In the world of Android devices, custom ROMs have been playing a significant role. And now, with the release of the Samsung Galaxy S4, the attention has been brought back once again onto the custom ROM makers hoping for yet another Android-based solution, like the popular CyanogenMod (CM), that can run on the handset.
At a time when the tech world got enticed by Samsung’s new flagship smartphone, one of the CM collaborators on XDA Developers, named XpLoDWilD, came out with a post saying due to the lack of source files, his team of hackers did not have plans to support the Galaxy S4.
Explaining the situation, an Android Central report pointed out that while Samsung tries to protect their IP, certain decisions that the company have taken in this regard may not be in favor of developers. “Some even violate the GPL (an open source license that covers everything in the Linux kernel used in Android).”
“On the other side, you have a group of people that have to have a little access to this IP so they can build a working firmware for the device. They need everything covered under the GPL, and even a little friendly advice from the manufacturers is what it takes sometimes to get everything working just right. With the two sides unable to get together, frustration has set in and the developers have spoken,” the report added.
Here’s what XpLoDWilD, speaking for Team Hacksung, posted:
Nobody at Team Hacksung (the team behind Galaxy S2, Note, S3, Note2, G Tabs... official CM ports) plans to buy it, neither develop for it. There are two variants which will be a pain to maintain, [and] the bugs we have on the S3 will probably be there on S4, too (camera), and we all know Samsung ability to release sources while staying in line with mainline. Yes Qualcomm releases sources, but Exynos sources we had were far from [working on] actual Galaxy products. I'm pretty sure the same will happen for this one.
That's a uniform "no" from us.
Following this post, a lot of concerned custom ROM users flooded the web with their reactions.
“The aosp devs have stated they are not buying the s4. Doesn't look good, at least for now. They say developing for them will be a nightmare and not worth it. I am honestly shocked,” said one of the forum members at Android Central.
“The majority of the buyers of the SGS4 could care less about ROMs, and rooting, so I see this as no big loss,” said another forum member.
An Opinion, Not From CyanogenMod
After all these hue and cry, the official CyanogenMod Google+ page finally came out with a post Tuesday, clarifying all doubts. The post said that what XpLoDWilD said earlier was an individual opinion on behalf of Team Hacksung, not CyanogenMod as whole. According the official CM post, they will wait until the Samsung Galaxy S4 hits retail stores before making any comment on whether to support or not to support the device.
Take a look at what the CyanogenMod team had to say on the issue:
Setting Device Expectations
Let’s start with the simplest form of this: CyanogenMod does not pre-announce support or lack of support for devices. Ever. Even for the Nexus 4, we did not announce support until a nightly build was available. Further, any announcement regarding the ‘dropping’ of device support will be communicated via this Google+ page, Twitter, Facebook, our blog, or a combination of those; it will not be something buried in a forum post.
This morning, a comment from a CM collaborator on XDA was taken to be as an ‘absolute’ in regards to support of the S4. He offered the opinion of four TeamHacksung maintainers, their frustrations and lack of interest in supporting the S4. What’s seemingly lost on those reading this is that his comments as an individual do not speak for CyanogenMod as an organization.
As for the team’s stance on the S4, there isn’t one at this time, and most definitely won’t be one before the device is sold at retail.
-The CyanogenMod Team
Meanwhile, XpLoDWilD also gave an explanation, reiterating what the CyanogenMod team had said.
“Don't get me wrong. There has been a huge flood of messages around the web about the support of CM and the SGS4. What I wrote above is JUST from my/ hacksung opinion,” said XpLoDWilD.
“CyanogenMod is a big organization with hundreds of contributors around the world. Even if me/ codeworkx/ entropy/... won't develop for it, other people can go ahead and do it. It's not the CyanogenMod project that decided that "no" I expressed,” the hacker added.