CyanogenMod 7

The Samsung Galaxy Note is an Android device with 5.3 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel display and support for finger or stylus input. It’s either a very large phone or a very small tablet, depending on how you look at it — but unlike more Android tablets you can use the Galaxy Note to make phone calls over a cellular network.

The device has only been available for a few days, but it’s already been rooted and now you can install custom firmware on it as well. Xda-developers forum member netchip has released an unofficial build of CyanogenMod 7 for the Galaxy Note.

CyanogenMod is one of the most popular versions of Android designed as an alternative to the firmware that ships with phones and tablets. It’s based on Google’s Android Open Source project, but includes a number of tweaks and performance enhancements.

Based on Google Android 2.3 Gingerbread, CyanogenMod also doesn’t use any of the custom skins that often come with phones and tablets, so if you can’t stand the TouchWiz user interface that Samsung installs on the Galaxy Note, CyanogenMod provides an alternative.

On the other hand, Samsung built support for a stylus into the default software for the Galaxy Note — and since that’s not something included in Android 2.3, it’s not yet present in CyanogenMod. Google has added stylus support to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich though, so future versions of CyanogenMod and other Android-based operating systems may work better with a stylus or digital pen.

TechSpyre has instructions for installing CyanogenMod 7 on the Galaxy Note. The instructions aren’t for beginners — but if you’re a beginner you probably shouldn’t be installing beta software on your device anyway.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...