Android currently dominates the smartphone landscape. The mobile OS is now on nearly 80% of smartphones worldwide. Google achieved this feat by making Android free and open, allowing manufacturers to use it without paying exorbitant OEM fees.
However, the openness of the platform also leaves it open to abuse from manufacturers, who often ship hardware with their own software running on top of Android, for better or worse. Such software may not be exactly what manufacturers want, however, as Apple's vertical product integration and closed platform are still the envy of the industry. Rumors of competing mobile platforms, such as Samsung's Tizen, have been circulating for the past year or so.
But the future of mobile computing does not look closed. Open mobile platforms such as Firefox OS and Ubuntu are currently being developed, and ROMs even more open than stock Android are popular in tech circles. Now, one of the most popular Android ROMs has gone legit.
CyanogenMod this week announced that it has become an official company. It kicked off its ventured by receiving $7 million from Benchmark Capital and Redpoint Ventures.
Though the organization is now more organized, the goals of the CyanogenMod product have not changed drastically. In a blog post, CyanogenMod founder Steve Kondik stated that the company will still organize and lead the modding community surrounding the CyanogenMod ROM. The will continue to improve the mobile experience with better features while paring away the junk software manufacturers often include. Kondik also stated that security solutions "that really work" are another focus of the project.
Kondik stated that the things that will change will be for the better. From the blog post:
What will change is our capabilities, our speed, and our size. I’m not one to let anything stagnate. The next logical steps for CM were out of reach previously, and the path forward is clear now. I hope you feel the same.
The first project the company has tackled is making it easier to install a CyanogenMod ROM. To that end, an installer for the software will be available on the Google Play store "in the coming weeks."