If you have in your possession an Android-powered smartphone which has been rooted and flashed to run on a custom Android ROM, we'd bet that there is a very high chance that the ROM which you are currently using hails from what is probably the biggest name in the Android hacking scene, CyanogenMod. And for those who are into such modifications, this latest piece of news ought to be interesting, for we have just received word that CyanogenMod's lead developer Steve Kondik, aka “Cyanogen”, has been hired by Samsung.
When we lasted posted a story about CyanogenMod, it was revealed that Samsung was taking an interest in the outfit, having sent the team some of its smartphones, along with a request that they get the custom ROM working on them. However, it seems that Samsung's love for CyanogenMod has just gone up by another level, for we have received word that the Korean electronics giant's mobile division has started to absorb members of the outfit into its very own development team, with Steve Kondik (aka “Cyanogen” himself) being the first such hire.
According to an article posted by AndroidFC, Kondik has just recently updated his Facebook profile to reflect his new employment status as being that of a software engineer for Samsung Mobile. However, as Kondik has kept his Facebook page private, we are unable to show you any screenshots of his updated status.
That being said, Kondik's employment does raise a couple of questions. For one, what Samsung intends to do with Kondik's expertise in ROM hacking and customization remains to be seen, although AndroidFC is currently speculating that Samsung might task him to work on improving TouchWiz's user interface. This makes sense, considering how Samsung is currently engaged in a legal catfight with Apple over the “look and feel” of its GALAXY line of smartphones, which are said to sport interfaces that are too similar to those of iOS's.
And if you are wondering about CyanogenMod's fate now that its lead developer has already been snapped up by Samsung, fret not. Apparently, Kondik has assured his user base that his employment at Samsung and CyanogenMod are two completely unrelated issues, and that Samsung has apparently given him permission to proceed with the development of CyanogenMod. Last but definitely not least, Kondik has reportedly claimed that Samsung has got no plans to license CyanogenMod for use on its smartphones. Oh well.
Many thanks to Jacek for sending this in.