CyanogenMod is a aftermarket firmware distribution that could be customized and replace the stock, out of the box android versions available readily on your smartphone. This firmware is based upon the Android Open Source Project. The main goals behind the existence of the CyanogenMod project is that it offers a great level of customizations increase in the performance coupled with great reliability for android-based smartphones.
CyanogenMod also offers a great degree of variety in the features and enhancements that are not found readily available in the OEM versions. CyanogenMod is optimized heavily and it has the capability of pushing your phone to the limits, much harder than you could ever imagine. It is not the responsibility of the CyanogenMod team if android mobile phone rooting goes wrong and things go nasty in your new cellphone, but a little internet research and you shall find that it is the most widely used modified firmware thats ever released on android smartphones.
The project Cyanogen is in so much advanced and reliable stage that the team have their own wiki where you shall find plenty of information and how-to’s for rooting your android phone, flashing ROMs, various android components information, developer’s resources and much more. It is a delight for the developers to find so many unofficial resources on this project. The CyanogenMod team however, does not take responsibility in the development of the apps and ROMs that their developers have been working on. This project could be viewed upon as highly reliable, yet very unofficial one for android rooting.
Due to the enthusiasts and developers working in close association with the CyanogenMod project, it is seen that for the devices that are officially not supported, there are tweaks and ROMs for those too. They still manage to receive the ports of the ROM due to the great trust and belief that the android users lay on this project. Currently, there are 4 active and major versions released that are fully functional over different phone models on android platform i.e. CyanogenMod 10 (Android 4.1), 10.1 (Android 4.2), 10.2 (Android 4.3) and 11 (Android 4.4).
The different variants of this firmware are available and they are categorized like being Stable, Release, Candidate, M-series and Nighties versions. Out of all the versions, the Stable version is the one that is thoroughly tried and tested. It is known to be the most bug free and suitable to be used on a daily basis for all users across different smartphone models.
The Release Candidate (RC) version might not be the final version, nevertheless is proven to be mostly bug free and suitable to be used stably on the android phones, very reliable and easy to use. The M-series of versions are known to be as reliable as the RCs, but are more stable for the end users. The Nighties are very volatile and as unstable as the firmware can get. The release versions of the CyanogenMod keep coming in at regular intervals and android users are known to keep a keen eye on their releases.