Last Updated: April 22nd, 2013

The rumor mill is hot today after a comment on XDA caused some to worry that CyanogenMod would not arrive for the new Galaxy S4. XpLoDWilD took to the forums to respond to questions about the difficulty of developing for the handset. The comment appeared to be speaking on behalf of TeamHacksung (the sub-group within CM that deals with devices like the SII, Note, SIII, Note II, etc.), other CM members were quick to point out that no one person has the authority to speak for the entire team.

Here's the initial comment:

Nobody at team hacksung (the team behind galaxy s2, note, s3, note2, gtabs... official CM ports) plans to buy it, neither develop for it. There are two variants which will be a pain to maintain, 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 release sources, but exynos sources we had were far from actual galaxy products. I'm pretty sure the same will happen for this one.

That's a uniform "no" from us.

Sounds pretty definitive, right? Well, perhaps not so much. CM team members were quick to squash the idea that anyone can speak for the whole group. More importantly, an official statement from CyanogenMod on Google+ states, in no uncertain terms, that the team doesn't confirm or deny support for unreleased devices:

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.

Here's the post in full. While it's pretty clear that several members of the group are unhappy with some of Samsung's behavior and methods in regards to the Exynos lineup and some of the difficulties in maintaining the current GSIII, this doesn't mean that the team is cancelling the S4 party. Quite the opposite. No party has been scheduled yet at all and won't ever be. Either someone shows up to maintain the device or it never happens. There's no third option where the CM team decrees that it will never be supported.

The moral of the story is patience. Maybe the GS4 won't get an official CM port, or maybe it will. We won't know for sure until it actually comes out. After all, how can you plan to support a device you've only seen pictures of?

Source: Google+, XDA

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • http://twitter.com/RaspberryDuff Matt

    Is anybody else reminded of Warez scene politics when they read about custom ROM developers?

  • Christopher Robert

    sounds to me like CM is still a 3 headed snake and all of the heads don't always speak to each other.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      It's actually an 80+ headed snake that maintains dozens of different devices and allows an open community to contribute. If you'd like something with a more single-minded focus, I know of another smartphone OS you might be interested in. ;)

      • derp

        And what OS might that be?

        • KeyLime

          Darwin. :p

          • Sergio

            Newton ;-P

        • John Doe

          Some fruit related OS.. you've probably never heard of them

        • Luis Reynaldo Corcino

          I think that it might be related to a bitten fruit or something like that...

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

            Orange aOS?

            Or is it Pineapple pOS? XD

        • Aleksey_US


        • Tomi Golob

          His comment was out of line IMHO. I would never assume that you would switch to iOS just because of what you said... Sometimes people around here are too touchy...

      • Tomi Golob

        Your assumptions are a bit overboard ... My first thought was "what is this guy's problem" to be honest. Just because he said what he said, it means he wants to change to iOS. Sorry if I sound rude

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

          Of course it's preposterous. It was a joke. Just as preposterous as assuming that a team of 80+ people doing a ton of work for completely free should be as well-organized and coherent as a professional, for-profit organization.

          He's welcome to like whatever OS he wants. but to get on CM's case for being a "3 headed snake" just because one person said one thing and another person said something different, when *none* of the 80+ people involved get paid to provide this completely free service is offensive. If you don't care for the way the people inside the group work, then feel free to step away.

          • Christopher Robert

            I was simply stating that on a few occasions word from one of the CM team members that did not reflect the opinions or beliefs of the rest of the team was taken as fact. To fix this we either need to have a more unified approach to CM releases which they have started on google+, or better fact checking by Android blogs before a comment on an xda forum taken out of context goes viral.

          • Christopher Robert

            Not blaming you Eric of course. Your fact checking is normally sound.

          • Tomi Golob

            But he didn't mean that at all in my view... Why should he leave CM? Because of THIS? Come on ...obviously he cares how CM works,if not he wouldn't post a criticism . You are taking this way out of proportion and that is my opinion, Case closed :)

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

            I can't tell how badly I *don't* want to bicker about a joke I made ten days ago.

  • http://twitter.com/xplodwild Guillaume

    I'm sorry about the confusion it provided - I was speaking exclusively for the few of us at hacksung, and the exynos variant, not at all on behalf of the CM organization (and my post doesn't say it - the original news storm implied it).

