How to Install CM12.1 Android 5.1.1 Lollipop ROM on any Android Device

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The CyanogenMod Team has announced official CM12.1 nightlies builts, which are the most recent CM12.1 ROMs based on the latest Android 5.1.1 Lollipop system.

Those who have already flashed these CM12.1 ROMs on their Android smartphones / tablets agree with the fact that they are among the best CyanogenMod ROMs they’ve ever used, so I bet that you are also tempted to install this CM12.1 based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop version on your Android device as well.

This new version features a number of tweaks over standard CyanogenMod 12. The ROM brings more stability and improved performance, one of the most important changes being found with the Buttons in settings for phones with hardware buttons. This Buttons setting that I am telling you about has the ability to disable your hardware buttons if you want to enable the soft keys, being ideal as I know that having both soft/hardware buttons can be really confusing and often lead to accidental presses.

With Lollipop 5.1.1 CM12.1, you also have the possibility to customize your notification lights individually by apps (this feature is not exactly new, but now is finally included in the regular settings), not to mention that you can add extra buttons such as a Menu button for those cases when using the awkwardly-positioned on-screen menu buttons is a problem and not only. And you should also expect to enjoy the most efficient use of your CPU than ever, so how can you refuse such an offer?

With these being said, I know that you must be wondering about the stability of this ROM, for your own Android based device. Let me assure you of the fact that this version is largely stable; there are only a few users who have complained about some lag across the interface elements, but this doesn’t change the fact that you’ll enjoy a solid AOSP experience with this ROM.

Before starting the installation procedure, take a backup of all your important data and even of your current ROM so you can always go back to your default Android platform in case of discovering that this CM12.1 custom firmware is not what you want. Also make sure that your Android device is rooted and with an unlocked bootloader before going forward with the custom ROM installation. Moreover, a custom recovery image must be flashed on your smartphone / tablet as the CM 12.1 OS will be provided in form of a .zip file.

I want you to be aware of the fact that unlocking the bootloader of your device will result in the warranty being void, but here you can find a guide on how to restore it, so don’t hesitate to apply it. It is also required that you have a custom recovery installed on your device and make sure that the USB Debugging option is checked under Developer options. Does your device has more than 60% battery? If not, there is a high chance of seeing your smartphone getting temporarily bricked if the installation process is interrupted due to this mistake and I know that this is not what you have in mind.

When it comes to your PC, don’t forget to install the appropriate USB drivers or else your smartphone will not be recognized by the computer. And temporarily deactivating any security form is a must as well. No less important, this procedure should be performed by a person with previous knowledge of software installation; I cannot be held responsible for any damage of your phone, so proceed with caution. Now, that all the prerequisites for installation have been taken care of and you understand the risks of such an operation, you are ready to proceed to the actual ROM installation process:

How to install CM12.1 based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop on any Android Device:

  1. Download CM12.1 ROM Nightlies by using this link; if CM12.1 isn’t available for your handset, then there are two possible scenarios: either you will have to wait a bit longer or your device is no longer supported;
  2. Also Download Android 5.1.1 Gapps from here;
  3. Connect your Android hansdet to the computer by using the USB cable;
  4. After that transfer the above two files to the internal storage of the handset;
  5. Remove the cable;
  6. Turn the device off;
  7. Then, boot it into recovery mode;
  8. From this mode, tap on the ‘wipe data factory reset’ option to perform a factory reset;
  9. Also tap on advanced options to individually wipe the cache, dalvik cache, data and system partitions as well;
  10. Go back to the main recovery menu and tap on the ‘Install zip from SD card’ option;
  11. You must select the CM12.1 ROM ZIP file that you had transferred to the device’s internal storage earlier;
  12. Flash the file and wait for the installation to complete;
  13. Flash the GAPPS package in the same way.
  14. You have to tap on ‘reboot system now’ to do exactly as said – to reboot your phone.

That’s it. You should now have the Android 5.1 Lollipop CM12.1 custom ROM running on your smartphone! Is there any bug you wish to report or do you love this ROM version? Let me know in the comments area from below.

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Mike Blass