You would probably be pretty hard pressed to find a group of Android software engineers more talented than what we’ve seen out of the Cyanogen camp. The company is best known for its Android builds that are distributed to users for free and, more recently, for powering the OnePlus One. Android enthusiasts aren’t the only ones who have noticed the company’s movements, however.
A report from The Information reveals that Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai recently approached the company about a possible acquisition. The story also discusses Cyanogen’s new intentions to raise funding for a $1 billion valuation, but we’re more curious about Google’s interest. Of note: The Information suggests that Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo were all once potential suitors as well. So what gives?
The news outlet says that Cyanogen isn’t quite generating revenue, not enough probably for a $1 billion valuation, but Cyanogen might have Mountain View’s attention for other reasons. We know that Android users who have interacted with Cyanogenmod enjoy the platform, and the company has said that it doesn’t want to limit its horizons and has its eyes set on bigger projects, like Smart TV platforms, wearables, connected car software and more. If anyone has the ability to slim things down for a smoother experience, it’s this team.
Apparently it’s not all rosy with Google, however, as The Information suggests that Cyanogen shouldn’t modify Google’s operating system too much or it could lose access to Google Play Services. And we all know what happens when you don’t have them: you get a (mostly) cobbled version of Android without Gmail, Google Play, Google Calendar and more, as is the case on Amazon’s Android-powered products.
Is Cyanogen worth that $1 billion valuation it’s seeking? Maybe not now, but the value may lie in the potential of the company. What if it does indeed tackle those aforementioned platforms? Smartwatches and smart TV platforms, specifically, could use a Cyanogen makeover. Will that happen? Hopefully the company gets the funding it needs to make that happen.