Sep 25 AT 6:20 PM Taylor Wimberly 92 Comments

Google responds to CyanogenMod controversy

Android developer Dan Morrill has made a post on the official Android blog in response to the recent Cyanogen controversy.

Lately we’ve been busy bees in Mountain View, as you can see from the recent release of Android 1.6 to the open-source tree, not to mention some devices we’re working on with partners that we think you’ll really like. Of course, the community isn’t sitting around either, and we’ve been seeing some really cool and impressive things, such as the custom Android builds that are popular with many enthusiasts. Recently there’s been some discussion about an exchange we had with the developer of one of those builds, and I’ve noticed some confusion around what is and isn’t part of Android’s open source code. I want to take a few moments to clear up some of those misconceptions, and explain how Google’s apps for Android fit in.

Everyone knows that mobile is a big deal, but for a long time it was hard to be a mobile app developer. Competing interests and the slow pace of platform innovation made it hard to create innovative apps. For our part, Google offers a lot of services – such as Google Search, Google Maps, and so on – and we found delivering those services to users’ phones to be a very frustrating experience. But we also found that we weren’t alone, so we formed the Open Handset Alliance, a group of like-minded partners, and created Android to be the platform that we all wished we had. To encourage broad adoption, we arranged for Android to be open-source. Google also created and operates Android Market as a service for developers to distribute their apps to Android users. In other words, we created Android because the industry needed an injection of openness. Today, we’re thrilled to see all the enthusiasm that developers, users, and others in the mobile industry have shown toward Android.

With a high-quality open platform in hand, we then returned to our goal of making our services available on users’ phones. That’s why we developed Android apps for many of our services like YouTube, Gmail, Google Voice, and so on. These apps are Google’s way of benefiting from Android in the same way that any other developer can, but the apps are not part of the Android platform itself. We make some of these apps available to users of any Android-powered device via Android Market, and others are pre-installed on some phones through business deals. Either way, these apps aren’t open source, and that’s why they aren’t included in the Android source code repository. Unauthorized distribution of this software harms us just like it would any other business, even if it’s done with the best of intentions.

I hope that clears up some of the confusion around Google’s apps for Android. We always love seeing novel uses of Android, including custom Android builds from developers who see a need. I look forward to seeing what comes next!

Steve Kondik (Cyanogen) issued his own response on his Twitter account.

Sorry everyone, CyanogenMod in it’s current state is done. I am violating Google’s license by redistributing their applications. The only thing we can do is develop an open-source replacement for the most important parts. I do plan to release a “bare bones” version of CM as 4.2, and the source code will remain available. Unfortunately, I feel this is a chilling effect for the entire Android community, since what we are doing is now considered illegal.

We even had an inside source who wishes to remain anonymous that weighed in on the issue:

The C&D that Google sent to cyanogen was spawned by Google’s legal team, and lacks the support of the Android developers (who think it’s in VERY poor taste), likely spawned by the fact that he included a copy of the new 1.6 marketplace which had not been released anywhere else. He’s had at least 1 phone call with Google, and is working to open a dialog with them about the issue. They’re so far well with in their legal rights to do what they did, and he’s trying to open a dialog to allow him to continue. At this point, he thinks they’re acting in good faith, and is trying to keep this as quiet as possible to avoid any negative PR, so long as they’re acting in good faith.

Update (9/25 7:30PM): We also just found this obscure message from Android developer Jean-Baptiste Queru, who happens to work for the Dan Morrill quoted above.

What are the odds this is related?

What are the odds this is related?


I plan to summarize my thoughts on this entire issue, but I wanted to bring you the latest news first. It appears CyanogenMod as we know it is over. Hopefully Google can figure out a way to distribute their Android applications other than the closed source Android Market (shouldn’t they just call it the Google Market?).

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Unk

    It looks like ALL ROM mods are over as we know them… they are all considered warez now…

  • tehpeng

    I guess we were all too hopeful. Google is just as disgusting as apple and microsoft. Theres a save cyanogen app on the market. 5k downloads so far. Go get it. Maybe theyll realize how many people theyre disappointing.

    • SDscorch

      here here!

