Many things in our world splinter into a variety of subsects. Some of which are political parties, Protestant denominations, and Linux distributions, which includes Android. They all have something in common with that from which they derive, but all claim superiority in some fashion.
Kirt McMaster (CEO of Cyanogen Inc.) recently spoke to a crowd gathered at The Information’s Next Phase of Android event, to say that a new dawn is coming to the Android distribution and the daybreak will show Cid standing triumphant over Andy.
McMaster is no stranger to saying outlandish things. He’s called Google tyrannical and he’s gone on record stating that Samsung doesn’t have a clue when it comes to designing a mobile operating system.
To be clear, McMaster doesn’t want to get rid of Android. The Seattle-based company’s CyanogenMod is nearly entirely based off of Google’s Linux distro. Rather, he wants his company to be Android’s new overlord. McMaster feels that he would be a more magnanimous ruler than Google has been.
During the time of Android’s inception, Google set out to create a free mobile operating system that was open-sourced and available to all. This is the reason why we see it on so many different smart devices created by a variety of OEMs like Samsung, Sony, HTC, etc. This is also why we see its presence in such a huge range of third party ROMs, which is in fact where Cyanogen got its start.
Over time, Google has been more than aware that it has lost a great source of revenue by making Android free. During the past few years, in an attempt to rein in some control and profits, Google has tightened its clutches around the Android kernel and has forced OEMs to include the next best thing Google has to garner some income: its suite of Google apps must be included on every Android device.
McMaster offers a different vision for Android’s future. He gives Google Now as an example of what an app can truly do if given complete access to the very core of Android, and wants to offer the same ability to third-party app developers.
He goes on to state: “We’re making a version of Android that is more open so we can integrate with more partners so their servicers can be tier one services, so startups working on [artificial intelligence] or other problems don’t get stuck having you have to launch a stupid little application that inevitably gets acquired by Google or Apple. These companies can thrive on non-Google Android.”
While his statements with regard to third-party apps being acquired by Google are profoundly naïve, it would be interesting to see what app developers could do if they were able to offer a program as integrated as Google Now currently is.
McMaster further delved into the possibility of opening up many more app stores to consumers. Among those stores, he hopes to see a Cyanogen app store setting up shop in the next couple of years.
Cyanogen has also been busy lately creating partnerships with a variety of app services and companies. Most noteworthy is its relations with OnePlus, which runs CyanogenMod straight out of the box.
Additionally, and also appearing at the same conference, is its work with Nextbit’s Baton, a cloud-based service desiring to bring a more unified experience to consumers who use multiple smart devices. Its CEO, Tom Moss, was also candid with reporters about Android.
Google and Cyanogen have had a peculiar relationship. Just last year, it was rumored that Google attempted to purchase Cyanogen, but both companies were unable to reach a final agreement. Also, Google removed Cyanogen’s CyanogenMod Installer application from the Play Store back in 2013.
Could McMaster be serious about wanting to remove Google from the Android picture? Or is this all smoke and mirrors in some secret attempt to get Google, Microsoft, or Yahoo to want them again?