As can be expected, most of the news about CyanogenMod lately has concerned CyanogenMod 10, the build based on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. However, the makers of the custom ROM have actually been working three different projects lately, including a Gingerbread based build, Ice Cream Sandwich based build, and Jelly Bean based build, of which only the Gingerbread build was stable. Fortunately, the team just yesterday announced that the stable build of CyanogenMod 9, based off of Ice Cream Sandwich, is now finished and available.
Now that CM9 is complete and stable, ”only critical bug fixes will be merged moving forward.” What this means is that while CM9 will be maintained in a way, most users will be better off switching to CM10 when it becomes stable enough, as that is where developers will be focusing their attention. As they outlined in their plans last month though, the team will still focus on “maintenance of the CM7 codebase” as well as CM10. These projects are being continued simultaneously, because many devices will not be getting official CyanogenMod support past CM7 and Gingerbread.
While it may seem as if CM9 was destined to be dead on arrival anyhow, it is important to keep in mind that while CM10 and Jelly Bean are certainly cool, having a stable OS is important, too. As such, it is nice to have the stable CM9 build out there for those who need it while developers work on perfecting CM10. Plus, as the development team themselves said, “we don’t like to leave things incomplete.” This quality is actually one of the reasons that I like CyanogenMod, and what sets them apart from many other more frivolous and less dependable projects. Anyhow, now that CM9 is mostly behind us, all focus can switch to CM10. Personally, I can’t wait to see what improvements developers will come up with for the already quite impressive Jelly Bean.