It's BitStream Friday. Only eight more measly hours separates you from the sweet freedom known as weekend. Here's some news to consume before punching today in the face.
The enemy of my enemy
Cyanogen just made a powerful ally. Last Friday, Cyanogen big boss Kirt McMaster made quite the claim when introducing himself and his company at a small "Next Phase of Android" get together:
"I'm the CEO of Cyanogen. We're attempting to take Android away from Google."
Many of us may have laughed, nay, guffawed that a CEO, whose company very much relies on Android and Google, could make such a claim. Then yesterday, a report from The Wall Street Journal stated that Microsoft was a minority investor in a $70 million round of funding. Then suddenly, it all started to sound not so crazy.
Microsoft is obviously interested in Android. Nokia had its little flirtation with the operating system with the Nokia X before being consumed by MSFT's corporate maw, not to mention that there seems to be continuous rumors that Windows Phone will soon run Android apps. So a company comes along saying it wants to wrestle software control from Google and make it more open? Microsoft would almost be crazy not to throw money at that idea.
You can't exactly draw the connection that this means the next Lumia will magically run Cyanogen or something, but it is potentially a pretty powerful alliance. [The Wall Street Journal]
A breath of fresh air
Cyanogen and Microsoft might be teaming up for their own Google takedown, but Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus is still stinging with its strained relationship after the whole Cyanogen in India debacle. So they've moved on to greener pastures and officially announced their own ROM, OxygenOS. All we have right now is a name, but the company promises more information on February 12. [OnePlus]
Ditch the kitsch
SkyMall, that misguided mag filled with terrible gifts, LOTR memorabilia, and pure travel companionship, announced bankruptcy earlier this week. But lo, a hero appears. One time advertiser Scottevest has a plan to turn things around. The gadget-obsessed outfitter wants to simply drop all that dumb and crappy stuff you'd never buy—even if you were sauced on a mountain of teeny vodka bottles—and fill it with "innovative brands" like Apple and North Face. The plan seems sound enough, except if you take the kitsch out of SkyMall, what are you really left with? [Engadget]
- So HTC rumors are at fever pitch, arriving at least once a day now. This one is all about a mid-range flagship called the M8i. [GSM Arena]
- Huawei wants to be the sixth company to adopt the Android Wear platform, with a smartwatch reportedly being announced in March. [Wired]
Your Apps, Updated
- Like Yelp? Want a Yelp-like service all up in your Facebook? Lucky you. [Facebook]
- Not satisfied with just an integration with PlayStation, Spotify is now baked right in to RunKeeper. Embrace Spotify. Resistance is futile. [RunKeeper]
- Apple may be delaying Aperture, it's professional photo app, until April, but everyone will just continue to just use Lightroom anyways. [9to5Mac]
- SoundCloud received a huge design update, distancing itself from being a musician's tool and more of a streaming service. [The Verge]
- You can now remotely turn on your Chromebook with a Lollipop Android smartphone. Go on, feel like a tech Jedi. [Google]
- If you happen to have a Jawbone fitness tracker strapped to your wrist, Jawbone just created a devices and apps marketplace so you can find even more cool shit to pair it with. [Jawbone]
- Nokia's tablet experience seems to be a success...at least in China. Hopefully that's a good sign for a possible migration to the western hemisphere.
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Image by Sam Spratt