In a blog post by CEO Lior Tal, Cyanogen Inc. has announced that its Seattle office will relocate to Palo Alto, California – and in the process, leave Co-Founder Steve Kondik behind.
While I’m not one for lengthy goodbyes, I feel like this little one-line, dismissive tidbit – not even a thank you for bringing CM to the world, mind you – is a disservice to Kondik. I remember back when he ran a (more-or-less) one-man show building CyanogenMod from stock Android, up. In the early days of Cupcake and Donut, Kondik and his band of merry men integrated features that actually made Android usable. Many of these features eventually made their way to Google’s OS in an official capacity without a word of credit to Kondik or CyanogenMod.
Personal anecdote – back in the day, I had myself a T-Mobile MyTouch; not even the MyTouch 4G, mind you, but the old-school MyTouch 3G – you know, the successor to the G1. In short order, it was outdated. Before long, it couldn’t even open the keyboard without crashing. CyanogenMod changed that. Long after the MyTouch had overstayed its welcome, I changed it out for a T-Mobile G2 – with that sweet, sweet flip keyboard. I installed CyanogenMod on that, too. Without CyanogenMod, my G2 and MyTouch phones would have crapped out long before they did. CyanogenMod cut much of the fat from Android at the time and optimized memory usage, so such phones could get Gingerbread and even Froyo long after they’d been dropped from official support.
Lately, though Cyanogen has pivoted in a different direction – but it’s hard to fault Kondik for moving on. The Cyanogen of today is barely recognizable as the innovative, device saving CyanogenMod of yesteryear.
On a personal level this is a sad moment, but I hope Kondik gets back to his roots of pushing the limits of what Android is capable. So, let me take this opportunity to finally say goodbye to the old CM, as the departure of Kondik is the last remnant of what used to be a dominant third-party ROM.