Steve Kondik

Image: SF Android User Group

CM​ founder 'decided to do something new,' offers thoughts on Galaxy S4

In a Google+ post this morning, CyanogenMod founder Steve Kondik offered some of his thoughts on Samsung's new Galaxy S4, before revealing that he's recently left the software engineering job he took at the company just over 18 months ago. In a further G+ comment, Kondik said his exit wasn't "because of anything in particular," adding "Samsung was great. Just decided to do something new."

On the S4 itself, he had praise for the new phone's hardware, saying " the device actually feels quite a bit more solid than the S3" and claiming "specwise, this device blows the competition out of the water." But on the software side, Kondik was critical of Samsung's latest TouchWiz UI. While "more consistent" than earlier iterations, he says, the new TouchWiz's fully tabbed UI "feels like it has been sent a few years back in time to the Froyo days."

The CM founder also had mixed opinions on some of the S4's new features. He praised the touchless "hover" preview capabilities and multi-window support, but said that the eye-tracking "smart scroll" feature "mostly serves to anger me into disabling it." In summary, Kondik called the Galaxy S4 a "solid device" and a "clear choice" for those upgrading from a Galaxy S2. S3 owners, he said, should feel "right at home."

There weren't any real clues as to where Steve Kondik might end up next, but we're sure we're not alone in hoping there's more Android in his future. Best of luck to Steve in his future endeavors!

You can read Steve Kondik's post in full over at the source link.

Source: +Steve Kondik

 
There are 51 comments

crxssi says:

>" claiming "specwise, this device[GS4] blows the competition out of the water.""

Either he isn't very bright, or doesn't understand what the competition is. The HTC One has the same resolution, same CPU, same GPU, same amount of RAM, same storage options, nearly the same thinness, weight, brightness. and screen size, better case, better speakers.... perhaps he is under a rock or something?

Tietherope says:

You're forgetting the Galaxy S4 with the Exynos chip.

crxssi says:

Which applies only to the international version. He made an incorrect blanket statement and I am calling him out on it.

rafkong says:

Sorry to poop in your punch, buddy, but, do you even know who Steve Kondik is? Maybe you're the one living under a rock, a BIG ONE!

return_0 says:

"do you even know who Steve Kondik is?"

Someone who doesn't know the competition.

Pic Tom says:

That's true bro, that's a great geek thinker as i'd call him but i still wonder why he decided to leave the company especially at this period when the galaxy siv is getting more and more popular (as per what i've been reading) weird innit ?

chuchave says:

exactly

crxssi says:

@rafkong

I know exactly who he is and that changes NOTHING. He could say that Pi is equal to 5.165 or the earth is flat and he would be just as wrong.

popologuy says:

Your tone implies that those statements are not correct regarding Pi and our flat planet... heretic!

mssca says:

Did anyone from HTC paid you to comment here? It is not just him, but independent tests shows Samsung S IV a good phone. It looks like AC community have a huge problem with so called "HTC supporters". S4 pre-orders are much higher than that of S3 and even may be HTC One.

I found several comments supporting HTC here that seems to come from spammers rather than real consumers.

return_0 says:

Are you really that much of a fanboy that you're measuring a phone's hardware by how much it sells? That's just plain stupid.

And your "independent tests" comment is essentially void in this case because Kondik was talking about the phones "specwise", not "based on the results of independent tests".

crxssi says:

Sorry dude, but no I was not paid. And it doesn't matter how much it "sells" that has nothing to do with the specs. When someone that supposedly should know about phone specs says it "blows away the competition" when it is nearly identical to it's biggest competitor, something is very wrong.

no but he has been getting paid by samsung for a while, what you expect him to say?

crxssi says:

Something accurate or perhaps nothing at all on the topic... He could accurately have said "one of the best phones on the market" or "some of the best specifications out there" or "a great phone that will give the competition a run". But to claim it "blows away" the competition in specifications is absolutely ludicrous.

lionsson says:

Ouch, big mistake
Shouldn't talk bad about an Android Superstar Steve Kondik.

return_0 says:

Big mistake for Kondik, however great he is, however much he's contributed to the Android community, to make such an obviously biased comment. And this is when he is no longer working for Samsung.

