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Cyanogen aims $7M in funding at mobile OS conquest


spond123
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If you're an Android enthusiast, you've probably heard of CyanogenMod. If you're not, the newly incorporated company's leaders have big ideas on how to make sure you do.

CyanogenMod recently flipped the switch from an Android Open Source Project (AOSP) enthusiast's dream to become a legitimate company with a team of 17 developers. Under the aegis of Boost co-founder Kirt McMaster as its chief executive, Cyanogen, Inc., has secured $7 million in Series A funding from Benchmark Capital to push it to become more than an fan project. The focus of Cyanogen's development will be on areas that Google has either neglected or developed in a direction that Cyanogen thinks it can do better or differently. "There's almost this entire developer ecosystem around it," said CyanogenMod co-founder and developer Steve Kondik. "We're going to do a lot of work around the user experience. You're going to see us building secure services. To get more people to use it, we have all these little touches planned."

McMaster, who reached out to Kondik last December about doing something larger with Cyanogen's estimated 8 million direct user base, is enthusiastic about Cyanogen's chances at success. "Benchmark and others are excited that this has a shot at being the third mobile phone OS," he said. "It's not going to be Windows Phone, it's not going to be BlackBerry. People don't realize the scale we have." Beyond the millions of people who have installed CyanogenMod itself, McMaster estimates that there are more than double that running custom Android ROMs that are based on CyanogenMod. These include well-known ROMs such as the Xiaomi-backed MiUI. The first step for Cyanogen will be releasing a Cyanogen installer app sometime in the next few weeks to the Google Play store that will create a much easier path to update your phone's ROM. The app won't lead to one-click rooting and ROMing, but will streamline the ROM installation process and guide you through it. Kondik said that it will include the ability to resume installing in case of power loss, and that it will restore your device's factory settings in case something goes wrong. "It's important that we have that installation down, that if you lose power it restores, that it's basically bulletproof," he said. "It's horrifying to install CyanogenMod," McMaster admitted. "Our stuff is like command-line stuff. Imagine what will happen when we have an easy tool to flash to the device," he said. Much will hinge on the success of this app. If Cyanogen can get this right, not only making it faster but easier to jump from whatever version of Android your phone runs to Cyanogen, it will go a long way towards creating goodwill with the mainstream Android community. Android, as it stands now, is a hydra-headed beast with numerous problems. Speed, stability, and security issues are prevalent because even when Google has published an updated version of the operating system, end-users are dependent on manufacturers for pushing out the updates.

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Why? CM has nothing to offer to Google. I installed it a few times but it's nothing special, in fact cm is often buggier and slower than a stock Rom, the only advantage is that it supports devices longer and has public alphas so you can get a taste of the new Android pretty fast....

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