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Cyanogen's custom Android OS gets boost from big Qualcomm deal

Matt Brian, @m4tt
03.02.15
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Many people know Cyanogen for delivering Android updates for phones that have long been ignored by their manufacturers. However, over the past two years, its creators have worked hard to turn it into a legitimate entity by forming a company, taking on millions of dollars in funding and embedding its open version of Android on big name devices like the OnePlus One. That particular collaboration may have cooled, but that isn't stopping Cyanogen from seeking new partners, especially with companies like Qualcomm. Today, the chip maker confirmed that it will install select features and UI elements from Cyanogen OS on its upcoming Reference Design products coming next month.

Qualcomm's Reference Design program serves as way for smaller companies to pick up smartphone templates and release them under their own brand. Cyanogen's open source version of Android will replace Qualcomm's own builds, which were often lacking in features, on devices powered by a Snapdragon 200, 400 or 600 processor.

As Cyanogen continues to transition from a small community startup into a reputable software company, it's decided it also needs a fresh image. As such, it's ditched the cuddly Android logos of old and has undergone a rebrand, showing off a new logo that gives "a sense of motion and a feeling of inherent energy."

Cyanogen hopes its new look "captures our commitment to openness," something that it has championed right from the start. After all, it decided not to take money from Google to continue delivering software that doesn't help boost Mountain View's balance sheet. With Qualcomm on board, the company will get its OS on millions more smartphones and give its alternate version of Android a real boost.

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