CyanogenMod 9

Sometimes developing third party software that makes a device more appealing to consumers can land you a job at one of the companies that manufactures and creates the device you’re developing the software for. This is certainly the story for Steve Kondik the founder and lead developer of one of the top Android ROMS for CyanogenMod who landed a job as a Software Engineer for Samsung 19 months ago. The latest though is that Steve has bid farewell to the Korean smartphone manufacturer and on his way out criticized Samsung’s TouchWiz interface.

It all began in 2009 when JesusFreke stopped work on his firmware for the first Google Phone (HTC Dream or T-Mobile G1) suggesting that fans of his firmware check out an adaptation of the ROM by Cyanogen (a.k.a. Steve Kondik) and this is how CyanogenMod was born. Lets speed ahead to 2011 when Samsung hired Kondik as a software engineer which he then put the CM ROM as on the back burner treating it as more of a side project.

Only 19 months later Kondik notified his followers on Google+ that he was leaving Samsung along with a lengthy post talking about the recently announced Samsung Galaxy S IV. Kondik spoke about how the Galaxy S IV “blows the competition out of the water” and that “Benchmarks put this device FAR above the competition” but he wasn’t so kind on Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface – something I’m personally not too keen on either.

Unfortunately, it feels like it has been sent a few years back in time to the Froyo days. Say goodbye to all of the nice touch-friendly ViewPagers and say hello again to a fully tabbed UI. You’ll also enjoy the seemingly endless onslaught of popup windows and modal “Loading…” dialogs(sic). UI performance is average. It’s better and worse at the same time, depending on your viewpoint I suppose.

Only a few weeks to wait until the Samsung Galaxy S IV hit’s the shops with pre-orders promising delivery on the 26th of next month. I have high hopes for this phone, let’s hope we manage to snap one up for our Week in my Pocket feature!

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