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There’s a new Cyanogen smartphone that is coming to you. Only for the enthusiasts you ask us? Yes, that’s sort of true, but the landscape is about to change quite rapidly.

Cyanogen and the resultant MOD (or modification) it develops for the Android’s Linux-based subsystem has long been synonymous with providing additional features and performance enhancements on top of final release builds coming out of Google’s HQ at Mountain View, California. Until now, the optimised code has largely been lapped up by developer or modder community but this is all set to change with the advent of the “Yu” smartphones all set to launch next month in the country in association with Micromax.

Image Courtesy : WinPhone Metro
Image Courtesy : WinPhone Metro

Android on Steroids : What does a Cyanogen OS / Firmware offer differently?

Cyanogen is no stranger to success and has always had a fervent fan base since its inception. But what led to its meteoric rise?

Simply put, Cyanogen offers more value and options for the Android device you buy. Think of it like a swiss knife among custom firmware offerings. You get to enjoy a bespoke experience on your hand-held device which includes performance and interface enhancements like native theming support, support for tethering over common interfaces, per-application permission management app, CPU over-clocking etc. to name a few. And the biggest seller for the company is its mission statement of not adding on spyware or bloatware in their releases. With a promise to deliver a unique experience in the mobile ecosystem, Cyanogen ticks off quite a lot off the list that one would expect in a smartphone.

New Allies and a Market to Conquer

Image Courtesy : 3D News (Daily Digital Digest)
Image Courtesy : 3D News (Daily Digital Digest)

Armed with a recent influx of funding to the tune of $30 million dollars and a partnership with Micromax to foray into the Indian market, Cyanogen plans to offer users much more than a premium experience on inexpensive devices. They want to build up their customer-base and how better to test their offerings than in a thriving developing market only set to expand further in the days to come!

Elephant in the Room

Google recently unveiled its Android One platform in India to appeal more towards the entry-level consumer base – affordability is the key here with consumers enjoying a stock Android experience without any vendor-specific modifications. The company has promised to cater and provide the latest software and security updates along with localisations to help deliver better services and Cyanogen promises to do the same albeit with a small twist. You will be getting a bigger bang for the money due to the extensive value-added services and updated being voiced and added by a strong developer community. And this is a good thing – Android was always purported to be open-source friendly and this gives a chance for developers to add a bit of polish to a popular platform by offering consumers a choice to experience something differently.

Image Courtesy : Andro4All
Image Courtesy : Andro4All

“Yu” there – when can I see you?

The official word out there is that the “Yu” product will be sold and serviced exclusively online starting December 2014. Cyanogen plans to ape the same strategy as cleverly adopted by Xiaomi a few months back when they launched their products here in India – and this is exciting news! They will however have to be cautious and avoid the bad press that undid their competitors by being sufficiently stocked when they indeed do go on sale. If they can play the supply-demand game to perfection, it will enable the company to advance that much more rapidly in a market they can make their own.

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