CyanogenMod, the most popular custom firmware ROM for Android devices, has just been updated to version 7 final. Based on Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread), CyanogenMod 7 brings bucketloads of new features, tweaks, and enhancements to over 30 Android devices including the original Droid, Nexus One, Nexus S, HTC Evo, and many, many more.
CyanogenMod 7 brigs all the standard features of Android 2.3 Gingerbread including a revamped UI, improved keyboard and text selection, “Tube TV” sleep animation and a laundry list of smaller bug fixes and improvements. On top of Google’s features, CyanogenMod 7, also includes a built-in audio equalizer, native theming engine, and “Incognito Mode” similar to a desktop Web browser.
If you’re itching to get some Gingerbread action on your phone but you don’t have an official update from your phone’s manufacturer, CyanogenMod 7 is by far your best bet. Whether you are upgrading from CyanogenMod 6 or a stock version of Android, follow this guide to get CM7 installed. The following guide requires a rooted Android device that’s supported by CyanogenMod.
How To Upgrade Your Android Phone To CyanogenMod 7

  1. Back up your apps and data. This is obviously not required, but for the best results you should wipe your phone’s data partition before installing CyanogenMod. This will cause you to lose all of your apps and settings, which is not ideal. Titanium Backup, a free market app, will ensure that when you are all done your previous apps and settings can be restored to exactly how you had them before.
  2. Install ROM Manager. Installing an app called ROM Manager is the easiest way to get CyanogenMod on your phone, so head over to the Android Market and install ROM Manager.
  3. Back up your existing ROM. In case something goes wrong with the CyanogenMod 7 install, we’re going to make a backup of your existing ROM before we start the process of installing the new one. Open ROM Manager and then select the “Back Up Current ROM” option from the main menu. Your device will reboot, run the backup, and then reboot again. Once you’re back inside Android, open ROM Manager again.
  4. How To Upgrade Your Android Phone To CyanogenMod 7

  5. Download and install CyanogenMod 7. From the ROM Manager main menu, select Download ROM, and then select CyanogenMod from the Download ROM menu. Select to install CyanogenMod 7, and then check the box to install Google Apps. CyanogenMod will then begin downloading. It can take a long time if you’re on 3G, so we recommend finding a Wi-Fi hotspot to do this download — the size varies between 100 and 150 MB depending on your device.
  6. When the download has finished, ROM Manager will ask if you’d like to back up before installing and if you’d like to wipe the data and cache. Since we already backed up before, there’s no need to back up again, but make sure to check the box to wipe data and cache, especially if you are upgrading from a previous version of Android like Eclair (2.1) or FroYo (2.2). Once you tap OK, your device will reboot and the install will begin.
  7. Restore your settings. Your phone will reboot when the download has completed, and the final step is to re-sync the phone with your Google account by following the initial setup wizard, and then restore your apps with Titanium Backup. You’ll have to re-download Titanium from the market, but if you followed the first step you can restore all your apps and settings from within Titanium Backup as soon as it’s installed. Enjoy CyanogenMod 7 and Android 2.3 Gingerbread!