The company that announced that it would kill Google's Android, is now dead. Cyanogen publicized its intention to defeat, dominate and eventually destroy Android but now the company is a failure and has been shutdown.
Cyanogen Inc. developed a forked version of Google's Android operating system for mobile devices called CyanogenMod. The plan of the company was to commercialize CyanogenMod and compete with Google's Android.
The company instead announced that it will cease all operations including services and updates for CyanogenMod by the end of 2016. Cyanogen claimed that CyanogenMod was installed on 50 million devices.
The actions of Cyanogen was described by the company as one of the steps in their ongoing consolidation. The overhaul of the company included closing an office, laying off staff, and moving to a more modular way of modifying Android.
According to Forbes magazine, no more updates will be developed for CyanogenMod. There will no longer be any nightly builds and security updates. Mobile devices that used the OS will need to migrate to an Open Source version of Android.
CyanogenMod was the open-source version of Android that the business model of Cyanogen, Inc. was based on. Project leaders for CyanogenMod have released statements that said taking away the project's infrastructure was critical for the open-source project in large part because the company owns the CyanogenMod brand.
The cyanogenmod.org website was taken offline without advanced notice or warning to the CyanogenMod team. All these events mark the failure of the ambitious plan for CyanogenMod to be on par with Android and iOS as an alternative mobile platform.
Cyanogen, Inc. had many major investors. The company was once valued at almost $1 billion. The company was able to license CyanogenMod to a few smartphone manufacturers that could not invest in developing their own unique Android interface.
The problem was that Cyanogen was not able to expand beyond the limited number of smartphone vendors. What was worse, was their highest profile customer eventually pulled out of their partnership.
Fortune magazine reported that LineageOS is a new project that is a fork of CyanogenMod. Since CyanogenMod itself is a fork of Android and both are essentially open-source, LineageOS pulls from both mobile platforms in its own development. There is a hope that LineageOS can continue the progress that CyanogenMod made but the momentum for the new project to have an impact in the mobile world, even just the open-source mobile world, may have already faded.