Renowned rooted Android developer Chainfire has officially put away his keyboard. Earlier this week, Chainfire announced end-of-life support for all of his rooted Android apps.
Chainfire is best-known for creating SuperSU, the popular root-only app that lets you grant individual root access permissions to specific apps.
Chainfire has dozens of other root-only apps on the Google Play Store. Other apps never made it to the Play Store but were widely distributed across the XDA Developers Forum and other sources.
During his retirement announcement, Chainfire claimed that some of these root-only apps will be updated to show their current status. Other apps, however, will be left to slowly die.
Chainfire is not just retiring his root-only apps. He’s retiring all his Android apps. Yes, Chainfire created a number of apps that did not require rooting, including 500 Firepaper (which became useless since 500px announced their API was shutting down in June).
You can view Chainfire’s entire app catalog on the Google Play Store here.
What happens to Chainfire’s app users now? Well, the app will continue working with the current version of Android. Any future changes, however, may not be supported. An upcoming Android update might break the functionality of these apps, and nobody will be around to update them.
It’s no secret that Chainfire was about to disappear from the Android app development scene. Last October, Chainfire announced plans to retire from root-only app development, although he left the door open for his eventual return. Now, as of early May, he has officially closed that door, saying he no longer has the time to develop his apps.
The next question, of course, is whether or not Chainfire will open his apps to the open source community. There’s an enormous community of developers willing to take over Chainfire’s projects. Chainfire, however, has not announced plans to open his code to the world.
In the meantime, Chainfire is retiring as an XDA Senior Recognized Developer and one of the best-known members of the Android development community. As the XDA-Developers blog announced, “Chainfire is a legend in the XDA community” for his work on SuperSU and other root-only Android apps. It’s the “end of an era” for the Android community.
The rooted Android app developers’ community just got a little emptier. We wish the best of luck to Chainfire in his next endeavor.