Magisk is one of the most powerful Android mod tools around, and a godsend to users who buy a phone without a strong custom ROM community. But ever since its creator John Wu was hired by Google itself in May, its future has been somewhat fuzzy. Earlier today Wu updated his Medium site for the Magisk project, stating that the open source tool will continue development … but with some notable changes.
The big news: Wu officially has Google’s blessing to continue managing the Magisk project. That’s a big deal, as certain elements of the program represent a possible conflict of interest for him. One element in particular: MagiskHide, the tool that allows modifications of an Android phone’s core software to go unnoticed by apps and system tools. (This is a pretty big deal for users who want to mod their phones without losing access to “secure” apps like banking or certain games.) To that end, MagiskHide is going to be mostly abandoned.
“MagiskHide will have to see its end of life,” Wu said. “Having access to almost all Google source code (as all Googlers do) and spoken with various related teams, it simply does not make sense for me to be involved in any root hiding business as it is just straight up conflict of interest.”
The open source nature of Magisk means that there’s nothing stopping another developer from creating a similar tool, and without any kind of endorsement or cooperation from Wu, there’s not a lot Google could do about it. (Indeed, similar tools are already available.) A small portion of the MagiskHide tool will remain: the ability for users to set a denylist of processes that keeps Magisk from interfering with specific applications.
Wu’s also said that he no longer has the time or interest to moderate the Magisk Module repository. The repo will be removed from the app, and a GitHub web-based replacement run by members of the Magisk community is in the works. Manual file-based installation is still an option.
The latest Magisk release was version 23.0, posted in May. It may be some time before the next version comes out, considering the scope of the changes John Wu has outlined.