    Yes, anyone in the world can come in and provide a port, of course, or one may appear for the Qualcomm variant and not the Exynos, or vice-versa, or nothing.

    I would've made it clearer if I knew this was going to be posted all around, I wrote this quickly on my phone during a train trip.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      Thanks for the clarification. We know that sometimes things tend to get swept up in the rumor mill, which is why we waited for official comment on this. I appreciate you stopping by for extra clarification.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

      Definitely glad this is has been clarified. Truth be told you can only work with what you have been given and I understand that Samsung's Exynos haven't been too helpful on the documentation side of things.

      Having said that, I enjoy CyanogenMod on my i9100 Galaxy S II and I hope that we can see CM future Exynos devices.

    • Tomi Golob

      Don't be sorry. You guys are doing a fine job. It is all perfectly understandable. The ball is in Samsung's court.

  • http://twitter.com/Fysi Richard Ashton

    To be honest, TeamHacksung seem to throw the toy out of the pram quite a bit (whether it is for a valid reason or not).

  • Темури Поцхорая

    Doesn't get why such a mess happened in the first place. TeamHacksung said that they (TeamHacksung) doesn't want develop/maintain CM for GS4, not that GS4 doesn't get CM (as there are far more developers).

  • Nathaniel Webb

    Thank you AP for a more professional report on the incident. Most sites resorted to click-bait headlines about "NO CM SUPPORT FOR SGS4". I know who the true journalists are now.

    • s44

      AP has always been the voice of sanity, particularly on rumors.

    • Tomi Golob

      Yeah I completely agree. Android Community site wrote the article like it was the end of the world. The headline was sensationalistic but when I've read it it didn't sound such a bad thing. Although they haven't mentioned the most important part, which of course Android Police did. What will sites do for a few clicks... It's annoying and pathetic

  • Aus_azn

    I'd assume that the Qualcomm version will still get CM as per usual. Even if not CM, we'll likely see AOSP builds from other teams, like CodeFire. I don't speak on their behalf, but as someone who knows the team, I wouldn't be surprised to see codefireX eventually hit the SGS4.

    Although, the SGS4 is probably going to be the first phone that I use without AOSP on it. Still probably a day[1] root, though.

    • Mike Reid

      IMO, Qualcomm version, most likely yes, perhaps by CM's leader.

      Everyone should understand that there are still many questions about the hardware in the S4 variants; a few chips are known more or less for sure, but not all/most.

      Extremely unlikely, but as a hypothetical example, S4's could be 100% bootloader locked, with no/little prospect for a custom ROM. No dev group will confirm official support for something that is so little known, and they shouldn't.

      Do note, IMO, Team Hacksung may be trying to ratchet up pressure on Samsung to release info, and that's a good thing.

      But in the end I'm sure there will be CM ports for the Exynos, and one of them could eventually become official. There is just too much going good for the Exynos S4 to imagine every current or potential ROM dev will never try a CM port.

  • nsnsmj

    I don't plan on getting a GS4, but it's still nice to have clarification on this for those who are. That said, it does seem like anything Exynos related causes a lot of problems for the community. Plus, there were the security exploits that only affected Exynos devices. Samsung needs to get it together.

  • dextersgenius

    No, the moral of the story is: get a Nexus.

  • Elias

    Samsung makes marginally better chipsets, but: has terrible build quality, utterly disrespects customers (super brick, delayed or unexistent updates), doesn't give a fuck to developers (terrible exynos documentation, no will to cooperate) and is currently too big in the android world - which is bad; no one wants a monopoly.
    I'll only consider another Samsung Android if it's a Nexus. Other than that, I'm not interested. Competitors have better build quality, equivalent pricing, equivalent specs and equivalent performance, besides having something good to show off:
    - Nexii are always preferred, because of updates and great pricing.
    - Motorola: bought by Google, may carry the "premium" nexii we're all anticipating. Has devices with good build quality (Kevlar) and good batteries (RAZR maxx)
    - Sony: excellent build quality, willing to cooperate with developers. Wouldn't buy other Sony products though, because I don't agree with their strategy for consoles.
    - LG : has done an excellent job lately, e.g. made the terrific nexus 4.
    - HTC: I hate them as enterprise, but some people love their build quality.

  • Truth

    Eric "The Snarky" Ravenscraft - DOUCHE