CM Updates

A question I get asked a lot involves updates to custom ROMs, and CyanogenMod in particular. How do we keep up with all the builds, all the updates and all the devices?

Here's a secret: We don't. Because we don't have to.

Look at it like this: Custom ROMs typically (though not always) have experimental, nightly and stable builds. Some have other permutations, but the general idea is you have builds that are way, way out there, in need of some serious debugging. Those are "experimental." I usually don't worry about those. "Nightlies" are just what they sound like -- bleeding edge builds that are updated every day or so. A good parallel to that is with nightly builds of your favorite open-source web browser. Same sort of thing. It's brand-spanking new, and it might be a little rough around the edges. "Stable" ROMs are daily drivers, intended for mass release. The code's good to go, and go it shall. That's not to say you might not be able to use a nightly build for your everyday ROM (that's what I do). They're usually pretty darn good, until something goes wrong.

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Here's what I suggest:

  • The easiest and most direct way to see if there's a new CM build for your phone (and if you don't already have CM installed) is to go to You can filter by device, and by build type. 
  • If you have CM10 on your phone already, it's even easier. Go to Settings>About Phone>CyanogenMod updates. There you'll a screen like in the image above. (Note the different build types.) From there you can choose to install a stable, nightly or experimental build. Easy.
  • And, of course, there's the tried and true ROM Manager app. You'll need to be rooted already to use it, but I've found it to be a bit tiresome on the eyes in its latter versions. And with CM's built-in updates, it's unnecessary. Still works great for other custom ROMs, though, and it's got nice shortcuts to backup and flash new builds.

So why don't we post more about every device going live with a new build? It's not because we hate your device. (Except for that one phone, maybe. You know which one.) What we generally worry about are the big milestones. CM10. CM10.1. Things like that. As for when a particular device gets builds? We like teaching a man to fish, instead of casting the line for him over and over. Those three points above should get you on your way.

Welcome to the wonderful world of custom ROMs.