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Steve “Cyanogen” Kondik Talks Galaxy S4 While Leaving Job at Samsung


Back in the summer of 2011, Steve “Cyanogen” Kondik took a software engineer job with Samsung, a move that many thought was a sign of the end of his increasingly popular CyanogenMod ROM. At the time, Steve assured the world that work on CM would continue, and sure enough, it has continued to thrive throughout his time at Android’s number one OEM. So how is his time at Samsung playing out? In a post last night on his Google+ account, Kondik made a new announcement (well, sort of) with regard to his status at Samsung, saying that he has left his job “but not because of anything in particular” and that Samsung was “great.” He’s looking to accomplish something new, which he may or may not have hinted as happening in a “couple of months.” 

But outside of his leaving Samsung, Kondik gave an off the cuff semi-review or initial thoughts on his time with the new Galaxy S4. He talked about how the Galaxy S3 is the device he uses everyday, so hardware-wise, was pleased with the GS4. He even took it a step further, saying that it “feels quite a bit more solid” and “blows the competition out of the water” when it comes to specs.

His thoughts on TouchWiz, on the other hand, were not so delightful. In his time with the Galaxy S4 and the newest version of TouchWiz, he felt as if the skin had reverted back to Gingerbread in some ways. There will be countless “Loading…” screens, a return of the fully tabbed UI, and an overall UI performance that is “average.”Kondik was a fan of Air View and the new camera software, but not so much a fan of Smart Scroll.

Last, he did say that the upgrade from a Galaxy S2 to the Galaxy S4 is a clear choice.

Via:  +Steve Kondik

  • Susana Staley

    So long as it’s a clear choice from the GS2 to the GS4 I’m in good shape. Could he elaborate his concerns about TouchWiz? Should I be considering a different Android phone to follow on WishPlz ( http://goo.gl/kUg6J ) besides the GS4?

    • Taz Hedley

      His concerns were that the TouchWiz is absolute shite, enough to spoil the experience of using the Samsung phones and therefore you should be following http://bit.ly/166nlSJ instead.

  • Can’t blame him.. he is relatively quick on learning what a load of crap Shamsung is.

    • New_Guy

      Their relationship can probably be summed up like this:

      Kondik: “You know, Sammy, as a premier developer of the greatest custom ROM team known to man, I have to admit, while the phone is quite lovely in the hand, the UI is very old-hat. Let me show you why you hired me and give your UI a brush up (remove TW).

      Sammy: “Kondik…hell no.”

      Kondik: “But it’s awesful and really needs to change. Let me add some CM flavor to it…”

      Sammy: “Listen Konik, you’re bright and all, but if Apple doesn’t have to change their UI then neither do we. We’ll ride this horse until it breaks a leg and only then will we shoot it in the head…”

      Kondik: “Well…..not really sure what the hell I’m doing here then…”

  • Prediction

    I think this guy will be teaming up with Andy Rubin for something epic.

    • LinuxLover

      And why would that be?

      • New_Guy

        Well…the better question would be, “Why would you think this fits within the rhelm of impossiblity?”

  • EC8CH

    Moto hires Kondik.

    Blur becomes CyanogenMod.

    Android World Rejoices.

    • I think you meant “CyanogenMod replaces Blur”, otherwise it read that CyanogenMod would become what Blur is now.

      But we know what you meant. 🙂

      • Dylan Patel

        Blur becoming CyanogenMod would mean Blur becomes what Cyanogenmod is. He was right.

  • wm snyder

    he has also given his review of gs4 from his hands on .it is on Google+

  • EvanTheGamer

    What about going from a G-Nex to a SGS4? 🙂


  • Cory Larson

    I won’t be getting an S4 until the first vanilla Android 4.2.2+ ROMs are out for it. It sounds like a sexy beast hardware-wise, but I’ll wait for something that’s not tainted by TouchWiz on the software side.

    • michael arazan

      Would love an S4 with stock android, or the HTC One with stock android

  • r0lct

    Well my Note 2 was likely going to be my first and last TW phone anyway. It’s not bad in this implementation but I really chose it over lack of nexus on Verizon. While I love the hardware (plastic and all) I think between the next nexus and x phone I’ll have a solid stock option come end of year.

    • Austin Warren

      Next nexus is coming. But the X phone is like an asteroid hitting earth.

      • If an asteroid hit the earth, no one would be around to care if the X Phone was released.

  • joejoe5709

    Love this guy. I think he’s one of the most important people in Android. Maybe he’s taking Rubin’s place? Ha ha not likely but can you imagine??!!

    • New_Guy

      A person can dream, right :)?…

  • New_Guy

    Nice to see someone with some real knowledge about the mobile world speaking good thinks about the S4 and bad things about TouchWiz. I couldn’t agree more with every comment he has made.

    can’t wait to see what’s next from SCK!

    • Geoff Johnson

      Why would anyone down vote this?

      • New_Guy

        Not sure, but there’s always one. No matter how valid the comment, there’s always one…

        • Austin Warren

          People gotta have something to do while in their mothers basement.

          • New_Guy

            Looks like some people enjoy distilling their own home-made batch of delicious hater-aid. That stuff is like moon-shine, you know :)…

      • renGek

        Its not hard for people to click on the wrong clicky.

        • New_Guy

          Especially when the clicky is sticky, because a sticky clicky can be tricky.

  • Richard Yarrell

    Definitely couldn’t have a better concise review from someone that really knows. Not just someone reviewing a device for a hand full of days. This guy is the REAL DEAL.

    • Austin Warren

      He probably only used it for for a few days as well.

      • DroidFTW

        As oppossed to you who has used the device for a total of 0 days

        • Austin Warren

          If only you knew what you were talking about before typing.

          • DroidFTW

            So then you are a paid Samsung troll. I thought that trap I set for you was pretty obvious, guess you didn’t see it. Thanks for playing.

          • Austin Warren

            I wish. But no. I am not employed by them.

    • Tim242

      What? You approve of someone that bashes TW?

    • squiddy20

      You’re a Samsung fanboy, and yet Steve Kondik pretty much just said the S4’s new UI takes it back to Android 2.2 (Froyo). You obviously can’t read.

      • Zacharypt

        Actually you may need to put them reading glasses back on… “His thoughts on TouchWiz, on the other hand, were not so delightful. In his time with the Galaxy S4 and the newest version of TouchWiz, he felt as if the skin had reverted back to Gingerbread in some ways.” Atleast give the proper rebuke when you are bringing the foam mallet down.

        • squiddy20

          Actually, Droid Life got the quote wrong. From the post on Steve’s G+ page that is sourced at the end of the article: “Unfortunately, it feels like it has been sent a few years back in time to the Froyo days. Say goodbye to all of the nice touch-friendly ViewPagers and say hello again to a fully tabbed UI. You’ll also enjoy the seemingly endless onslaught of popup windows and modal “Loading…” dialogs. UI performance is average.”
          Check *your* facts before supposedly correcting others on how “wrong” they are.

  • Props to this man and everything he and his team do for our community!

  • Radgatt