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Cyanogen grows up with rebranding and partnership from Qualcomm

Cyanogen, the good folks behind the popular, community-driven CyanogenMod smartphone firmwares, have agreed a deal with Qualcomm to deliver custom software which, the companies hope, will let users get the most out of their low and mid-level devices.

The company, which developer Steve Kondik started as a one-man-band, has signed-on to work with Qualcomm on its Reference Design program, or QRD, with the aim of providing smaller companies with a feature-rich, open source version of Android with which to power their own devices.

Previously, Qualcomm’s QRD’s had been put out with a standard, AOSP version of Android, but the software was never likely to compete with bigger companies who invest heavily in customisation and tailor-made UI’s, something which CyanogenMod has been doing since the days of the T-Mobile G1.

Cyanogen’s custom Android OS for Qualcomm will work on devices powered by company’s Snapdragon 200, 400 and 600 processors.

Previously, Cyanogen had teamed up with Chinese start-up OnePlus, to provide the OS for the company’s first device, the OnePlus One, but the two have since parted ways, with OnePlus turning to their newly minted OxygenOS in place of CM Mod.

The deal with Qualcomm will be accompanied by a whole new brand identity for Cyanogen, as the company looks to move away from its humble, hacker community roots, towards a glossier, more professional image.

While we’ll certainly miss the ‘old’ Cyanogen, we’re looking forward to seeing what the new, grown-up company can do because, with more resources and corporate backing, it could be something very important indeed.

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