MERCDROID says:

This.

ruel24 says:

And why do you have a hair up your arse so hard about it for? Give the guy a break. He's probably been so up Samsung's product line, he might not be too sure about the competition's specs. Why bust his chops?

crxssi says:

Because it is a horribly wrong comment for him to make. And it might just get more "credibility" since it came from him. If anything, he should be held to a HIGHER standard, not a lower one.

ruel24 says:

Idiots like you make it painful to browse these news aggregates like Android Central. Get over yourself!

Except that the phones have different screen sizes, the S4 has a microSD slot, the S4's CPU is clocked higher for the Qualcomm variant, the S4 has an IR baster, 13MP camera, etc.

They're very different and opinions doesn't relate to intelligence.

Barely a difference in screen size
Slightly clocked higher, yet the One kills it in benchmarks (Touchwiz and bloat slowing it down immensely)
One has IR blaster as well
One camera isn't 13MP, however per reviews its one of the best ever
...not quite as different as you make it out to be.

kenyee says:

microSD and removeable battery do it for me.

The HTC One is better feeling in the hand though. Wish they didn't abandon microsd and user replaceable batteries...

They are going away from Micro SD like most OEMS because Google wants it to be that way. They are staying in line with what google wants for its software and the phones that run it.

crxssi says:

There are things the One has that are better and/or different also. And as pointed out, 13MP is not "better" than 4 Ultrapixels, the screens are NEARLY the same size (which is what I originally said), and the One has an IR blaster too.

So no, they are not "very different" if anything they are "very similar". And him saying "specwise, this device blows the competition out of the water" is not an opinion, it is a false factual statement. If he had said "I believe" or "I think" in front of it, then it would be more of an opinion statement, although would still be just as ridiculous.

GameBoi says:

Yea, he's so dumb, he knows nothing, I mean he only cook up some OS' s and worked with Samsung. You obviously knows more cause you read and comment on blogs.

15israellai says:

Of course, reading AC every day makes one an ultimate Android pro that surpasses Rubin, doesn't it?

crxssi says:

He is the one that made the stupid comment. Not me. I just called it as it is.... a stupid, misinformed comment. The fact that he founded CM is completely irrelevant.

15israellai says:

I hate to defend Samsung but, seriously, look at the friggin CPU in the S4. It's got 4 monstrous high-clocked cores plus 4 battery-saving cores man.

Yes but sadly only a handful of people outside the US are getting that one. The US version along with a host of other countries are getting the same one as the One, except clocked a little higher. However the One is clearly out performing the GS4 in benchmarks which goes to show that the samsung bloat and touchwiz is severely killing the performance.

return_0 says:

I agree with you, but please don't to bring up benchmarks. They are in no way a definitive test of a phone's hardware.

No thats not what I said. I said the One benches much higher even though the are using the same processor, which is directly related to the software. The fact that the GS4 is coming up much slower shows how much bloat and touchwiz are actually bogging down the phone. Thats all software, not hardware.

return_0 says:

Oooh, more cores, higher clock. Blows the competition out of the water!

No.

return_0 says:

This. +9001

chuchave says:

u obviously dont kno what cynagenmod is

crxssi says:

I know exactly what cynagenmod is. And that doesn't excuse his comment, which was incredibly WRONG. He could be the President of the United States, and I would still say his comment was incredibly WRONG.

DWR_31 says:

Steve said hardware wise the S4 is good, but it's the software that does it bad.
Now if there were only some way to put stock Android on the S4 or the HTC One, then we could really compare who makes the best phone.

Comparing these two companies is like comparing IOS to Android.

