Cyanogen Inc. has been spilling the beans on its plans for 2016 today and there appear to be plenty of projects on the way, including new hardware, developer support and a Marshmallow version of its custom Android operating system.
Being a software company, we’ll start with CyanogenMod 13. The OS will be based on Android Marshmallow and the company is planning to have a stable build ready before the end of the year, but that could slip into early 2016. The new version of Cyanogen OS for retail products will then follow in the New Year. Interestingly, the OS will make use of common APIs and SDKs to tie into partner apps directly, meaning that the OS developer doesn’t have to provide and preload a lot of apps itself. These apps can also then presumably vary slightly depending on the region or handset manufacturer, without providing overlapping software.
This new operating system will play a key role in company’s vision for future hardware, which will be produced in partnership with a selection of currently unknown manufacturers in a number of regions. Cyanogen plans to offer inexpensive handsets with a bloatware free experience and an up-to-date OS, sort of like Android One intended. Cyanogen is sticking to the budget segment of the market for now though, with prices targeted at the $75-$100 range. The entry-level segment is already highly competitive, but Cyanogen is hoping that its streamlined, bloat free experience will make its phones stand out.
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Cyanogen’s Steve Klondik also briefly mentioned that the company may release a flagship smartphone as well. Although, he didn’t explicitly confirm the existence of such a device or a release time frame, so this all appears to still be in quite the early planning stages right now.
Cyanogen didn’t really manage to hit the mainstream in 2015, but perhaps the company’s ambitious plans for 2016 will see its custom flavour of Android land in a few more hands next year.