Sunday, March 29, 2015

Cyanogen: how to steal Android from Google – Sotovik

Kirt McMaster , executive director of Cyanogen, which prepares the most, perhaps, popular and best in the world unofficial version of Android, nurturing long conspiratorial plans to throw a direct challenge to Google. Just imagine David goes into battle with Goliath! And there are chances that the stone, aptly launched from a sling experienced hand, gets straight to the head of the giant, bringing down the giant ground.

And it is true: now is a good time to someone tilt. The mobile revolution launched iPhone, shows clear signs of stagnation since reached a new point of inflection. The number of smartphones on the planet will increase by 2020 from the current 2.5 billion to almost expected to 6 billion units. The cost of fast and feature-rich smartphones significant falls, opening the way for new players like Xiaomi, which has achieved unprecedented power in a very short period of time.

The market for mobile operating systems on 96% controlled by Google Android and Apple iOS. It’s kind of a game of chess, in which each side has to choose black or white. Cyanogen has desired to destroy the status quo by offering the world a third option in the face of CyanogenMod, or Cyanogen OS, the mobile platform with six years of experience, which essentially stems from Android, but spared the total control on the part of Google.

Recently, Cyanogen has received regular financial injections $ 80 million, the flow of which organized the social network Twitter, manufacturer of mobile processors Qualcomm, mobile operator Telefónica and media giant Rupert Murdoch. The investment round, after which the cost of Cyanogen close to $ 1 billion, was in charge of PremjiInvest; behind it, Azim Premji, the third richest man in India. Previously, the company received $ 30 million investment.

It is alleged that negotiations are underway between the Cyanogen and Microsoft: The first will allow the second integrated into the operating system a number of services, such as search engine Bing, voice assistant Cortana, cloud storage OneDrive, VoIP -Customer Skype, email service Outlook.

It’s no secret that the smartphone and tablet manufacturers, vendors of electronic components for them, as well as application developers – they are all very concerned that the Android ecosystem is in full power Google. This is especially true with rivals Mountain View in the people of Cloud Storage Box and Dropbox, music provider Spotify, messaging Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Snapchat, retail giant Amazon, etc., etc.. Still fresh lessons with personal computers when Microsoft, relying on monopoly positions Windows, restrict competition and dictate its terms to original equipment manufacturers. The third participant in the mobile battle would have been received with indescribable enthusiasm, as would give impetus to innovation and technological improvement.

At Cyanogen has a chance to drag into their camp as much as a billion devices – more than Apple sold iPhone for all time of its existence. 50 million people are turning to CyanogenMod in one form or another. Most of them go through the procedure of removing the factory Android and its subsequent replacement by John Doe. There is a growing list of vendors smartphones producing devices with already deployed CyanogenMod, and such products are made with the audience mad enthusiasm. It is believed that each such product is able to bring Cyanogen at least 10 dollars in revenue.

Of course, no one sleeps under the sun smartphones, and the players strengths and weaknesses, trying to bring up a third operating system that would be thrown firewood the fire duopoly. And with many such: Microsoft Windows Phone, BlackBerry (formerly Research In Motion) BlackBerrys OS, Samsung Bada and Tizen, Mozilla Firefox OS, Palm (then Hewlett-Packard, and now LG) webOS, Nokia Symbian, Maemo and MeeGo, Canonical Ubuntu Touch , Jolla Sailfish. Talk about the history and future of these platforms can be infinitely long – one thing is clear: should take into account all the ups and downs, in order to replicate the success and avoid repeating mistakes.

Cyanogen CyanogenMod is going to make a completely open operating environment – this is not present at Android, or even more so iOS. If you increase the degree of openness, down to the core, while third-party developers and partners will be able to tightly integrate with the system of own services. Pros here congregation: Visa or PayPal will offer contactless mobile payments, which are better than Google Wallet; Skype will be integrated in the dialer; Spotify will be the default music player; there will be a strong alternative to Google Now.

The dependence of Google’s Android and its services like Play Store, Gmail and Maps and the truth is extremely high. Mountain View essentially usurped all stages of development the most common in the world of mobile platform, not allowing it to engage in collective development and issuing on-mountain ready version. In fact, only Amazon was able to translate option in the face of Android Kindle OS, which does not depend on the mood of the Internet Corporation.

