Cyanogenmod OTA update to 11-20140104-SNAPSHOT-M2-jfltetmo

I recently did the update to Cyanogenmod 10.2.1 using Cyanogenmod’s own OTA update system, which then offered up a stable (snapshot-M2) version of Cyanogenmod 11; after a day of internal debate I decided to take the plunge and move upto CM 11 (Android 4.4.2); but not before creating a full CWM Recovery backup and also backing up my data using Titanium Backup; better safe than sorry; I’d rather not lose all my data should I have to do a wipe to get CM 11 working correctly.

I did the OTA update to CM 11-20140104-SNAPSHOT-M2-jfltetmo and initially everything seemed OK; except Google+ had disappeared and I had to set up my homescreen again. But the issues got worse when the Play Store failed to load, just showing me a ‘retry’ button, which did nothing, which meant no download of Google+ or any other apps for that matter. Next step was to source GAPPS for Android 4.4 [Download] and flash it using CWM Recovery via the ‘Install ZIP’ menu. Flashing the latest GAPPS fixed the Store issues, but several applications including Titanium Backup, Chrome, Google+ and Drive force closed; but that was an easy fix, uninstall and reinstall the affected apps.

After 24 hours of use; the system seems to be mostly stable, Calling, Texting, Wi-Fi and GPS works absolutely fine, no crashes or resets as yet. But there is a problem which for me is a deal-breaker, Google Voice Search / Google Now is no longer functional, it acts like it cant hear me. Another issue is that when rebooting the SGS4 the system hangs on the Samsung Galaxy S4 splash screen; although holding the power button to power off and back on again solves this issue temporarily.

Cyanogenmod OTA updates are a great idea but because Cyanogenmod are not allowed to bundle GAPPS (Google Apps), the major version updates are not as simple as carrier OTA updates. If you use the CM OTA update system, please be aware you will need to flash GAPPS for your version of CM/Android separately through custom recoveries such as CWM or TWRP, which some of you may not have done before if you used the Cyanogenmod installer from your desktop computer.

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