One of the best parts of Android devices is how versatile they are: when we buy a device, it may come with stock Android or some sort of Samsung or LG layer, but we are pretty much free to change that as we please: there are tons of Android ROMs, each with different features and added value, and variety is the spice of life. One of the most well-known and overall more solid Android distributions is CyanogenMod, which has been around for almost as long as Android itself. CyanogenMod is renowned for providing extra functionality to your Android device, coupled with really solid performance and constant updates. Some of this added functionality comes in the form of apps, which are more or less exclusive to the ROM and tend to be superior to the stock options. Well, what if you could get those apps directly, without even having to install CyanogenMod or having to root? Today, we’ll find out how!
The app we will be using to accomplish this is CM Apps, which compiles all the CyanogenMod apps available at the moment and downloads them for you at your request. The app is freely available on the Play Store though this link. So, go ahead and install it. Once you do, you should see this screen, welcoming you to the app and explaining how it works:
Tap “Ok, I got it”, and you will see the list of apps available to download, along with a short description about them at the bottom. Some of these you may already be familiar with, but take a gander anyway. There are some real gems in there:
Once you see the app you wish to install, simply tap over it and it should begin downloading it:
Once the download is finished, the installation process should begin right away. The standard install screen, listing all the needed permissions and prompting you to accept the install, will pop up. Simply accept, and the app will be installed, no intervention required:
If you already have one of the apps on the list installed (for example, I already had the excellent Apollo Music Player) and simply wish to upgrade to the latest version, the app supports that too. Proceed with the download and once it’s done, it will prompt you to replace the app, as usual with Android:
Be warned though, that some of the apps may not work with your device. This is to be expected, seeing as some of them require specific CyanogenMod software or aren’t compatible with your device’s hardware to begin with. But not to worry, you can uninstall any of the apps you wish, and troublesome apps are pointed out in the app to begin with. Still, the vast majority should work without any issue, and there are some really awesome apps in there. For example, Apollo still remains my go-to music player, the CM File Manager is great and flaunts native SD card support, and Trebuchet is still one of the best and simplest launchers around. There’s a great selection, and it’s all available to you in a simple and easy to obtain manner.
This app really doesn’t do anything special: all it does is compile the latest versions of CM apps around and gather them for you in a way that’s easy to access and understand. Still, it’s very handy, and it beats the alternative, which is extracting the applications from CyanogenMod yourself, seeing as pretty much none of them are published by the CM Team in the Play Store. If you’re not familiar with CM Apps to begin with, maybe give these a spin, and feel free to let us know what you think in the comment section below!