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.