Despite its success in offering an optimised and customisable version of Android, PocketGamer.biz hasn't covered Cyanogen in great depth previously.
So following the news that it's signed a distribution deal with Android gaming store and community platform Playphone, we thought we'd delve a little deeper into the thinking of the San Francisco-based outfit.
We caught up with SVP Global Partnerships and Distribution, Vikram Natarajan to find out the reasoning behind the hook up.
PocketGamer.biz: Why is gaming important to Cyanogen?
Vikram Natarajan: Smartphone users around the world play mobile games, and it represents the most popular category of any app store.
As a mobile OS pure play, we want to bring fun, high value experiences to our users. Gaming is a activity we all engage in for downtime and social engagement.
What's the advantage of having the Playphone Game Store as opposed to the standard Google Play experience?
One of our core tenets as a company is giving users choice in their core apps and experiences.
We support Google Mobile Services, which includes Google Play, based on the relevant device partnerships. We don't fork Android.
The Playphone Game Store is focused on driving discovery and social engagement with their games catalogue. We want to be able to bring the Playphone Game Store in markets where they are strong.
Playphone also offers a subscription service called "Loot" that works well for certain markets. Through this subscription model, users can download and play all the games they want.
How will users actually access the Playphone store?
Our general strategy will be to prompt users to discover the Playphone games store, and they can choose to opt-in and install on the phone.
In the near term, depending on the device partner needs in specific geos, there may be occasions where the Playphone games store comes pre-installed on the OS.
A user always has a choice of uninstalling an app on our operating system.
Given Cyanogen is all about speed and customisation, will there be any performance hit?
Not at all. We are always about optimizing speed and performance on smartphone devices.
We are opening up the Android platform to drive innovation on the platform and deeply integrate 3rd party core app experiences at the OS level.Vikram Natarajan
Our strategy is one in which users ultimately opt-in to the core apps and services they want to use.
More generally, what do you think is differentiating factor from Android that's driving Cyanogen uptake?
Today, Cyanogen is known for better performance, customization, security and privacy features above and beyond stock Android.
We've seen huge uptake, and have well over 50 million users worldwide in 190 countries through our open source CyanogenMod and commercial Cyanogen OS.
Fundamentally, we are doing something special and different.
We are opening up the Android platform to drive innovation on the platform and deeply integrate 3rd party core app experiences at the OS level. We're evolving Android, and developing APIs and a platform SDK to give developers the tools to innovate and offer richer experiences on our platform.
You'll see a lot more coming from Cyanogen this year and next as we continue to drive product and platform innovation and announce new partnerships in major markets around the world.