Category Archives: Phone

cyanogenmod – optimal Android

Recently the last great frustration of my Galaxy S5 was removed. Although I’d rooted the original Samsung Touchwizz OS, then stripped most of the bloatware out, it was still suffering from the suffocation of that octopus-like interface laid over a decent OS. Having to fight Samsung to get my contacts off their server (because there’s no good reason for them to have that information) is not my idea of fun.S5

S5 – Great Hardware, Stink Software.





And the ridiculous Samsung App Store with its minimal selection of apps that all exist at the a Google Play Store is proof positive that not everyone in management at Samsung is intelligent. Actually, there must be a layer of very slow-reacting & low IQ middle managers who can somehow defend the costs – financial & reputation – imposed by the stupid Samsung App Store.

The list of frustrations caused by the massive Touchwizz monster continues, ad nauseum. Almost everywhere you turn, there’s a stupid, unnecessary Samsung alternative option that you’re required to deselect or opt out of. When I say Touchwizz monster, I mean it. A non-branded standard Samsung ROM weighs in at a hefty 1.4GB. For a phone, people, a phone.

I’ve run my Galaxy S2, S3 & S4 handsets on Cyanogenmod since I discovered the project. This, however, was one bit of homework I didn’t do before purchasing my S5, I simply assumed that the CM ROM would be available. Heh, nah. Samsung were holding out on some vital camera driver information, forcing the CM volunteer developers to discover the path themselves.

Being stuck with great hardware running piss-poor software was a daily disappointment. Considering I’d come from a Cyanogenmod Galaxy S4 which I’d installed CM on from day one, the 8-month wait was endlessly frustrating.


Cyanogenmod, for those who aren’t experienced in Android mods, is an optimized replacement version of the factory Android install. Free of manufacturer’s data-gathering “services” and apps, Cyanogenmod is designed improve your handset’s performance while allowing the user to add whichever apps they want. It’s an open-source project, powered by volunteer coders. CM supports well over 50 devices, both phones & tablets. CM installs sans Google apps, allowing users to specify which of the Google products they want installed post-Cyanogenmod.

Compare the gigantic download required for an OEM Samsung S5 ROM (1.4GB) to the latest Cyanogenmod S5 ROM which weighs in at under 230MB. (Plus your selection of Google apps, which you install separately. A basic install is another 140MB.) Cyanogenmod with basic G-Apps provides a fully-functional Android OS for a full GB less than Samsung. Or just 29% of the OEM release. That’s a substantial amount of fat being sliced away, none of it essential apps that you can’t live without. Most of it, in fact, is data-hogging, bandwidth-gobbling shitware that you’ll be glad to be rid of.

Samsung isn’t the only culprit here, LG, HTC & Sony are equally guilty of providing over-customized interfaces laden with useless programs whose main function is to gather user data and send it home.
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