Cyanogenmod installer removed from Google Play store

Two weeks ago, the one-click Cyanogenmod installer hit the Google Play store, making it possible to switch from the stock Android operating system to a more free, more open version without any special expertise. Yesterday, Google asked Cyanogenmod to remove the installer, because using it voids your device's warranty. I've downloaded other apps from the Play Store that root your device and void the warranty, so this seems like a very selective enforcement to me.

In any event, Cyanogenmod's installer can be "sideloaded" into your device without having to go through the Play Store (one of the advantages of Android is that it doesn't attempt to prevent you from installing unapproved software). Hundreds of thousands of people used the Play Store version, and we can hope that it remains in use, even without Google's official support.

They advised us to voluntarily remove the application, or they would be forced to remove it administratively. We have complied with their wishes while we wait for a more favorable resolution.

To those unfamiliar with the application, it has a single function – to guide users to enable “ADB”, a built in development and debugging tool, and then navigates the user to the desktop installer. The desktop application then performs the installation of the CyanogenMod on their Android device.

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 Installer Application Removed from Play Store

Notable Replies

  1. Even though I'm a Cyanogenmod user, I'm okay with this. The installation process isn't foolproof, and it's entirely possible to brick your phone with the installer.

  2. That's my thinking, I thought Cory's "one of the advantages of Android is that it doesn't attempt to prevent you from installing unapproved software" line kinda misses that point.

    There are certainly advantages to not having a single-point of access for apps - but I don't think this is one of them…

    Any opportunity for a dig I suppose!

  3. Terrin says:

    Yes, but Google allowed the App, plus other similar ones. To now, ask for them to be removed sends a muddled message to developers.

  4. scav says:

    So, assuming you didn't brick your phone, what was your reason for risking it, and are you still happy with your decision?

    Genuinely curious. There's a lot of Samsung crapware on my phone that I would be glad to uninstall if I thought the probability of killing my phone was low enough.

  5. Which was actually the problem here - the cyanogenmod installer needs something like 3 clicks and a few minutes of your time, no tech skill required.

    As to the "You can brick your phone!" argument, well yes sure it is possible, but it's along the same lines as "You'll shoot your eye out!". Stick with a stable release for a supported device and you are unlikely to have a problem.

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