The Next Step: Cyanogen Raises $7m to Improve Android, Test the Hardware Waters

Posted on September 19, 2013 9:30 AM by Rob Williams

The folks behind the Cyanogen project are aiming big, and with the help of a $7 million investment, that “big” could be reached sooner than expected. Cyanogen, the Android OS replacement, has become mega-popular since its first release about four years ago. Those who opt to install it get a fine-tuned Android that can rid pre-bundled phone apps and blows the doors wide open for customization of any kind – tweaks or aesthetics. Despite the fact that Cyanogen really isn’t that easy to install, the developers estimate that its userbase could actually be larger than Windows Phone’s right at this moment.

With its $7 million, Cyanogen Inc. has been founded, and soon, 17 people will be hired to help bring the project to the next level. Further, and almost unbelievably, the team will next week announce a partnership with a phone vendor that will see Cyanogen actually pre-bundled on a device. It can be imagined that some of those who take the time to install Cyanogen on their Android device may very well prefer to take the easy route and buy a phone that’s built entirely around it.

Cyanogen Installer

At the moment, there’s no telling just how successful Cyanogen hardware will be. In order for a device to be able to access Google’s Play Store, Google has to certify the device. Given that Cyanogen is essentially a completely unlocked and overhauled Android, it’s a little hard to see that happening. At the same time, absolute openness tends to be associated with piracy – though given the fact that you can freely install your own APKs on Android now, that might not be too much of a problem for those that will sell the devices.

A major focus of a Cyanogen device would be productivity, not general use like most other vendors aim for. Security would also be paramount, which is fantastic from an end-user standpoint. The company hopes that in time, it can definitively become the #3 smartphone OS in the world Рand without question, just the mere thought of that is pretty mind-blowing.

Would you be interested in a Cyanogen phone if the hardware was competent?

  • xOptix78

    I don’t know. I can see that $7 million going to lawyer costs. Something about this just doesn’t sit right.

    • Rob Williams

      Because of Android’s openness, it can be taken, modified and then redistributed on devices that don’t have Google’s direct approval. There are couple to be some limitations, though, such as the likely inability to use the Google Play store, or bundle in Google’s popular apps.

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