings both the highest of high end specs and the lowest of prices, giving you a true flagship phone for $300. What’s more is that this phone has CyanogenMod 11S, a custom version of CyanogenMod 11 built upon Android 4.4 KitKat, included right out of the box without having to modify anything on the phone. We knew this new version would bring some fantastic new software, and now the CM team has updated their website detailing the new features.
One of the big features CyanogenMod has had for a long time now is the theming engine which was once a T-Mobile project and has since been taken over by the CyanogenMod team. The new theme engine in CM 11S builds upon the old one, and instead of just applying an entire theme that changes everything about your phone the new theme engine allows you to piecemeal all the parts together you want. You can still apply a full theme, but let’s say you don’t like the icons or the font. A simple click in the theme engine app will change that for you without any hassle, and there’s even a new marketplace for these themes to reside, making finding them easy as pie.
The camera is probably the single most used feature for many smartphone users nowadays, and as such it takes good software to make that experience a pleasant one. While the CyanogenMod team has never really had its own custom camera, this time around that’s all changing. Many of you might remember the failed Focal project from yesteryear, and this promises to not replicate that experience. Packed full of features and a stunning new interface, the new CM camera app brings everything from HDR to live color filters, slow motion and 4K theater-quality video shooting modes. The CM team also promises lots of tools for manual adjustment, bringing just a little more DSLR to your smartphone camera experience.
Last but not least is the new Gallery app, which promises to take your current boring gallery and make it more exciting. We’re not just talking about flashy photo stream modes or fancy effects, we’re talking things like proper organization with albums, tags and a new thing called Moments. Basically Moments will automatically take events that you’re taking part in, say a wedding or just a picnic on the beach, and sort them together based on geolocation, time and date. This makes sorting through those thousands of photos you’ve likely got on your phone a whole lot easier, and with a full suite of social networking syncing features including Facebook, Google+, Instagram and others you can easily share these Moments with all your closest friends. All these new features seem like they are coming in the form of the Full CyanogenMod Experience as the team calls it, and likely to a phone near you. So you don’t just have to have a OnePlus One to experience all of these things, but that’s going to be the easiest way to for sure.