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, since it ‘encourages users to void their warranty’, it would not be allowed to remain in the store.
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. As we work through this new hurdle, we will continue to make available and support the installation process via our own hosting services.
Fortunately, Android is open enough that devices allow for installing applications via ‘Unknown Sources’ (ie sideload). Though it’s a hassle and adds steps to the process, this does allow us a path forward, outside of the Play Store itself.
The application can be found via the Get Started link on CyanogenMod.org. In addition to ‘sideloading’, we are submitting the application to the Amazon and Samsung app-stores.
Update: Removed reference to Google stating the app was not in violation of TOS – this was a mischaracterization of Google’s statement.