Sony Xperia Z and Xperia Tablet Z
A visitor looks at the new Sony Xperia phone and tablet through a glass window during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.Reuters

Prolific custom mobile software developers, CyanogenMod Team, has released the new CM11 M9 series Android v4.4.4 KitKat update to Sony's 2012 smartphone Xperia T.

Last week, Sony officially abandoned the software service to the Xperia T, probably due to the end of 18-month life cycle, which makes the company no longer obligated to provide firmware update to the phone. [For more information, click here]

However, there are numerous custom ROMs on the Internet, which enables you to make sleek customisation and performance enhancing tweaks on the phone. Among them, team CyanogenMod is one of the most popular custom mobile software developers.

The new CM11 M9 custom ROM is based on the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) v4.4.4 KitKat OS. It is said to bring customisation options to boost device performance, new visually appealing user-interface, short-cuts to key apps and tons of personalisation options such as:

  • Performance improvement in 'Torch'
  • Additional Proximity wake-up support option – prevents accidental wake-up of device (when kept in bag or pocket), by using sensor.
  • Safe headset volume prompt option (when interfering with third party device- Jawbone, Square, etc.)
  • Double-tap to sleep when using secure keyboard
  • New email - with a fix for saving attachments to storage for POP (Post Office Protocol)3 accounts
  • Spam notification filtering
  • Centre clock support
  • Additional improvements and highlighting option for 'Settings' search
  • Data usage info (additional support for CDMA devices without SIM cards)
  • AVRCP 1.5 disable default option introduced for Bluetooth feature to fix various car unit compatibility issues
  • Bluetooth improvements (adds A2DP profiles)
  • Translation options (developed by CM Crowdin Team)
  • Performance tweaks and many more improvements to enhance user-experience

Prerequisites (things to remember before installing Custom ROM)

  • Though installing custom ROM improves the device's performance and UI experiences, it makes the company warranty void and they will no longer be liable to provide updates in future [users can restore warranty by flashing the device with stock-ROM].
  • Make sure the device is rooted before going forward for custom ROM installation.
  • This new CyanogenMod Android 4.4.4 KitKat firmware has to be installed on the Sony Xperia T model only; if tried on other devices, it might get bricked [To check your device model: Go to Settings >> About phone >> model number]
  • Installation of custom ROM requires clearing of memory in the smartphone, so make sure to back all the data by installing Clockwork Mod (CWM) Recovery/ TWRP in the smartphone.
  • Users make sure they have installed USB drivers on the PC, or else your device (Sony Xperia T) will not be recognised by the computer.
  • Make sure your device has more than 80 percent battery, or else there is chance of smartphone getting temporarily bricked if the installation process is interrupted mid-way.

[Disclaimer:This procedure is very technical and should be performed by a person with sound knowledge of rooting (or manual software installation) Android devices. If the step-by-step installation process is not followed properly, there are chances of the smartphone getting bricked or being permanently irreparable. International Business Times, India Edition cannot be held responsible for any damage or claims from readers if the procedure does not yield the required results or if the smartphone is bricked. Hence, users are advised to proceed with caution.]

Step-by-step installation procedure of CyanogenMod Android 4.4.4 KitKat CM11 M9 Custom ROM on Sony Xperia T:

Step 1: Download CyanogenMod Android v4.4.4 KitKat CM11 M9 Custom ROM (here) into your PC.

Step 2: Connect Sony Xperia T to PC via USB cord.

[Note: Before plugging the phone to the computer, be sure that you have installed USB driver software, if not, click here for Windows PC and for Mac, here to download the firmware]

Step 3: Then, place Android v4.4.4 KitKat CM11 M9 Custom ROM zip file into the phone's SD card memory. [Note: Users are advised to paste the .zip file in SD card root, not in any other folder.]

[Note: Before users' begin installing the custom software, be sure that the device must have rooted and has installed ClockworkMod Recovery/TWRP tool.]

Step 4: Now, turn off the device and disconnect from the PC.

Step 5: Then perform the regular Recovery Mode sortie by press holding 'Volume (up)', 'Home' and 'Power' buttons.

Step 6: After entering the RECOVERY mode, clear the phone memory, by choosing 'wipe data/factory reset'.

[Note: use 'Volume' keys to navigate and 'Power' button to select options, while operating under Recovery Mode]

Step 7: Now, clear the cache memory by selecting 'wipe cache partition'.

Step 8: Then to go back to ClockworkMod recovery, and select 'advanced' and tap 'wipe dalvik cache' [Note: This step is optional, but many recommend this procedure so that user will not face boot loops or any other errors in the middle of custom ROM installation]

Step 9: Again come back to main recovery screen and then tap 'install zip from SD card'

Step 10: Then tap 'choose zip from sdcard' and go to Android 4.4.4 ROM .zip file in SD card and enter the installation process. Repeat the same procedure again to install the Google Apps. [Note: use 'Volume' keys to navigate and 'Power' button to select options]

Step 11: Once done with the installation process, navigate to '+++++Go Back+++++' and re-start the device by opting 'reboot system now' seen in the recovery menu.

Now, your device (Sony Xperia T) will take a few minutes to complete the booting process.

Users then head to Settings >> select About phone to confirm the installation of CyanogenMod Android v4.4.4 KitKat CM11 M9 custom ROM.


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