CyanogenMod 13 (CM13) features walkthrough

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Over the last year or so, CyanogenMod ROM has changed drastically. The CM team has better integrated their customisation options into Android and to go along with it they have even added some unique new features to the ROM..

With every major new release of Android, the Cyanogen team releases a new version of their ROM as well. The release of Android 6.0 Marshmallow is no different in this regard, with the CM team releasing CyanogenMod 13 based on it just a month after its former’s official.

Read: Best CyanogenMod 13 themes

Like we have done before, we will be taking an in-depth look at all the new features that the CM team has added to CyanogenMod 13 below.

Homescreen

 

With CM13, the Cyanogen team no longer ships the ROM with the stock AOSP launcher. Instead, they now ship a launcher that offers a plethora of customisation options. This includes the option to show or hide the search bar and icon labels, customise the grid size, and more. These customisations options are also present for the vertically scrolling app drawer, which now features two different styles: Compact and Sections.

You can access the customisations options offered of the stock CM13 launcher by long pressing anywhere on the home screen.

Settings

All the customisation options offered in CyanogenMod 13 are tucked under the Settings menu. Unlike stock Android, the Settings menu in CM13 has some additional options and toggles thrown in. The very first thing you will notice on opening the Settings menu is the toggles beside the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Mobile network options. You can simply toggle the switch to enable or disable them instead of having to jump inside their menu first.

The additional entires in CyanogenMod 13’s Settings menu include Themes, Notifications, Lock screen, Buttons, System Profiles, Status Bar, Privacy, and Storage & USB. I will list the individual options find inside these entries down below. First let us have a look at the Sounds menu in Settings, which offers some additional customisation options compared to stock Android.

Sounds

CM13 gives you complete control over the different sound related aspect of your device. Some of the features present here include increasing ring volume gradually increases the ring volume; ability to set the vibration motor’s intensity; enable/disable charging sounds and more.

Display & lights

Beside the usual options to tweak the brightness levels, the ‘Display & lights’ menu in CM13 packs in a lot of other options as well. You have the option of enabling double-tapping the status bar to put the device to sleep, showing the search bar in recents menu, customising the notification LED (on supported devices) and more. A detailed explanation of other major features tucked under Display can be found below.

LiveDisplay: LiveDisplay is CyanogenMod’s team own implementation of f.lux. With the feature enabled, the brightness, contrast and other aspects of your device display will be automatically optimised depending on the time of the day and the ambient light.

LiveDisplay is located under Settings -> Display & Lights -> LiveDisplay.

Expanded Desktop: You can use this feature to run apps in a full screen mode. This is particularly useful for devices that feature an on-screen navigation bar like the Nexus 5, Nexus 6 etc. You also have the option of hiding only the status bar and to keep the navigation bar around.

Expanded Desktop is located under Settings -> Display & Lights -> Expanded Desktop.

LCD Density: Allows you to change the software display density of the phone. Changing the values will lead to more (or less) content being displayed on the screen. A lower number means more content will be displayed on the screen and vice versa.

LCD Density option located under Settings -> Display & Lights.

Font size: Unlike stock Android, you can select the increase in font size on a percentage basis, which is more granular.

Themes

Cyanogen team’s popular theme engine allows you to customise the look of the OS according to your will. Simply download themes from Google Play and apply them to change the look of the OS in just a few taps. Beside changing the System UI colors, themes in CyanogenMod can also change the look of the icons, lock screen, boot animation, navigation bar, status bar and fonts.

CM13 theme engine

Notifications

You can control almost every aspect related to notification from the Notifications menu. This includes enabling or disabling Heads up notifications and customising Do Not Disturb according to your liking. You even have the option of customising notifications from individual apps as priority or completely blocking them.

CM13 Notifications

Lock screen

Under lock screen, you will find options to customise the shortcuts being displayed and show a visualiser while playing back music.

Buttons

The various hardware buttons on your Android device can be used for more than just controlling the volume level. For the power button, CyanogenMod 13 allows you to customise the items being displayed in the power menu, prevent the menu from showing up when the phone in locked or disconnect a call when the power button is pressed. Similarly, you can use the volume buttons to wake up your device, control music playback by long pressing on them and even control the cursor position.

On devices that features an on-screen navigation bar, CM13 allows you to customise the buttons being shown on it and their layout. You can also show mini arrows at the very left and right edges of the navigation bar to easily control the cursor while typing.

CM13-buttons

Battery

Beside showing the usual battery consumption information, some really handy features like a per-app profile and battery mode are also tucked under the Battery menu in CyanogenMod 13. Per-app profiles as its name suggests will automatically tweak the performance of the phone depending on the app you are running, while Battery mode allows you to select the performance mode of the device. The five options offered in Battery Mode are Power save, Efficiency, Balanced, Quick and Performance.

System Profiles

System Profiles have been present in CyanogenMod since CM10 (or perhaps even earlier), and in my opinion, they are among the most underrated feature of the ROM. System profiles allow you to quickly change a bunch of system settings depending on your location, the Wi-Fi network your device connects to, or by tapping the device against an NFC tag.

Some of the system settings that you can change using system profiles include changing the state of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Mobile data, selecting a different lock screen mode, enabling/disabling airplane mode, and more.

