Android OS Hack Gives Early Upgrade to 2.3.3

Android phone owners stuck on older versions of the operating system know the frustration of seeing newer versions with features they can’t get.

Good news for them: A new, hacked version of Android delivers many of the features of the latest Android OS without the wait.

The gang over at CyanogenMod dropped a new stable release of their popular Android OS ROM, CyanogenMod version 7.0.

In the hacking community, a custom ROM (which stands for “read-only memory”) has come to refer to a image of the operating system that comes on your phone when you buy it, aka a stock ROM. Customized ROMs are exactly that — tweaked versions of an OS that are manipulated, often containing firmware upgrades that come out faster than official updates from the makers of the OS.

After gaining root access to your phone, you can run the custom ROM on your phone using an app like ROM Manager.

The new release functions on more than 30 devices, now including two tablets — the Barnes and Noble Nook Color and the G-Tablet.

Version 7.0 is available free for download at the CyanogenMod website.

Installing CyanogenMod 7 brings major updates to the keyboard and texting tools, reducing problems with selecting text for copying and pasting that frustrated users in previous versions of Android. The reports on battery use by app are much more detailed in the settings menu compared to Froyo. A number of minor updates include a list of all the apps you’ve downloaded on your phone, as well an update to the camera app that makes it easy to switch between front- and back-facing cameras.

Along with access to Gingerbread’s finest features, CyanogenMod 7.0 comes with a number of cool perks, including built-in CPU clocking (over or under), the ability to install more apps to your phone’s SD card, custom wallpapers and themes, and some tweaks to the music-playing app that allows you to use the camera button to pause.

Some of the different features in the update aren’t grandiose in nature, but the new CyanogenMod release highlights what Android enthusiasts love about the platform — the ability to customize a phone through subtle tweaks and flourishes, making what would otherwise be one of many manufactured handsets into a personalized (or hacked) device.

Have you downloaded and tested the new CyanogenMod 7.0? I am currently using this ROM and love it. It’s fast and stable as hell.

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