I can’t blame you if you haven’t been following the saga of Cyanogen, the company that started back in 2013 with the idea to take the vibrant world of Android modifications and turn them into an OS and a viable business. Over the past few months, as Android Police has dutifully chronicled, Cyanogen has beset itself with a relentless cycle of drama and confusion. It’s the sort of thing you can only really keep track of if you like train wrecks and are able to turn off the part of your brain that allows for empathy for Cyanogen’s employees and users.
Now, the latest: the custom services that Cyanogen provides to phones that run its OS will be shut down on December 31st and the “nightly builds” of said OS will no longer be produced.
It hopefully won’t mean anything critical will break for people who have purchased Cyanogen OS-based phones — but we’ll need to see what these devices act like on January 1st to know for sure. Either way, if this is you, now’s a good time to either learn how to switch over to a CyanogenMod ROM or — let’s be honest — start looking for a new phone.
Thanks for all the support during this rough ride. Time for the next adventure :)— cyanogen (@cyanogen) December 1, 2016
To call this end ignominious for the company would be an understatement. After the (now ousted) CEO proclaimed he wanted to put a “bullet through Google's head," it’s been a downward spiral. Steve Kondik, the technical and spiritual heart of Cyanogen, left the company after expressing his disgust at its management. Employees have been laid off as the company relocates, too.
Theoretically, the new CEO has a plan to modularize the technologies that Cyanogen has developed so they can be applied to any Android phone. But I wouldn’t hold my breath on those given how unstable the company has been over the past year and given how little notice it has provided its OS customers for this shutdown.
Update, 3PM ET: The team behind CynanogenMod has declared the existing brand dead, and announced plans to fork the source code of the mobile OS. The team promises that the new path “will return to the grassroots community effort that used to define CM while maintaining the professional quality and reliability you have come to expect more recently.”