One, Google Android’s latest program to standardize and enhance low-end Android devices to appeal to markets like China, comes with a catch that devices in the One program must run a Google-verified, practically naked version of the Android OS.
An interesting result of this, though, is that reducing the number of differences between phones makes it much easier for gadget-philes to mod them, including installing open-source operating systems that Google does not control.
CyanogenMod developers launched a new ROM, or APK, for its installment for the Android One Project, which can be installed on the first batch of Android One devices — including the Spice Dream Uno, Karbonn Sparkle V, and Micromax Canvas A1. The ROM isn’t ready for daily use, as features like dual SIM support and Wi-Fi aren’t working yet, but you can expect the engaged CyanogenMod community to fix those problems rapidly.
The most important features of Android One, it could be said, is that it embraces low-cost processors and although these cheaper chips are popular in less expensive devices but lose out on the high-end to devices with higher end chips, which is part of the reason that it’s been difficult to find working ROMs for low cost devices.
CyanogenMod is the most popular version of Android based on the Android OSP and its associated parent company, having recently been rumored to have turned down an acquisition offer from Google is a very interesting company to keep an eye on.
This mod enables device makers to ship phones without Google services bloatware, which means installing their own preferred apps or media services is made possible. People who use the mod prefer it over Google’s Android because it is claimed to provide increased performance and battery life much like a modded phone but without the added hardware.
CyanogenMod started as a way for tinkerers to install an alternate operating system on their devices, but despite this it has been increasingly starting to come preinstalled on a lot of phones in the low end market.
Oppo and One, the Chinese phone makers have launched phones with CyanogenMod straight out of the box, and both of those devices even come with pre-installed Google bloatware.
Micromax, which is an important Android One partner, is in fact already planning to launch a modded device with Cyanogens release by the end of 2014. Even with Android One, the biggest challenge to Google’s mobile OS in developing markets may be other versions of Android, ironic? We think so, but open source is always welcomed, especially in developing markets.