Google kicks CyanogenMod Installer out of Play Store

Google kicks CyanogenMod Installer out of Play Store

Summary: A fortnight after appearing on Android's app store, the app to assist in the installation of the alternative Android distribution has been removed.


Users wanting to move their Android device over to CyanogenMod, an alternative open-source Android distribution that is based on the official releases of Android, will have to return to sideloading the installer, after the CyanogenMod Installer app was voluntarily removed by CyanogenMod after being given an ultimatum to remove the app from Google.

Writing in a blog post, CyanogenMod said that it was contacted by Google for violating the terms of the Google Play store, and was advised to voluntarily pull the app from the store, or Google would remove it "administratively".

"We have complied with their wishes while we wait for a more favourable resolution," wrote ciwrl, CyanogenMod's head moderator.

"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."

Launched only two weeks ago, the CyanogenMod Installer makes the process of unlocking an Android device's bootloader and installing CyanogenMod much easier than it had previously been.

Although the app is now removed from the store, it is still able to be installed from CyanogenMod's website.

CyanogenMod said that in the two weeks the app was available, it had seen "hundreds of thousands of installations".

Topics: Mobility, Android, Google, Open Source


Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining CBS as a programmer. After a Canadian sojourn, he returned in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia, and is now the Australian Editor of ZDNet.

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  • Google and open

    I hope this starts to make people understand that they're only as open as is beneficial to them.
    Michael Alan Goff
    • The move will backfire

      Banning the Cyanogenmod app will be an incentive for everyone to go to other app stores for the first time, to get it. So the plan will backfire. Google should have just left it where it is.

      Though at least Google lets you go to other app stores (for those who delve into the Security settings on their Android phone to allow it).

      Apple is less open. Remember when the government and various senators asked Apple to remove the Wikileaks app from its app store. Apple obliged and removed it, and iPhones don't have the option to use any other app store.
      • You can jail break iPhones.

        This allows alternate app stores for those that want it.
  • Translation

    Google and its Open Handset Alliance partners want you to purchase a new Android device rather than re-purpose an older Android device with a newer version of Android.

    And never mind that many Android devices get neither prompt security updates nor prompt Android upgrades.

    Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Nobody is blocked by this...

    .. critics will gripe as usual but if a phone owner is able to
    understand what is going on they will still be able to
    mod their phone. Can you do this on iPhones?
    • If the CyanoenMod installer is not available in Google Play

      then it is *less visible* to those using Google Play. The vast majority of Android users aren't Linux geeks.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • true, but

        you don't need to be some kind of guru to find the CM website
        and sideload apps. if one just follows this stuff as they would
        if they are interested, it would be doable. again, the OS makes it directly
        possible, that is my point.
        • The vast majority of Android users don't visit ZDNet

          or similar web sites. They're not 'techies'. Thus, Cyana-what?!

          The whole point of having the CyanogenMod installer available for download at Google Play was to increase user awareness of CyanogenMod and its goals:

          o "Organize, lead, and support our community
          o "Create amazing user experience centered around how YOU work
          o "Security solutions that really work
          o "Stay committed to building the features our users need
          o "No junk
          o "Constant updates
          o "Available on everything, to everyone

          More here from SJVN:

          Getting the CyanogenMod installer into Google Play was part of its business plan.
          Rabid Howler Monkey
    • Yes, you can do this on iPhones.

      If you are so inclined.
  • New Nexus 7 running CM

    I received my new 2013 Nexus 7 last week. After 2-3 days of fiddling with it, I became frustrated at being unable to remove things I didn't want and there was an increasing feeling of a walled garden rising around me.
    I rooted it and easily installed Cyanogenmod, currently cm-10.2.0-RC1. It's lovely - like a breath of fresh air and it runs faultlessly. By the way, I've used Linux for years, but I'm hardly a geek.
    To hell with the warranty - the improvement more than justifies its loss.
  • Google need an advanced section to their store for advanced users.

    Google need an advanced section to their store for advanced users - apps that require root etc.

    Simple solution IMO.
    • The CyanogenMod installer is NOT designed for 'advanced users'

      From the CyanogenMod founder's blog:
      "Bringing the Cyanogen experience to everyone
      "The biggest obstacle we wanted to get out of the way is the hideous installation process. Today there are more open and unlockable devices than ever, but they all have their quirks and wildly different installation procedures. We’ve done our best to document the process for every device we support on our wiki, but it is still a daunting process for mere mortals. This is not sufficient—installation needs to be easy and safe.

      Creating an 'advanced section' in Google Play and making the CyanogenMod installer available in such an 'advanced section' would not support the current objective of CyanogenMod to bring "the Cyanogen experience to everyone".
      Rabid Howler Monkey