    • mcmaddcatt

      They’re even worse than Apple or MS, at least they don’t blatantly lie about having a OSS phone.
      Fuck google and they’re platform, i’m not signing into a 2 year contract just to carry a phone that will die out.

      No cool apps, no OSS, nothing, even Google’s own fucking devs are jumping ship.

      Way to go Google, ya fucking loser!

  • Robert Barrett

    That really sucks. I was going to buy my wife a Android phone from TMobile as I have a G1 with Cyanogens and now I will never buy a Android or Google based product. Cyanogens roms is what made me keep my G1 in the first place and made me want to get my wife a Android based phone.

  • Daniel

    I think the worst move here was spreading the news. Just like Cyanogen said in the original log:

    [20:28] i should not have mentioned it

    (Though I don’t really blame him; he probably just thought it would be good to be transparent, and changed opinion as soon as he realized the kind of reaction it would get)

    If this discussion happened privately, there was still a chance somebody would hush the legal department and Google could pretend they didn’t see anything, just like it was before their meddling. But right now I find it really unlikely that Google will go back on their statements – legally it would be a *very* dubious move, and could result in undesired antecedents for future cases.

    • davidjspooner

      Agreed – Now that this has been publicly raised Google have no choice but to stand by their licence agreements. If i might make a suggestion i think maybe google could licence said apps to cyanogen for a nominal one off $1 dollar fee on condition that he abide by their release schedule. Ie after the offical cupcake/doughnut releases from google and not before.

      • Haywir3

        Yea the legal team of a billion dollar corporation is going to just pick up their ball and go home, because the nice woman asked politely. Not sure what kind of world you live in.

        • davidjspooner

          maybe not, but i suspect that honey will get better results than vinegar. Lawyers have to save face, give them a way out where they can do that and you have a chance. Telling them they are stupid or evil doesn’t really help. It looks like the momentum for an open source market equivalent is growing, and i wouldn’t be surprised if that was in in everyone interest. Including Google.

      • Sterling

        Great idea. I hope he — or Google — has thought of this. Maybe we can help by suggesting it in prominent places? The one remaining concern would be that phone manufacturers building Android devices within Google’s terms (and according to a different cost schedule) may feel cheated…

      • Jonah

        That would be an excellent and elegant solution – acknowledging Google’s IP rights at the same time as being fair and smart against the non-commercial Android enhancing modding community. All other alternatives will bring a huge chilling effect. Be smart google, don’t inject Android with the stupid flu!

  • davidjspooner

    Consider the desktop market. Most PCs come with windows pre installed and Microsoft get a cut for that. Sometimes those PCs might come with a copy of office bundled in. Microsoft gets some money for that too and the costs are passed on to the end user as part of the “base” price. Now consider in 2-3 years time when a new version of office came out, would it be right for people that had a new copy of office to give that to their mates on the basis that their mates had already gotten a licence for an older copy of office? If Microsoft did a deal with the hardware manufactures to upgrades to users, who would pay?

    The very foundation of open source is not based on people copying code from other people, though it may look that way, the basis is the licence agreement that surrenders certain rights and retains others. If we did away with those licences i suspect that many open source contributors would walk away. The licences are the foundations on which sharing and trust are built on. They set boundaries so everyone knows where they stand.

    I am sure that nobody intentionally breached any licences, but even if unintentional i think its fair of goggle to point it out and ask the parties to comply with the license. Am sure everyone can work together to reach some agreement that everyone can live with. Even lawyers can be reasonable.

    There are no free lunches, somewhere somebody is always paying.

    Do no evil doesn’t mean do whatever you want. it means doing what’s best for all concerned. Like it or not, I suspect in the long term what’s best for everyone is Google keeping a licence for its apps. After all if you don’t want to pay for them you can always write your own for the open source platform of your choice.


  • Paul

    According to cyanogens twitter google are no longer negotiating anything with him.

    This whole experience has left a very bitter taste in my mouth, for me the very essence of what made android such a great thing to be a part of has been taken away.

  • schwiz

    what kind of bullshit is this? I don’t even know what to say, android sucks ass w/o cyanogenmod, its slow, it drains battery. Google is fucking up big on this one.

