As long as smartphone manufacturers keep slapping ugly skins on their Android handsets and then refusing to upgrade them to the latest version of the operating system, there's going to be a place in the world for custom Android ROMs. CyanogenMod is among the most popular, and this morning the developers involved announced that it has been downloaded by one million unique users. The rooting community is still a small sect of Android users, but it's a growing one, and with good reason — it's been reported to improve battery life and performance on nearly every phone it supports. It also removes carrier and manufacturer bloatware and skins, adds some unique and new features, and keeps Android up to date. A million is an impressive milestone for a mod effectively created by one guy (Steve Kondik, who has since been hired by Samsung), but the growing may not be over: with CyanogenMod 9 coming soon and bringing Android 4.0 with it, we wouldn't be surprised to see many more people left behind by Android start to turn to Cyanogen.

Thanks, himynameisSCOTT!