The creator of one of the most popular Android modification kits has taken a job as a software engineer with Samsung's mobile device unit.
Steve Kondik, the hobbyist hacker behind CyanogenMod software, confirmed the appointment with Samsung Mobile on his Facebook page and to several bloggers.
“I will be working on making Android more awesome,” he told AndroidandMe.
In a dispatch to AndroidGuys, Kondik indicated he had no plans to step away from CyanogenMod:
... it's a job and I'm glad that I can use what I learned from all this to do something cool in the real world :) I'll still be doing code review and some leadership for CM, but I'll be keeping it legit like always. ... I think we really broke away from the modding community. Most of us are professional engineers or in the field some way or another.
CyanogenMod users have long lavished praise on the aftermarket ROM, which enhances stock Android configurations with custom apps and features, including VPN support, wireless tethering, and CPU overclocking. It works with 40 different Android devices, and boasts more than 500,000 installations.
One of the chief complaints from Android users is the considerable time it takes for many carriers to offer updates for the Google operating system. It wasn't supposed to be this way. One of the key advantages of Android is its openness, since the source code is available for anyone to see and modify. So it seems especially cruel that users with contracts from Verizon and other providers are forced to use woefully out-of-date Android versions unless they customize their devices using CyanogenMod or other kits.
With Google's purchase of Motorola's mobile division for a whopping $12.5bn, competing manufacturers are scrambling to find ways to remain relevant. Kondik's proven track record in creating popular homebrew tweaks and enhancements, assuming it's used wisely, can only help Samsung differentiate itself from the rest of the crowd. ®