“We make a living by what we get. But we make a life by what we give.”
Norman MacEwan

Cyanogen and the future of Android


I’ve been told that to activate an Android phone you have to have and sign in with a Google account. I hope that isn’t true but I haven’t confirmed it. I think it would, sadly, be difficult to confirm because most people have google accounts and think that having their phone logged in to Google is a good (or at least not a bad) idea (so I haven’t asked people about it).

When I hear of Android being referred to as open-source I cringe. While technically it is (the code is freely available for anyone to review / change), the version of it most people use it code written by Google with honey-traps set by Google. That is not in alignment with the spirit of open-source as I understand it.

CyanogenMod however is an open-source (in fact and spirit) project. It, as I understand it, is a version of Android that has stripped of its Google trappings. I have only heard of it, not used it. Today I came across this bit of news:

” … Microsoft would partner with the truly open-source, Android-based Cyanogen OS to provide a bundled suite of apps … “

Granted I have difficulty thinking of Microsoft being involved in anything as good news … this story has an interesting twist:

“… failure to gain traction may be why Microsoft has recently embraced a push to put its software on its more popular rivals … By working closely with Cyanogen, Microsoft now essentially has its own Android OS, which gives it a potential reach far greater than its own homegrown platform has found so far.”

In failing to penetrate the market with its own operating system and hardware Microsoft is turning to an alternative strategy based an open-source project which is an extension of Google code. Reading this (together with this: Microsoft may open-source its code) made me feel that good is an inevitability. As if no matter how much big companies try to twist things around to serve themselves, they are, in the end, going to get spat out … unless they come into service of something greater than their own profits.

Though I do feel the article is poorly titled “Microsoft Just Took Android’s Future Out of Google’s Hands”. It is Cyanogen that took Android’s future out of Google’s hands and gave it, and maybe Microsoft, a shot at a better future. Cheers to open-source.

You may want to check if your smart-phone is compatible with Cyanogen and step into your own better future.


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