Nexus 4 for the Traveler - CyanogenMod

I'm giving up my trusty Nokia quad-band flip-phone and WebOS smartphones for a Google Nexus.  I'll keep the Nokia around for traveling light but I'm sad to say it's time to retire the collection of Palm Pres.  I've run out of spare parts and the time has come to move on.  It was a good run.

Why the Nexus 4?  Google had them on sale, probably to clear out inventory before the next phone in the lineup is available.  It comes with a clean copy of Android 4.3 (no lame carrier apps / spyware).  It's moddable, unlocked and supports a variety of GSM frequencies for travel.

It doesn't run WebOS or have a hardware keyboard, but it'll have to do.

My ultimate smartphone would have little cloud integration, easy side-loading of apps, a vibrant open source software community, no spyware, easy tethering, very granular security/privacy controls and full-disk encryption.  I'm not sure yet how much of this I'll accomplish but I'll document the process as I go along.

The first thing I did, before connecting to any network, was disable the location settings and wi-fi backups, because governments seem to be stealing that stuff.

The next step is to install CyanogenMod.  This should give me access to some of the features I want; things that could be handy should my device get lifted while traveling.

  1. Download the Android SDK.  I unzipped it to c:\bin\ and then updated the system path.
  2. Run the Android SDK manager and make sure the Android Tools and Google USB drivers are installed.
  3. Enable Developer Settings and USB Debugging on the Nexus 4.
  4. Plug the phone in.  In my case, the drivers did not automatically install, so I did it manually.
  5. Unlocked the boot loader using adb and fastboot.  I had to authorize my laptop from the Nexus screen before adb would recognize the device.
  6. Flashed the ClockworkMod recovery image.  Note that I couldn't use fastboot to boot the recovery image.  I just selected it from the menu by holding volume down and power to boot the phone.
  7. Downloaded and installed CyanogenMod using ClockworkMod.  I installed CM from the zip file.  Following the directions to use adb push to put the file on /sdcard/ actually put the file in /sdcard/0.

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