EXCLUSIVE: CyanogenMod Theme Engine Isn’t Coming Back, LineageOS to Find Replacement

EXCLUSIVE: CyanogenMod Theme Engine Isn’t Coming Back, LineageOS to Find Replacement

XDA-Developers has always focused on developers and Android enthusiasts. Because of this, a lot of people reading this post most likely had a custom ROM running on their device at some point. And if you ever had a CyanogenMod ROM on any of your phones, chances are you are familiar with the CyanogenMod Theme Engine.

CMTE used to be the go-to theming engine for CyanogenMod ROMs. However, as Nougat ROMs became commonplace for almost all devices, CMTE still hadn’t shown up — people then started to question the progress of what was considered to be an essential component of the ROM. Months passed by, and the community was left waiting in the dark for a possible CMTE revival. This is where Substratum, based on Sony’s Overlay Management System, came in — Substratum had already started making waves in the Android Community with the exceptional theming capabilities it flaunted, and is now a very competitive replacement for those needing quick but powerful customization.


Acknowledging this, popular custom ROMs like ResurrectionRemix and DirtyUnicorns made the switch to Substratum. As familiar CMTE themers (like Per Lycke, Andre Zimmermann, Moelle) hopped onto the Substratum boat, the chances for the revival of CMTE looked even slimmer. Throughout the events that took place, there was one question that remained constant. “Is CMTE dead?” Well, we’re here to give you the answer.

Although no official statements have been given out as of now, our sources say that Clark Scheff has made a declaration of CMTE being dead. Claims like the one I just made ( of Clark declaring CMTE dead) often need a solid proof attached to it. Below is a screenshot of a Slack conversation where you can see Sykopompos, lead developer of Substratum in talks with Lineage to include Substratum. This clearly indicates CMTE’s demise as it is followed by a confirmation. It is quite clear from the screenshot below that Clark has moved on and left CMTE behind; further evidence provided to XDA-Developers confirms this fact.

Although whether they’ll merge CMTE or not isn’t certain yet, they have declared CMTE dead. Merging OMS into LineageOS has already been achieved by various developers, hence the process shouldn’t be tough — certainly easier than making bringing CMTE back to life at this point. All said and done, I have been a CMTE fan myself. One of the main reasons for why I used a custom ROM back in the MM days was the CyanogenMod Theme Engine, and its theming capabilities. I know many of you share my experience, and CMTE was ultimately an exceptional feature that made the CyanogenMod experience even better.

Tons of themes were created specifically for CyanogenMod, allowing themers and developers to offer truly unique experiences. While there are alternatives around, it’s hard to deny that this specific solution had impressive reach and ultimately made a lot of our phones even more unique and personal. So it’s a sad day as we must say adios CMTE, the Android Community shall miss you.
Just to be clear, the source for this information was neither from Team Substratum nor from Team Lineage.

What are your thoughts on the current state of Android theming? Let us know below.

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Designer interested in all things programming. Comp. Sci. student.

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