Cyanogen OS shutting down : Here’s what you need to know

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Picture: Lifehacker.com

CyanogenOS is no more, with the company shutting down all Cyanogen services recently. Does that mean your Cyanogen-powered phone is now dead? As has become usual in the tech industry, Cyanogen Inc’s announcement was misinterpreted by the media and users alike, leading to rumours and speculations. If you’re confused, here’s what the death of Cyanogen really means.

No more updates

If you’re running a smartphone on CyanogenOS you will no longer be getting updates. There will be no more nightlies and no more regular OTA updates for such devices. So, you will need to move to a different OS.
To simplify it, if you have a OnePlus One that still runs on CynogenOS, or a Lenovo Zuk Z1 or older Yu smartphones, you need to change operating systems. That should be easy for OnePlus users, since the company already has its own OxygenOS. We’ve reached out to Lenovo and Yu, the other two brands that have CM-powered phones in India, and neither responded to our queries.
Note: That is an ominous sign for those who purchased devices from these OEMs, running CyanogenMod.

Cyanogen’s statement said, “As part of the ongoing consolidation of Cyanogen, all services and Cyanogen-supported nightly builds will be discontinued no later than 12/31/16. The open source project and source code will remain available for anyone who wants to build CyanogenMod personally.”

What happens to CyanogenMod?

The open source code repository for CyanogenMod is stays where it is, and it is up to individuals to take it forward. However, there will be no official advancement. The CM team said that building its own infrastructure to continue CyanogenMod would be risky, since the brand itself can be sold by Cyanogen Inc at any point.

“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 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. Then there is the stigma that has grown to be attached to anything named ‘Cyanogen’. 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,” the CM team said in a blog post.

Continuing the ‘Lineage’

CyanogenMod may be dead, but the idea behind the ROM isn’t. The team has announced that it is going back to the roots, with what it calls Lineage OS (Lineage Android Distribution). Essentially, this is a rebranding of CyanogenMod. Lineage OS will be be built on the same foundation as CyanogenMod, that is a community driven approach.
While that doesn’t guarantee its success, it is plausible for the CM team to build the same kind of following it had for CyanogenMod at one time.

What happens to Cyanogen Inc?

If you’re not yet clear on this, Cyanogen Inc (often referred to as Cyngn) is not the same as CyanogenMod. Cyngn owns the CyanogenMod brand and while the OS and the services behind it have been shut down, the company itself may or may not close. Currently, there is no word on whether Cyngn will also shut down. So, to quote Nick Fury, from Avengers, “Until such time as the world ends, we will act as though it intends to spin on.”

Is your phone bricked?

Your phone will most likely not be bricked, but critical components may fail after the services are withdrawn. Unfortunately, one will have to wait till January 1, 2017 to understand how such phones will be affected. Regardless, continuing with an OS that isn’t supported is never recommended.

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