Developer Unstable Apps just released their latest update to their 'Easy Root' application yesterday. Though, just as soon as it went up, Google quickly yanked it off the Android Market. The latest 'Easy Root' update (1.2.2), allowed owners running Froyo on the Motorola Droid, Motorola Droid X, and the Motorola Milestone to easily root their phones by a single touch of a button.

We got in contact of the developer of Easy Root, as we're trying to get to the bottom of why the application was pulled from the Market.  That's what we do.  He was kind enough to give us a statement.  You can read it, as well as see a walkthrough video of the app after the break.   [AndroidPhonesBlog via AndroidSPIN]

Update: The developer of Easy Root has again contacted us, this time with news that the application is once again live and available for download from his site HERE.  Want some even better news?  Emails are already going out to those that purchased from the Market with a new product key and download instruction.  Our own Jared has already received his.  It's really nice to see this level of support for a $0.99 application.  Keep doing what you do Nathan!

YouTube link for mobile viewing

And here's the statement from the developer of Easy Root:

AndroidCentral.com-

 

First of all I would like to thank you for taking interest in this situation.  I would also like to thank all the users (and people wanting to be users) of Easy Root for their patients through this ordeal.  I wrote Easy Root for a single purpose, to make it as easy as possible for people to fully use the hardware they had paid for.  When I first started getting word from people that Easy Root had been pulled from the Market I was surprised.  I am sure that like many others I choose the Android platform for its commitment to openness and freedom.  Now, having said that, I also understand that Google finds themselves between a rock and a hard place.  While I am sure they want openness and freedom, they also have to protect users to a certain degree.  An application that can root your phone can of course do a lot of other things too.  I hope that I can come to an arrangement with Google that allows Easy Root back onto the Market as it is the easiest way for users to get it.  If an agreement can't be made, don't worry, I am busy working on a version that doesn't require the Market at all.  I hope to release the Market free version later today, and will let people know more about a Market version coming back once I actually hear something from Google.
 
Thank you,
Nathan
Unstable Apps
 

Thanks Nathan, and we're staying on top of this, too.  We'll keep everyone up to date on the future of the Market version of Easy Root, as well as the availability of a non-Market version. 

Nathan has also told us that he will be creating keys for everyone who purchased Easy Root from the Market, and will be emailing them out when he finishes up the non-Market version. Kudos to you sir!

 
 
 

Reader comments

Google pulls 'Easy Root' off Market [updated]

47 Comments

1 statement needs to be straightened out.

This guys app uses another development teams source.

So him being revolutionary with "easy root" which Droidmod has had for the Droid1 before the 2.1 update was even on phones, I find to be a mockery of the open source community.

Dearest Nathan, if you ever read this:

taking credit for open source work and slapping a price tag is what the world would deem as BS.

If it was open source work, what exactly did Nathan do wrong? That other development team also needs to make the source publicly available again, or halt development and pull any and all published versions until they figure out how to do this without any of the current source.

OSS is not for those with big egos.

Hi phoxus, I did read your comment!

Have you ever emailed me asking what exploit I use to give Easy Root users root? If you had, you would have received the same answer I give to everyone. I use a modified version of the exploid tool that was originally released by the c-skills team. I then point them here:
http://www.unstableapps.com/modifiedexploid.c

The exploid hack was released under the GPL and I happily comply with it. I am an avid user of open source software and believe in what these licenses mean. As for saying that I make a "mockery" of the open source community, that is simply untrue. Do you say the same of Red Hat because they offer paid versions of their software with support or additional tools to make certain tasks easier? I can ask you the same about Canonical, MySQL and many others, but that is unneeded I am sure.

Had you simply asked, I would have happily provided you the same information others have requested.

Thank you,
Nathan

So, Nathan, how do I send you an email? I downloaded the Easy Root Compatibility Test to my new Dell Streak. It generates the email just fine, but without an email address to send it to.

Open source doesn't mean free apps. You're really going to complain about 99 cents? If you don't want to pay for apps then don't. Criticizing a developer for wanting to charge for an app just stupid.

I dont see the big deal. He put it on the phone and made it easy for people who aren't sure enough to do it on the pc and charged a buck for his efforts. Its not like he is charging 5 bucks. I am more than i willing to pay for the convenience and the support for other updates. So in saying that...

Dearest Nathan, if you ever read this:

Rock on!

We'll be waiting for your app.

got it. ran it but i guess i have more work to do in order to get wifi tethering to work. seems to need some kernel.

thanks for getting it going. appreciate it.

Rooting your phone is cool if you know what you're doing, but it's probably just too risky to the hardware/warranty to make it that easy for non power users

... allowed owners running Froyo on the ... Motorola Milestone ...
That would be the empty set. But hey, thanks a lot for pouring salt on the wound.

I say good for the developer of this great app. Why should he not charge for a product he put time and effort into putting together? If I owned a Droid I would buy it in a heart beat. I'm hoping he puts the same app together for the worlds best device, The Nexus One.

