CyanogenMod is putting a heavier emphasis on the “mod” part of its name. It looks like the company is giving up on becoming a big mobile presence in favor of taking a more modular approach to customizing the smartphone.
The company announced its new Cyanogen Modular OS program in a blog post Monday, and will bring device manufacturers a much more customizable Android through different aspects of the Cyanogen OS. Through the program, manufacturers will be able to use MODs whether they use stock Android or other variants on their devices.
Cyanogen as a company is also undergoing a few changes — Lior Tal will replace Kirt McMaster as CEO of the company, while McMaster will transition to chairman of the board. A new position, called chief science operator, has been created and will be filled by Steve Kondik, former chief technology officer.
This isn’t the first time that Cyanogen has taken a stab at operating system modularity. In fact, it first created what it called the MOD program, which basically allowed device manufacturers to tweak otherwise closed portions of Android, essentially creating their own versions of Android. An example of this is when Microsoft added the Skype app to the Android dialer.
Under the new program, device manufacturers will be able to ship devices that make use of different portions of the Cyanogen operating system. In other words, manufacturers can use stock Android, and then take apps or other specific features from Cyanogen.
So what’s the advantage of this? Tal says that the new vision for Android will help address growing security concerns, as well as the ongoing issues with Android fragmentation.
The company’s decision is an interesting one, especially in contrast with Google’s latest stance — which is to offer one, extra-Google-y version of Android that could be compared to Apple’s iOS.