One of Android’s greatest strengths is that it is open source and relatively easy to modify. This means that the source code may be taken by anybody and modified to suit their particular purpose. A great many handsets sold in China are Android-based, whereby the manufacturer has reinvented how Android works partially because until very recently, one could not access Google Services in China. We have also seen Amazon build their Fire tablets using Fire OS, which is based on Android. At the opposite end of the scale, we have also seen dedicated teams of developers over the planet building custom ROMs for Android devices. By a “custom ROM,” I mean a replacement for the software that runs your Android device. There are many reasons why people will install a custom ROM onto their handset or tablet, from wishing to experiment with different software, to circumventing restrictions placed on them by the stock software, or through wishing to optimize or change how the device performs.
Another of Android’s greatest strengths is how close knit the development community is – both ROM and application developers are often very open in their communications with users. After all, the majority are users in their own right. As such, we often see the same familiar names in forums where customers can find out information about custom ROMs for their particular device. One of these names is Paranoid Android, where a small but dedicated developer team made it their aim to build upon Google’s Android by adding features and implementing, but perfecting, the best of ideas from the world’s original equipment manufacturers. However, earlier in the year, OnePlus approached the core Paranoid Android team with an offer to help them build Oxygen OS for the OnePlus devices. At the time, Paranoid Android posted a blog post that explained the team were still supporting Paranoid Android, but it seems that the real world has caught up with the team. Since the OnePlus deal back in February, updates were taking longer for the devices as the team were dividing their time between different ROMs.
We’ve news today that the reason why Paranoid Android development has decelerated is because the team members have been too busy with their lives to progress on the project. By the real world, this includes important things such as finishing college. Paranoid Android’s project lead, Matt Flaming, said this on the matter: “I cannot say officially that we are indeed dead, as I would love to see where 2016 brings us. I would love to wind down 2015 not worrying about it, and hopefully ‘get the band back together’ early next year maybe after everyone has had some time off they will realize how much they miss it. I, for one, will hold out hope on revitalizing the project at some point.” At this juncture, there are no plans to suspend the distribution network or any of the existing resources set up by Paranoid Android – and we will have to see what unfolds in the coming months.