Cyanogen Inc. have come a long way in the past 18 months. It was barely 18 months ago when the first phone shipped with their OS pre-installed on it (the Oppo N1). Since then they have made waves for many reasons, some of them good. Now they have taken another step forwards in releasing the alpha version of their software development kit.

One of the best things about the CyanogenMod operating system is the added tweaks and features over and above AOSP. These tweaks often complete a tweak that Google began but fell short in their implementation. An example of this is the Quick Settings. Now, with the Cyanogen developer SDK, developers can build their apps with the added functionality of hooking into the Cyanogen APIs already built into the framework. For example, a developer could build in a quick setting tile for toggling a functionality in their app with the tile showing up when the phone is running Cyanogen (or a CyanogenMod build/ROM).

An example of this in use can be seen in the pictures below, which show an app called Bike O’Clock (which was incidentally whipped up in short time during a hackathon) that turns the device running CyanogenMod into a bike computer. The app uses the new sdk and creates a quick settings tile to toggle the app’s recording of your biking.

SDK_BikeOclock SDK_QS_BikeOClock

The Platform SDK is an “open source SDK that allows developers to either use existing APIs newly presented in CyanogenMod’s own framework, or contribute their own APIs to be leveraged by any other application”. At this stage the SDK is launching with the Quick Settings Tile API seeded in and the Cyanogen team are hoping that this inspires other developers to discover new possibilities and APIs that can be added to CyanogenMod.

Before everyone starts commenting that this is Cyanogen attempting to take Android from Google, it is not unusual at all for manufacturers to provide SDKs for developers to hook into the features of their devices. A quick look at the Samsung developer page shows how many are available for just their Galaxy phones. I think that this is Cyanogen maturing as a company and beginning to realise that they are not going to be able to continue to do all their developing of features etc in-house. It is a clever way for Cyanogen to get other developers to add value to their ROM/OS without having to lift a finger themselves. It also presents a unique way for app developers to build power features in to their apps which can hook into the OS.

It is expected to work on both the Cyanogen OS and CyanogenMod without breaking functionality upstream with AOSP. How difficult it will be for plain AOSP ROMs to build this in is unknown but I suspect with it being low level framework code it may not be possible unless the ROMs are CyanogenMod based. If you are interested you can head over to their platform SDK github page and check it out.

Does anyone else see this as a positive or is it yet another negative in the saga of Cyanogen Inc.?

Source: Cyanogen Blog.
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    Ugh wish people would stop reporting on these guys.

    Cyanogen just steals…. They use googles code to make THIER product and the turn around and back stab google for it or more clearly as these clowns have said “they want to ‘put a bullet through Google’s head’. Cyanogen should make its OWN OS from the ground up, not just slap lipstick on Googles work with android..


    vijay alapati


    Benjamin Dobell

    I don’t know I 100% agree with that – as an open-source developer I expect people to use my work in their own products. So if Android is truly open-source then it shouldn’t matter if third-parties are distributing it, rebranding, taking components of it etc. and using it in their own product. Despite the Android Open Source Project existing, Android is not nearly as open as it could be, the main platform suffers (e.g. really sub-par location APIs) whilst Google encourages you to use their far superior Google specific location APIs – which in order to fully enable them on… Read more »


    I wouldn’t care if Cyanogen used googles open-source code to make its products if they were nice about it. What I care about is they are being hypocritical douchebags! They come out screaming about google, its closed source parts and rules… but now Cyanogen is doing the same thing. But to me its worse because they have taken someone else’s hard work, then turned around and bagged the crap out of them even to the point of saying “putting a bullet in googles head” all while riding on googles coat tails. If Cyanogen feels that strongly about google/android issues, then… Read more »

    Benjamin Dobell

    I don’t necessarily think Cyanogen should part ways – Android is a fantastic product and reinventing the wheel seems unnecessary. There are a lot of near unheard-of mobile OS out their struggling because they’re not attached to a big player e.g. Sailfish OS. However, I totally agree with you that there’s a real attitude problem in play – Cyanogen has a lot of brilliant people working there though, so I’m somewhat doubtful the views of the CEO represent the masses. It’s a shame for the employees though to have to deal with all this negative publicity because the CEO isn’t… Read more »


    The CEO needs to pull his head in and adjust his attitude. He can’t keep going on like this. But if he does, then parting ways is about his only choice he has. How long can you ride google coat tails while publicly bagging the crap out of them for? I agree, parting ways would be a stupid idea. Its basically a 2 horse race at this stage in the mobile game. It would be instant death to Cyanogen to try and make its own way. But the CEO has a big enough head he thinks he can do that,… Read more »