Samsung is likely to have made a lot more friends in the cell phone modding community, after it posted the source code for the newly released Galaxy S III.
Having the source code available paves the way for modders and developers to begin working on custom ROMs for Samsung’s flagship Android 4.0 phone. This author considers it to be a very good idea, but more on that later. At present, the South Korean electronics giant has only released the code for the international GT-i9300 version; North Americans will probably have to wait a little longer.
So why release the source code? Samsung’s approach is the perfect foil to Apple’s obsessive privacy. The fact is the factory-loaded ROM will not be all things to all people, giving people the option to make changes, even if not many of them take advantage of the option, opens up the phone to a small, but highly-skilled niche. It never hurts to have developers on side – but the benefits can extend well beyond positive word-of-mouth. The better custom ROMs like CyanogenMod include some useful extra features – features that Samsung’s developers can choose to adopt or adapt as they update their own software. Apple may prefer its locked-down approach, but the fact is that independent developers can have great ideas and releasing the source code is all it costs Samsung to gain access to an enormous wealth of talent.