CyanogenMOD Store will allow “banned” and taboo apps to be downloaded to Android devices

Daniel Bader

January 23, 2012 10:08am

We’re big fans of CyanogenMOD here, as a ROM and a philosophy. Think of the perfect example of open-source software creation — collaboration, cooperation, passion — and you’ve rightly attributed most of what makes CM great. Recently the number of installs passed the one million mark; quite a feat for an alternative software project.

One of the guys behind this remarkable community is Koushik Dutta, or Koush, who brought us ClockworkMod Tether a few weeks back, and whose ClockworkMod recovery images help save thousands of phones every day with its backup and restore functionality.

Now the man, who is also somewhat of a rebel, pushing the limits of what’s allowed, and allowable, within the Android community, is teasing a CyanogenMOD App Store to be bundled with each official CM7 and CM9 build. What would be in this store? According to Koush: “Apps removed from the Market includes, one click root apps, emulators, tether apps, Visual Voicemail apps, and more. These are all completely legal (Nintendo emulators are fine, ROMs are NOT, there is a distinction).”

Basically, apps that have actual functionality (no malware prancing around like a legit app, for instance — those are obviously still banned) but for one reason or another Google has decided they are not fit for consumption. The likely cause of many apps’ banning lies with the various carriers who can enforce their own Terms of Service which, if violated, can appeal to Google to have the offending app removed. In 2011, all console emulator apps were removed from the Marketplace at the behest of various console manufacturers; these apps violated no intellectual property, but merely allowed for the playing of illegal game ROMs.

Any revenue made by the sale of these “banned” apps will go back to the development resources of the CyanogenMOD team, so there is a lot of potential good to come from this. Hopefully we’ll see the implementation sooner than later, but in the meantime there are plenty of alternative “alternative” app stores such as SlideMe.

Source: Google+
Via: Techcrunch

  • Miguel A

    This is why I love android

    • Rio

      You realize this is exactly what Cydia is?

    • Geeforson

      If this can be side-loaded without CM7/CM9, then it’s not “exactly” what Cydia is, since it doesn’t require any modification to most phones. Other alternate app stores can be.

    • Geeforson

      The CM Store is an app, not a ROM. If it’s like the CM9 Music Player, you’ll be able to download and install it without the ROM. Which means no bootloader unlocking and flashing is required. Again, not like Cydia.

  • Dimitri K.

    That is good & bad i suppose. Its a good thing because the banned apps that work fine but Android team does not want them will go live on another software & people will use them. The bad part is that i really hope they do not let them banned apps that want to trace are location & info. I do want banned apps being released in which will want ALL are info. I believe the CyanogenMoD team will work great & bring the good Banned apps to us that we can use :). I have never had any trouble with them.

  • Sean

    Thats great thay if they open a store they will be getting income to support the developments of future roms

  • Tom

    Even leaving aside the app store, I think it is important that this list of apps be publicly maintained.

    There was a point at which Google only pulled malware + apps that were illegal.

    Then they added emulators since these facilitated breaking the law.

    Now, they’ve added apps that break the carriers’ terms of service.

    Is this keeps up, they will become like Apple.

    In order to prevent that, it is important for the user community to keep a spotlight on the list of legit apps that get blocked.

  • Nick

    Great… hopefully they do a good job screening for privacy leaks and so on though. If anybody falls victim to identity theft or fraud on an unauthorized app on a modded ROM, I assume they’d be up a creek as far as getting the bank or anybody else to take pity on them.

  • Al

    Time for pokemon on my phone 🙂
    nds/GBA emulator!

  • Mike

    This is why Android is the best. Hate being boxed in? Android will set you free : )

  • Name

    Taking money for other people’s work, without authorization or compensation, to support the development costs for your own software which you provide for free.
    Nice business model here. Seriously?

  • Geeforson

    There are still emulators up there. Some emulators (*oid) were removed because they were GPL-violating, which *is* illegal, and extremely dickish. For some reason Snes9x EX, which is legal, was also removed; the guy’s other emulators (e.g. NES.emu) are still there, though.

  • jeremy

    For privacy concerns, etc, you should look at f-droid since it’s an app store that focuses on open source apps including ones banned from the Google Market.