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Cyanogen Wants To Create An Alternative To Google Play Ecosystem

In an interview with The Information, Kirt McMaster, Cyanogen's CEO, said the company is looking to create an alternative to Google's Android ecosystem in three to five years, as well as a new app store within 18 months. The statement comes a few months after it was reported that Google wanted to buy Cyanogen.

“We've barely scratched the surface in regards to what mobile can be. Today, Cyanogen has some dependence on Google. Tomorrow, it will not. We will not be based on some derivative of Google in three to five years. There will be services that are doing the same old bulls— with Android, and then there will be something different. That is where we're going here," said McMaster.

Even though the CyanogenMod OS was created initially by the community of open source developers and out of Google's AOSP (Android Open Source Project) code, the OS is still heavily dependent on Google's Play ecosystem right now.

The main "issue" for Cyanogen, or any other company (including a large OEM such as Samsung), when trying to create an alternative ecosystem is that it's an almost impossible task to try to match the original in both quantity and quality, especially after that ecosystem has had some growth momentum.

Google's Play Store already has over 1.5 million apps. If only a small percentage of those are highly useful or entertaining applications, that's still a small percentage of a very large number. Even the Play Store, with this many applications, doesn't have many of the apps that come to iOS first, which shows just how tough it can be to match established ecosystems.

This isn't to say that Cyanogen can't create a relatively successful ecosystem. Amazon has done it with its Fire tablets, even though it has only 280,000 apps and it started with far fewer than that.

There's also a big opportunity for a company such as Cyanogen in China, where Google's services are mostly blocked. The Chinese market is a tough one, especially for non-locals, with other successful Chinese companies such as Xiaomi or Lenovo already fighting in that market. However, while Xiaomi or Lenovo may not be interested in using the CyanogenMod OS, other smaller players in that market may be, because CyanogenMod is a more recognized OS than what those smaller players may be using.

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  • alextheblue
    Good for them. They should consider working with Amazon to bolster their initial offerings - this would help Amazon too. 280K apps wouldn't be a bad starting point.
    Reply
  • slyu9213
    lol one Cocky SOB. Feel free to talk after you make your own Cynogen OS from scratch with no relation to any existing system. That being said I hope Cynogen turns out to be what he and the company is planning.
    Reply
  • sykozis
    lol one Cocky SOB. Feel free to talk after you make your own Cynogen OS from scratch with no relation to any existing system. That being said I hope Cynogen turns out to be what he and the company is planning.
    Even Google couldn't do that. Both Android and ChromeOS are Linux based operating systems. Hell, even Apple's OSX isn't based on original code....it's based on BSD. iOS isn't any different. Even iOS is based on pre-existing code. So, why should Cyanogen be any different? There's no reason for them not to take the same Linux path.
    Reply
  • brandonjclark
    And exactly WHAT leverage do they have? The install base for Cyanogen Mod is paltry compared to the most dominant user base in mobile (android).
    Reply
  • slyu9213
    15155700 said:
    lol one Cocky SOB. Feel free to talk after you make your own Cynogen OS from scratch with no relation to any existing system. That being said I hope Cynogen turns out to be what he and the company is planning.
    Even Google couldn't do that. Both Android and ChromeOS are Linux based operating systems. Hell, even Apple's OSX isn't based on original code....it's based on BSD. iOS isn't any different. Even iOS is based on pre-existing code. So, why should Cyanogen be any different? There's no reason for them not to take the same Linux path.

    By 'making a OS by scratch' I meant to build their own instead of making a advanced skin based of Android. I am all for them making something based off of Linux, just not Android directly which is already a mobile OS. It's just my opinion and feelings of disapproval with the occasional articles/quotes of arrogance I see coming from the 'CEO' of Cynogen or from their camp. Starting from 'scratch' with Linux would be applaud. Staying similar to what they are now is amazing as much as I or some people are amazed by TouchWiz. Not much.

    Reply
  • anathema_forever
    not any better than touchwiz, harsh lol.
    Reply
  • Suo_Eno
    If even CM themselves can't get behind an already existing similar project such as Replicant based on this so called need to strike it out on their own, then why/how would theirs be any different?
    Reply
  • ZolaIII
    Any Cyanogen inc thing won't come to my mobile!
    I loved it wile it whose open & especially CM7.3 back in the day's. Another app store for Android app's? For what? Google play is bad & they stick analytic to everything but it's a necessary evil. Thinks that are open sourced & good working that I use I will get from F-Droid anyway & with striped down analytics. I certainly don't need another app store for Android apps.
    Reply
  • Vlad Rose
    So yet another app store? I guess Google and Amazon wasn't enough. Let's fragment it some more.
    I really hope Android doesn't go the route that Linux went with 15 million different variations and compatibility issues between each. We need some good competition against Apple; since we know Microsoft has no idea what to do in the mobile market.
    Reply
  • burkhartmj
    As long as I can sideload Google Apps I don't really care if they make their own store, but if they fork it like Amazon did and block GApps, then they can count me out. I have no interest in repurchasing apps in their store just so I can use their slightly better than stock ROM.
    Reply