The guy might be using an exploit that someone else found but he turned it into a script and put a ui on top of it. Might not be the prettiest but it gets the job done. Why shouldn't he get paid. If you don't want the ability to root your phone or a phone that you might purchase in the future with one click then don't buy the app. No need to bash the guy.

I am waiting on my Droid X(impatiently I might add) and the first app I want is Root Me. The fact that Nathan made an app, no matter what he used, to be so simple for everyone he should be commended not bashed. Not everyone is a tech god, and the fact that rooting a phone is extremely dangerous(imputing a wrong character possibly messing up phone) and made it so simple, a thank you and 99 cents is little to ask for.

Thank You Nathan........99 cents pending

Seemed like a pretty cool app, but I can't blame Google for wanting to pull it. Yes, they want openness and freedom, but they also want to limit novice users from perhaps getting themselves into a little too much trouble.

There is an easy root app for the n1 its called universal androot. It roots ur phone w/o unlocking ur bootloader an it can unroot ur phone as well. I used it today an works great. Im now runnin cm6. Its not in the market look for it in the xda n1 forums under themes an apps

It's legal to root/jailbreak your phone, but it's not legal to distribute ways to root/jailbreak.
That's what the law actually says.

How can anyone accuse the developer of wanting paid a minimal 99 cents for his time/effort. What a joke. Keep up the good work Nathan, open source doesn't mean free, it means OPEN! Although some really good work is done in the open source community for free, debian distributions like ubuntu, gentoo etc offer paid addons for improved flexibility, like using cegeda over wineX. You pay for cegeda but it is much more usable as opposed to wineX which is free. When I first started working with linux distributions I read that although the platform is free, you are also FREE to change anything because it is open and charge for it as long as you still keep the environment open. Hope that helps educate some of the novice android users.

when/if it comes back up, I'll buy it just to support him even though I imagine another (free) way will be published in the near future. This guy definitely deserves the money for the effort he made in constructing this brilliant app

I am SO glad I got this app before it was pulled... I'm enjoying taking snapshots (without having to be tied down to my computer!) :D

Even tho I own an EVO (and I've rooted it), if this ever makes it back to the market I'd buy it for two reasons... Both born out of principle: 1) to show Google that apps like this which give users more control definitely deserve a place in the market 2) to reinforce good service and the proper way in which the dev has handled the whole situation, from the removal off the market to stranded buyers and even comments made right here. You sir, set forth a good example, kudos.

Unfortunately, I don't think it will ever get back to the market. There's laws involved as well as Google's Terms of Service. They may, but I doubt they would alter the terms to accommodate 1 app that works on a couple of Android phones.

That being said, just this morning I hopped on Unstable App's site and bought a key. What he is doing now is making the .apk file available, anyone can download it. You need a key to activate it and you pay him for the key.

He is going Radiohead style and allowing you, the end user, to choose how much you pay for the key. The price tags range from .99 cents to $4.99 in $1 increments. The .apk file is the same, the 4.99 key doesn't give you anything different than the .99. It provides us as the end users to essentially tip the developer for a job well done.

When I successfully root and fall in love with Unstable Apps' work, I'll buy another key to sit on just as a thank you for taking the time to develop the app, update it, make it compatible with more phones and finally get shut down on the Market and find a new method of providing his work.

downloaded it from unstableapps.com, got the key right away and proceeded to root my Moto Droid. Worked like a charm. Enjoying my newly rooted Moto Droid! Thank you devs!

I think I realized what happened!! Verizon gave google an 'apple' and google is now infected.
Google starts out by saying, "we must give power and choice to the consumer" hence the nexus 1 online store model. When that failed, did googles hopes of world domination via open source crumble with it? They sure are giving verizon and motorola way too much control. Dictating what our money gets us. So? Is android open? Or just more open than ios?
Fyi: I love android and digg developers keeping it open! I bought easyroot and wont unroot! Soon I hope my x runs without blur they ruined it with blur! For now, launcher pro + keeps the x sexy!

Hardly.

Each of the phone manufacturers have complete control with their devices as Android is open source. You yourself can download it from Android/Google and do whatever you want with it. You can re-write some code and load it onto your netbook and create your own Blur UI for it.

Google doesn't need an "Apple." As big as VZW is with their DROID line and ATT with their i*hone, they are small fish when compared to Google and can't really offer Google something special.

Android is open, the phone manufacturers that use it are not quite so open. If you don't like what Motorola does with it, or HTC, then I would highly suggest finding a Nexus One or a DROID that runs Vanilla Android and you don't have to use any interface or pre-loaded apps that you don't want.

You know what.. after reading this it sorta ticked me off that they pulled it. I decided to grab this for my Droid running stock Froyo and I gave em $1.99. After running through it, its so friggin easy. My buddy just came to my desk while writing this and he told me he paid $1.99 too. Droid users do think alike :) . But kudos for the great app!

I just paid for a root key last night and never got it. Now I can't even get to the sight anymore. "site is Unavailable" what the heck???