  • davidjspooner

    Last thought before bed (uk) – you dont get lawyers to change their minds by telling them they are stupid. You get them to change their mind by working with them to find a solution that they can live with.

  • o2Do

    So, let me see if I get it…

    Cyanogen can release, but only if it does not include anything google, so no gmail, no google tak, no youtube… ok … now they say:
    “Google also created and operates Android Market” but later says: “We make some of these apps available to users of [any Android-powered] device via Android Market”

    Ok, so what, strip out maps, gmail, youtube, whatever else, and leave Cyanogen alone. Even if we lose the market, they lose several thousand users. Most folks can find apps other places, the market just gives us easy access.

    If google’s legal team wants to support jailbroken iPhones (Google Voice) but not honest developers not selling nothing, but bettering the community with variety, choice, speed, function, and FREE PLUGS FOR GOOGLE, forget them.

    Google, has now joined microsoft and apple in taking a crap on honest developers, not seeking profit, but hoping to better the community.

  • Pingback: Google upprör – förbjuder Cyanogen att distribuera ROM-fil med Google-apps [Uppdaterad] | Swedroid()

  • jd

    So Android is open where Google can use others’ help to build a better platform (profiting machine) and after it’s done just tell the helpers ‘hands off!’ ? Great company!
    I just wish this had came out a month earlier so I wouldn’t have bought an Android phone.

  • Nico de Vries

    It’s time to switch to Bing. Google is over.

    • Michael

      Because Microsoft is so much better?

  • Nick

    What Google is doing is completely within their right. It’s a legal issue, and it makes sense. What I’m wondering, is can’t Cyanogen release his builds without these included, and just have a way for users to back up the apps and reinstall them?

    • Max

      From what Cyanogen said, this would be hard to do :(

      • nate

        What I don’t understand is this: I may be more difficult, but certainly not impossible. So he can do this with out breaking the TOS of google’s products. So why is everyone upset with google for insisting that he do so?

        If google did allow him to openly break their TOS, it would set a terrible legal precedent for them in the future. They pretty much have to do something about this, to protect themselves against stuff that could happen later.

        • Jonah

          As many have already pointed out, Google could just set up a custom $1 dollar licencde for Cyanogen and others in his position. As a business they have the freedom to make such a smart and decent choice. Instead choosing to open fire on their biggest supporters in the modding community is disgusting.

    • SDscorch

      i remember when i was learning to drive – the advice i was given was… you can be dead right!

      google may be “right” – but they’re being STUPID

      this is a TERRIBLE p.r. move!!!
      >: (

  • Jason Dexter

    If Google wants to save face, they can do one very simple thing… modify the “terms of use” of their free Apps designed to run on the Open Source Android to permit legal distribution. They loose nothing by doing so, and gain everything.

    They will appear open to progress, enable the community to once again feel that Open Source Android is not crippled by it’s relationship to Google, and allow all users of Open Source Android to use their services as Google intends.

    This is the saddest day in the history of Android and Mobile Technology… and quite possibly in the top 20 of all of the history of Open Source progress.

    Google, I am ashamed to use your services now… and will be reevaluating alternatives until you make this very minor alteration to the terms of service of these free, core Android applications.

  • Alvinycy

    Disappointing. This does not bode well for future rom developments.

  • Murad

    I hope also that Cyanogen release his builds without these included Google closed applications, and maybe find another way to install these application back.

  • Mark Ramos

    I have been using CyanogenMod on my G1 and knowing this issue really disappoints me. CM is one of the best ROMs that I have ever used and the Official ROMs releases are so slow. I hope there would be some changes on the license agreement as on of the posts here stated. It would really be nice if Google would allow CM to continue once they make some changes on the license agreements. CM Rocks!

  • Brynthe

    Ok you guys don’t get it…
    The rom users represent a very small population of the android community…
    Get It…

    • ScrewMaster

      No, not really. Thirty-odd thousand Cyanogenmod users translates to a hell of a lot of recommendations to less-technically-inclined individuals, as to what phone to buy. Not to mention the bad PR that is currently spreading exponentially across the Web.

