According to sources both in and outside the company, Cyanogen Inc. is effectively ceasing to exist as it has for much of its short lifetime as of today, with a renewed round of layoffs and an internal announcement at the company that its Seattle headquarters will close by the end of the year, AKA within around a month. This should not be surprising to anyone at this point.
Our sources also claim that the future of the company's cofounder, Steve Kondik, is up in the air. Kondik was removed from the company's board, allegedly, as part of a managerial shakeup last month that also saw CEO Kirt McMaster cede his position to newcomer Lior Tal.
Cyanogen Inc. may be dying as a company, but the voluntarily-maintained CyanogenMod ROMs are still alive and kicking. Case in point: seven more devices are joining CyanogenMod 14.1, which is based on Android 7.1 Nougat. Six of these Android-powered machines have builds already up, but one doesn't yet.
CyanogenMod 14.1 nightlies have been rolling out for more than a week now and bringing Android 7.1 to several devices including Nexuses and other phones and tablets that don't have the official update yet and likely won't for many more months.
After Steve Kondik's announcement of the 14.1 nightlies rollout, several more devices have joined the fold in the past days. Some have already received a couple of nightly revisions, others are on the list but don't have any 14.1 nightly up yet. Here is the full list:
There was a time some years ago that CyanogenMod was the surest way to get the latest build of Android on your phone. It's a little slower these days, but development continues to chug along. The CM team hopes to roll out the first nightly builds of CM14.1 later tonight, but not all devices will be supported right away.
CyanogenMod 13, based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, was formally released back in March, but it's only just arriving for some devices, in the form of nightlies. The most notable of these devices are probably the original HTC One and the Wileyfox Spark, plus the Spark X - the Spark's bigger, more powerful brother.
The HTC One is being bumped up from CM12.1, which was based on 5.1 Lollipop, while the Spark and Spark X are receiving their first taste of the custom ROM, albeit not their first Cyanogen flavored taste though, since they run the in-house Cyanogen OS, which has recently been killed off.
Lior Tal has been named the CEO of Cyanogen Inc., having previously worked at the company as COO since June. Before that, he was the 'Director of Growth and Partnerships' at Facebook for five years. Kirt McMaster is the new Executive Chairman. Steve Kondik, the co-founder of the company, is now the 'Chief Science Officer,' which I assume means he is in charge of reading sensor data.
If a comment on a CyanogenMod commit thread by founder Steve Kondik is any indicator, rumors that Cyanogen Inc. is basically getting out of the OS development business seem to be coming to fruition. While the context of the comment is a rather specific commit thread, Kondik's frustration seems to have led to him to say a bit more about Cyanogen Inc.'s future plans than the company may have liked:
There isn't really going to be much if any involvement from the Inc this time around and I'm taking on a lot of stuff on my own to try and keep us moving forward.
Microsoft's home-built (or home-bought) smartphone lineup may not be long for this world, but it looks like the development community isn't giving up on it. The Nokia Lumia 520 is an entry-level Windows Phone 8 device, announced back in 2013, and later succeeded by the Lumia 525 and 530.
A few days ago, XDA developer banmeifyouwant posted a video of his in-progress CyanogenMod 13 port to the Lumia 525. The video shows CM13, based on Android 6.0, booting on the device as well as opening and closing apps.
The developer only demonstrated the 525 booting, but he is currently working on kernel tweaks to allow the 520 to boot as well.
Cyanogen Inc. recently experienced a round of layoffs as the company struggled to make its customized build of Android into a viable business. Through all the turmoil, Cyanogen Inc. CEO Kirt McMaster has contended that CyanogenMod (the non-commercial side) has tens of millions of users. Now, some are expressing doubt as to the accuracy of such figures. For a company fueled by venture money, that could be a problem.
The Android ROM community isn't quite as active as it was a few years ago with Android itself becoming more feature-rich. Still, CyanogenMod is chugging along with support for a ton of devices and a reasonably fast update cycle. A new snapshot build of the Marshmallow-based CyanogenMod 13 is now official (ZNH5Y), and it will be available on the first wave of devices today.