CyanogenMod

The official CyanogenMod blog this afternoon gave word that the CM Installer — an Android app that aids in the process of getting the custom ROM onto a device — was voluntarily pulled from Google Play. Here's the rub:

Today, we were contacted by the Google Play Support team to say that our CyanogenMod Installer application is in violation of Google Play’s developer terms.

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, and not actually in violation of their Terms of Service, since it ‘encourages users to void their warranty’, it would not be allowed to remain in the store.

CM says it'll submit the app to the Amazon and Samsung stores, and of course you can always sideload it.

Update: the CM team has updated their original blog post, and it's prudent to post it here as well since we're quoting them:

Update: Removed reference to Google stating the app was not in violation of TOS – this was a mischaracterization of Google’s statement.

Update 2: The source code for the app has been made available.

More: CyanogenMod blog

 

Reader comments

CyanogenMod intstaller voluntarily removed from Google Play

70 Comments

All of the crap apps in the Play Store and this gets asked to be removed? Makes no sense. We mine as well ban alcohol as it encourages people to drink and drive and ban guns as they encourage people to kill.

Lots. There's an app that will unlock your bootloader without wiping.
There's the Bloater app that helps remove bloatware on certain devices...etc etc. Cyanogenmod was just the highest profile one and thus had to bear the brunt of Google's ire.

That analogy is far from accurate. The sole function of the CM installer voids your warranty in the process. Literally, if you use the app for its function, your warranty will be voided. It's more akin to saying alcoholic drinks encourage you to consume alcohol.

If they're installing ADB and/or a utility to install a better OS, they are quite aware of the useless "warranty". Google is getting as bad as Apple when it comes to their reins over the "open" store.

I think the problem is more that, previously, you needed to have some level of technical ability to flash Cyanogenmod on your phone, and if you didn't have the ability, you would need to read so much that you would be well aware of the dangers and your warranty status by the time you were able to flash. Having it as a downloadable app in the Play store gives people the impression that it is sanctioned by Google, which it isn't.

Also, the "effortless" nature of that tool, (I've tried it and yes, it is completely effortless) encourages people who don't know better to flash their phones, without any effort or attention to the prompts (e.g. clicking through the prompts without reading). This will lead to a lot of people voiding the warranty on their phones without "knowing" (let's hold in abeyance the fact that it is their fault for not reading.) We all know that people will get up in arms and blame Google for not protecting them from doing something to their phone that would void their warranty and leave them high and dry in the event of a problem.

It makes sense that Google would want this out of the Play Store, and therefore out of their backyard. If people sideload it, they are, once again, on their own and fully responsible for their own actions.

No one ever said the PLAY STORE was OPEN. ANDROID is OPEN because you can still SIDELOAD the app, which you can't do on iOS without jailbreaking.

It wasn't stuck because the entirety of the post want capitalized. Only the words he was trying to emphasize.

Sent via my Verizon Moto X

The OS itself is open source. Google play services (ie Play Store) are not. Being able to side load is a wonderful thing but that is certainly not why Android is open.

Google probably doesn't want any responsibility to cover voided warranties.

Don't expect Samsung to have it either. What with them supposedly switching to Tiezen. Allegedly.

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I really wish people would stop with that bull. They may put one out, if they ever finish it, but there is no "switching"

It's not that far fetched. Samsung sells galaxy phones. With a super heavy overlay over android. IMO when you buy a samsung phone you are buying touchwiz. All they need to do is lay touchwiz over tiezen and 90% of the people wouldn't even notice. Large companies have made worse decisions.

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No, when people buy Galaxy phones, they most certainly are not buying "Touchwiz", they're still buying Android phones. I'd bet 90% of Galaxy owners don't even know what Touchwiz is.

And if Samsung switched Android for Tiezen, people would notice as soon as they tried, and failed, to find the Play store to download/buy their apps. Without a healthy app market, a mobile OS is near worthless.

They may not know Touchwiz by name but they certainly know it when they see it. The poster has a valid point. Samsung is largely abstracting Android. The only place where they could falter is getting people to switch from Google Play o Samsung's store. That's a tall order especially now that the Play store is approaching the mindshare of iTunes.

Apps = Ecosystem = Google Play Store.

Yeah there's Amazon and obscure others but Google Play Store is to Android as iTunes is to Apple.

You can't buy apps from one and use them on the other.

It was only a matter of time before this happened. The people who use this app can sideload it if they want anyway. Has no effect on me; it didn't support the VZW GS3...

They wouldn't have to, Amazon devices are too locked down to begin with and too difficult to put back to normal, not worth the effort.

This whole 'void your warranty by installing unapproved software" is ridiculous. When did a PC maker ever have such a ridiculous position. Software/firmware cannot harm a phone any more than a buggy operating system!

Whilst Google can choose what appears within play - I fail to understand how warranties could be voided. I expect there will be a legal challenge from someone somewhere who is told their expensive phone no longer has a warranty due to software being installed from a non approved source.

The Manufacturer has all the rights when it comes to warranties and compensation. If it states anywhere in the warranty about software or tampering then there is nothing a consumer can do. And all warranties are pretty standardized.

