In a blog post on Google Plus, CyanogenMod said it was shut down by Cyanogen Inc., its parent company that famously hoped to “put a bullet through Google’s head.” The posting added that development is now rudderless:
In addition to infrastructure being retired, we in the CM community have lost our voice in the future direction of CM – the brand could be sold to a third party entity as it was an asset that [Cyanogen founder Steve] Kondik risked to start his business and dream. Even if we were to regroup and rebuild our own infrastructure, continuing development of CM would mean to operate with the threat of sale of the brand looming over our heads.
As the posting also noted, continuing development of CyanogenMod carries the stink of Cyanogen Inc. “Then there is the stigma that has grown to be attached to anything named ‘Cyanogen’,” the team wrote. “Many of you reading this have been champions of clarifying that the CM product and CyngnOS were distinct, yet the stain of many PR actions from Cyngn is a hard one to remove from CM. Given CM’s reliance on Cyngn for monetary support and the shared source base, it’s not hard to understand why the confusion remains.”
Now the team going a different direction – sort of – by forking what was CyanogenMod into something called ‘LineageOS.’ “This is more than just a ‘rebrand,'” said the CyanogenMod/LineageOS team. “This fork will return to the grassroots community effort that used to define CM while maintaining the professional quality and reliability you have come to expect more recently.”
It’s important to note that CyanogenMod isn’t self-immolating with this ‘rebrand.’ Once the team announced LineageOS, Cyanogen Inc. proceeded with its shutdown. The team acknowledges its self-imposed legal and branding entanglements with Cyanogen as the company throttles down its efforts; it has also lost control of its legacy DNS routers and online code collaboration tool Gerrit.
The LineageOS site is barren, save for a few redirects to sources like Reddit and a tongue-in-cheek ‘About’ section. Cyanogen Inc. first announced the downturn of CyanogenMod in a terse blog post last week.
CyanogenMod users are nonetheless left waiting for LineageOS, and won’t be receiving new builds from Cyanogen. The dream that was Cynaogen (bullets and all) is dead. We only hope those leading this new charge learned that battling Google on its own turf won’t lead to victory, especially as the latter tightens its grip on Android proper.