Device platform player Cyanogen refocused its efforts, arguing that “innovation cannot happen in a vacuum, which is what we have today”.
The company, which was behind a licensable Android-based platform intended to provide an alternative to the Google-led version, is moving to a model “without the limitations of requiring the full Cyanogen OS stack and individual device bring-ups”.
It will instead offer smartphone makers the chance to use different parts of the OS on a piecemeal basis, regardless of the Android variant being used.
It also said that it will “offer the broader eco-system and developers the opportunity to tap into Cyanogen’s expanding Artificial Intelligence cloud services, which learn usage patterns throughout the operating system and introduce smarter and more effective ways to resolve intent and interact with smartphones in a personalised and highly contextual way”.
Cyanogen said that to date, nearly 20 mobile devices were released powered by Cyanogen OS, which were used by millions of people. But the changing nature of the market has left vendors focused on scale and efficiency, “while compromising investment in software and services”.
But the platform has struggled to gain much traction. A high-profile partnership with OnePlus came to an unsavoury end when Cyanogen instead hitched its cart to Micromax, and the company has largely been working with minnows such as Wileyfox.
Cyanogen has not been without support: last year it closed an $80 million funding round, and named partners including the venture arms of Twitter and Telefonica, Qualcomm, Foxconn and Microsoft.
The refocus has been accompanied by a change of management. Kirt McMaster, co-founder and CEO, is moving on to become executive chairman, with Steve Kondik, co-founder and CTO, becoming “chief science officer” – reporting to Stephen Lawler, SVP of engineering.
Taking on the CEO role is Lior Tal, former COO of Cyanogen. Tal was formerly director of growth & partnerships at Facebook.