CyanogenMod founder Steve Kondik sure moves fast. Just two days after showing off his one-day progress on creating a custom build for the Samsung Galaxy S4 powered by T-Mobile, the Android developer now reports that a nightly build is available for download. A build for the Canadian variant of the Galaxy S4 is also available.
Kondik took to Google+ on Friday, detailing that the first CyanogenMod 10.1 nightlies for the SGH-M919 model of the Samsung Galaxy S4 for T-Mobile would be available Monday evening. The developer had an unofficial CyanogenMod build running on his Galaxy S4 just one day after the device became available on T-Mobile online on April 29. Many enthusiasts expected at least a two week wait for the first Galaxy S4 builds to be ready. We even expected that the build would need more testing before it could be released.
While Kondik warns the CyanogenMod 10.1 nightly build still has “a few rough edges,” it has been deemed ready for public download while bugs are being sorted out.
Download T-Mobile's CyanogenMod nightly build.
Download the Canadian CyanogenMod nightly build.
Be advised that the nightlies currently available are only compatible with T-Mobile and Canadian variants of the Samsung Galaxy S4. However, Kondik says builds will be available for other models of the device once the CyanogenMod team gets them. In addition to the GT-I9505 international model with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor and the GT-I9500 international model with the Exynos 5 Octa processor, there are also different models for each of the U.S. carriers, including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and U.S. Cellular.
Is Kondik Working Alone?
Most were pleasantly surprised to see any development for the Samsung Galaxy S4, since developers at CyanogenMod put out a statement in March that they would not produce any custom ROMS for the Samsung Galaxy S4, because none of them planned to purchase the device. In addition, Team Hacksung expressed frustration at developing and maintaining software for Samsung devices, which tend to come in many different variants that have varied components and distribution. CyanogenMod later released a statement on Google+ saying that the sentiments were from select CyanogenMod developers and did not reflect the team as a whole, adding that team does not announce support of lack-of-support for devices prior to their release.
This left many enthusiasts scratching their heads as to whether they should expect custom ROMs for the Galaxy S4. Now, it appears that only Kondik is the only CyanogenMod developer working on the builds for the Galaxy S4. However, this is not confirmed. Also, fans don’t seen especially distraught at the idea of Kondik producing Galaxy S4 builds by himself.
“I can't wait for the CM personally built by this legendary guy himself like the good ol' Dream days,” CyanogenMod fan Adrian Darmansyah said on Kondik’s Google+ page.
Other CyanogenMod fans have already reported that the build is running well on their T-Mobile Galaxy S4 handsets. One fan, David van Tonder, shared a screenshot of his Galaxy S4 running the CyanogenMod build, and it notably indicates that the build is still unofficial. This may be another clue that Kondik is working on the Galaxy S4 custom ROM independent of the CyanogenMod team.
What About Bootloader Locked Variants?
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is currently selling with a locked bootloader on some U.S. carriers, which makes it more difficult for such handsets to be rooted and modified with custom ROM. Kondik initially discovered that the bootloader on the AT&T Galaxy S4 was locked, which prompted concern that the Verizon Galaxy S4 will also sell with a locked bootloader when it released the device.
Many developers, including renowned hacker Dan Rosenberg, have been able to bypass the bootloader on the AT&T Galaxy S4 and are expected to release bootloader unlocking tools in another month after the Verizon Galaxy S4 is released in order to provide unlocking capability to all carriers that have the Galaxy S4 with locked bootloaders.
In addition to T-Mobile, Sprint also offers its Samsung Galaxy S4 handset with an unlocked bootloader.
Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.