      Being within the letter and spirit of the law, and having good business sense are not necessarily the same thing.

  • Daniel

    And answering “What are the odds this is related?”:

  • Paul

  • Stefan

    Wow. Just… wow.

    First thing I did was change my homepage to Now, what about switching off of Gmail? (Sigh.)

    • Francis

      If they don’t change their stance in this, I’ll be doing the same thing. Seeing as how I basically maintain the PC’s of all my friends, I’ll be doing the same with theirs soon. And if they ask me why, i’ll tell them… it starts with each and every one of us.

      I hope google changes their minds. I love my HTC magic, but not so much I won’t leave.

      Being an Android user is being an early adopter, that’s willing to put up with laggy default settings. It’s being a fanboy that’s telling everyone that asks about Android and it’s many good things. Well… if Google’s legal department doesn’t step away from trigger soon I say all us Geeks that maintain and control the many systems for friends, works and etc start taking google out of the equation. Bing first, back to Firefox, back to yahoo, hotmail & personal domains…

      Us Geeks are a passionate bunch. We will take a bullet for you if we love you. If you stab us in the back… we shoot you in the face. Yeah, I’m being dramatic. I’m a passionate geek…

  • SDscorch

    google’s being a douche

  • Eddie Pasternak

    “Sorry everyone, CyanogenMod in it’s current state is done.”

    Sorry, you can’t spell.

  • SDscorch

    i hope a big ole black market springs up that does WHATEVER THE HELL IT WANTS

    f*ck google!

  • Nick

    The Android community has been advancing incredibly fast in the past year. From one click rooting to auto-updating ROMs; we’ve progressed a lot. This isn’t going to stop us. Google isn’t being “evil,” they’re making an entirely valid legal claim. The apps that are there are not “free” apps, you paid for them when you bought your phone. That’s why there are “Google Experience” phones and those without. Giving away paid software for free is not legal, simple as that. Yeah, it sucks, but that’s how it is. What needs to happen again is for us (cyanogen, all the devs and the community) to either negotiate with Google (figure out if he can license them without going broke), or to take the next step and figure out how to extract these apps from our own phones (apps we paid for) and reinstall them on a new ROM, a legal ROM that is distributed without these apps. Yes, it’ll be difficult, but we’ve gotten over greater hurdles. The Android devs support us, and we’ve got some brilliant devs of our own, and I know we can come up with a solution that makes everyone happy.

    • ‘Los

      If we paid for these apps when we bought the phone, why is it a big deal if a replacement ROM includes these apps? Before you answer remember that Cyanogen ROMs only work on Google phones, so you aren’t getting any apps that you don’t already have. The mistake he made was including the new App Market in the last beta release, we didn’t already have that. But what doesn’t make sense to me is that Cyanogen ROMs didn’t take away the “Google Experience” at all, it in fact enhanced it. If he were to come out with a new ROM that didn’t depend on Google at all, how does that help Google if we all start using it? I know it’s far fetch, but what if he or someone came up with a ROM that give you the “Windows Live Experience” or something else like that, how is that better for Google?

  • Android Users Howto Wiki

    So what is the big problem? Just make a ROM without Google’s apps?

  • Alex

    There is another side to this issue, too. Some of these ROMS are being released with new features that have not made it officially to the public through the “legal” paths. I am referring to Android 1.6 features. Carriers and harwdare vendors have to do QA and device validation. Software developers need time to test their apps with the new SDK. Browse the market and see how many users are complaining and giving bad ratings to apps because they do not work on Cyanogen or in Android 1.6. Those bad ratings hurt software developers. The apps will eventually be fixed, but it takes time. Software has release cycles: new feature development, first beta, qa, bug fixing, release candidate, qa, etc. I don’t see a problem with modified ROMs containing Android 1.5. But I can see how releasing Android 1.6 features to a wide community before its official release from carries can be disruptive. Users should understand they are becoming beta testers. Think of your home PCs, do you install beta releases of Apple’s or Microsoft’s OSes on your main computer for daily use?

