CyanogenMod Installer pulled from Play as Google complains

Chris Davies - Nov 27, 2013, 4:41pm CST
CyanogenMod Installer pulled from Play as Google complains

Popular Android tweak tool CyanogenMod Installer has been pulled from the Google Play store, after developers Cyanogen were warned by Google that if they didn’t yank it, the search giant would. Released earlier this month, the CyanogenMod Installer Application effectively opens up an Android device to easier installation of the CyanogenMod package itself; as we ourselves found, it could take a regular Android phone to a modded one in just minutes. However, Google now says, it’s encouraging users to void their device warranties, and has to go.

“After reaching out to the Play team, their feedback was that though application itself is harmless, since it ‘encourages users to void their warranty’, it would not be allowed to remain in the store” CyanogenMod head moderator Abhisek Devkota wrote today. According to the company, there was no option to leave the installer app in place – Google’s Play Store support team effectively warned that if CyanogenMod didn’t take it down voluntarily, it would be removed anyway. [Update: CyanogenMod’s original statement suggested Google had conceded the Installer was not a contravention of Play terms of service; the post has since been updated with that section removed, as it was supposedly “a mischaracterization of Google’s statement.”]

“We have complied with their wishes while we wait for a more favorable resolution” Devkota says.

It’s worth noting that the removal of the installer application does not mean CyanogenMod is pulled; or, indeed, that it can no longer be installed in a relatively easy way. CyanogenMod hosts the files itself, and by allowing an Android device to install applications from “Unknown Sources” in the settings page, it can still be added to a phone or tablet.

What the Play store app had meant, though, was a more streamlined process to achieve that, Devkota laments.

“We’ve seen hundreds of thousands of installations of the application, proving the demand for more choice, and that the need for an alternative Android experience exists” he points out. “As we work through this new hurdle, we will continue to make available and support the installation process via our own hosting services.”

CyanogenMod now plans to submit the Installer app to Amazon’s AppStore and Samsung’s App Store, though it’s unclear whether either company will have the same concerns as Google does.

Google’s concerns around warranties haven’t dissuaded some OEMs from joining forces with CyanogenMod, however. OPPO is releasing a device with the mod pre-loaded next month, and at least one more hardware partner is waiting in the wings, Android Community reports.

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