People love their Android smartphones and tablets. They hate waiting for their hardware manufacturer or carrier to give them the latest Android releases… if they ever do. For tech-savvy users there were always alternative Android firmwares from groups such as CyanogenMod to bring their software up to date. Now, Cyanogen has made the leap from hobby to business and soon anyone will be able to update their operating system to the newest version of Android that their device can support.
In a blog to CyanogenMod users, Steve Kondik, CyanogenMod's founder, announced, that Cyanogen Inc. had received $7-million of series A funding from Benchmark Capital and Redpoint Ventures and they were on their way from being an operating system for several million Android hobbyists to being an operating system for anyone who wants the most up-to-date Android.
What will this new chapter mean? So far, it's meant that the pace of CyanogenMod development has picked up drastically. This has lead to more "devices being supported, bigger projects such as CM Account, Privacy Guard, Voice+, a new version of Superuser, and secure messaging. We vastly improved our infrastructure. We’re doing more bug fixes, creating more features, and improving our communication. We think that the time has come for your mobile device to truly be yours again, and we want to bring that idea to everybody."
The new corporate Cyanogen's goals aren't any different from the CyanogenMod's old ones. The real difference is that Cyanogen has the resources it need to make them happen far more quickly:
- Organize, lead, and support our community
- Create amazing user experience centered around how YOU work
- Security solutions that really work
- Stay committed to building the features our users need
- No junk
- Constant updates
- Available on everything, to everyone
First on the list? "The biggest obstacle we wanted to get out of the way is the hideous installation process. Today there are more open and unlockable devices than ever, but they all have their quirks and wildly different installation procedures. We’ve done our best to document the process for every device we support on our wiki, but it is still a daunting process for mere mortals. This is not sufficient—installation needs to be easy and safe. This is a great deal of complexity to manage when you are talking about almost a hundred different devices, but we decided to tackle it."
The Cyanogen team has already made a great deal of progress. "Our installer will be available on the [Google] Play Store in the coming weeks," wrote Kondik.
The Android users I know are already itching to get their hands on it. Just like iPhone fans eager to install iOS 7, they want to update their older devices to CyanogenMod, which will bring them Android 4.3.