CyanogenMod, Inc.

The CyanogenMod team is now CyanogenMod, Inc.

CyanogenMod has come a long way since the project started. I remember seeing the beginnings in the G1 threads over at XDA, and have watched the project grow and grow. Today, founder Steve Kondik has announced that they are officially a start-up on the company's website. But not everything will change — Kondik makes it clear that CM will always be about the users.

In all that chaos there have been projects that do it ‘right’, simultaneously supporting the company and the community—this is where CM will go. Our community is our biggest asset. With any change in structure like this, questions about motives and reason are going to need answered. The new products we have created should give you an idea about our motivation, and where we are going.

The new start-up has received over $7 million in funding led by Benchmark Capital — a name familiar to fans of RedHat and others. In a quote given to the Verge, Kondik and CEO Kirt McMaster say they have many ideas to pull a profit to keep things afloat. 

We've already seen some of the fruits of their new labors. The foray into things like remote device management and secure communications will differentiate them from the rest of the pack, and with an open philosophy, they will not only continue to garner attention from folks who like to root and hack at their Android devices, but draw other commercial interests as well.

The new company has offices in Palo Alto and Seattle, and the double-digit-member staff is already hard at work with new ideas and projects to make CM better. They've shown off the upcoming CM Installer, which will be on Google Play in the coming weeks. Some sample screenshots are after the break. In addition, the team will be doing an AMA on Reddit this afternoon to answer the questions we're all bound to have.

We expect big things from CM, Inc. I'm sure we'll see them. We all wish them nothing but luck, and look forward to seeing what's next.

Source: CyanogenMod




There are 74 comments

Elfuan says:

Congrats to CM Inc.



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sbradfor says:

Agreed! I have nothing but respect and admiration for CM Inc. Wonderful!

XavierMatt says:

Their plan won't work for two reasons. Google is not having it and lastly in terms of hardware the carriers won't put their phones on their network. So as far as their hardware plans, there's just no way I can see it making it to any carrier, especially USA.

Editor in chief of

androidalais says:

Party pooper. Stomp on everyone's dreams why don't you. Jk. But still, don't count your chickens before they hatch.

keith2k1 says:


In the 2nd image the far right two devices appear to be the iphone4s and 5...


mcgowan398 says:

Jellybean ROM on an iPhone.....interesting ......highly unlikely but still very interesting ツ


sublimaze says:

Nah, those are just generic phone icons.

Really... Because the buttons are all in the correct placements and even when going from the 4s to the 5 the front facing camera changes place to the correct spot. Seems very specific to me.

kristof94 says:

Yeah those do seem like apple iphones, but they are probably all part of the picture. I doubt they drew each phone; they probably googled it like all of us and added the cm logo

I highly doubt this. These are very stylized and were definitely put together by a designer.

dchawk81 says:

A designer who was instructed to draw a bunch of stylized smart phones. A designer who was probably not instructed to exclude stylized iPhones. The designer may not have been clued in to the purpose being an Android ROM or know that Android != iPhone.

"Just draw some phones and tablets for us."

The CM people would have vetted those images before letting them get used officially. If there's vague resemblances to iPhones, oh well. Although the idea of an Android ROM running on a hacked iPhone is hilarious. ;)

Not gonna happen.

mcgowan398 says:

Eerrrr...they never have the phones I buy available for CyonagonMod...I've always wanted to give their ROM a try


jirvi97 says:

Google the goophone i5 its high quality iPhone knockoff that runs 4.1.2 right now, working on 4.2

Xader says:

I'm curious about this as well. Maybe they'll have the time and capital to delve more into the niche devices.

Scotty Olsen says:

So in the second installer image with all of the "silhouette" devices, there's iOS and Windows devices shown.

eahinrichsen says:

Well, iOS and Windows Phone certainly are Android's "nemeses"...

I have a question about this, What would this new CM installer do for the average Android user that has never rooted a device before? I ask this because sooner or later, I'm going to root one of my Android devices such as a Nexus to get more out of the device and make it run smoother, but I'm afraid of bricking it. Just asking and adding something to the conversation.

NickLippert says:

I would think that the installer would be a much simpler way to get CM on devices.

Kylecore says:

Its impossible to brick a Nexus device. no matter what happens with the OS you can always boot in to fastboot and push a factory image thats easily downloadable from google.

Troothdotcom says:

I beg to differ trying to update my nexus 4 to 4.2.2 with the OTA update bricked my phone

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dr_gibberish says:

Really bricked your phone? Permanently, unrecoverably bricked it? You can "soft brick" any phone if you do things wrong, but the Nexus phones are almost all recoverable with the right tools.

zakth says:

I'm sure it's just to make people scratch their heads. Congratulations to the CM team, you guys have come a long way and I wish you the best of luck in your ventures.

Chiefthunder says:

The Best! Congrats Team!!!!

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Kylecore says:

Not only are there android devices in the second picture, we have iPhones/iPads and windows phones/tablets pictured!!

Does this mean I might finally be able to buy a beautiful nokia phone and push CM to it?
I hope so ;)

Maybe so. Nokia phones have hardware nearly identical to most Androids. I would freaking love to have Android on a Nokia 1020!

