I had been running Cyanogenmod 12.1 for a few weeks after upgrading from CM 11. The nightlies had been pretty stable, but I found more issues than I noted here. In addition to the always-annoyning need to reset to 3G and back to LTE to get LTE to work after every nightly update, my Plantronics Discovery Bluetooth headset didn’t control the phone as it did in CM 11 and previous builds. The latter caused spontaneous resets after attempting to hang up remotely. Once it rebooted in the middle of a call. I didn’t care much for that.
The 5/16 nightly provided the last straw. Nightlies are “experimental” and I get that, but the 5/16 nightly produced a black screen from which it could not recover. I tried reverting to the 5/15 nightly, but that resulted in an endless boot loop. I finally reverted to my CM 11 4/26 nightly nandroid backup to get my phone back.
Rather than remain on Kitkat, I decided to give LiquidSmooth 4.1 a try. I had sampled LS when they had an early Andoid 5.0.x build and liked the customization options, especially the ability to put the day/date on the status bar. So, I tried flashing LS 4.1 over CM 11 with the appropriate gapps (I like Slim gapps mini version). That didn’t produce a stable system, and I probably shouldn’t have expected it to do so since their system setups are different. So, I bit the bullet, factory reset and loaded LS 4.1 (5/14 release) and gapps mini clean.
After LS installation, Google automatically reloaded my current apps, contacts, etc., as I set it to do. I had backups of my SMS and phone history from about a week prior to restore, plus configurations for Nova Launcher Prime and my 3C Toolbox Pro widget. I restored a handfull of other apps and data with Titanium Backup Pro, then manually added my accounts. Because I installed clean, I had to go through all the apps and accounts and turn off all the battery sucking syncs and push content. With all that, I was fully operational on Android 5.1.1 in just a few hours.
I really like LiquidSmooth 4.1. The LTE worked perfectly from the start, and so far the BT headset seems to work fine. I am able to put the date and day on the status bar. The lock options seem more robust with available delays and conditions. The only thing really missing is the Profiles feature in CM, but I found Profile Manager on Google Play which does a nice job.
I have been using Space Theme in Lollipop, which works and looks awesome with HD wallpapers. So at this point, this is what my primary screen looks like:
Here’s a better look at the HD wallpaper:
I’m a very happy camper now, until I get restless again…