It is appropriate to tell the story of the formation of Cyanogen and all that is connected with it now. In 2009, Steve Kondik, 40-year-old entrepreneur and programmer, started to modify Android to suit your needs, changing the user interface, increasing efficiency, reducing power consumption. Yes code Google-open system, it may be any modified. However, up to a certain threshold: until adjustments are made to the work of Google-key applications like Gmail, Maps, Drive and Play Store, where Internet Corporation earns advertising money and by which collects a bunch of information about users. Soon enough about Steve venture to build a community of hundreds of developers, each of whom contributed in what later became known as CyanogenMod. For the most Kondika similar course of events was completely unexpected.

T-Mobile G1, or HTC Dream, the first Android-phone.

Online forums have raised the hype around deeply and thoroughly customized version Android, and by October 2011 a million people have installed CyanogenMod on their smartphones. Eight months later, fans were five million. Samsung even drew attention to Kondika, inviting him to a research team in Seattle, however, resolve and continue to engage in the project. Now staff Cyanogen does not exceed 90 employees, but the development of CyanogenMod 9 thousand already absorbed. Third-party developers.

And while Steve Kondik plunged into the abyss of a code of “green robot”, Kirt McMaster vengeance worked for the benefit of various technology companies. At the peak of the boom “dotcom” he joined one of the startups, generously bred in Silicon Valley, then moved to Southern California, where he worked with digital marketing agencies. Next helped launch Boost Mobile, a prepaid cellular provider that later became part of Sprint. Finally, he worked in the field of production of Sony’s mobile strategy.

Steve Kondik (left) and Kirt McMaster.

McMaster, like many tehnogiki, entered the circle of fans of the first iPhone, but as he took an active part in brainstorming business ideas, had to agree with the prospect of opening up Android. In 2012, Kirt got a Samsung Galaxy S III, the first smartphone, which, in his opinion, has become a worthy rival iPhone. Although disappointed not forced to wait for itself: Android Jelly Bean, at the time of the last releases of Google-platform, this phone has not yet been prepared. As a result, McMaster set “firmware» CyanogenMod, which thanks to the army of free programmers are already included in its membership code “chews.” After that happened Kirti kind of baptism: if the mobile device can be thrown on the rails open source operating system, and fine details and customized to the needs of the user, hence, with the device itself, you can do whatever they please.

Just McMaster immediately through a social network LinkedIn made contact with Kondikom, and then on the phone offered to open the project plan to turn the company: “I am the head, you – responsible for technological issues. I’ll find the money. ” Steve invited Kirti in Seattle, where they met at a pub for a beer, in the foam which agreed unbridled enthusiasm and diligence Kondika McMaster. Resume the conversation came down to the alleged transformation of the company: and still some veterans complain about the Cyanogen community emerged from virtually nowhere corporate, but McMaster one flick of the wrist dispel all fears.

Investors took first Cyanogen more than cool: Is there hope that startup able to create a new operating system? Although then cash infusion followed witnessed the opposite. And something to prove, if millions of people have turned to CyanogenMod: even a tiny percentage of couples billion Android-devices – a great achievement.

At first glance, it may seem that CyanogenMod is not much different from the factory Android, more precisely Open Project Android Open Source Project (AOSP), – well, except that the icons and buttons look different. But do not let yourself be fooled: for more or less familiar façade completely different building, with lots of hidden rooms, secret passages and surprises. It seems no longer have to look for a bunch of add-ons that make Android more suitable for use. Many people choose a smartphone, placing exclusive emphasis on its low cost and do not care about improving the convenience of interaction with the operating system – and in vain.

First, CyanogenMod is available for an abundance of chic themed user interface, constantly updated library of fonts, sounds, boot animation and wallpaper home screens.

Second, at CyanogenMod have the ability to switch between physical keys Android-navigate virtual on-screen buttons. Of course, the effective area of ​​the screen is reduced, but the keypad is easily customizable: the buttons can be arranged in any order, remove unnecessary and add non-standard.

Third, CyanogenMod offers expanded gesture control. For example, double-tap the screen to wake your smartphone, remove it from standby mode. If “draw” on the display range, launch the camera application; letter V activates the flashlight; two-finger sliding up and down on or off the music.

