CyanogenMod uses incremental OTAs to fix bugs, but they still take time to prepare

Going 'official' means complying with official certification processes, too

Using a recent bug on the Oppo N1 as an example, CyanogenMod gave an interesting look into the process of making and pushing out an OTA to devices now that it is a Google-certified software vendor. Although it has a good history of managing updates — including complete nightly software builds — for multiple devices, things change a little bit when you go "official."

Those who have installed CyanogenMod through the official installer or have a CM edition Oppo N1 can benefit from what are called "incremental OTAs," or small patches that can fix just a specific part of the system without touching anything else. In the case of a recent bug involving the O-Click accessory for the N1, the fix was small and could really benefit from the use of an incremental update — but added layers of testing required to push an OTA to devices slows down the process.

In a nice bit of transparency, CM explains that once the engineers believe they have solved a software issue, the update is packaged up and sent off to CM's QA (quality assurance) team. QA is responsible for making sure the new software fixes the problem as intended but also doesn't mess up anything else in the process. The QA team finishes up their testing, and then it's onward to CTS — this is the test suite Google uses to certify that the new software is still compatible with Android devices, features and apps. Each run of CTS takes about eight hours to complete, and must be 100 passed in order to be certified — one single hiccup, and you're back to the start.

The end result for this small fix? CM claims it took about three weeks after the fix was completed in code before it was greenlit and ready to be rolled out to devices. The extra levels of testing within their own QA team and now required by Google simply add more time onto new releases than we're used to with typical custom ROMs.

Fortunately, CM says that the incremental update system is "the backbone for our future update and release plans," and that testing it with CM installer and CM edition N1 devices is just the beginning. Fixing small issues as they arise and starting the process sooner with a smaller change in the software should speed up the process, and in the end give you a smaller download and shorter install time. Just know that you may not always be getting the "nightly" update experience that you're used to from before.

Source: CyanogenMod

Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

  • I hope they add more devices to the installer including the g2! G2
  • I'm taking bets on how long before people blame Verizon for the delays Posted via my G Pad which is much better than some silly Nexus
  • Ummm, never? -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Posted via my thumbs and Google Keyboard.
  • You must be new here Posted via my G Pad which is much better than some silly Nexus
  • You must be old here, lol. Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.
  • Verizon? Cyanogen is for rooted phones. Posted using Android Central App on my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile
  • And your point is? Nevermind, based on your previous posts you probably don't have one Posted via my G Pad which is much better than some silly Nexus
  • :)
  • Don't worry, I get it. It's not fully formulated as Verizon doesn't have the Oppo device, but if they did it'd be side-splittingly funny. As it is I "blame Verizon" for my HTC One update still being in "integration".
  • Now now kids, fight nice. We all know certain things around here. Nexus/Moto is the undisputed king
    Stock is the only way to go
    Touchwiz sucks
    Samsung makes terrible phones
    Sprint has the slowest speeds
    rooting solves all your problems
    tmobile is the absolute best carrier for everyone
    and Verizon holds up updates and suck the money straight from your pocket tdizzle is just keeping the talking points alive.
  • That pretty much sums it up Posted via my G Pad which is much better than some silly Nexus
  • I vote for making this the default first comment on every post
  • Me too Posted via Android Central App
  • Why? So we can get the pathetic arguments started right away? ;)
  • What part of this post isn't true, though? ... Wait for it... /SARCASM!!! Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.
  • thanks for the 4AM chuckle...
  • You forgot the... PERIOD! Lol Posted via Android Central App
  • Using the cm on my nexus 5, works great! -=nexus 5=-
  • So wait... you took stock vanilla android and purposely put bloat into it?
  • Hahaha. Really.
  • "...eight hours to complete, and must be 100 passed in order..." This part reads weirdly.
    Cyanogen: "To pass, you need a 100% execution on a single run."
    The way yours reads makes it seem like the CTS takes ~33 days to pass (8 hours x 100 runs / 24 hours per day). At least the way I read it. Maybe I'm crazy.
  • Does anyone know if any cm ROMs support mhl? Posted via Android Central App
  • why not have "unofficial leaks" (from unknown random ppl on the internet) for the ppl that dont care for the warrenty