August 16, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
While the tech community was still buzzing from the news that Google plans to acquire Motorola for $12.5 billion, another important but less expensive business relationship was revealed last night. Steve Kondik, better known in the Android world as Cyanogen, was hired as a software engineer at Samsung Mobile.
First reported by Gadget University, Kondik revealed on his Facebook page that he has started working for Samsung. The hire was then confirmed when AndroidGuys asked if this was a prank or just a consulting gig.
“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,” Cyanogen responded.
The job is a somewhat poetic turn of events. Kondik first gained notoriety when he customized the Android Donut Rom (1.6) and breathed new life into the T-Mobile G1. He continued making changes, received help from others, and developed what became CyanogenMod, a customized version of the Android Open Source Project that appears on more than 570,000 devices today.
CyanogenMod is now the software of choice on more than 46,000 Samsung devices according to the CM Stats page. (And that’s only the amount of people who agree to report stats, so it could be higher.) So someone modifying Android in his spare time managed to spearhead an Android experience favored over the default software made by thousands of engineers and product managers on staff at Samsung.
So what does this mean for CyanogenMod? Kondik assures users that he’s still involved in the development of his namesake ROM.
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.
We won’t see an official CyanogenMod phone released by Samsung, but don’t be surprised if Samsung’s phones get a tiny bit better thanks to talent brought in by Cyanogen.