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Why I use CyanogenMod 10.1 on my Nexus 7

Now I know a lot of you are thinking that since I have a Nexus 7, I have the holy grail of Android: stock, up-to-date Android. For a while, that was all I wanted and needed, but as I used my Nexus 7 more and more, I wanted more. I played around with Nova Launcher, and still use it religiously on both my tablet and my phone, and that held me over for a while. Eventually though, I still wanted more customization options that stock 4.2.2 just was not offering to me. I started looking into ROMs and really liked ParanoidAndroid 3 for PIE controls, but then CyanogenMod started putting PIE into its nightlies and I was sold. I've thrown CyanogenMod on both my developer phone and my friend's phone since his phone was stuck on ICS, so installing CyanogenMod on my Nexus 7 would be an easy task. Now I knew Nexus devices had easily accessible bootloaders, but putting CyanogenMod on my tablet was incredibly easy and took me less than 30 minutes. By comparison, it took me about an hour and a half to throw CyanogenMod on a LG Spectrum. Once I was greeted by the wonderful CyanogenMod boot screen, I was instantly in love. I immediately enabled PIE controls and got around to tinkering. Here are my favorite features that CyanogenMod10.1 has that stock Android 4.2.2 does not have:

  • PIE Controls - Seriously, these controls are amazing for certain purposes. They can be annoying at times when you just want to access your multitasking button and having to swipe up and then click, but for certain purposes, PIE is amazing. Specifically, I use my Nexus 7 as an e-reader when I don't have access to my Kindle Touch and PIE is wonderful for this as it gives me that extra room on the screen.
  • Battery Status Customization - I still don't understand why this feature isn't in stock 4.2.2. I hate having a battery indicator that doesn't give some sort of percentage. Pre-CyanogenMod10.1 on tablet, I used an application called BatteryWidget, but that was always in my notification shade but at least it gave me a percentage of my battery. Now that I have CM10.1, I use the "circle with percentage" setting and it gives me everything I want at a quick glance.
  • Lock Customization - The ability to assign lock points on the lock screen to different apps is a wonderful feature that allows me to save a step by unlocking right to the application rather than unlocking and then opening the application. It's not necessary and I am by no means that lazy where I can't be bothered with extra clicks, but the option is welcomed.
  • Navigation Bar Customization - When I'm not using PIE controls, the ability to add a search button to my navigation bar is great. Also, with CM10.1, I am able to map different locations in the Google Now launch ring to different applications. Again, not needed, but it's definitely useful.

Overall, CyanogenMod10.1 does not add an enormous amount of options when compared to stock 4.2.2, but the options it does allow for are welcomed with open arms. Is CM10.1 necessary for all Nexus 7 owners? Absolutely not, but for those who have maxed out their customization options with a custom launcher and still want more, I highly recommend CyanogenMod10.1.

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