– tired of being stuck with Android 2.x because your phone manufacturer decided it was too much hassle to upgrade to the latest version of Android ? Motorola I’m looking at you.
– annoyed by the useless customizations built on top of the stock firmware from Google ?
– proficient enough to install the android sdk and fire up some basic commands like adb ?
– brave enough to void your warranty (for sure) and risk losing your phone (a small chance if you follow the instructions laid out below, but still… a possibility)
if the answers to all the above is a resounding yes – then you should consider upgrading to Cyanogenmod, like three million users (and counting). The procedure to do so is fairly simple, head over to this page and follow the instructions specific to your phone. I recommend sticking to a stable distribution of Cyanogenmod when upgrading. Also if you’re new to this it’s probably best to try it with an out-of-warranty phone first.
I’ve followed the steps above with an Atrix 4G and it took about one hour to install Cyanogenmod (as a total beginner to ROM flashing). One minor niggle: for a while I could not get my phone to boot into Clockwork recovery mode – turns out it is necessary to reboot into recovery mode straight after having flashed ClockworkMod for the modification to stick. If the phone reboots normally instead the recovery from stock android takes over.
The end result:
– on the plus side: much improved battery life and response time. All the useless pre-installed apps from the phone vendor are gone (this in itself makes the upgrade worth it).
– on the minus side: the latest stable version of Cyanogenmod for Atrix doesnt ship with Android 4 – yet (although some of the latest unofficial ROMs do).