Aug 15 AT 8:54 PM Taylor Wimberly 46 Comments

CyanogenMod founder joins Samsung Mobile, plans to make Android more awesome


“I’m so tired of waiting for my smartphone to get the latest update of Android. The CyanogenMod team releases updates days after the source code is available. Why doesn’t [insert handset maker] just hire Cyanogen?”

It is a common conversation that you might read in the comments of any Android blog, so this might not come as a surprise to some of you. Samsung Mobile has hired Steve Kondik, the founder of CyanogenMod, as a software engineer. The news comes from a Facebook update made to Steve’s page and no other formal announcement has been made.

CyanogenMod was first released in 2009 and went on to become the most popular aftermarket ROM (with over 500k installs) for Android devices.

Steve said his side project (CyanogenMod) is not affiliated in any way with his new employer, so don’t go looking for Samsung to dump their TouchWiz UI and replace it with his aftermarket firmware.

Given his history and experience with the Android operating system, we might assume he will be working on something Android related, but there is no telling at this point. With today’s news that Google is acquiring Motorola, it makes me think Samsung will start adding more resources to their own Bada OS for a potential future showdown.

I will be working on making Android more awesome.Steve KondikAndroid hacker

Steve Kondik at the Big Android BBQ

Update: Steve just sent me the following short message.  “I won’t be blogging about Samsung, especially not in relationship to CM. I will be working on making Android more awesome, though.”

If feels like just yesterday that I was making videos about rooting a myTouch 3G and Google was sending cease and desist letters to Steve, so it’s great to see how far the Android community has progressed in a few short years. I wish him congratulations and hope Samsung puts him to work as soon as possible.

We reached out to Samsung Mobile to see if they would comment and we will update this post as the story develops.

What part of Android would you like to see Steve work on for Samsung? Should he help them with their software update releases or try to improve TouchWiz UI?

[Thanks BiGMERF for the tip]

Source: Facebook

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Galen20K

    love that sidenote, HE’S KEEPING IT REAL!!

  • s15274n

    Today has been amazing… beloved developer working for a great hardware company – Android Awesome Sauce. Google buys a ton of patents and send an FU to Apple – Meatballs…. the only think I need is some ICE CREAM SANDWICH for a treat.

  • Snowbdr89

    Anything runnin cyanogen is awesome!! Enough said

  • soapisclean

    Now HTC needs to buy MIUI and we’ve got ourselves some kickass Android handsets

    Motorola/Google can run Vanilla Android
    Samsung get the juicy Cyanogen converts it to an Ice Cream Sandwich theme
    HTC does the same with the sexiness of the MIUI

    • rstat1

      The only thing worse than HTC Sense, is that MIUI crap.

    • matthew

      I liked the miui, I had it on my OG EVO, then I switched to the 3d and have yet to root it due to the lack of a pc, not sure how to do it on a mac. But i like the look of miui a lot better then the other UI. Sense is second best.

      • wwJOSHdo

        Dude, just run a live version of puppy linux from an old 128mb flash drive! They have it working for linux! Just google wwjoshdew and you will find me! I have an evo 3d and plan on making a video on how to s-off the 3d using puppy linux from a flash drive!

      • lordhong

        MIUI is based on CM ROM, u don’t know that?

    • Dave K

      If you want a phone to look like an iPhone, why don’t you get an iPhone?

      • ericl5112

        I don’t understand these comments. You realize there is more to a phone than looks. Like, functionality? If I want an android functionality with an MIUI theme, I can have it. Why would I buy an iPhone (which I never saw looking terribly iPhoney, except the square icons).

      • Transient

        If you want your Android phone to work better, why don’t you flash MIUI?

  • Nathan

    I’m using cm now :D and it great!

  • Cvballa3g0

    I knew this was going to happen. Ever since Samsung gave CM a free SGSII.

    • joeblo

      I reckon that was part of his interview process lol

    • diamondgar

      Dont think Steve actually got a free SGS2 as far as iknow it was the team hacksung guys that got them. Cyanogenmod is a large team of awesomnss, more than just one guy.

