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CyanogenMod 11 vs CyanogenMod 11S: the main differences

CyanogenMod (CM) is one of the most popular custom ROMs currently available for Android devices. Recently, the OnePlus One device came preloaded with a customized version of this ROM that is the default operating system. We take a look at the biggest differences between the mainstream version of CyanogenMod 11 and the specialized CyanogenMod 11S for the OnePlus One.

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The OnePlus One with CM11S (left) and Galaxy Nexus running CM11 (right). / © AndroidPIT

If you’re on the up and up of custom ROMs, CyanogenMod ranks highly among all of the options and even comes close to beating out Stock Android. In fact, CM regularly comes up with new features which allow much more personalization to your device and operating system. For the OnePlus One, CyanogenMod 11 was again specially adapted and offers a few different features.

Google Apps, no root

CyanogenMod 11S comes with Google certification and comes pre-loaded with the Google line of apps: Google Play Store, Music, Books, and Google Search, among others. In CM11, users have to manually install Google Apps separately.  As well, the OnePlus One comes as an unrooted device from the manufacturer while users will have to make sure that their device is rooted prior to being able to install CM11 on them.

Extra Themes and Wallpapers

With CM11S, you will find a wide selection of themes and new designs, either by the settings menu or via a new preinstalled app called Design Gallery. This is not currently directly available in CM 11. The OnePlus One also has the so-called Hexo design, a customized new design standard for CyanogenMod that doesn’t exist in CM11.

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CM11S offers more design options than CM11. © AndroidPIT

Display activation via tapping

With a double tap on the screen, the OnePlus One will fire up the display with CM11s, a feature that has been prominently showcased via LG and their KnockOn technology. CM11 does offer this possibility, but only to a few devices. As well, a double tap on the status bar when the display is active will return the unit to standby mode and this works in both CM11 and CM11S.

Optional on-screen buttons

The OnePlus One has capacitive buttons built into the device that are positioned below the display and as such, the on-screen buttons are not necessary. You are able to either hide these buttons or keep them at the bottom of your display, depending on your preference.

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The navigation buttons can be displayed or hidden in CM11S.  / © AndroidPIT

Screen calibration and adaptive lighting

In the settings menu, you can find an option called Display & LED that will allow you to calibrate the screen (contrast, intensity, and more) and also change the lighting. By allowing adaptive lighting, you can dynamically adjust the backlight of the screen and by extension, extend the battery life of the device.

Camera and Gallery App

While CM11 has a very barebones camera that is based on the AOSP camera, the camera app on CM11S is significantly enhanced. One of the best features is the ability to switch between photo filters in real time by swiping over the viewfinder when taking a photo. As well, the settings and options available via the camera app are much more robust on CM11S.

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Looking through the viewfinder of CM11 (left) and CM11S (right). / © AndroidPIT

Boot Animation

A small change, but a change nonetheless: on CM11, the boot animation is the standard CyanogenMod “Cid” while on the OnePlus One, you see the Cyanogen logo which is a hexagon within a hexagon (as seen in the teaser pictures at the start of this article).

AudioFX instead of DPS Manager

CM11S offers a few more options when it comes to those who like to tweak the audio output on their smartphone. The DPS Manager has been replaced by AudioFX which not only provides more configuration options for the sound but also has a much easier to use interface.

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CyanogenMod 11s replaces DPS by AudioFx and it looks a lot cooler. / © AndroidPIT

Support for two years

OnePlus has also stated that they guarantee support for the OnePlus One and CM11S for two years. CM11, on the other hand, while not an official OS for any given smartphone, is continually being updated and ported across devices which are much older than two years.  

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