It’s no secret Cyanogen could use a change of pace and scenery after the company’s public falling out with OnePlus One and the controversy that spawned of the Micromax deal in India. Cyanogen wants to turn the page from not only that, but from their core roots of security, customization and their open-source ideals.
The company wants to grow and evolve in a way that’s more inviting for, well, everyone. Their new logo, look and website — shots of which you can see above and below — supposedly embodies their new values, but to us it’s just a fresh (and pretty) coat of paint.
What we really care about is their new found commitment to users, openness (not just in the open-source way) and a “democratic” approach to building an operating system, community and ecosystem. It’s a natural step forward for a company which publicly wants to “take Android away from Google.”
That’s not to say they want Google to simply hand over the rights to the operating system — that’s an insane notion — but they want to create a platform for manufacturers, developers and users to use Android on their products without having to worry about the hijinks that often come along with it.
We’re referring to Google Play Services and the need to adhere by Google’s strict licensing terms in order to get the “best” Android experience. It’s their belief (and ours, too) that the “best” Android experience shouldn’t have to be limited to those with enough resources and clout to gain access to Google’s apps and services. It’s that approach to building CyanogenMod that could help the company mature and reach new heights that we have yet to see from someone with their grassroots background.
With all of this comes a new partnership with Qualcomm that will have the company’s ROM installed on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon reference design devices going forward. The partnership only covers reference designs from the Snapdragon 400 and Snapdragon 600 series to start, and there’s nothing that says the deal can’t expand to the top-line 800 series down the line.
In case you’re not aware, a reference device is a development device for manufacturers and developers to use for application and platform testing. They’re often tricked out with industry standard specs, but the cost of entry is typically higher than a similar device at retail and they don’t have the looks to be a viable everyday smartphone for most users.
They also don’t ship with a very exciting operating system, that being a barebones version of AOSP. This partnership will change that and give developers a platform just as exciting to use as the device they’re using it on.
We’re sure it’s Cyanogen’s hope that the partnership will inspire device manufacturers and developers to embrace CyanogenMod as not just a viable development environment, but also as a platform that they can potentially build their products with. Best of luck to them in achieving that goal.