Visitors look at a video display at the Motorola booth
Visitors look at a video display at the Motorola boothReuters

A new CM12.1 series firmware has been released to the Motorola's 2014 budget smartphone Moto E (aka Condor).

It is created by senior XDA Developer forum members, who go by the monikers scritch007 and percy_g2. This new nightly version is based on AOSP (Android Open Source Project) 5.1.1 Lollipop, which is currently being released to select Nexus devices.

It comes with a lot of bug fixes, new applications, performance tweaks, battery-life enhancements and tons of customisation options to improve user-experience in Moto E.

We would also like to remind that this 'Nightlies' version is a bit unstable and there are some untested bugs (nothing major of sort), which are yet to be fixed. Readers are advised to go through the whole tutorial before going ahead with the installation.

Prerequisites (things to remember before installing Custom ROM)

  • This CyanogenMod CM12.1 series Android 5.1.1 Lollipop custom ROM can be installed only on Moto E (1St Gen) aka Condor; if tried on other devices, it might get bricked [To check your device model: Go to Settings >> About phone >> model number]
  • 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 (Bootloader unlocked) before going forward for custom ROM installation. [More information on Moto E Rooting/Bootloader unlocking, HERE]
  • 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.
  • Make sure to install USB drivers on the PC, or else your device (Moto E) will not be recognised by the computer.
  • Make sure your device has more than 80% battery, or else there is chance of smartphone getting temporarily bricked if the installation process is interrupted in the 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.]

Tutorial: Step-by-step installation procedure of CyanogenMod Android 5.1.1 Lollipop CM12.1 custom ROM on Motorola Moto E (Gen 1) aka Condor-

Step 1: Download CyanogenMod Android 5.1.1 Lollipop CM12.1 custom ROM (HERE) and Google Apps (HERE/HERE) in to your PC.

Step 2: Connect Motorola Moto E (Gen 1) to PC via USB cord.

[Note: Before plugging the phone to the computer, be sure that you have installed USB driver software, if not, clickHERE to download the firmware]

Step 3: Then, place CyanogenMod Android 5.1.1 Lollipop Custom ROM zip file and Google Apps .zip file into the phone's SD card's root folder memory.

[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 (Down)' and 'Power' buttons.

[Note: If the user is flashing the custom ROM for the first time, then continue with Step 6 or else if the device being upgraded from previous nightly version or stable milestone version, then skip Step 6]

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 Recovery mode, 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 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 (Moto E 1st Gen) 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 5.1.1 Lollipop CM12.1 custom ROM.

[Credits: XDA Developer Forum, scritch007, percy_g2, CyanogenMod Team, Dhacker29, JackpotClavin and cybojenix]

[Note: In case of any issues please leave your feedback, HERE]