The next billion Android users might have a choice of software on their phones thanks to CyanogenMod, the group behind a customized version of Android software of the same name: CyanogenMod is supporting Android One phones.
Android One is the low-cost handset platform Google introduced last June; the phones are aimed at bringing mobile internet access in a cost-effective manner to regions that haven’t yet undergone the smartphone revolution. While the phones will run [company]Google[/company]’s own version of Android, which was rewritten to work on low-end hardware, CyanogenMod (CM) will have its own custom builds for these as well.
CM will start with version 11 of its software, which is based on Android 4.4 — aka KitKat — for Android One phones powered by a MediaTek processor. The build represents the first CM software for MediaTek’s chip and will be updated each Sunday. Currently, there are three Android One phones running on a MediaTek processor, so CM has combined support for the trio in a single software version. Version 12 of CM, based on Android 5.0, is in the works for Android One as well.
This development is interesting since CM changed from a community of software developers to a full-fledged company in 2013; its software ships on the OnePlus One handset, for example. CM still supports various handsets with its custom software, though, and by maintaining it for Android One phones, it could significantly boost its global exposure if indeed the low-cost phones are adopted as Google expects.