Cyanogen Inc. has been known as the ambitious startup that tried to kill Google’s Android with its own flagship open source OS, CyanogenMod. However, the company shut down CyanogenMod and all its related services on December 31, 2016. Instead, the firm is consolidating all of its efforts into a new Cyanogen Modular OS program.
As CyanogenMod was based on Android, its shutdown is most likely to have an impact on how a mobile application development company handles custom ROM developments.
Let us take a look at how the shutdown will affect app development.
The news of CyanogenMod ceasing to exist will have no impact on those involved with an iPhone app development company or an iOS app development company.
However, as of now, it has a direct impact on any Android app users who possess devices like Oppo OnePlus3 One and Lenovo ZUK Z1. Such smart devices that run on Cyanogen will not receive any further updates.
The nightly builds that support Cyanogen and all the related services have discontinued, effective December 31, 2016. Yet, if you or any Android app development company intends to build CyanogenMod personally, then you still have access to the related open source project and source code. It is just that there will not be any infrastructural or monetary support (no paid developers contributing code for the nightly build servers or open source project) from Cyanogen Inc.
As a company offering mobile app services in-house or via a third-party alliance, your developers can still get involved with CyanogenMod which has been rebranded as LineageOS. The new initiative (LineageOS) will again be a grassroots, community-driven effort towards creating an Android distribution system.
But, what will this switch from CyanogenMod to LineageOS mean for you and your app users?
Predicting the Future Impact
It is too early to predict whether the shutdown of CyanogenMod will lead to the end of custom ROM development on certain Android devices. As indicated earlier, the success of LineageOS will depend on custom app developers in your company that offer Android app services rather than iPhone app services (or iOS app services). So, the longevity of LineageOS will boil down to the kind of support it garners from the developer community in general.
But, there is at least some hope for developers and users of stable custom ROM with the emergence of LineageOS. The LineageOS project has been set up at GitHub, while the corresponding LineageOS Android distribution website can be accessed here.
It will be up to the enthusiastic developers who survived on the stability of CyanogenMod to make LineageOS its exact substitute. And, if you are about to hire mobile app developers for custom ROM-based projects, you would do well to look for professionals who can contribute to the open source LineageOS project. However, you need not consider this as a screening point for interviewing candidates, especially if you are going to hire iPhone app developers.
The immediate future may see some slowdown in the operations as compared to the scenario when CyanogenMod existed due to the lack of funding that Cyanogen Inc. were able to provide. It might be tough to find support for related development on lesser known devices, but popular devices should be able to find the requisite support from developers. In order to ensure that your developers do not have to look elsewhere for a stable base with regard to custom mobile app development, they need to continue contributions to the LineageOS community.
If LineageOS does not take off well or takes time to get attention, it is likely that the developers in your team or company will have to switch to AOSPA as a base (for example Paranoid Android). So, handling OnePlus One devices that have a stable AOSPA base would not be a concern for your developers. However, the challenge would be to deal with devices that had a stable CyanogenMod base and do not have a backup support for an AOSPA base.
It will be interesting to observe the turn of events with regard to the shutdown of the Cyanogen method. LineageOS offers good opportunities, but only time will tell how successful it will eventually turn out to be.
Do you have any questions or points to add? Let us know in your comments below. Shishir is the founder of ChromeInfotech., a well-known mobile app development company. With years of experience in the domain, he has now acquainted himself with all the nitty-gritties of what goes into making an awesome app in the least possible time.