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Compared to stock Android, CM12 gives a lot more control over user's privacy. There's a permission manager that can be used to prevent certain apps from accessing certain information, a blacklist for blocking any unwanted calls or messages for specified numbers and notification filter that can be used to remove certain apps from popping up in the notification area. See More
CyanogenMod keeps most of the aesthetic and conventions as they are in stock Lollipop. It uses that as a base to build on top of and add customization options. There's even a Google Apps package that will install the stock apps and Google Now Launcher, but can be avoided if a cleaner experience is preferred. See More
Main strength of CyanogenMod are the customization options that it brings to Lollipop. For example, status bar items such as clock and battery can be customized, pending notification count can be displayed in the status bar, Quick Settings tiles can be reorganized. It can be set up to adjust brightness by sliding across the status bar or access Quick Settings by pulling down from the edge of the screen. On devices like the OnePlus One there's the ability to switch between onscreen and offscreen navigation buttons. Layout of the onscreen buttons can be changed. See More
CyanogenMod includes the ability to define profiles that include a set of system settings. For example, a profile for home may include turning on Bluetooth, while a profile for Office could turn down notification volume. They can be switched manually or based on triggers such as location, when on certain Wi-Fi networks or ner a specified NFC tag. See More
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