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CyanogenMod 10.1: master the new features

From a powerful lockscreen to UI enhancements, CyanogenMod 10.1 is packed with features and tweaks

You’ve flashed CyanogenMod 10.1 and your phone is now running Android 4.2.

You’re now fully equipped to enjoy the new keyboard, lockscreen widgets, improved notifications and all the other small but very welcome improvements seen in the most recent version of the OS.

But you needn’t stop there. CyanogenMod is more than just  a plain version of the Android OS. It has a few extra features that enable you to configure and tweak how the system looks and works. The options are subtle and, as is typical with CyanogenMod, so perfectly integrated into the system that you wouldn’t know they weren’t a normal part of the OS.

The features that we’ll look at in this tutorial are split into two sections. The first concerns the new lock screen with widget support. In CM10.1 you can stretch the lockscreen widgets to full screen view, making it even easier to get your at-a-glance information without needing to unlock your phone. And if you do unlock your phone, there are a massively increased number of options there too.

The other area we’ll look at is the status bar and another of the new 4.2 features, the Quick Settings pane. Here you can not only adjust how to open it, configuring it for left or right handed use, but also customise which options you’ll be able to access from within it.  It’s these small touches that continue to make CyanogenMod the most popular, and indeed best, ROM around.

  1. Lockscreen options

    Go into Settings and locate the options for the lockscreen. The first setting to tweak are the Slider shortcuts. With this you can add up to four apps or functions to launch direct from the lockscreen. Tap the Slider shortcuts button then drag you finger to one of the empty dots.

  2. Assign a lockscreen action

    The Edit shortcut and icon window will open. You can choose from the various apps and other shortcuts (such as items within Settings) that you need to access regularly from the home screen. You can also tap on the icon to choose your own option from any icon pack you’ve got installed.

  3. Maximise widgets

    Make sure you save your changes to apply them by tapping the disc icon in the bottom right hand corner. Now go back to the Lock screen settings screen and tick the box marked Maximise widgets. This will give more space to your lockscreen widgets.

  4. Viewing full screen widgets

    Switch the screen off and on to view your lockscreen. Your widgets are now being displayed in full screen mode. Swipe right to launch the camera, and swipe left to add extra widgets as normal. Some third party apps are now adding lockscreen widget capabilities.

  5. Unlocking the phone

    With your widgets maximised you cannot unlock the phone simply by swiping the lock icon. Instead you need to maximise it (and minimise the widget in the process). Swipe it upwards from the bottom of the screen to do that, then unlock the phone in the normal way.

  6. Setting button actions

    Back in the Lock screen settings we’ll now take a look at Button actions. This enables you to configure how the hardware, or capacitive buttons on your device function when you long press them., and you can also check how they are currently configured.

  7. Configuring a flashlight

    Choose one of the buttons available on your device and tap on it. A series of actions will now be displayed that you can assign to each of your buttons. These include a switch to silence the sound, music controls, or the ability to use the LED as a flash.

  8. Quick settings choices

    Now return to the main Settings screen and locate the options for the Quick settings panel. There are a large number of ways you can configure this useful panel. First you need to turn it on, so tap on the Quick pulldown button.

  9. Choose which hand

    You can set it to open when you swipe down from the top right of the screen or the top left, and which you choose will probably depend on whether you are right or left handed. Also tick the Auto close panel to make sure it closes after you select an option.

  10. Add more shortcuts

    Finally tap Tile and layout. You can now add extra shortcuts to the panel by pressing the Add button and selecting from the list. You can also rearrange the order in which the icons are shown by holding on them and dragging them into your preferred position.