WileyFox disentangles itself from Cyanogen


By Andrew Orlowski


WileyFox is rowing its users away from the wreckage of the Cyanogen disaster, with some help from Ricardo Cerqueira, Cyanogen Inc’s former director of engineering.

Britain’s only mass market phone maker is engaged in a mortal battle with HMD’s Nokia brand at the low end of the market. Today, the former released an update to Nougat 7.1.1 that further disentangles its users from Cyanogen OS.

WileyFox was one of several phone OEMs attracted by CyanogenMod, a community fork of Android. For a while back in 2013, the company set up to tame and commercialise CyanogenMod, Cyanogen Inc, was the hottest property in mobile, reportedly attracting bids from Google and investment offers from Microsoft. Cyanogen’s keen developer community brought lots of useful features of its own - some subsequently copied by Google itself. OEMs who adopted “Cyanogen OS” to differentiate themselves from the generic stock Android slabs included OnePlus, Obi and WileyFox were. OnePlus parted ways early on, after a legal dispute, and the venture ran out of road last year, leaving the remaining licensees in a quandary.

WileyFox says former Cyanogen Director of System Engineering Ricardo Cerqueira has been working on the phone maker’s code in a consultative capacity, but denied the company had hired Cerqueira or the former Cyanogen OS team full time.

The Nougat update adds two new features to WileyFox phones. One of these you already know about: WileyFox Zen, powered by the Yandex-powered content engine. The other is an integration of the useful Truecaller into the phone’s dialler to filter out nuisance calls.

The software rolls out to WileyFox Swift2 owners today, and other models in May and June.

Cyanogen OS was forked and born again as an open source project, Lineage OS, in December last year. The story isn’t over. Phone makers found that even with a forked Android based on the “open” AOSP code base, it was hard to get a functional phone without Google’s proprietary software.

And that’s something the European Commission’s competition department finds very interesting. ®

Sign up to our NewsletterGet IT in your inbox daily


More from The Register

Cyanogen parts ways with its founder

'Consolidation' plan will shutter one office but is hoped to unify dev team

Cyanogen mods self away from full Android alternative

Board shakeup and new 'buy our code McNuggets' plan follows lousy sales

Cyanogen Inc 'axes 20%' staff

Microsoft set to penetrate Cyanogen, promises app-y ending

Consumer apps and enterprise apps, they mean

Who killed Cyanogen?

Analysis Well, it's hanging on in there, but why didn't it conquer the world?

Foxconn joins the Cyanogen investment party

Chinese iPhone manufactory hedges OS bets with poorly concealed $30m buy-in

Cyanogen finds $80m in collecting tin after busking session

Generous benefactors queue up to put cash down

Wileyfox smartphones: SD card, no bloatware, Cyanogen, big battery – yes to all!

OK Register readers, shout in unison: ‘Sign us up’

Cyanogen said to be hoovering up cash, but NOT from Microsoft

Redmond reportedly sitting out firmware firm's $110m funding round

Microsoft 'showers gold' on anti-Google Cyanogen and its Android alternative

Redmond part of $70m funding round, say sources