Cyanogen: Helping to unify Android

Will Cyanogen, the newly minted commercial company behind the alternative CyanogenMod Android firmware, actually help fragment Android? Hmmm… Here’s the one word answer: “No.”

CyanogenMod Logo

Here’s the longer explanation.

As Cyanogen co-founders Steve Kondik and Koushik Dutta explained on a Reddit Ask-Me -Anything online interview, they have no intentions of forking Android. CyanogenMod is based on theAndroid Open Source Project and that’s not changing. As Dutta said, “We love Google services, and so do our users. Despite sensationalist headlines from earlier today, we feel we are an ally to Google, not a competitor.”

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Why Apple suddenly needs Google again

Once back-slapping friends, the relationship between Apple and Google was torpedoed by the ascendency of Android. Eric Schmidt resigned from the Apple board, Steve Jobs declared “thermonuclear war” against Android, and little by little Apple disentangled Google services from its products as retaliation.

It’s that last point that that Apple must now reconsider.

As much as any product announcements Apple will make this week, renewing its partnership with Google on services would re-energize the Apple ecosystem. There are mixed signals in terms of the likelihood of such a move. But, there is a scenario in which a renewal of ties could be good for both companies while still allowing them to compete as stewards of the world’s two largest mobile device platforms.

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