CyanogenMod has hit a milestone: The Android modification and bona fide operating system replacement has eclipsed the 10 million device installation mark.
That’s a far less than the proper Android platform’s 1 billion activations, but it is significant for a mod of a mobile OS — and a sign that people are increasingly tired of the bloatware that comes with many standard Android devices.
The data comes from CyanogenMod’s statistics page, which tracks installations of all versions of the firmware and the device they’re installed on. Devices that don’t “check in” within 90 days are purged from the system, giving us a fairly reliable indication of how many Cyanogen-modded devices are out in the wild.
Given the fact that modding your phone’s firmware is still technically a bit of an arcane art, CyanogenMod’s progress is commendable. It began life as an open-source project, a panacea for fans who’d grown sick of all the bloat that device manufacturers have been layering on to Android devices. But the project’s leaders have always had grander aspirations: “Our story is, I want my mom to be able to install this on her phone” said CyanogenMod cofounder Koush Dutta in a recent interview.
The company has done a commendable job in making their mod accessible, issuing a simple app to streamline to installation process. While the app was removed from the Google Play Store for potentially voiding warranties, this remains a far cry from the heady days of side-loading and hoping everything turns out alright.
This is a sign of progress for Cyanogen, a mere months after taking its first steps toward legitimacy by raising $7 million dollars in funding. With another $23 million in funding announced recently, the company’s aim of being the No. 3 mobile platform doesn’t feel quite as far-fetched as it once did.