Android Nougat has already made its way into custom ROMs with version 7.1.1 already available, but something has been missing ever since version 7.0 first rolled out, and that is the CyanogenMod Theme Engine.
Users had been waiting for months for CMTE to make its debut with Nougat, but the response from the developers had been minimal. Something seemed off, as CMTE was always highly regarded and given high priority. Little did we know that the very project, CyanogenMod, would cease to exist and probably undergo a re-branding.
Quite fortunately, Substratum, a theme engine based on Sony’s OMS system lead by Nicholas Chum and Sykopompos had already made its debut. At first even I, just like almost everyone addicted to the CyanogenMod Theme Engine was the skeptic of this whole Substratum thing and its theming capabilities, but as soon I used it, it felt completely different to what all the critics and reviews said.
With talented themes already present in the Substratum scene, themes like Domination, Streamlined White, Biohazard, ModernUI, Swift Black, Mono/Art impressed me a lot.What is even more interesting about substratum is that it’s not even that old and themes like Per Locke (Swift Dark & Swift Black) and Noelle (Deep Darkness) are already making the switch over to Substratum. Without further ado, let’s get started with the interview.
Hey, Nick! Can you please give our readers a formal introduction of who you are and what you do?
I’m Nicholas and I’m the lead developer in [projekt.], a small group of highly specialized developers creating Android platform mods and apps with a more colorful touch on its functionalities.
How did you first get involved in Android development or development in general?
I started theming a while back, and while it was a fun time, I decided to step beyond the land of Android interface theming to actual coding for apps and AOSP.
How did you come up with the idea of Substratum?
I was initially developing an app called dashboard, which was a theme modification app to be used on CMTE. After a while of success with that app, I was approached by Syko to start something new, and over time we ended up being partners to being leading the new project now called Substratum.
Can you share with our readers, the efforts you’re making to wipe out any form of piracy when it comes to substratum – compatible themes?
We protect our themes in the sense that we put a little more effort to ensure piracy is reduced, but not eliminated. We all know piracy is inevitable, so the only thing we can do is affect the process of getting piracy worked in. The permissions used by Substratum states that Phone and Contacts are accessed, where we make checks to your IMEI and embeds each overlay with your IMEI. Similar to how Solid Explorer does it too.
What do you have planned for the future of Substratum?
Rootless, more features and global adaptation.
Your view on the whole CMTE/Subs war?
There shouldn’t be a war. Users should use whatever they want and impose on someone else your views and deny to listen to the other end is wrong.
There are pros and cons for each system. Use what you like!
I have created Subs after being a CMTE them for a long time. Subs are the result of my time on CMTE, a journey to create something that came from my old bad experience and revamped with my very own touches.
How does Substratum differ from CMTE?
The difference between Substratum and CMTE is that Substratum does not compile themes immediately in the background to bog down the system. As Substratum themes have millions of combinations, it is impossible and rather redundant to compile them all for the user’s liking, so it is an “if you want it, compile it yourself” instead of a “let CMTE do the work for you, and if the theme messed up, you’re stuck with a broken theme” kind of set up.
Why should CMTE themes make their shift to Substratum?
CMTE themes should shift over to Substratum because we aim to develop for the latest and greatest of Android. We like having to have all our work transparent in the eyes of the community, rather than everybody sitting around the fire waiting for CMTE and whether it drops or not, especially since we all know what happened to CM.
When can we expect the Icon Packs and Profiles to make their way to the app?
Profiles are comfortably added already and are in works with my other developer partners. Icon Packs is rather slow as it needs a lot of testing.
That’s great, you have so much planned for Substratum, but that just makes me curious. What would you be found doing if you’re not developing?
Well, other than developing, I usually swim a lot to relieve stress and to hang out with friends.
Also, for the last question, How did it feel to finally get rid of your iPhone and MacOS?
Fucking great 🙂
Well, that was great. I thank Nicholas for agreeing to this interview and wish him and Substratum all the very best!
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