For several years now, CyanogenMod has served as a crapware-free, open source replacement for the bloated stock ROMs that manufacturers typically ship on Android devices. The work of Steve Kondik and hundreds of contributors has spawned a loyal community and seen millions of downloads. Kondik and his team took some time during a Yelp-hosted Android meetup — which coincided with this year's Google I/O conference — to give a presentation outlining CyanogenMod's core mission. If you've fiddled with custom Android software or just consider yourself a supporter of the OS, you'll not want to miss the video below.
The hotbed topics of Android's supposed "openness" and carriers' obsession with differentiation are touched on, but perhaps even more interesting is the behind-the-scenes account of how CyanogenMod is built. Its success has shown that users have a real interest in a clean and efficient mobile experience, and even some OEMs are taking note. If you'll remember, Samsung hired Kondik last year, and the company's latest iteration of TouchWiz is among the best, most unobtrusive skins we've seen on the platform. Coincidence? Likely not. The official release of CyanogenMod 9 is expected within "the next couple weeks," according to Kondik.