As many readers know, the original OnePlus One was partly powered by Cyanogen and their commercial release “Cyanogen OS”, but ever since OnePlus developed its own OS, the company switched gears and relied solely on the in-house OxygenOS instead. Nevertheless, Cyanogen continues to build non-commercial custom ROMs identified by the popular “CyanogenMod” moniker, and owners of the OnePlus 3 can now get a taste of Marshmallow-based CyanogenMod 13 by flashing the latest CM 13 nightly builds on their phone. The process requires a bit of tinkering and know-how, but if you’re willing to give CyanogenMod 13 nightlies a shot then the steps below should guide you through.
First things first, brave users eager to flash CyanogenMod 13 on their OnePlus 3 need to know that nightly builds are not final and entirely stable. These builds are constantly in development and receive new updates quite frequently (hence the term “nightly”), so in other words, you may want to refrain from using the current CM 13 builds on your daily driver. It’s also worth noting that some features you’d normally find in the official OxygenOS are missing, including the theme selector, and various tweaks in system profiles and the status bar. Features such as Dash Charge will be disabled by CyanogenMod 13, and the device’s camera quality will also suffer once you run the custom ROM. However, if you’re willing to put up with these disadvantages, then without further ado, here are the necessary steps to acquire and install the custom OS on your terminal:
Before you can flash CM 10 on your device, you have to make sure that the OnePlus 3 has an unlocked bootloader and a custom recovery such as TWRP (Team Win Recovery Project) installed. Assuming that these prerequisites have been met, you’ll also need to sure that any important personal data on the device is securely backed up, as you will require to factory reset the device during the flashing process.
1. Moving on to the actual installation process, first you will have to download the latest CyanogenMod 13 nightly build for the OnePlus 3 from the official CyanogenMod download page. Additionally, as is the case with all other custom ROMs, Google applications are missing from the package and you will need to download them separately in .zip format. This is very important: make sure the Google Apps (Gapps) application package you download from the web matches the Android version of CyanogenMod 13, otherwise you may run into compatibility issues.
2. Once you have downloaded the CyanogenMod 13 ROM and the GApps package, transfer the files on the phone storage. Next up, reboot the OnePlus 3 into recovery mode by pressing and holding “Volume Up” and “Power” at the same time. Should this process fail, you can rely on third party apps to reboot your phone into Recovery.
3. After you have restarted your phone into custom recovery (for example TWRP custom recovery), go to “Wipe” and swipe the bar at the bottom to confirm and wipe /data and /system partitions. NOTE: you should not use “format data”, but instead, tap “Advanced Wipe” > “System”, and swipe the bar at the bottom to confirm.
4. After the memory is cleared, tap “Install” in TWRP, select the CyanogenMod 13 nightly build (zip file) and swipe the bar at the bottom to flash the ROM on your phone. Once done, remember to tap “Install” a second time, and install the “Gapps” zip file as well, otherwise you will not have access to the Google Play Store and framework.
5. Once both CyanogenMod 13 and the Google applications have been installed, tap “Reboot system” and wait for the device to restart. If the installation process was successful, your phone should reboot in CyanogenMod 13 and should have Google apps preloaded. Remember that the first reboot may take up to 15 minutes so you should give it some time, but assuming that the installation process was unsuccessful and your phone is stuck at the boot logo, you can try repeating the steps above and make sure you don’t skip any.
Remember that CyanogenMod 13 for the OnePlus 3 is currently in development and not fully polished, and thus you might want to keep relying on the official OxygenOS operating system instead. On the other hand, if you feel adventurous, new CyanogenMod 13 nightly builds are being released on a regular basis and you can technically flash a new one once every week or even once every day.