If the headline had you doing a double take, you’re not the only one. One of the best and most popular alternative Android builds, CyanogenMod is deeply rooted (pun most definitely intended) in the world of underground Android development and has long been associated with unlocked devices featuring superuser access. In the newest edition, CyanogenMod 9, the team behind the ROM is taking a step back in the interest of security. By default, root access will be disabled in CM9. Users will have the option of enabling root in three different modes. One for ADB, one for applications, and one for both.
The change in policy signals the emergence of CyanogenMod as a legitimate alternative to OEM-installed versions of Android. With each new release the ROM picks up polish and grows its userbase. What was once a small horde of Android enthusiasts looking for operating system customizations has grown into a slightly more mainstream audience. As Uncle Ben always said, “with great power comes great responsibility.” With more and more users coming to Cyanogen — and some on the less technically savvy side — it’s only responsible to provide the most secure OS possible as a default.