Sure the entire smartphone ecosystem has now been effectively divided into two distinct camps – Android and iOS – but there are others like Windows Phone who are looking to catch up on the ground made by the two biggest operating systems so far. One such operating system that's gaining momentum is the custom Android version from CyanogenMod.

A latest report states that Cyanogen Inc.'s CEO Kirt McMaster has criticized Google over its control of Android and has even hinted that the company could be moving away from the usual Google-centric version of Android and might just launch its own app store in the near future.

According to a recent Android Authority report, in a discussion at Thursday's "The Information" event in San Francisco, McMaster said, "We're attempting to take Android away from Google." He also went on to reveal that the company wants to make a more open version of Android; something that's currently not possible with the one from Google.

While Google fans won't really dig too deep into the news, this one is actually good news for those who are used to rooting their phones with the CyanogenMod brand of custom Android. If you are more comfortable with the custom Android concept, the future is currently looking bright.

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However, if you are on the Google-licensed Android version, and confused as to whether it's an okay deal to change to the more custom side of things, here are reasons why CyanogenMod is better than Google's Android.

If You Prefer a Snappy Smartphone
It doesn't matter if you got a new smartphone. It isn't worth the money spent if your phone isn't able to churn out the kind of performance that you paid for in the first place. This is where CyanogenMod comes into action as it can speed up things in your handset by getting rid of the useless and memory-hogging default apps (we all hate those). However, back out now if you are fan of OEM specific features. While there's not much in offer in terms of new looks, but CyanogenMod features over-clocking services to speed up your handset. It can even improve the handset's battery life by limiting the CPU clock speed.

With Looks to Kill
As we mentioned before, CyanogenMod isn't really for those who want their smartphones to be aesthetically sound. That being said, it's not that there is absolutely no option to change the looks of your handset if you installed the CyanogenMod. CyanogenMod actually incorporates a Theme Chooser that allows you to download and install theme apk files (even download themes directly from the Google Play Store). Note that there is a wide array of themes to choose from if you are looking to overhaul your phone's looks. All you need to do is install the theme and then apply it from the Theme Chooser app.

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Plethora of Options, Features
If you thought that CyanogenMod is just a simple port of Google's Android source code, you couldn't have been more wrong. On the contrary, the development team behind it is constantly on the lookout for new ways to make the experience better. In fact, the rise has been such great that not only has CyanogenMod maintained a cutting edge standard in all things Android, it has even seen Google borrow a few features from it for Google's own version. As far as customizable ROMs are concerned, nothing comes close to CyanogenMod. And, with options and features to tailor Android in your own way, expect full control of everything that's inside the handset.

For example, Shortcuts can be moved, deleted, or even replaced with entirely new functions. Apart from that, you get customized lockscreen with shortcuts, a fully configurable Navbar with its own File Manager and the option for remote finding or wiping of data if your phone is stolen, and more.

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Quicker and Effective Updates
If there's one thing CyanogenMod has maintained an excellent track record of is the ability to patch up bugs and send out quicker updates than the rest. Compared to this, OEMs are nothing. The team is always sending out nightly builds that carry general fixes and optimisations to make sure your phone is performing well. Making use of what's probably the quickest and easiest platforms to rollout fixes, the CyanogenMod team patches anything that's not required. The team even patches old gingerbread handsets, something official makers aren't too willing to do.