Well, now, this is interesting. Cyanogen hints via Twitter that we may get a 4.0 Cyanogen ROM in two months.
The news coverage I’ve seen so far misses what I think is the most important bit of context – that Cyanogen’s eponymous founder and lead developer got hired by Samsung a few months back. Samsung is subsidizing this move.
There are obvious reasons for Samsung to have hired Cyanogen that don’t have anything to do with this tweet…heck, if I were running an Android port team he’d certainly be at the top of my list.
But I wonder. Is this, maybe, in part Samsung turning up the heat on its competition? Or preparing to?
There’s been a lot of disgruntled talk about laggy and skipped upgrades for Android phones. Up to now I think this has mostly been a non-issue, because the app developers’ API compatibility target was really 2.2 or later and upgrades since then have mattered very little in other than cosmetic ways.
But with 4.0 issuing this could change. So…watch Samsung’s tempo on over-the-air upgrades, and watch to see if the Cyanogen project executes on making installation of its ROM on EOLed Samsung hardware substantially easier, perhaps with some sort of look-ma-no-hands PC-based universal installer.
Yes, I’m just speculating. But Cyanogen with Samsung’s backing is a different and more formidable creature than Cyanogen as some guys in garages. What, if anything, does Samsung hope to gain from that alliance? An underexamined question; perhaps the 4.0 cycle will bring us some answers.