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​Cyanogen to shut down services by year's end

The startup that promised a better version of Android will stop updating its OS on December 31 as part of an ongoing "consolidation."

The OnePlusOne is one of the phones powered by the Cyanogen OS.

So I guess I can finally stop trying to perfect my pronunciation of Cyanogen, the company that tried and failed to kill Google's Android OS and never grabbed much mainstream appeal.

The startup announced late Friday that "as part of the ongoing consolidation of Cyanogen," it's shutting down all services and nightly builds on December 31.

"The open source project and source code will remain available for anyone who wants to build CyanogenMod personally," the brief announcement read.

That means owners of devices that run the Cyanogen OS, including the OnePlus One and Lenovo ZUK Z1, won't get further updates and will have to move over to the open-source CyanogenMod ROM, which isn't a commercial OS and is run by a community of developers.

Those developers, however, responded Saturday to the shutdown news by saying the loss of Cynanogen Inc. is a "death blow" to CyanogenMod. The blog pays respects to the community that it served for more than eight years and but bids farewell to CyanogenMod and touts the next open-source Android project called Lineage.

The news follows a long, mostly-insider company drama that reportedly included naming a new CEO and the layoff of huge portions of the staff. While it once claimed to be "putting a bullet through Google's head" with a better version of Android, its focus now is reportedly building Android OS modifications for parts manufacturers.

Cyanogen, the company, formed in 2013 with the aim of commercializing the already popular CyanogenMod. (Cyanogen is also the name of a chemical compound, for what it's worth.)

Cyanogen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

First published December 24, 1:27 p.m. PT.
Update, 1:52 p.m. PT: Adds CyanogenMod community response to Cyanogen Inc. shutting down.