Changing the rules a bit, the CyanogenMod team has just announced the release of the first M snapshot of CyanogenMod 11, which is based on Android 4.4 KitKat. While the images are limited to recent Nexus devices, the announcement includes a sliver of hope for owners of the Galaxy Nexus as well.

CyanogenMod explains the departure from their usual release practice of not accepting bug reports from end users this early in the development stage. Aside from wanting to take advantage of earlier feedback and not wasting a whole month’s worth of critical reports, the team believes that the situation with Nexus devices is a bit special. Given that hardware code come directly from Google, plain AOSP should barely have any issues specific to a device’s hardware. This means that whatever bugs users might encounter will be bugs that are specific to CyanogenMod and fixing those bugs will, eventually, trickle down to other CyanogenMod-supported devices as well. For now, the CyanogenMod 11 M1 snapshot only covers the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 smartphones as well as the Nexus 10 and all variants of the Nexus 7 tablets.

Additionally, the team will be turning on the CyanogenMod 11 nightlies for other devices as well. Inconspicuously included in the text is the mention of the Galaxy Nexus. Although Google has practically turned away from this old device, users have been clamoring for the company to bring Android 4.4 to it, at least for one last time. That seems to have fallen on deaf ears and users will now have to turn elsewhere for their fix. Luckily, CyanogenMod might just be there to help.

It should be noted, though, that nightlies are still in the process of being built and are, at the moment, not available. There is also no assurance that nightlies will turn into stable releases and will depend on how well the device performs. It will, however, give users and other ROM makers something to use in the meantime.