Cyanogen Inc. seems to be in trouble. A report from Android Police cites “several sources” that say the three-year-old Android software house will be laying off 20 percent of its workforce. One source said the company would “pivot” to “apps” and away from OS development.
“Cyanogen” branding can be confusing, so here’s a quick glossary before we get started:
- Cyanogen—A person. Steve Kondik. The guy that originally started CyanogenMod.
- CyanogenMod—A free, open source, OS heavily based on Android and compatible with hundreds of devices. Anyone can download and flash the OS to a compatible device.
- Cyanogen OS—A for-profit OS that OEMs can purchase and ship on devices. It’s the CyanogenMod codebase with some proprietary features on top and update support from Cyanogen Inc.
- Cyanogen Inc.—A for-profit company that aims to sell Cyanogen OS to OEMs. Formed with key members from the open-source project.
- Cyanogen Mods—Cyanogen Inc.’s proprietary app platform for Cyanogen OS.
The Android Police report says “roughly 30 out of the 136 people Cyanogen Inc. employs” are being cut, and that the layoffs “most heavily impact the open source arm” of the company. Android Police goes on to say that CyanogenMod development by Cyanogen Inc “may be eliminated entirely.” The community could continue to develop CyanogenMod, but it seems many of the core CyanogenMod developers at the company will no longer be paid to work on CyanogenMod.