Last year, Samsung's rep took a turn for the worse. They made countless, hollow promises of the Froyo update to their US Galaxy S users. To make a long story short, this rollout didn't actually happen until the beginning of 2011 and it just finished rolling out two months ago with Verizon's Fascinate.
This set a good amount of customers off and undoubtedly hurt their reputation as an Android manufacturer, and rightfully so. Galaxy S users were some of the only Android users left out there using the old software. All of HTC's and Motorola's high-end devices had been running Froyo for almost an entire year before the last Galaxy S phone was successfully updated. Thankfully, Google has cracked down and tightened the guidelines on what changes manufacturers can make to their Android platform. In theory, we should be getting updates more quickly by default.
But ol' Sammy has actually shown intent of getting these updates out more quickly on their own account, and even spicing up TouchWiz in the process. That said, not everyone likes to wait on official updates and Samsung, along with other manufacturers, has finally realized this.
The game changed two weeks ago when fan favorite HTC announced they would no longer be locking bootloaders on their devices. This sparked all sorts of excitement across the Android camp as this meant that moving forward, hacking and modding HTC-built phones will be much easier on devs and abusers alike.
Surprisingly enough, Samsung seems to be following suit with support for the dev community. They haven't officially announced anything or proclaimed any support for those persistent, third-party developers, but they did hand out a Galaxy S II to atinm, the developer responsible for CyanogenMod on the Captivate and Vibrant. CyanogenMod is undoubtedly one of the more prominent ROM development teams for Android, officially and unofficially supporting an ever-increasing list of Android-powered phones and tablets.
To the average consumer, this really doesn't make a difference. But if you've even taken a peek in a developers forum for an Android phone, you know that there are thousands of users for each device out there creating, manipulating, and looking for custom ROMs to install on their latest Android phone. Samsung handing their phone over to a developer is almost like an act of peace. It is essentially Samsung reaching out to developers to create a relationship with some of the best devs out there and take their hardware to its fullest potential.
With the release of an Android phone that is easily ranked the best smartphone around behind them and calling a truce with one of the most popular development teams out there, Samsung has seemingly turned things around and is doing their darnedest to say, "I'm sorry," to the hundreds of thousands of users that fell victim to Sammy's 2010 Froyo debacle. Regardless of why they are doing this, I am blown away by some of the things Samsung has done lately. And this is coming from someone who has never really cared for the company or its products in the past. In fact, this may be the deciding factor when it comes time for me to buy a new phone.
What say you, guys and gals? Are you blown away by Samsung giving a Galaxy S II away to a member of the CM team? Could (un)official CyanogenMod support make you choose Samsung come upgrade time?