  • Dev1359

    Is today Christmas? :D

    • hcjr_amo_themes

      i really think it is christmas for the pas few days lol first they got root for the OG EVO then The Google Motorola deal and now this… lol whats next??

  • josegb2011

    well you cant expect them to beat google and motorola though..remember google did make the little green robot…

  • thaghost

    Woooooooooow! Niiiiiiiice!

  • Patrick E. Mahoney Jr.

    He’s pretty much my idol

  • i want a 10.1

    galaxy tab 7. $50. NY only.

    sorry guys.

  • DroidSamurai

    What day is today? Obviously, it’s the Android Fans Day.


    When I read this I was exited.. this is a great move.. shows that the big guys are paying attention to the wants of the after market android world. Hopefully they are just as interested in his ideals as they are in his work..

    • keridel

      people like this guy are rare. he doesnt look at something and think “how can i get rich” he looks and says “how can i make this better for everyone”

      thats what community is all about.

  • Ray

    Goodness topped with delicious

  • WootRoot
  • samer

    to the MIUI guy above, cm is vanilla android pretty much..

  • Interpol91

    Great news. Hopefully he can help make an awesome manufacturer even more awesome!! I can’t wait to see what he comes up with under Samsung!!!

  • RJ

    Im liking this Samsung the largest manufacturer of android smartphones will hopefully be able to come up with updates quickly.

  • Lou

    Wow!! Great summer for android. First Htc and dr. dre, then google buys Moto, now cyan hired by sammy! I remember verizon’s CEO had the nerve to say they were responsible for android’s growing popularity but on the contrary it was guys like cyanogen, Jesus Freke, hakuro, JAC and many other devs along with the community that made android the monster it is today. 2012 is gonna be awesome for android.

  • keridel

    really pleased for cm. it shows that if you can develop something awesome then there is a chance of a majour player snapping you up. i hope we see more of it.

  • Alex Nguyen

    This is awesome news! I’ve always wondered why Google themselves or some big OEM haven’t picked up Kondik. I hope his employment at Samsung brings us fantastic changes in Samsung’s future Android devices. More thoughts here:

  • UserX

    So .. steve will be starting a K-5 grade classes for the “SOFTWARE ENGINEERS” over at Samsung?

    bout time some major company teaches their employee’s how to do.. well, hell, anything right.

  • luiek20

    congrats to steve!

  • Bnorus

    Congratz to Steve ! Keep it up !

  • tigerdactyl

    The issue I see with this is: What’s the first thing you guys do when you get a new phone? Personally, I root it, wipe it and load a custom ROM. And like that, the stock ROM is gone. I had a Droid Incredible for a while and never touched Sense. I’m sure that Steve can make TouchWiz better, but I’ll personally never see it.

  • kwills88

    Man, this has a been a great day, besides the release date for the t-mo Hercules being so late, everything else has made me happy..thanks to cyan, i was able to fall in love with my g1 and didnt feel the need to replace it (still got it right now) i am really happy to hear this news.

  • RevSpaminator

    So does this mean that Samsung will be buying the beer?

    Congratz Steve!

  • birdman

    Hopefully he can improve the system and make a better android device

  • Rashad

    Cyanogen mod all day! Its good to see the creator reaping the benefits of making a spectacular free ROM

  • Stella

    This is great news! I can’t believe just a few years ago I was flashing Cyanogen mod on my G1. It was because of Steve and his mod that rooted G1. I wish him and Samsung all the best. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Android.

  • Tran Lang

    That is best of the best “merger” this year. Steve will make Samsung phones even brighter. Congrats, Steve. But just watch out, there’s another guy also names Steve with his Jobs are copying other people and likes to sue people all over the world. You know what I mean. Anyway, I’d love your CyanogenMod work. Very much.

  • VonZ

    Hi, is it possible to get Android (or “Android mod”) to Samsung B7722 (GT-B7722)?

  • Prashant43

    is it possible to get “Android mod” for Samsung B7722 (GT-B7722)?

  • Nick Marshall

    It’s always good to see a manufacturer accept a third party developer. The fact is, the best and brightest don’t always work for your company. I’m glad Samsung realized that.