Cyanogen Inc, the company which makes the most popular custom Android ROM, CyanogenMod, will apparently not be involved with the development of CyanogenMod 14.
The news was broken by Android Police, who spotted a comment by Cyanogen’s founder Steve Kondik, on a commit thread.
This is what the comment says:
There isn’t really going to be much if any involvement from the Inc this time around and I’m taking on a lot of stuff on my own to try and keep us moving forward.
Ironically, Kondik had stated back in July that the ROM will never be discontinued. It could still be true, except that the company may not be behind the development of the ROM. We are unsure, where this is headed.
What does Cyanogen Inc’s non-involvement in CyanogenMod 14 spell for users?
Many people misunderstand that CyanogenMod is built by individuals who have the device, and make the ROM for it. That’s not correct. Once Google releases the source code of a new Android version to AOSP, Cyanogen Inc employees, use the sources to build a firmware with a custom UI, features like Night Mode, CM Theme Engine, etc. The final result of this firmware is what is called CyanogenMod.
Developers with a particular device, say for example the Redmi Note 3, can’t build CyanogenMod ROMs right away using the CM source code. They will need the kernel source from the device manufacturer, in this case Xiaomi. Then the developers port the ROM to the device, so that it is bootable. Developers who port the ROM, keep it up to date, fix bugs, etc are called device maintainers, and they are the ones who publish their work as flashable Zip files on to CyanogenMod’s download page, where you get them from and flash it on your device.
So, without the financial backing of Cyanogen Inc, there may be no ROM from the company. I hope this never comes true.
But even if worse comes to worst, Cyanogen Inc or CyanogenMod itself comes to an end, we won’t be without custom ROMs. Several other custom ROMs exist, and will continue to do so, as long as AOSP exists. Let’s hope for the best.