Nintendo tried to partner with Cyanogen to run Android on the Switch

Nintendo tried to partner with Cyanogen to run Android on the Switch
From the minute that word came out the Nintendo Switch would be powered by an NVIDIA SoC, the rumors started up on whether or not the gaming system (which could easily be a tablet if it had more robust software) would be running Android or not. As far as has been discovered so far, the Switch does not run Android, but Nintendo apparently wanted it to.

At least, that's the word according to Kirt McMaster, former CEO and current Executive Chairman of Cyanogen Inc. McMaster tweeted that in the "early days of Cyanogen" the company was approached by Nintendo with a request to help "create an OS for a certain portable." McMaster didn't specifically say the Switch (although Nintendo appears to have stopped developing any other portable) nor did he specifically say Android, but of course you don't approach Cyanogen unless you're looking for Android experts. At the very least, we are confident the OS would have been based on Android, but could have been forked significantly. 

McMaster claims he told Nintendo to "stick it." (All of these tweets have since been deleted.) Ultimately, Nintendo used "bits of Android" according to McMaster.

Given that Cyanogen Inc. had to end the CyanogenMod project and layoff a lot of its staff, it might be pretty easy to judge that decision as a major mistake by McMaster. And, it's also a big missed opportunity for us nerds of the world because a Nintendo portable tablet-like console that could run Android apps would have been a killer gadget for sure. Essentially, it would have been a Nintendo branded NVIDIA Shield.  

What do you guys think? Did Cyanogen make a mistake not taking up Nintendo's offer?

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5 Comments

1. Tabby_Tiger

Posts: 305; Member since: Jan 23, 2017

It would be easier to create an emulator and pirate the games.

2. Zylam

Posts: 1813; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Wow they told Nintendo to stick it. On the surface it sounds like they gave up an incredible opportunity but I get the feeling Nintendo isn't the friendliest company to deal with, the region and device locking of their digital games and the multitude of law suits against fans paint the picture of a company that's really up itself and doesn't have any humanity. We don't know what the terms and conditions of the arrangement were but I wouldn't be surprised if it was something ridiculous from Nintendo's end.

3. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Honestly, I feel they would have had a falling out within 2-3 weeks if they did Both Nintendo and Cyanogen are known to have horrible/poor relations with other companies (e.g. Nintendo with thrid part game devs and Cyanogen's with Google, OnePlus and Kondik)

4. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

i'd bet money their collective egos got in the way of what would have been something really cool.

5. SuperAndroid507

Posts: 361; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

Something like "OtherOS" in the early firmwares of the PS3 would have been nice.

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