A new player makes its entry into the mobile operating system market as the CyanogenMod project announced they've raised $7 million in funding, mainly from Benchmark Capital and Redpoint Ventures. The new company will be headed by Kirt McMaster, a technology executive with many years of experience in the mobile industry, while Steve Kondik, the project's founder, will take up a position as chief technology officer.
The funding round actually closed in April but the company kept quiet about it and worked on several new projects. One of the first new things we can expect from Cyanogen is a simple installer. In the coming weeks, we can expect a graphical installer to be introduced in the Google Play store, but this will only be for unlocked phones. Eventually, Cyanogen will expand the functionality of this app to also make it possible to unlock Android phones via a simple graphical interface.
In the long run, Cyanogen goal is to not only release forked versions of Android but to produce a new mobile operating system designed by and for the people who use it.
The real question is whether Google -- which has always toed the line between full-on rebel coders like CM and the carriers it's partnered with -- will continue to tolerate CM, which it has never officially commented on. As The Verge points out:
But what if some of those services get blocked? Core Google apps including Gmail, Chrome, and Maps aren’t open-sourced parts of Android — they’re part of Google Play Services. Using Google Play Services requires that a device be certified by Google. Firmware modifications like Cyanogen bring devices into a gray area where the original phone may have been certified, but the modified version could fall outside Google’s guidelines.