It’s been a while since we’ve seen a number of high-profile ROM developers “go pro” with their skills, the last highly-publicized instance being the departure of key Paranoid Android developers to Chinese upstart manufacturer OnePlus. Wednesday brought the announcement that another popular ROM development team had several key members take their skills to the big leagues – this time to join Russian manufacturer Highscreen. Dirty Unicorns members James Taylor (who developed the Kid Mode app we publicized recently), Randall Rushing, Anders Nielsen, Andrzej Ressel and Susan McCombs are all departing the team to join the manufacturer.
Although development had either slowed down considerably or halted altogether on previous occasions when ROM development teams lost key members in this way, there is still a considerable amount of talent remaining in the Dirty Unicorns team. According to a statement released by the team, you’ll still see a slowdown in development, but the ROM isn’t expected to die off or slow to a crawl like its predecessors did. Nevertheless, some major cutbacks are looming for the popular ROM, as quoted from the team’s website:
You will see things start to slow down as far as bug fixes until we can get some new talent added to the team. Some devices will be dropped as of right now to include the Angler and M8. Gerrit, JIRA, this website and many things that we’ve taken for some what granted will soon be shut down and we will have to regroup and find alternatives.
As you can see, Angler (Nexus 6P) and HTC One M8 users will have to wait until the team (hopefully) finds a maintainer to build for their devices. The team also mentioned that builds may soon be hosted on Android File Host (which is where most other well-known ROM developers host their builds). In case you’re wondering, Highscreen phones are not sold in the United States, so readers in this market won’t get to use whatever skin the aforementioned developers might build for the manufacturer (unless some other clever developers port the skin over to work on other devices). On another note, I’ve been told that the former Dirty Unicorns developers won’t have to relocate to Russia to begin work for Highscreen.
Though we in the rooted community always, erm, root for developers to be able to make a living with their skills, they’re always missed when they’re gone. I join the remaining members of Dirty Unicorns in bidding a fond farewell to the five developers who’ve “gone pro.”