Right on schedule, CyanogenMod is delivering its monthly serving of M releases, now at number 8. This release brings a couple of interesting features to supported devices, at least those that do have M8 builds in the making, including the security fixes of Android 4.4.4, a revamped Settings app and a new Protected Apps feature.
CyanogenMod didn’t publish a list of changes this time, but much of what is arriving in CM 11 M8 has been more or else divulged two weeks ago. As noted, CM 11 nightlies, and hence M releases starting with this one, is already based on Android 4.4.4, in code and in name. But perhaps most notable are the changes that CM applied to Android’s settings app. Aside from doing some house cleaning and rearranging of the Settings app, the developers are augmenting the ROM’s hidden apps function with a new Protected Apps feature. In a nutshell, this doesn’t just hide your apps, it hides them behind a pattern unlock code as well.
Due these rather big changes, there might be some hiccups when upgrading to M8, particularly with the Settings app. For those on nightlies, CyanogenMod recommends upgrading from the nightly of June 30th instead of the latest for a smoother upgrade. In case you have upgraded from a July build and are experiencing crashes in the Settings app, the only way to fix this would be to wipe the data for the app, which you can access through the Recents app menu and long pressing the Settings item.
CyanogenMod also reiterates its policy and process when it comes to M releases. Not all supported devices are guaranteed to get M releases but that doesn’t mean that CM is dropping support for them, as they will continue to get nightly builds. It just means that the build quality and stability did not pass their, or to be exact the device’s maintainers, QA criteria and would rather hold off on releasing a known broken build. At the moment, not all builds are completed yet for those that will be getting CM 11 M8 builds, so better check CyanogenMod’s download page later to see if your device is included in the list.