Cyanogen is officially giving up its dream of having its own independent OS

Cyanogen is officially giving up its dream of having its own independent OS
If you're a die-hard fan of the Android OS, chances are you're pretty familiar with Cyanogen - the company behind the oh-so-popular CyanogenMod ROM for the mobile platform that allows users to tweak nearly every little aspect about their phone or tablet. There are plenty of ROMs available for Android, but CyanogenMod has proven over the years that they're undeniably one of the biggest names out there in this field. The company went official back in 2013 as Cyanogen Inc., and it was in that same year that Cyanogen announced big plans for hoping to create their own mobile operating system that was entirely independent of Android. This wasn't all that surprising coming from a group of modders who were fed up with the increasingly tyrannical grip that Google has on Android, but it was still a pretty big move to want to make. Back in 2013, Cyanogen's former CTO Steve Kondik said that "We feel that the existing devices you can currently buy aren't really designed for the end user. They're essentially designed as cash registers for the companies that make them."

Fast forward to October of 2016, and the future of Cyanogen is much different than what the company had anticipated just 3 short years ago.

First of all, the company is now looking at a brand new CEO. Most recent CEO and co-founder of the company, Kirt McMaster, will be transitioning as the company's new Executive Chairman of the Board. Other co-founder and former CTO Steve Kondik will now be titled as the company's Chief Science Officer, and Lior Tal is now Cyanogen Inc.'s all-new CEO. However, among all of these shakeups, perhaps the most interesting is the fact that Cyanogen is abandoning their dreams of creating their own separate mobile OS. Rather than try to compete with the likes of Android and iOS, Cyanogen will focus on creating virtual mods that OEMs and other creators can implement into stock Android (or other versions of the mobile platform) for the phones that they're creating. 


The move is very reminiscent to the company's MOD program that allowed developers to access and edit deeper levels of the Android OS that were previously inaccessible. One of the most notable uses of the MOD program was when Cyanogen worked with Microsoft to add both Skype functionality to the standard Android dialer and the system-wide integration of Cortana that allowed users to access the virtual AI in a similar manner as how Google Now or the Google Assistant is summoned. However, as successful as the MOD program was with Microsoft, the implementation of the process in which the mods were added required developers to access Android's full stack. This process was rather time-consuming and hard to implement, and Cyanogen is hoping to fix those issues with the new way they're going to be implementing these mods.


Rather than have to tweak the entire operating system, the new Cyanogen mods will allow developers to easily incorporate various elements from the Cyanogen OS to give their devices added features, security, customization settings, etc. The new use of these mods is certainly a far cry from the idea that Cyanogen once had of creating their own entire operating system, but from a business standpoint, this makes a bit more sense. Cyanogen Inc. has certainly seen better days, and although this move may not be quite as exciting as creating a new OS to compete against Android or iOS, it certainly is a much safer one that could help the company start to generate some much-needed revenue.

source: Cyanogen via Engadget

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16 Comments

1. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3166; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Let me guess, no one makes money off Android.

11. lyndon420

Posts: 6878; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Wrong... Android is microsoft's bread and butter.

16. BENJIA

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 14, 2013

Nope. Android is not profitable for Microsoft. It's Office, Enterprise and Cloud services.

2. Fona13A unregistered

Well. s**t. This sucks. :/

3. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS

Posts: 432; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

Actually that is true no one makes money off Android because it's free to use. So they failed to realize you can't take something and skin it and push it off as your own. Pixel will be the savior of this Android world. Andromeda will rule all, unless the Surface phone shows up one of these years.

4. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2487; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Actually to say "Android is free to use" is somewhat misleading. While it is true that the software is technically "free" for manufacturers to use there are certain requirements Google has in order for you to implement it: https://www.cnet.com/news/yes-android-is-a-free-and-open-platform-but/ Also Google requires a license in order to get Google services on those devices which can cost anywhere between $40k to $75k for a batch of 30,000 devices: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jan/23/how-google-controls-androids-open-source

5. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Thanks for the information.

6. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Google don't charge for GMS licence but requires a certification from a third parties testing facilities which charges a fee. Those that skip the process went out of business eventually. Sound like a story out from the Mafia series.

8. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

It was always my understanding that AOSP is free to use and change to your heart's content. When you want access to the Google Store, there are guidelines you have to follow to have access to it. But if all you wanted was to build a forked version of Android without the Playstore, that was free.

13. yyzamin

Posts: 383; Member since: Aug 26, 2015

Surface phone. That's going to outsell iOS and Android. #gonnabeafailure

15. BENJIA

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 14, 2013

Your comment failed. Trashbox! #FAIL

7. DigitalJediXtreme

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 24, 2016

Aren't these the guys who wanted to take Android from Google? Their words not mine. Guess that didn't work out so well.

10. aditya.k

Posts: 496; Member since: Mar 10, 2013

You mean take Google out of Android? That's how I remember it.

9. WAusJackBauer

Posts: 456; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

Noooooo!

12. lyndon420

Posts: 6878; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

No one's surprised right? We all knew Cyanogen was doomed once they announced a partnership with ms.

14. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2363; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

Meh,, who wants buggy software anyways.

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