A long while ago in the world of after-market ROM development, something unfortunate happened — Google decided they didn’t like their proprietary apps being packaged with ROM downloads without the distributor officially licensing them. As you might know, Android is open-source, but only to an extent.
Folks can download and build the source code as freely as they want to, but it’s not until you get the Gapps package — or Google Apps — that you get access to things like the Play Store, Gmail and more.
It’s something all OEMs have to go through, but you can understand why the development community wasn’t particularly fond of that process. That wasn’t much of an issue, though — folks were just as free to download Gapps packages separately and flash them on their own, giving them access to the Google Play Store and many other Google services on their favorite ROM.
But with CyanogenMod going “legit” with their new incorporation and teaming up with Oppo to provide CyanogenMod for the N1, the company decided it was time to stop beating around the bush and get hooked up with the official licenses and other legal necessities to have Gapps distributed with CyanogenMod.
We know this to be true of the package that will be released for Oppo N1 owners wishing to flash CyanogenMod or get the limited run of the phone with the ROM pre-installed, though we’re not yet sure if this will extend to folks flashing CM to other devices through something like the CyanogenMod Installer (which launched a couple of weeks ago).
This is especially significant for CyanogenMod considering the team’s ROM was the first major example Google used to make their point. The Mountain View company allegedly issued cease and desist letters a few years back asking the team to comply with their licensing rules or risk major legal action. That little snafu obviously didn’t spell doom for CyanogenMod, but it did happen.
We’ll be getting a line into the CyanogenMod team to see if we can’t find out more, but this unprecedented event shouldn’t go unnoticed. This is as big of a deal as the day that the team announced they were going to be forming a corporation with major funds behind them.
The craziest part is that this is still just the early beginning of something major, boys and girls. We’re still waiting to hear word on a supposed official “CyanogenMod phone” that is being worked on with a mystery hardware partner.
The latest rumors suggest the team is working with ex-Oppo vice president Pete Lau to create device that was built from the ground up for nothing but CyanogenMod. The team already halfway confirmed their plans, though we’ll have to wait for more pointed details in the future to know exactly what we’re in store for. Let’s just say it’s going to be an interesting couple of months from here on out.