After spending a week in limbo, the popular Themer homescreen is now back on Google Play Store for everyone to enjoy once more. Suspiciously, the immediate return of the app came hours after the developers voiced their frustration at the lack of news from Google.
The Themer developers' troubles actually began on February 2 but only publicized the details few hours ago, probably in hopes that the issue would have been resolved by then. The root cause was apparently the dreaded DMCA notice that has been the favorite weapon of copyright holders against infringing entities, whether justified or not. In this case, the DMCA-wielding aggressor is, probably to no one's surprise, Apple.
They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, but in the real world it can actually get you sued. Themer itself was taken down because one of the around 200 themes it had included something that imitated that distinctive iOS look. Having been notified of this transgression, the developers removed the offensive theme and contacted Apple, who had no more issues about Themer. But while things have been settled on Apple's end, the Themer team discovered that Google's end was not as fast to respond. Fearing that days would turn into weeks, they posted an official statement on Facebook and Google+ explaining to their fans what really transpired.
It is not hard to imagine that Google would be swamped by requests and other matters such as this and that Themer's popularity might have had no effect in expediting its case, which might be a good thing if you consider that it means that all requests are treated equally. It is still curious that Themer's return to Google Play Store just happened to happily coincide with Themer's announcement, which practically put the ball in Google's court. While a word from Google would be nice, this incident will probably just remain as a footnote in the app's history, and probably serve as a word of caution to those who like making themes with a rather fruity flavor.
Download: Themer Beta on Google Play Store