Status Bar

You will find options related to the various items being displayed under the Status bar in this menu. You can customise the position of the status bar clock, enable/disable the battery icon and change its style, control the brightness by sliding your finger across the status bar, and enable Quick Pulldown, which will directly open Quick Settings when you swipe down from the right edge of the status bar.

CM13 Status bar

Privacy

The two most notable options present under the Privacy menu are Privacy Guard and Blocked caller list. The former is essentially an advanced version of the permissions manager introduced by Google in Marshmallow. You can enable privacy guard for one or all your installed apps and they will then be unable to access your personal information like your location, contacts, messages and more.

As its name suggests, Blocked caller list is essentially a list of all the callers that you have blacklisted. You can also add new contacts to this list and even prevent receiving any messages from them.


For now, these are all the features that are present in CyanogenMod 13, which is based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Most of these features have been ported from previous versions of the ROM, but have been tweaked and further improved to work better under Marshmallow.

As and when the CyanogenMod team adds new features to CM13, we will update this article to list them.

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  • tech189

    Nice article, but why not use the demo mode for the status bar so that it looks the same in each screenshot?

    • Rishi A

      how can i remove screen buttons in cm13

      • Pablo Romero

        Screen buttons? Do you mean the soft keys?

      • tech189

        Settings>Buttons

        • Rishi A

          Can i instal dolby atom on my asus ZenFone max

          • tech189

            Don’t know sorry, search XDA forums for your device

  • Frank Borland

    I saw VERY LITTLE that is new here from CM 12. So it sounds like CM 13 is more of a port of CM12 to run on Marshmallow with a sprinkling of new features. More evolution the revolution for sure.

    • Raphael

      Actually, there weren’t many changes from Lollipop to Marshmallow, just a few minor functions and a supposed improvement of battery. Those few changes are there, on CM13, it just happens that those stock android versions are not really that different from one another.

  • antonioliccard0

    Why aren’t battery profiles available for mako? Should I expect ’em to be included in the next nightlies?

  • jay

    What I don’t understand is why people loading cyanogenmod? Is there really these killer features? Not sure what? I am looking for a nice rom and usually like cyanogenmod but this time android stock isn’t bad at all

    • khan

      cyanogen is stock android but with alot of options

      • jay

        At this time stock Android and gravity box…

  • I’m new to Cyanogen and found this article very helpful – thank you. I see various people assuming Cyanogen is just for modders but keep in mind now Cyanogen is coming preinstalled on various devices. I have a Wileyfox, for example. Have fun!

    • Gautam

      Glad you found it helpful. Hope to see you here more often.

  • Maged Samuel

    Does anyone on CM12.1 have his/her notification badges show up on applications e.g. Facebook? – I’m talking about the bubbled numbers that appear in red on the upper right of the app icon and it shows how many missed notifications you’ve. I don’t have that myself anymore on my LG G2 since I’ve made the switch from stock to CM12.1. Is is available in CM13.x?

  • Alija

    Ey where can I enable weather in pulldown notifications?

  • Rob H

    Where’s do no disturb mode?! In the previous version I pressed the volume button and got options like “do not disturb for x hours”. After update that’s gone, I just get volume controls.

    • ebin

      they removed it in favor of do not disturb icon in the system drawer

  • The Cheese

    I had the top status bar on auto hide. Was nice. But I don’t know what I did to get it!

    • Chris Sandiford

      You enabled expanded desktop. Had me flummoxed for a while before I realise what I’d done!

  • anonymouse

    How to enable wifi and bluetooth toggles on the main settings screen?

  • Luka3

    How to please get into this menu? Thank you.

  • lohith mvn

    Does this cyanogen mod 13 support data and gps?

  • AriG

    I use CM13 on my P9000, i love it, but i cant disable the navigation bar and use the home button like the stock rom….can everyone help me?

    • Francio Gilbert

      Try dirty unicorn rom… U will wow.

      • AriG

        Where can I find it for the P9000? I find it only for Nexus, HTC and so on…

        • asas

          edit build.prop

    • Tom Louwell Basco

      You can disable it thru Settings>Display>Expanded Desktop

  • ayush bansal

    How to enable shake notifications in lock screen, i know of this feature in cm13 because i accidently enabled it once but then i fid facyory reset and now i’m getting that option please gyide i’m using samsung grand duos gt-i9082

  • Kris

    I went from OnePlus One which had CyanogenMod 13 to OnePlus 3T which has OxygenOS.
    How can I get the CM13 launcher to my current phone without changing OS?

    • Chris Sandiford

      You can’t, you’ll need to flash your 3T with CM first.

  • איליה קו

    Are they binary compatible?
    Can I flash CM13 on top of existing CM12.1, without wiping the /Data?

    • No, a wipe is strongly recommended.

      • איליה קו

        Of course a wipe is strongly recommended. I was asking something else here… Never mind, I did this test myself, and I can confirm, that CM13 on top of exiting CM12 boots and works well. No need to wipe /data

  • איליה קו

    CM13 doesn’t have any control over Vibration intensity. 3rd party apps are also not that helpful, so I have instantly restored CM12.1