Even if you’re not big in the Android modding scene, chances are you’ve heard of CyanogenMod. The custom-blend ROM is a favored son of the root community, and tonight the third-party software reached over one million unique installs.
In many ways, CyanogenMod represents the fulfillment of the promise that Android proper has failed to deliver. The ROM is based on the Android Open Source Project (or AOSP), which means a pure stock experience to start. The CM team does make some minor tweaks, largely to add features, though, unlike manufacturer mods, virtually everything in CyanogenMod is user customizable or removable.
More importantly, CyanogenMod is supported and maintained on over 80 different devices, ranging from old to New, popular to niche. Many users who have been abandoned by their manufacturers and carriers can turn to CyanogenMod for an up to date and stock Android experience.
The milestone marks a significant step for CyanogenMod. As the team moves forward, they’re gaining support and respect from the manufacturers. The CyanogenMod team has already worked closely with Sony Ericsson to make their ROM compatible with SE devices. They also have ties to Samsung and the team is even considering their own app store for root-friendly apps, or apps that would otherwise be unable to make it in the Android Market.
We’ve seen this type of independence being exercised before. Amazon has created a fantastically popular device based on Android that has virtually nothing to do with Google: the Kindle Fire. The Amazon appstore combined with Amazon’s other services allows Amazon to function entirely separate from Google. CyanogenMod is on a similar path towards self-reliance, contributing to innovation in the smartphone world on its own merits, instead of merely being the vessel for quicker updates that it was in the past.