Focal Camera app Removed From CyanogenMod, Not Coming Back


Just the other day I was upbeat about the many positive prospects concerning CyanogenMod ROMs going forward now that Cyanogen is a company (Cyanogen Inc) and is getting structured just like any company out there and ready to go ahead and release CM as a standalone operating system dependent on Android’s base but with a life of its own.

It seems while that is still true, recent happenings aren’t going well with a number of contributors to the initial Cyanogen project.

You see, Cyanogen is a community. It was that way before it even became the company that it is now. Being a community (and an open one for that matter), developers and other Android enthusiasts were free to contribute code and even undertake projects on their own under the Cyanogen banner.

One such solo project as Focal, the gorgeous camera app that has been around on the latest builds of CyanogenMod for the last few days. While Focal held great promise and was quickly integrated into CM ROMs as the main camera app, that won’t be the case going forward.

With Cyanogen now incorporated into a company, volunteer developers are slowly offloading their solo projects from Cyanogen in order to concentrate on them as personal pet projects and not the property of a company they are not part of.

There is a lot going behind the scenes that we may likely never hear of but it will be sad not to have Focal directly accompany future CM releases and builds. However if the project remains strong (which I have hope it will), then this should mean that you’ll still be able to get Focal on any device of your choice as long as it meets the set minimum requirements.

Here’s an interesting comment from someone with a lot of insight on the matter, Matt Mower:

On the topic of contributions from developers outside of the core team, I’m anticipating a drop in activity. There’s a number of reasons this may occur and undoubtedly Cyanogen, Inc. has discussed this extensively. For me, there’s admittedly a sense of jealousy.

I used to be able to bulls*** and code with others on IRC knowing that everyone is in the same boat: working separate day jobs and investing what free time we had into CyanogenMod. Now that I know a number of developers are getting paid to do the same work, I feel a reluctance to contribute.