Posted from the incredible new Nexus 7

Love CM and all the features. But I've never had any luck with the Battery life on any of my Nexus devices (N1, Gnex, N4, N7)

Oskiee says:

Thats because, despite what most people say, roms dont help with battery life. Some kernels that are developed specifically for it sometimes help, under volting and things like that help sometimes.

But generally, if youre depending on a rom for better battery life, its not gonna happen unless the kernel is specifically set up to do so. And even then is usually iffy.

Exactly. Which is why I always go back to a stock ROM or just stay Stock/Rooted.

I love all the features - but whats the point if I can't last 8 hours...

movielover76 says:

While I would agree that rom's do not in general improve battery life, it is possible.
LiquidSmooth did wonders for battery life on my Thunderbolt.
GPe rom's on my S4 significantly improve my battery life too, the one's that are mostly stock GPe.

Those are the only two cases in over 3 years of using rom's that I had significant battery life improvement, but while rom's in general don't improve my batteries life, they don't usually hurt it either. You have to pick a good rom, and my advice is stay away from custom kernel's (except for cm) and you should get the extra features with comparable battery life.

DJeremyC says:

Since companies are only as good as their shareholders happiness....what does this mean for $$$$$ of CM? Will they allow CM to still be free BUT make you pay for things such as customization, backups etc???? They have to make a profit somehow otherwise they will not be a company long.

Impulses says:

You do know not all companies are publicly traded and have to respond to share holders right? Ultimately you still have to turn a profit if you wanna stick around (at least to repay investors and later make payroll to keep employees happy), but a private company doesn't necessarily have to worry about increasing profits every quarter (just like your local restaurant doesn't).

I imagine this will allow them to keep growing and do things that they couldn't do as a volunteer supported project... I'm sure other ROM will fill the void at the bottom but CM's now poised to do stuff others can't. I doubt it'll be the end of the world if they decide not to give every feature away, although there's other possible ways to turn a profit.

Extreme example (I'm sure there's other far simpler ways for them to turn a profit): what if ASUS or some other smaller OEM wants a custom ROM to differentiate their phone (and possibly compete with a cheaper Nexus device) but they don't have the will or resources to develop a Sense/Touchwiz, they could now license CM from CM, Inc. ;)

pug_ster says:

I like CM, but though CM is kind of close to stock android. They should try to differentiate themselves to the commercial success of MIUI. They should start making phones with CM in the ~$200-$300 range undercutting Samsung, LG, Motorola and Sony.

Dreamless531 says:

That's what I think they are going to do I would love to buy a CyanogenMod phone besides MIUI is based off of CyanogenMod's source tree

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Samsung, et. al. are hardware companies bundling software. Tough to undercut the prices of companies that have enormous economies of scale AND don't pay a license fee for the OS. At least at first, CM will have to charge for software to make a profit.

pug_ster says:

First of all, many companies can keep running for years without trying to make a profit as long as they are funded by venture capitalists (IE Facebook,) but instead building market share as long as they are increasing a customer base. I am sure that Cyanogenmod is the case here.

Second, if they charging for software to build roms for other manufacturer's phones, I don't think they will get alot of money. For one thing, there's is still alot of restrictions from the manufacturers in terms of drivers. CM don't always manage to make new drivers for modems, bluetooth, cpu optimizations for the new version of android if the phone manufacturer does not create a rom for it anymore. For example, my HTC one V is stuck on ICS because HTC does not create any JB roms and several features in JB romes in HTC one V simply does not work because of that. If CM creates their own hardware, they have total control on the driver layer for the phones.

Third, CM can undercut phone companies in terms of selling phones. Google is doing that now by selling it directly to you instead of the other manufactures selling the phones from the wireless carriers. CM can win 2 ways, one is that phone manufacturers don't usually give software updates 18 months after the phone is out, so CM can do that. In the US there is a severe lack of affordable mid tier phones with decent software support. CM can easily do just that, and selling phones for cheap without worrying about making a profit.

I don't think they should start making phones. What they probably will do is contract with the OEMs who do make phones to put CM on them. So, CM would do the SW and the OEMs would do the HW.

gottria says:

What a colorful mix of a team. good job guys.

On2Vegas says:

Especially, the Cyan hair. Nice!!

kdkinc says:

Very nice group picture but you all need to get out of that direct Sun light before you melt or wither up.
Back to the CM cave.

graffixnyc says:

I had tipped Phil about this over a month ago right after xda devcon. I asked he not post it because of how I found out about it because it was told to me in confidence but now I can say.. Told ya so ;-)

fatkiid says:


hodan says:

You cant say "told ya so" when you NEVER TOLD US. Lol.

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technomom says:

This is great news.

But now that CM 10.2 is not just someone's side job project, it needs some bulletproofing. Go for it, guys. Make it so that it doesn't heat up nor kill the battery on my S3.

Good luck. We're all counting on you.

Grahaman27 says:


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eszklar says:

Congrats and best of luck.

Qwkslvrmz says:

Congrats!! Wish you all the best of luck!!