Just too different.

one80oneday says:

Smasung is going after enterprise with Knox, no surprise they'd get rid of CM.

Pitaman6416 says:

People whats the big deal over stock. It's boring as hell. Please give it rest.

Joel E says:

Hm....
First Rubin, now Kondik
Call me crazy but, what if their next venture has them both on board?
Now a team like that would be bursting at the seams with imagination AND innovation....IMAGIVATION!

return_0 says:

Really? Is it still hard to understand that Rubin DID NOT LEAVE GOOGLE. He only left the Android team. He still works at Google, only in a different department.

rotkiv3451 says:

It's the only good looking version of Android. If I can't get stock android on a phone that pleases me hardware wise too I won't buy an Android phone. And believe me when I say that a lot of people do that too.

GameBoi says:

I agree, I understand back in the gingerbread and before days or maybe even ICS, but now phones are powerful enough and over lays are stable enough. I have a Note 2 and I'm not disabling all my Samsung features, GPS, LTE and other things just so I can scroll my home screen a 8th of a second faster. Plus as you stated, stock is boring and we have all those feature and then some.

return_0 says:

When did he/she say that stock was boring? I actually think he/she was saying stock looks better.

Brainerd says:

He's an open-source guy who was working in a closed-source universe. Couldn't last forever.

His comments were political. Being nice to those who paid him well for 18 months by praising their hardware. Note: he only said the S4 would be a good upgrade for former "Galaxy" owners. Subtext..."If you don't already have and love your Sammy phone, stay away from the S4." Sammy is trying to create a unique dependence on TouchWiz by creating stuff you can't get on other android phones. Good for Sammy's business, bad for consumer flexibility and choice. It also contributes to terrible OS fragmentation issues.

This marriage was doomed from the start. Perhaps Moto/Google might grab him up. I get a hunch that any Moto enhancements to their Google influenced Android phones (after purging the 18 month legacied pipeline) will be app-like and not baked into the OS. This will allow for fast OS updates from Google and greatly reduce fragmentation. One can hope/dream.

bokajay says:

+1

Agreed. He could be a great fit with them. And Moto/Google has already been reducing their Motoblur footprint. Even on updates for older phones they have began to remove Motoblur apps and replaced them with stock Google apps.

I would think that the Motorola X isn't going to be 100% stock AOSP like a Nexus device but it will be pretty close to it.

PixStar69 says:

Elated to see Kondik left Samsung!

WHY? When the USA has 25,000 troops stationed in S. Korea to protect Samsung (and many others) by preventing an attack from their Northern Neighbor with the worst haircut seen on any national leader, a country that has recently canceled the Armistice Ending the Korean War..... a country support by Russia & China...

..Samsung designs and supplies critical electronics components for the Soviet Union's SA-300 & SA-400 Surface to Air Missile Systems. Missiles they have sold to China, North Korea, Iran, and Syria, among others...

They are also co-developing an Anti-missile defense system called M-SAM with Russia

Personally, I think Samsung should move to North Korea. I haven't knowingly bought a single product from them in the several years since I learned this. You shouldn't either!..

MADPROPS to Kondik!

Wow. Just stop..honestly.

PixStar69 says:

I don't want to spam with links here. But google Samsung and any of the missiles I mentioned, you'll find reputable (not Black Helicopter Beanie) sites, such as AP and GlobalSecurityOrg.

Why buy electronics from someone so they can use the profits to help arm your enemies and kill your pilots/troops?

fishygraphx says:

The htc has an ir blaster too. And 1.7 vs 1.9 is no difference. I seen test results show htc as faster then the s4. Samsung has a lot of fanboys in this room. And for the record the s4 specwise cant blow the competition out the water if the specs are almost identical to the One. I dont care if Obama said it.

wazzuup199 says:

Is it possible that by the competition, he was mostly referring to the iPhone? Apple is who Samsung tries to compete with the most. And spec wise, the S4 does blow the iPhone out of the water.