Those hoping the Samsung Galaxy S4 might be put to better use with the help of a custom build of Android may have an arduous road ahead of them. Team Hacksung, the group behind the official CyanogenMod ports for nearly all of Samsung’s major handset releases, has no plans to work on a build of the popular third-party Android software for the latest Galaxy handset. Here is their official statement:
“Nobody at Team Hacksung (the team behind Galaxy S2, Note, S3, Note2, G Tabs… official CM ports) plans to buy it, neither develop for it. There are two variants which will be a pain to maintain, [and] 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 releases sources, but Exynos sources we had were far from [working on] actual Galaxy products. I’m pretty sure the same will happen for this one.
That’s a uniform “no” from us.”
Other established developers are taking a similar stance when it comes to the Galaxy S4, citing technical issues as well as Samsung’s history of not playing nice with independent devs. In other words, if you are hoping for a refined custom ROM experience on the GS4, you are out of luck for the time being.
We’re sure quite a few intrepid developers will take a stab at working something up for the incoming flagship, but without the aid of a larger supporting cast of modders and tinkerers, it could be a while before we see any movement on that front.
Update: The CyanogenMod team has responded via their official Google+ page, mincing no words in saying “CyanogenMod does not pre-announce support or lack of support for devices.” While acknowledging the statements of independent developers expressing hesitance about working with the Galaxy S4, the CM team reminds us this does not reflect the stance of the project as a whole. In other words, there is still hope for CM on the GS4, but it might not be coming from the developers we are used to. Here is the full statement:
“Setting Device Expectations
Let’s start with the simplest form of this: CyanogenMod does not pre-announce support or lack of support for devices. Ever. Even for the Nexus 4, we did not announce support until a nightly build was available. Further, any announcement regarding the ‘dropping’ of device support will be communicated via this Google+ page, Twitter, Facebook, our blog, or a combination of those; it will not be something buried in a forum post.
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.
-The CyanogenMod Team”