Fourth, special attention is paid to CyanogenMod security and data protection. Thus, monitoring of Privacy Guard monitors what makes an application with user information. Stirring PIN Scramble the numeric keypad to set the password to unlock the screen device provides additional security. Blacklist blacklist prevents unwanted incoming calls people or advertising agents. Cryptography WhisperPush encrypts SMS messages CyanogenMod-user devices, no matter through what instant messaging client is in correspondence.

Finally, in the depths of CyanogenMod hides many utilities that the search of tricks and effects seen exciting experience for all lovers of picking a “green robot».

In the spring of 2014 appeared OnePlus One, after the second Oppo N1 smartphone gets CyanogenMod straight out of the box. About the features of this device “Sotovik” told in detail in the material « Overview OnePlus One: Smartphone dream ». The device turned out fantastic, combining high quality equipment, quality software and incredibly low price tag. Starting from an initial value of $ 300, One can easily put on the blades of the then all competitors. Except that they were hard to get. Coming OnePlus Two should become even more delicious, although no slot microSD-cards, no removable battery in it and is not expected.

Last year, McMaster and his team tried to bring to CyanogenMod and other manufacturers. I agree Micromax, one of the leaders in the Indian market, began selling Cyanogen-branded smartphone Yureka YU. Everything went well: local consumers enthusiastically adopted the flexible adjustment of Android-platform. In many ways, Micromax should trail laid by the Chinese giant Xiaomi, phones which snapped up in minutes. However, instead of developing an analogue of MIUI, another mega Android- «firmware” demand from Xiaomi huge human resources, was made the right decision to give these questions to outsourcing.

In general Cyanogen opened the door for a variety of vendors wanting to repeat business history Xiaomi, which creates decent quality products, and avoiding the plunge into greed, offering them at an affordable price every purse. In early March, Alcatel OneTouch, smartfonostroitel number seven in the world, announced that it would offer a 6-inch device Hero 2+, working under the Cyanogen OS, the commercial version of the project CyanogenMod, – for $ 300.

Moreover, Qualcomm, responsible for almost all mobile processors, including Cyanogen OS in the list of supported platforms that are compatible with Snapdragon chipset 200, 400 and 600, based on which products are available budget and mid-level. This is done in order to extend the range of mobile devices that can be deployed CyanogenMod.

reached an agreement with the US Blu, smartphones who firmly stood up in Latin America. The company will release its first Cyanogen-communicator, and he will be spared from a set of mobile applications Google, which found a worthy alternative. Thus, the application store Amazon Appstore substitute for the Play Store, the Opera browser is used to surf the web, instead of Chrome, maps and navigation are given into the hands of Nokia Here, instead of Maps, data is not stored in Drive, but in the clouds Dropbox and OneDrive. Search powered by Bing, and voice assistant stands Cortana – both services authorship Microsoft. When the above mentioned services are tightly integrated with the operating system, they are no worse than those Google.

Smartphones, such as those described should bring Cyanogen money. The company now earns very little trading skins, modify the virtual image of mobile devices. Financial flows will be opened when the developers of applications and services that are closely integrated with Cyanogen-communicators, will share with the firm. There may be all sorts of options transactions to extract profits from distribution and opening their own app store to the internal software purchases and adaptation services for specific countries. In some cases, Cyanogen will encourage, pinching off of their income, those device manufacturers who are working in the field of low profit margin.

Despite the militant mood of McMaster, Cyanogen able to succeed without harming Google. By the way, Sundar Pichai, the head of Android, Chrome and Apps, said that he does not understand the selling points of this startup. He also adamantly stated that smartphones are deprived of their Google-critical services are unlikely to be viable.

Sundar Pichai.

Well, most likely, luck Cyanogen lies in extracting opportunities lost Android, and especially in the segment of high-end devices, equivalent Apple iPhone. In any case, the aggressive statements McMaster nervous about Google, which is under the light of the antitrust spotlight, fearing once again enraging regulators. Free whether that last year’s autumn Mountain View expressed a desire to buy Cyanogen with all the guts, but the corporation was good, of course, refused.

Yes, Android and let herself Google – projects are nurtured NSA for any split and any myth-making mood of the community needs a common enemy, and as such it is now scheduled to be Google. In the attack!


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