Android updates: why is Cyanogen so much faster than Google / OEMs?

Original author: Eric McBride (german Kamal Nicholas)
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From the translator:

In light of recent events , or rather, due to individual comments on this post, the esteemed alizar , I again found in my opinion a very interesting post on AndroidPit and I want to know more about the Russian-speaking community.
Translated the German version, occasionally looking at the original, because the style of presentation of the translation seemed to me more perceived in some places (and German has long been almost like a mother tongue to me).

UPD At the request of the workers ...
It would be better if you wrote it before the "kata" ...
In general, I write to the "cat" ... so as to remove the "lure" ...
I’ll not add in the heading “A rhetorical question - There is no answer ...” - I think it’s nevertheless more correct if everyone makes his own opinion or expresses himself.
For myself, I partially answered ( boldly highlighting the answer in the Translator's Note at the very end). I think the community will formulate a more complete answer.


ENG. Android Updates: Why Is Cyanogen So Much Faster Than Google / OEMs?
Ger. Android Updates: Warum ist Cyanogen so viel schneller als Google / OEMs?

My colleague Eric has been an active member on xda-developers for several years and could see live how great, interesting and impressive things the developers were able to put on their feet.

He had two questions:
1. Why Google and OEMs do not hire xda developers to release Android updates faster;
2. How does Cyanogen manage to be so faster than Google and OEM when it comes to releasing updates and optimizing / improving Android?

What is CyanogenMOD?

For those who do not know who Cyanogen is, he is initially the godfather of Android, if it comes to custom ROMs for Android. Accordingly, CyanogenMOD is the foundation for custom ROMs. Steve Kondik (aka Cyanogen) and his team laid the foundation for most other existing Android ROMs. There would be no Cyanogen, and the modding and rooting scene would definitely look different.
For example, the team allowed Ice Cream Sandwich to be installed on some Android smartphones, which were named by Google or OEMs as incompatible with the latest version of the mobile operating system. And with many previous versions, the situation was exactly the same.

In addition, Cyanogen managed to install ICS on various current devices 4 months before the first manufacturers and mobile operators.
A huge achievement is what the development team has already achieved and what it is doing so far.

This is realized at some point, and Samsung, as Cyanogen was hired in August 2011 to work directly for a South Korean company. CustomROMs are much more than “just” fast and often better than the firmware released by Google and OEMs, because they are often updated weekly and offer many more features that have never been part of official products.

ROMs didn’t just change - they improved so much that after a smartphone or tablet was reflashed, sometimes it seemed that you were holding a completely new device in your hands .

Are lovers better than pros?

(Note translator - I am a developer in a large company, so I can not completely share the point of view in the following paragraph).

I, like Eric, myself am not a developer, and therefore it is difficult for us to appreciate what exactly these talented people do to get such good results so quickly. What we want to know exactly how xda manages to lay out the latest version for their equipment a few months before the official release of Google and OEM manufacturers, while it is often even much better than the official version. For example, let’s take Romanbb (Android Open Kang Project), which added a new “ROM Control” item in the ICS settings menu for various devices, where you can change almost everything on your device. For example, you can change the color of the virtual buttons or adjust the processor power, you can create your own Lockscreen and much, much more.

Just wondering why these or similar features are not in the official release. Obviously, some things are only for experienced users (the keyword overclocking the processor), but many other things will be interesting for less tech savvy smartphone owners. If a student like Romanbb can create changes that are also still updated and improved weekly, why not Google and OEM?

There are solutions to Android problems ... does anyone use them?

If fragmentation is a problem, releasing timely updates is a problem, supporting “old” devices is a problem and adding new useful features that many people want is also a problem, why it turns out that large companies do not go where literally dozens of developers have ready-made solutions for these problems?
Moreover, why are these people still overboard? These are those people who had ICS ROMs only two weeks after the source code was released, they develop functions that no one else has, but which are very useful for many, etc.

What do you think about this in general? Are there really talented developers like Cyanogen and co. better than Google, Samsung, Motorola, LG, Sonyx, and HTC co.? Or such a “situation” is a sign of “inertia” Android OEM.

We hope that the post title did not make you think that we have the answer to these questions, because unfortunately we do not know them either. But we look forward to your comments and opinions.

From the translator:

I am also familiar with some xda developers, but I don’t think that if someone had offered them a job in Google or Samsung, they would have rushed to them with closed eyes. Some are already engineers in large companies, others are great programmers in a good place and / or in a great team.
I am at a loss to explain these issues simply by the “inertia” of large companies, but every person who has worked at such companies at least once knows about these cockroaches (policies, rules, etc., etc.).

As someone wrote in the comments on the original:
For some it is a hobby, for others it is work.

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