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Android vs Android

»The iOS-versus-Android debate will rage on as long as their respective fanboys engage in a game of one-upmanship, but a recent announcement seems poised to upstage Android's arguments in a major way. If all goes well, the open-source Operating System will soon face some tough competition from a community-developed version of its own self! At least that's what the creators of the CyanogenMod ROM are promising, although not in so many words.

 But a little background first. Android, due to its open-source nature, allows individuals to make changes to the OS. At least that's what Google intended when it released the OS as open source. It's structure ensures that an image of the OS is saved within the device's Read-Only Memory (ROM). As a result, when the OS is reprogrammed by an individual, he or she needs to replace the original ROM files with the new ones for the new version to run on the device. Hence, the modified files, or mods, are also called ROMs.

 Till recently, the CyanogenMod ROM was a community-developed Android ROM — or more specifically, a customised, aftermarket firmware distribution for several Android devices. And its versions came with the standard caveat that the ROM's makers would not be held accountable if it crashed a device or harmed it or the owner in any way. Despite this, people went ahead and installed it, initially providing feedback and later helping the developers connect with possible funders.

 Then, sometime in the middle of September, the developers announced that they were backed by $7 million in funds, and were forming an incorporated firm to pursue their goal of taking the CyanogenMod ROM to the next level.

 So why exactly should we be excited? For starters, any ROM is generally designed with the capability to give the user access to a lot more resources than the original OS version. Stripped of a lot of bells and whistles, CyanogenMod frees up a lot of internal storage space as well as RAM, which can then be used to increase the storage and processing capabilities of devices.

 Second, because CyanogenMod has gone corporate and is also said to be in talks with Chinese original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Oppo to feature in several of its devices, one can expect that the newer ROMs would be much more stable.

And to make the customer-user feel even safer, the developers will also provide maintenance and support for future ROMs.

 Of course, entry-level users will still prefer Google's original Android OS than new ROMs like Cyanogen, but more savvy users will definitely gravitate towards customised ROMs. However, it will take OEMs some courage and a lot of good feedback generated from the ROMs' performance, including that of CyanogenMod, to give them a chance.
If it happens, we can start preparing to usher in an era of more powerful computing with existing devices!

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