Kirt McMaster, the controversial CEO of Cyanogen Inc., will be stepping down from his role, we've learned. An announcement could come as soon as tomorrow as part of a larger news release regarding the company's new structure and direction. McMaster changed his title on LinkedIn recently to reflect the change. It is unclear what role this would actually give McMaster at the company, or who would replace him as CEO. Cyanogen Inc.'s website still lists McMaster in his former position.
If a comment on a CyanogenMod commit thread by founder Steve Kondik is any indicator, rumors that Cyanogen Inc. is basically getting out of the OS development business seem to be coming to fruition. While the context of the comment is a rather specific commit thread, Kondik's frustration seems to have led to him to say a bit more about Cyanogen Inc.'s future plans than the company may have liked:
There isn't really going to be much if any involvement from the Inc this time around and I'm taking on a lot of stuff on my own to try and keep us moving forward.
We're hearing from multiple sources that Cyanogen Inc. is in the midst of laying off a significant portion of its workforce around the world today. The layoffs most heavily impact the open source arm of the Android ROM-gone-startup, which may be eliminated entirely (not CyanogenMod itself, just the people at Cyanogen Inc.
Steve Kondik and company announced earlier this week that the CyanogenMod ROM has been incorporated into Cyanogen Inc, with the aim of strengthening the pseudo-platform and reaching more users. Since the first announcement Cyanogen has been teasing one major hardware partner, and it looks like that has been revealed.
Not long ago CyanogenMod Nemesis Phase 1 was announced, spearheaded by a brand new camera app called Focal. It garnered quite a bit of excitement and demonstrated just how far the open source project had come. Unfortunately, one week shy of its 2 month anniversary, Focal has been officially removed from the ROM and isn't likely to make a return.
Yesterday was kind of a big day for Android. The long-running and extremely popular custom ROM family CyanogenMod has been incorporated into a company which plans to further the software into a bona fide platform. CyanogenMod founder Steve Kondik and extremely vocal CM team member Koushik Dutta (CTO and VP of Engineering for the new Cyanogen Inc, respectively) did what you're supposed to do whenever cool stuff happens: head to Reddit for an "Ask Me Anything" session. Here are some highlights from Kondik and Dutta's responses to the community's questions.
The elephant in the room is hardware. When will there be new hardware that runs CyanogenMod off the shelf, as a sort of alternative to Sense/TouchWiz/whatever the hell LG is calling it this week?
As part of today's announcement of CyanogenMod as a company, CTO and founder Steve Kondik said one of the first goals the team had was to make the process of installing CyanogenMod easier. Kondik called the current process "hideous" and too difficult for "mere mortals." He also announced that the Android installer companion app will be released to Google Play in the coming weeks.
The Android app is only half of the equation, though – a Windows application will also be released. We reached out to CM team member Abhisek Devkota (AKA ciwrl) for clarification. As of now, he said, both the Windows client and the Android app will be needed for installation, with the Windows side actually doing most of the work.
A new feature could be coming to CynaogenMod in the near future that strengthens personal privacy with a single checkbox. It's called Run in Incognito Mode, and it's being developed by Cyanogen himself, Steve Kondik. It's a simple feature that could change how comfortable you are with your apps.
If you bought/plan on buying AT&T's variant of the Galaxy S4, we have some bad news for those of you who like to flash custom ROMs, kernels, and the like: it's locked down tight.
Historically, Samsung devices – up to and including the SIII – have been bootloader-unlocked on AT&T. The Galaxy S4 brings a major change in that respect, as Steve Kondik (Cyanogen) has confirmed that it is indeed locked, in that it "authenticates the recovery and boot images before executing them." In layman's terms, that essentially means that it won't allow any sort of custom recovery or boot image to be flashed and/or run.
Steve Kondik, the founder of CyanogenMod, needs no introduction. This man is a star in the Android community and a true Nexus warrior (hi, /r/acj!). 19 months ago, in August of 2011, he joined Samsung to change the world and make beautiful mobile babies together. Today, he's a free man once again, as he announced his departure from the company via a Google+ post on his Galaxy S4 impressions minutes ago:
On the Galaxy S4
I got to spend some quality time with the S4 (final hardware) before I left Samsung. I'm a huge a fan of the S3 and use one everyday, so I was quite pleased with the S4.