Just about 18 months, Cyanogen Inc.,
the commercial arm of the popular CyanogenMod Android variant, has raised over
Investors are currently in queue and
putting their life on the line for Cyanogen because they believe it has the best
shot at being the third biggest mobile OS, after Google’s Android and Apple’s
iOS. Just recently Google Newly Updated “On-Body Detection” Smart Lock Mode in Android Seems To Be Hitting Some Devices
The latest round was for a whopping $80 million, and included
investors such as Twitter Ventures, Qualcomm and Rupert Murdoch.
Cyanogen grounded on Android? It sure is. But as Mashable donor Evan
last month, Cyanogen has ambitions for building and possibly designing a brand
new mobile bionetwork with no trace of Google.
Kirt McMaster has said that Cyanogen is “attempting to take Android away
from Google.” Amazing, what a threat and display of money power
the idea of a Google-free Android doesn’t make a ton of sense. As majority dont even know how to create free Google account. After all, a big
part of the appeal of the Android OS (some would argue the appeal) is
its tight integration with Google services such as Gmail, Google Calendar and
including mainland China — Google services aren’t actually a big draw. In fact,
most customers in mainland China have never even used the Google Play store or
other Google services. Google left China five years ago over issues with
government censorship, and as a result, most of the flavors of Android available
on Chinese devices are based off the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and
bundled with non-Google services.
increasingly popular. This is the market Cyanogen wants to target.
of its Google Play ecosystem into China, but Google is clearly at a
disadvantage in the country, especially as companies such as Baidu, Qihoo and
Tencent lap up marketshare and mindshare.
and engrossed with Cyanogen: control and
Google made it pretty easy for OEMs and carriers to do with the mobile OS what
this easily allowed the platform to flourish in its early days.
The idea that no two Android devices look alike or
act alike — has hurt Google’s mindshare. It has also made it solider for
Google to push updates across various devices, because the OEMs have to be on
board, the carriers have to agree to do updates, and the customizations HTC or
Samsung make on a device have to be ported to new versions.
And that’s assuming the companies want all those changes to begin with.
Google has a very clear vision for Android, and it isn’t necessarily in line
with the visions of its partners.
“App and chip vendors are very worried about Google controlling the
entire experience,” Andreessen Horowitz partner Peter Levine told Forbes. Andreessen Horowitz is a Cyanogen
investor and is betting on the company’s potential to establish itself as a
Why choose Cyanogen?
Now eating one soup is traditionally discouraged, some tech giants will say
so. Device makers that implement the non-Google brand of Android are
responsible for making their own security reinforcements, creating UI skins and
bundling app stores and services.
But for other device makers, the idea of maintaining, optimizing and
customizing an OS for various devices — and keep in mind, most of these devices
are sold at low or no margins — isn’t something they can afford to do
For the Xiaomis of the world, doing this sort of thing in-house makes a lot
of sense. In fact, Xiaomi has an enthusiastic
fandom in its own right.
This is Cyanogen’s chance. The company has the in-house expertise with
Android (born out of its CyanogenMod roots) to customize the experience to run
well on different types of hardware.
In addition, Cyanogen can take care of strengthening and patching devices with security updates and
keeping important bits in check.
Furthermore, Google has sustained to jerk more and more of the parts we
think of as Android from its AOSP project. In 2013, Ars Technica explored the Google-free world of
Android and the results were stunning. Over the ensuing 18 months, Google has
continued to move more of the core bits into its proprietary Google Services
What Cyanogen offers OEMs is a good-looking, updated and potentially
customizable version of Android that will work with the services they want to
And so far, it’s working. Cyanogen has signed deals with Micromax in India
to preload its version of Android on the company’s high-end devices.
With the latest influx of capital and extensive manpower we are continually expecting these deals to be in rectilinear motion.
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