CyanogenMod, the custom Android software developer, announced on Wednesday that it has become a company – Cyanogen Inc. – after raising $7 million in funding from Benchmark Capital and Redpoint Ventures. And as a company it has a simple goal – to become one of the top three most popular mobile operating systems in the world.
The first step to making this happen is making CyanogenMod easier to install, and the company knows this. In his blog post announcing the news, CyanogenMod’s co-founder Steve Kondik describes the current installation process “hideous.” If you’ve ever attempted to install the software on your Android device, you know it’s no small feat. It’s laborious work that involves a good deal of your time and some pretty advanced Android know-how.
To fix this problem, the company is planning to bring a CM installer to the Google Play app store in the coming weeks. This will allow Android users to download the app, tap a button, and install CyanogenMod on their device. That’s about as simple an installation process as you can get, which makes the possibilities for CyanogenMod’s expansion enormous.
CyanogenMod replaces your phone’s build of Android with a stock version of software, along with additional personalization and security features. It helps ensure you’ll receive OS updates at a much faster rate, since they’ll come directly from CyanogenMod – you don’t have to wait for your phone’s carrier and manufacturer to approve them, which often takes months.
Right now there are no plans to charge CyanogenMod users. And the company says that users can expect more features like its new account and personalization options in the future. CyanogenMod plans to continue using Android as its baseline, but wants to increase security even further and strip it of all its bloatware. The ultimate goal is to push past BlackBerry and Windows Phone to make CyanogenMod the third most popular mobile operating system, alongside Android and iOS. That’s a lofty goal, but the app is a good way to start.
And it will be interesting to see what, if anything, Google has to say about this. Essentially it’s no different than what Amazon does for its Kindle tablets: Uses the open-sourced version of Android without Google’s core services and apps. Still, you never know.