Much to the delight of the modding community, the CyanogenMod team announced on January 5th that they would begin rolling out nightlies for the Lollipop powered CM12. Although the team mentioned that the early builds should be stable enough to use as a functional daily driver, they did mention that a few specific CM specialties weren’t up and running yet, one of which included the popular theme engine. Fortunately for CM12 users, the team has now announced that the theme engine is up and running, and will appear in nightly builds from here on out.
The news came via the Google+account of Cyanogen Inc employee Clark Scheff, who commented that 13,000+ lines of changes were merged in order to implement the theming engine. The announcement was just made today, meaning that all nightly builds from here on out should have a working theme engine.
Clark went on to explain that are a few things to consider when using it. Due to the Material Design in Android 5.0, a large majority of the CM11 themes won’t look “too great” when being applied to CM12 if the app isn’t currently using a holo style. There are also themes that have bad .9.png images that will not function, meaning that if you developed a theme that isn’t showing up, you’ll need to check the logcat in order to find what the issue is. It is also (at this point anyway) not possible to have a working theme for both CM11 and Cm12, which is an issue that could possibly be patched at some point. He also pointed out that anyone making themes for CM12 will need to make the appropriate directs to the targetSdkVersion=”21″ in the<uses-sdk> tag in order for the system to know that your theme applies to CM12 and not CM11.
By my count there are 50 devices on the download page that currently have available CM12 nightly builds, which can be viewed and downloaded via this link. Although CM nightly builds are generally stable enough to use as daily drivers, remember that these are not stable releases, so their will be features missing and possible bugs throughout the OS. The team has stated that they are 85% close to an M release (which is in essence a stable release candidate), so any bugs you may find should be ironed out rather quickly.
It’s also worth mentioning that if you decide to update from CM11 to CM12 or vice versa, that a full wipe will be needed in order to ensure compatibility due to the many changes that came with Android 5.0.
If you decide to give it a go (I will give it a go with my Note 3 and Nexus 7 soon and report back, as builds are available for both), be sure to let us know your first impressions in the comments below.