We're hearing from multiple sources that Cyanogen Inc. is in the midst of laying off a significant portion of its workforce around the world today. The layoffs most heavily impact the open source arm of the Android ROM-gone-startup, which may be eliminated entirely (not CyanogenMod itself, just the people at Cyanogen Inc.
Some folks prefer to run a custom ROM on their phone than stick with the stock software. I'm one of them. But you need a good custom recovery in order to get the job done. That's why it's good news whenever we see more devices gain support from the TeamWin Recovery Project.
Wileyfox and Cyanogen formed a partnership last summer to deliver smartphones running Cyanogen OS to Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. The Wileyfox Swift was the second phone to get version 13 of the operating system. Now the Wileyfox Storm is getting that same update.
Back in February, Cyanogen Inc. announced the MOD platform, a way for developers to customise the Cyanogen OS experience with deeper-level integration into the framework of the operating system. The update to Cyanogen OS 13.1 - with MOD support included - is now rolling out to the OnePlus One.
Currently, Twitter, Skype, OneNote, Cortana, and Microsoft Hyperlapse hook into the platform and provide features integrated into Cyanogen. Twitter shows trending tweets on your lockscreen; Skype integrates VOIP into the dialer app, along with Skype contacts clearly marked in the phone's contacts app; OneNote integrates with the email and phone apps to enable you to take notes anywhere in the OS; the already-existing Cortana mod takes things further, allowing users to 'take a selfie' hands-free, while also expanding to the lockscreen; and Microsoft Hyperlapse means time lapse videos can be created easily in the camera app, or videos edited in the Gallery app.
It's been a while since we've heard anything from the Paranoid Android ROM team. Perhaps that's because ROM flashing has fallen by the wayside a bit as stock and skinned Android has made serious improvements, perhaps it's because a lot of the original team was hired by OnePlus to work on its Oxygen OS builds. Whatever the reason, they're back now. While PA is definitely late to the Marshmallow party (the last time they issued a major release was almost a year ago), the team has been revitalized with new developers and support for new devices.
For a phone that was supposed to "kill" high-priced flagships, the OnePlus 2 seems to have taken its sweet old time in upgrading to the latest version of Android. Whether that has to do with a smaller development team over at OnePlus, or the idiosyncrasies of the company's custom "Oxygen OS" ROM, we couldn't say. But it appears that the wait is finally over: according to a post on the OnePlus user forum, the Oxygen OS 3.0.2 over-the-air release (based on Marshmallow 6.0.1 code) is heading out today.
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DashLinQ Car Driving Mode App
This week's roundup is brought to you by DashLinkQ Car Driving Mode from GROM Audio. This custom car dashboard app can show a variety of finger-friendly widgets and links for use without actively taking your eyes off the road with your phone in a car dock.
Slowly but surely, Android offshoot-slash-alternative Cyanogen OS is gaining ground. The incorporated and semi-proprietary version of the CyanogenMod ROM now powers a handful of retail-available phones from companies like YU, Zuk, and Smartfen, though larger manufacturers like OnePlus and Oppo have seemingly cooled on Cyanogen software. Speaking of OnePlus, its One hardware was the first to get access to Cyanogen OS version 13, based on Android 6.0.1 code. Today the Swift from Wileyfox becomes the second.
We've covered Remix OS before, which is Jide's project to mold Android-x86 into a desktop OS, like when they released the Remix Mini plug-in PC. It is a really quite interesting and polished take, borrowing heavily from Linux and Windows 10 design language with your familiar Android apps existing in a windowed environment. While Jide has made it available to download onto your laptop or desktop (and tablets like you would do with Cyanogenmod or similar), they now have a new hardware partner in AOC. The Mars will be a 24" all-in-one PC that runs Remix OS out of the box.
The Nextbit Robin is one of the rare success stories of smartphone crowdfunding. The company delivered the product in a decent timeline and didn't skimp on its hardware or software promises, even if its approach isn't exactly perfect right now or suited for everyone as Ryan pointed out in his detailed review. Nextbit is also following up on the Robin with software updates, recently releasing Android 6.0.1 with plenty of fixes bundled in. And if the Robin's hardware is your cup of tea but you prefer a different software layer, you can grab TWRP to be ready to flash different ROMs and mods to the phone, like the newly released CM 13 nightly.