Posted via the AC app on a nexus 4

Deke218 says:

How long before we see in the headlines "CyanogenMod, Inc. was acquired by Google today for 4.8 billion..."

A very long time.

Why would Google want to buy back most of their own code?

yobriann says:

waze was purchased. they're pretty much buying back their maps... but with added features and a team.

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So I'm guessing that to run this install your phone must be rooted already or will the install root the phone also?

eahinrichsen says:

Probably won't need to be rooted, but I would imagine that the bootloader would have to be unlocked.

How about an optional ad on your homescreen or lock screen, which will also give the user a few extra pennies, I'd be happy with that, it would help these guys stay afloat and nothing wrong with a bit of extra cash even if it is pennies. Maybe some small companion apps for 69p or something too to help funding

Dangertrek says:

What I'd like to know is what programming expertise does the K9 have in the team? Love the picture with the team lead, fido, in the middle! Great news altogether! Bon Chance!

iowabeakster says:

The dog is to there to bite people who might distract Koush from writing his typical ten thousand lines of code everyday.

fatkiid says:

The social awkwardness in that photo line up is palpable.

_X_ says:

I have mixed feelings about this.... I guess I'm not the trusting type. Cyanogen has gotten a big boost from the open source development community. What's unclear to me is how this will affect cyanogenmod. Until they are more open about how they will make their money I'm thinking this might not be a good sign for the cyanogenmod community.

Now if they just plan on having services that play nice with cyanogenmod while keeping cyanogenmod development open this is a great move.

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Impulses says:

Unless they're a public company they don't have to be very open about how they make their money... They could be investor funded for years, they could upsell extra features/services, they could sell their support to a third party who doesn't wanna develop their own Android customizations (i.e. X company pays CM to develop and distribute updates for their device and basically support it from the software side), they could get into advertising, etc etc.

I'm sure they'll explore a few avenues... What they do to turn a profit doesn't have to impact what they develop and the user experience of their product. Android is open, are you particularly bothered by the fact that it's distributed and developed by an advertising company? Does it change how you use Android? Do you need to know the ins and outs of Google's advertising business? Plenty of companies have made a business out of redistributing and supporting Linux builds...

iowabeakster says:

If you read what Steve wrote today, it seems he/they know exactly how vital the community is to CM and it's development in the past. They have no intention of changing that. And this change is intended to do nothing but help them manage the complexities that come with the further growth needed to bring CM to more devices and integrate even more new ideas into this already massive and growing open source project.

I can only guess that you will see that maybe the CM installer will be paid app in the play store. Offer it for a couple of bucks for the app, for the people too afraid or inexperienced to unlock,root, and flash a ROM. Maybe they can get some OEM to put out a budget phone with CM preinstalled?

There a huge number of devices that have not gotten any updates since gingerbread or froyo out there (and won't ever get another one either... and long out of warranty). A custom ROM like CM would be the only way to get new things like Google Now running on those devices. My phone tells me there are already 7,675,967 devices running CM right now. With an easy way to get CM on those devices orphaned by the carriers, a CM installer might add many multiples of that number. That's a big project to maintain.

Hopefully it'll provide enough money so that group pictured doesn't need to have a "real" job to put food on the table, and allow them to maintain CM full-time.

It could back-fire... true... it has happened to other open sourced projects. But I think most small contributors to the project will be happy to see the core group working on it as their "real" job and this change will hopefully make the project even better, even faster. That's what most contributors, big and small, really want to see.

wezi427 says:

I think that this is going to turn a lot of people off.

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XavierMatt says:


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Jaylou180 says:

I hope its a one click kind of installer. Like a iphone jailbreak software. It would be extremely cool.

RaiderWill says:

If you have to be led by the hand and don't know how to use odin , install a custom recovery, run an exploit, recover from a soft-brick, reset your counters or flash a ROM then you should stick to "Wanna Be Geeks That Talk About Specs" and leave the Big Boy Pants World of Custom ROM's Alone.. We KNOW what we are doing over there.. Stick with holding Telephones & Tablets one inch from your eyeball and talk about how sharp 1080p screens are compared to 720p..

Would not want you to mess up your $700.00 ( $650+ Tax )Telephones or N7 2013's.

hodan says:

I hope I can use it without opposable thumbs.

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DroidRat says:

Very minor correction to "The CyanogenMod team is now CyanogenMod, Inc."....It's "Cyanogen Inc.", no 'Mod' least that's what he wrote on the blog and the reddit idea why that's bugging me, must be a buggy kinda day!

Awesome! Congratulations to CyanogenMod Inc. (or CyanogenMod Inc.)

tigerchilly says:

Well done guys.... you should all be proud..

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jordyiam says:

If I could run android on an iPhone or Nokia lumia ...I would pay good money for that would be awesome...good luck cm hope your business is a success..

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PZR18 says:

Sweet what's this cyanogen installer?
Does it root your device as well or unlock bootloaders

I love CM especially the way jellybam adds paranoid android controls to CM

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Will there be a easy uninstall process as well if you want to revert to factory state?

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Nick Rhodes says:

We don't really know anything about it yet. But here's to hoping! :-)

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