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Depends where you live. In the EU nothing CM does to your phone would void the warranty. The manufacturer might charge you if you brick it and want it reflashing, but no hardware faults can be rejected. Admittedly they do sometimes try, but if you know your rights you are fine.

Good luck using this on an ATT S4 with MF3 Firmware :(

Flipping ATT and their locked bootloaders, same on their Note 3, with ZERO development, and no CM11 ROM's for that phone if you have the ATT N3.

This CM app could confuse people, if they have no clue they are on a locked down S4 or N3, as opposed to an open one like on T-Mobile or international.

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Interesting turn of events. Someone must have gotten upset on the manufacturer side of things as there is no way in hell the folks at Google didn't catch wind of the installer way before it was even submitted or they would have contacted them sooner.

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I used the app on a Galaxy Nexus to try it out. Worked fine. You kinda think though that anyone who has the initiative to install CM does not really need this App...I don't really have any interest in CM so it hasn't enticed me to use the phone since.

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That stinks, glad I got it and used it before it was removed. Glad I could now delete all the Google bloatware from my nexus that you had only the option to disable

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Like the dreaded movie studio app...

Used it the day after it came out and my phone is a lot better now. Maybe a disclaimer that pops up saying 'WARNING: This app will void your warranty. Your phone cannot be fixed afterwards'

Posted via Android Central App on my nexus 4

Yup my nexus feels more faster and fluid than before. Sure I'm running 4.3 and not 4.4 but its not much of a difference IMO. I really don't like updating the OS on either my droid or apple products. Especially with iOS 7 on my iPhone 4. Stupid of me to update but waiting for a jailbreak for that. Overall happy with CyanogenMod, but paranoid android looks interesting. Google sucks just like apple in preventing us to do what we want with our devices.

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Wait......doesn't all the rooting apps and bootloader apps encourage people to void their warranty.

And how about all the apps that require you to be rooted?

Getting a little too big for our britches Google aren't we.......

: scowl face

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Neither does this one. The computer version of the one click installer roots it for you. This just leads you to the computer version really.

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Neither does this one. The computer version of the one click installer roots it for you. This just leads you to the computer version really.

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In the EU nothing CM does to your phone would void the warranty. The manufacturer might charge you if you brick it and want it reflashing, but no hardware faults can be rejected. Admittedly they do sometimes try, but if you know your rights you are fine.

Used the app last week on my A(add more bloatware)T&T Sammy Galaxy S3 just to see how it worked. I was on stock rooted 4.1.1 with stock recovery. App worked perfectly with the phone and my Win 7 64 bit PC. So far no issues with CM on the phone. It's faster, no more att and Sammy bloatware. I'll try CM for a while as my daily driver. If I don't like it I'll ODIN back to stock and re-root. I can see Google's side as people who are clueless could mess up or not realize they are installing a different OS than stock. I don't think the CM team will have any luck getting Amazon or Samsung nor any OEM to allow the app on their sites. I'm guessing they will have to move it to F-droid or some other site to make it available. In the future I see Google locking down the system similar to what Apple has been doing forever. I mean look, they already cracked down on some apps that required root and ad blockers.

Sent via the DeathStar with my CM 10.2 S3

Tell me about it. Google is mirroring apple which is kind of ironic since they are all about open software and stuff. Bunch of hypocrites.

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I don't buy that... The Nexus(es) are still unlocked devices so you can do what you want -- software wise. IMO, it's not fair to put them in the same category with Apple -- who wrote to book on the "Walled Garden" business strategy (aka Vertical Monopoly).

But I will agree that they're being a little paranoid about what people might do with this cm app.

Makes perfect sense.
Google simply can't condone anything that would affect their partners (carriers and OEM's) to that extent. They are basically saying "if you want to mess with your phone , you are on your own".
And I'm totally fine with that "statement".
I tried all of the ROMS out there and always got back to CleanRom , which in essence is a stock ROM of a specific manufacturer but without carrier bloat with couple of good tweaks.

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Odd. One of the first apps I bought for my first smartphone from the Play Store, a Motorola Droid X, four years ago, was used to root the phone and get it ready to flash a custom ROM.
It was Z4Root.
Warranty void.

Posted from my HTC One GPe via Android Central App

They need to make a law where simply changing YOUR phones software doesn't void your warranty, like they have for cars. There is a law that bans manufacturers from voiding your warranty because you did a modification to your car, I forget the act/law name. I've never had a ROM do physical damage to any of my devices.

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You've never had a ROM do damage to your devices because you know what you're doing. There are some people out there who carelessly tamper with their phones, mess something up, and will probably blame the manufacturer. That's why these laws are in place.

I used this app and it was great, detected my Galaxy S3 and I am now rocking CM, the phone was getting slow to the point I was going to upgrade but now its super speedy.
Also I have noticed that bluetooth is working properly for the first time ever, it was a bit hit and miss in the car with the stereo and hands free but so far it has connected first time every time.

By this logic any app that requires root would encourage users to void their warranty thus being in violation of ToS. Sour grapes????

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What about those of us that are not under contract!? I paid full price for my phone. Not everyone that uses the play store are under a contract!

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