Custom ROMs for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 may soon be on the way as CyanogenMod founder Steve Kondik has shared his progress with the custom CyanogenMod build on a Galaxy Note 3 handset.

Kondik shared an image of a Galaxy Note 3 handset running CyanogenMod 10.2 on Google + Monday. CyanogenMod 10.2 is notably based on the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean operating system, which has become the ROM customization team’s main focus since it released its CyanogenMod 10.1.3 stable build, which is based on Android 4.2.2.

Currently there is no word on when the CyanogenMod custom ROM for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will be available, but test versions are expected on the XDA developer’s forum soon. Keep in mind that Kondik had a custom ROM available for the Samsung Galaxy S4 just days after the bootloader-unlocked T-Mobile model was released. ROMs for other carrier models took a little longer to release as developers sorted out bootloader issues, but were released within a month of Galaxy S4 U.S. availability.

CyanogenMod Vs. TouchWiz

Many are questioning whether custom ROMs are even necessary to unleash the full potential of the Galaxy Note 3. It appears Samsung has gone out of its way to make the Galaxy Note 3 custom ROM-proof. The Note 3 includes many software features, which makes Samsung’s stock software necessary to properly operate the handset. One main software feature on the Galaxy Note 3 is its Air Command option, which directs users to the Action Memo, Screen Write, S-Finder, Scrapbook and Pen Window features. With the S-Pen, users can easily navigate their Samsung Galaxy Note 3 handset with simple dot, circle and box motions. Such features would be stripped from the Galaxy Note 3 with the installation of a custom ROM such as CyanogenMod, which largely does not support S-Pen nor several other Samsung-specific features like Multi-window and S-Note.

Many commenters on Kondik’s Google + page have stated that with the Galaxy Note 3 they may stick with Samsung’s stock TouchWiz software for the sake of not losing the features that make a Galaxy Note device a Galaxy Note device.

Samsung Knox Proof Root Released

In addition, other anti-flashing measures have been discovered on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, which developers are attempting to remedy. Renowned developer Chainfire initially discovered that on the Galaxy Note 3 the Samsung Knox security feature includes a technology called eFUSE, which is tripped when a device is rooted and flashed with custom software. This makes it so users cannot reset their flash counters back to 0 with apps such as Chainfire’s TriangleAway, essentially rendering Galaxy Note 3 warranties void.

This makes it harder but not quite impossible for developers to find workarounds to resetting software back to its original status as if it had never been tampered with, but Chainfire and DesignGears from XDA recently released a fix called Root de la Vega. Named after AT&T Mobility’s CEO Ralph de la Vega, the fix allows users to root their Galaxy Note 3 handsets without tripping any markers in Knox. Keep in mind that rooted handsets will still register as customized and unlocked; however, this can be fixed by using Xposed Framework in conjunction with the Wanam Xposed app. General as well as T-Mobile and AT&T specific versions of Root de la Vega can be found at the XDA Developer’s forum.

Those loyal CyanogenMod fans who still plan on flashing their Galaxy Note 3 handsets with the custom software should now feel a little more secure in doing so, though there is risk to altering a handset from its original software in any capacity. Those unfamiliar with these practices would be wise not to attempt them.  

Are you excited to see a CyanogenMod custom ROM for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3? Let us know in the comments below.

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