“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.”
That’s an uncharacteristically candid Steve Kondik, commenting in a commit thread for CyanogenMod, the first and most famous custom ROM for Android devices. It was discovered by Android Police earlier this week, and if nothing else is an indication that the Nougat-powered version of CyanogenMod, CM14, might face some delays.
To Kondik’s credit, CyanogenMod development was largely unaffected by the folly of the corporate counterpart, Cyanogen, Inc. A quick summary of how that went: What I initially saw as a savvy move to bring a Western-friendly OS to the rising tide of Chinese Android phones was squandered through arrogance and the downright sleazy deal with Micromax that got OnePlus banned from India. At the end of it all, “the Inc.” had little to show but a few custom apps and a questionable deal with Microsoft.
Their tale is an interesting counterpart to what’s allegedly going on at OnePlus; I think Cyanogen’s mistake was not anticipating that Chinese companies could hire custom ROM makers directly, as OnePlus did with the Paranoid Android team. But where Cyanogen overstated its value to OEMs, OnePlus seems to have undervalued its OS developers altogether.
Maybe those Paranoid Android devs can volunteer at CyanogenMod to pad their résumés until something better comes along…?