cyanogenmod nexus 5 boot screen aa 2

On Sunday, the CyanogenMod team began pushing out the M6 release of CyanogenMod 11, based on Android 4.4. Moving forward, the plan is to release milestone versions of CyanogenMod every two weeks, replacing the old Stable/Release Candidate system.

At the time of this writing, CM11 M6 builds are available for 50 devices, but more may follow over the next hours and days. Currently available M6 builds include versions of the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, 5 and 7, Samsung Galaxy S, S2, S3, S4, and Note 2, LG Optimus G, G2, G Pro, and G Pad, and HTC One and HTC One Mini. Check out the downloads page for a full list.

Here’s the official changelog for CyanogenMod 11 M6:

  • Quiet Hours – Fix longpress QS tile option
  • Voice+ – Integrate into settings (under Wireless and Networks > ‘More’)
  • Blacklist – Add provider permissions
  • Lockscreen – Fix custom wallpaper crashes and album art issues
  • Display – Consolidate screen-off animation options (remove checkbox)
  • Bluetooth – Upstream updates and fix issues with audio routing to select car makes/models and disconnect issues
  • MultiSim – Additional support patches (15+) and UI/UX modifications
  • Lockscreen – Disable elements when in custom lockscreen
  • Quick Settings – Options to show smaller tiles; add BT device name to tile
  • Quick Settings – Fix QS tiles layout in landscape mode
  • Usage Stats – Fix screen on stats after boot
  • Resolve memory leaks in Frameworks
  • Settings – Show ‘eject card’ action for USB storage
  • Theme Engine – Introduce new Engine capabilities (chooser to arrive in nightlies this week)
  • Parallel Shutdown – Decrease shutdown time
  • Address security vulnerability for icons
  • Downloads – Add pause/resume support
  • Trebuchet – Hidden apps and labels support
  • Remove parallel boot dexopt from stable/cm-11.0 branch
  • And more (all changes from Mar 29th to April 30th)

Milestone releases to replace Stable

In a blog post on the project’s official blog, community manager Abhishek Devkota talked about the team’s apparent slowness in releasing a Stable version of CyanogenMod 11.

In previous major versions (CM10, etc.), Stable releases were builds that were deemed solid enough to be used as daily drivers, even by users that are not very experienced with custom ROMs. The problem with that release strategy, explains Devkota, was that it left big time gaps between major stable releases, reducing the speed at which new features and critical bug fixes made it to the end user.

The CM team has now replaced Stable releases, as well as Release Candidates, with more frequent M (Milestone) releases. Right now, the CM puts out a new milestone every four weeks, but the goal is to decrease the release interval to just two weeks.

The CM team considers Milestones just as usable as the Stables they replace, with the added benefit of offering a fast, predictable lane for patches to go out.

Users that want a fairly stable version of CM should look for the latest available milestone for their device, while users that prefer the cutting edge can stay on the Nightly releases, which contain the latest features, but also more bugs and inconsistencies.

Theme Chooser preview

Launching on the OnePlus One, CyanogenMod 11S brings several new features that will soon begin to trickle down to CM builds for other devices. One of the biggest is the new Theme Chooser interface, which lets users swap wallpapers, icons, sounds, and fonts, either in packs or individually.

Here’s a preview (click to enlarge):

As announced by the CM team on Google Plus, the new Theme Chooser is coming to nightlies very soon, and if everything goes to plan, to Milestone 7, due in a few weeks.