CyanogenMod, which recently incorporated to forge a new path, has been asked by Google to remove their Cyanogen Installer app from the Play Store. While Google acknowledges it doesn’t violate any Terms of Service, they take issue with what the app encourages users to do. More to the point, they’re uncomfortable that CyanogenMod might inadvertently cause users to violate their warranties.
To their credit, CyanogenMod removed the app when asked, avoiding the Installer to be forcefully removed. Via their blog, Cyanogen notes that the Installer has been downloaded “hundreds of thousands” of times, which leads them to believe users want more choice in their operating system. The Installer via the Play Store was a more mainstream way of loading Cyanogen, but not the only way.
Users can still side load apps to their devices, but that presents its own wrinkles in regard to warranty concerns and such. The app can still be found on CyanogenMod’s site, so if you’ve yet to try it out, feel free to pursue that avenue. “Though it’s a hassle and adds steps to the process, this does allow us a path forward, outside of the Play Store itself” was Cyanogen’s comment on the subject.
If anything, this adds a depth to the ongoing line of questioning regarding what is and isn’t ownership of a device. Between opt-out-early programs like Jump, we’re often left to make monthly payments for a device. Until that time, we don’t technically own it. Purchasing a device outright, as is the case with Nexus devices, gives us the freedom to do as we please.