The Samsung Galaxy S3 has been sitting out in the big wide world for a matter of weeks users are still likely to be poking and prodding around their new toy, finding out just how capable a device it really is. Samsung revealed at launch, that the Galaxy S3 would offer users the latest version of the company’s TouchWiz interface, dubbed ‘Nature UX’. From our experience it proves to be a capable, flexible interface, but sometimes, for some users, ‘out of the box’ isn’t enough and that’s where initiatives like CyanogenMod come in.
In case you haven’t heard of it, CyanogenMod isn’t just a replacement UI, it’s an entirely separate build of Android, created by a community of keen coders, working in their spare time. Testing can be tricky and releases often have bugs in the early phases, but the offer of an alternative Android build is a popular choice amongst many a user. Each iteration numerically refers to a different build of Android; CyanogenMod 7 was based on Gingerbread, CyanogenMod 8 on Honeycomb and now CyanogenMod 9 is available for ICS devices.
The team at XDA Developers currently outlines the process and the issues that come with bringing CyanogenMod 9 to the Samsung Galaxy S3. It's an early release version so is being updated every day, so the update release schedule is frequent, but each release will likely feature numerous bugs that get fixed on a case by case basis. Current issues include no support for the S3’s FM Radio, issues using the camera’s LED flash and trying to wake the device from sleep using the volume keys.
We should explain that unlike installing an alternative UI like ADW Launcher, (available on Google Play) Cyanogen Mod 9 is a full-fledged new Android ROM and as such, requires your device be rooted, before installation, the act of which voids your warranty. The process is only really recommended for the technically minded, but if you think you’re up to the challenge, a fresh batch of Ice Cream Sandwich is awaiting your inspection.