How To Install CyanogenMod On Moto G 2014

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CyanogenMod is a highly modified distribution of Android operating system. It’s based on AOSP, is available for a wide variety of phones and includes features not found in other Android distributions. If you have an Android phone and you don’t flash CyanogenMod (or any 3rd party ROM) on it, then you aren’t using your phone to its full potential. CyanogenMod offers numerous advantages; both performance wise and feature wise. So many, that it you’ll almost feel like using a new phone. I’ll be writing another post about the various features and advantages of this.

The latest version of CyanogenMod is 12.1 and is based on Lollipop 5.1.1 (as of time of writing this post). Moto G 2014 users can follow the steps provided below to install CyanogenMod on their phone. For other phones users can browse XDA forum for appropriate steps.

Prerequisites

1. Make sure you have a good quality data cable which doesn’t disconnect.

2. Make sure your phone’s battery is fully charged. Do not proceed with a low battery.

3. Make sure you have enabled USB debugging on your phone.

Installing TWRP (skip if you already have this)

Step 1 Download and install the Minimal ADB & Fastboot installation from here –

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2317790

Step 2 – Get the latest TWRP img file for titan (Moto g 2014’s code name) from the official download location and place it in the same folder where you installed Minimal ADB & Fastboot (typically C:\Program Files (x86)\Minimal ADB and Fastboot\). rename this file as TWRP.img –

http://dl.twrp.me/titan/

Step 3 – Connect your phone to PC using USB cable. Open Minimal ADB and Fastboot command prompt from desktop (if you made a shortcut) or from installation location. Type ‘adb devices’ and press enter. If your device is listed that means you have successfully connected your phone.

Step 4 – Type type following commands in sequence –

adb reboot bootloader
fastboot devices
fastboot flash recovery TWRP.img
fastboot reboot

Installing CyanogenMod

Step 1 – Download the latest zip file from here –

http://download.cyanogenmod.org/?device=titan

Step 2 – Copy this zip file in the SD card or phone memory.

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Step 3 – Boot into recovery mode – power off the phone, hold power button and volume down button together for 3 seconds and release the power button. Press volume down key to navigate to ‘recovery’ option and press volume up key to select it. You will now enter TWRP.

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Step 4 – Select Install and select the CyanogenMod zip file you copied in your phone. Swipe the slider at bottom to start flashing the zip file.

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Step 5 – Wipe Cache and Dalvik (you’ll see buttons for that in TWRP itself after flashing is complete).

Step 6 – You have successfully flashed CyanogenMod. All that’s left is setup. Now remove the SIM card (VERY IMPORTANT) and restart the phone. You’ll see the Cyanogen logo. The first boot takes time so be patient and don;t worry. You’ll see the familiar “Android is starting… Optimizing apps…” screen. Wait for it to complete. You’ll now see the CM setup wizard. Log in to you Cyanogen account  (create one if you don’t already have it).

Step 7 – That’s it. Congratulations, you now have the world’s most used 3rd party Android ROM!

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Installing GApps

CyanogenMod installation doesn’t come with Google Apps (GApps for short) pre-installed. You see, CyanogenMod is an open software, promoting freedom in every sense. You get the freedom of choosing whatever ecosystem you want – Google Play, Amazon, or some other store. That’s the fun of open source.

But lets face it, many apps are only available on Play Store and you may be well dependent on some Google service such as Hangout or G+. You can still flash gapps on your phone and get all the default Google Apps back to life. Here’s how to do so –

Step 1 – Download the latest version of gapps from here –
http://wiki.cyanogenmod.org/w/Google_Apps

Step 2 – Copy the zip file in you SD card or phone memory.

Step 3 – Reboot into TWRP recovery (just as you did when flashing CyanogenMod). Select Install, select the GApps zip you just copied and flash it.

Step 4 – Reboot your phone and you’ll be ready to go with all default Google Apps available. IF there is some app that you didn’t find, download it from the Play Store.

Known Issues and Solutions

1. I keep getting “xxx has crashed” or “xxx has stopped working” after I first started the phone.

Solution – I told you to remove the SIM card when starting the device for the first time. Can’t you read the instructions properly?

2. Various sensors like the accelerometer, compass, etc are not working.

Solution – Open CyanogenMod File Manager. go to settings > General Settings > Access Mode and select Prompt User mode. Go to root/data/misc, remove the sensors folder and reboot.

All credit and big thanks goes to XDA members luca020400 and LuK1337 and the whole CM team for creating such a wonderful ROM! You can browse the official XDA thread for latest updates.

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How To Make Windows Darker To Avoid Eye Strain

I’m at a stage in life where I have to spend more than 8 hours working on my PC every day. As a result, my eyes get dry, inflamed and temporarily weak. To biggest thing that causes this is; obviously; the monitor, or more preciously the bright objects on the monitors. Most UI elements like web pages, Windows Explorer, the wallpaper, taskbar etc are all very bright by default. This causes a lot of stress for the eyes that have to stare at the them endlessly.

To relieve from this pain we can make these bright objects darker. Here are some ways of doing so.

1. Use a custom, dark theme for Windows – There are various 3rd party themes available for Windows that aim at making the default interface darker. You can find such themes on sites such as deviantart.com and winaero.com along with several other themes. However, to use 3rd party themes on Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 you need to first install a software named UltraUXThemePatcher that enables 3rd party themes (they are disabled by default). Do read the FAQ carefully and remember to switch to the default Windows theme before restarting the system for installing Windows updates or uninstalling the software.

After installing it, download the theme you like and install it while following it’s instructions (each theme has slightly different instructions). Some excellent dark themes for Windows 8.1 are Abisso2014, Dark8, Steam VS and my favorite Gnomnit Dark.

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2. Use a dark theme for browser – Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Internet Explorer are the major browsers used today with all but IE natively supporting for 3rd party themes. Many dark themes are available for the these browsers. These affect the new tab page, toolbars, menus, tab headers and other UI components of the browser. You can browse Chrome Web Store, Firefox Add-Ons and Opera Themes to find such themes for your browser. I use Mozilla Firefox and my favorite dark theme is FT DeepDark by steva.

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3. Making web pages darker – If you favorite website has a really bright or an all-white interface then you can make it dark too. There are thousands of custom styles available at userstyles.org for all popular websites. To use these custom styles you will need to install a browser plugin. Firefox users can use the popular Greasmonkey plugin while Chrome users can use Tampermonkey; a derivative of Greasmonkey for Chrome. Opera users can follow this guide on installing userscripts. These styles are basically JavaScript codes that alter the appearance of specific web pages. Simply search your favorite website on userstyles.org, choose a style you like and install it. Next time you load that website the installed theme will be applied.

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4. Use dark wallpaper – okay, this isn’t really a trick but many users avoid it. Use a dark wallpaper to complement your dark theme. thepaperwall.com has a huge collection of high quality wallpaper to suite your style.