    • Francis

      It’s already a pain in the butt doing things the legal way. I updated my HTC magic rom the legal way when they send the email saying “an update is available” That thing hooped alot of paid apps in the market. There’s no difference. If you’re a 3rd party ROM user, you’re willing to put up with a certain amount of tweaking.

      How about us Legal users who got screwed over for 3 weeks (in my case) where we couldn’t install apps we already bought??? I’m just saying doing it the legal way doesn’t solve the technical difficulties.

    • teohhanhui

      Those codes are open sourced (pre-release or otherwise), so there’s nothing illegal about distributing them.

  • Yeah Yeah Yeah

    You’re all getting this completely off.

    Google has served a C&D order to stop Cyan releasing apps that are not ready for public consumption. He can still release his mod with the existing versions of the market, gmail, youtube etc. Google just don’t want the unfinished versions of their apps out there until they are ready. And tbh they are perfectly within their rights to do this. Why woudl any software company want half-finished versions of their software in the public domain?

    • teohhanhui

      How did you come to that conclusion? Nowhere in any of the communications is that stated or implied.

  • Robert

    Commercial software, straight distribution. Yup Google legal are correct.

    However, the services in question are all made freely available to single users. I expect their sole reason for existing is to collect eyeballs. Now it’s nice when they can make money on their own but really this smacks of legal getting a bit disconnected from the “corporate vision”.

    Still, even with this the CyanogenMod could still be distributed, it just needs an ‘installer’. The nicest situation would be if the installer can patch the ROM to copy these applications from another ROM image directly. If that’s not reasonable in the general case it can be made a LOT easier by Cyanogen still creating a version of the ROM with the applications in place but erase them when the ROM is distributed so there are holes that the installer can patch with the applications copied from an old ROM image. No distribution of the apps happens so no problem.

    This would use several SHA checksums, some to identify the pieces needed from the old ROMs (in the manner of rsync) and more to make sure everything comes out right in the end.

    Well, it’ll be interesting to see what Monday brings.

  • Brutuz

    Well done google’s legal team, you’ve lost me (I was getting a G1 on Wednesday) as a customer, I shall now get a Omnia or iPhone instead.

  • Igor

    A lot of crazy and disgusting commenters here. Google is NOT blocking rom mods, just protecting their s/w which was created with private money, not freelancing hippies. You want it all free? create open source versions of those apps! or better, I see Google working out a cheap special license with cyanogen… will the nuts here take back their words then?

  • Ludovic Danigo

    Really the core of the problem here is the closeness of Market. This should be an open application part of the system.

    Do you imagine a linux system with only dpkg/rpm as oss and apt/yum as closed apps ?

  • Cameron_Aluminoid

    I understand Google’s legal dept need to show their worth to the board, but the message this C&D sent to Android enthusiasts is going to negatively affect the developer community that has sprung up around Android. I think it would have been more appropriate for Google’s developers to talk to Cyanogen about the issue before sending a C&D. I can understand them taking this stance against another large corporation with an equally large legal team. But to go after one developer that is IMPROVING their code in his spare time is not productive.
    Cyanogen was doing a lot of work to make Android better and more usable. I was ready to cancel my Tmobile contract and get an iphone because I was so unhappy with the G1 out of the box. CM didn’t just make the G1 usable, but it made it BETTER than the iphone.
    Google needs to make good with Cyanogen FAST. I am already looking into how much it is going to cost me to get out of my Tmobile contract (been with tmo for 6 years btw) to get an iphone…

  • Peter

    > The apps that are there are not “free” apps, you paid for
    > them when you bought your phone. That’s why there are
    > “Google Experience” phones and those without. Giving away
    > paid software for free is not legal, simple as that.

    50% bull: those phones where you install another firmware,
    bet they have an initial valid instance of those apps.

    Google’s behaviour smells way too much like planned obsolescence
    and software as a ‘temporarily’ licenced service crap to me:
    retaining full control in order to allow providers and sellers
    to cripple existing phones and force customers to buy new phones early. I’ve been burned by Nokia’s lousy treatment of
    Symbian and I will allow a repeat of that:

    The replacement for the Nokia will NOT be an HTC android.

    Thanx Google, for showing true colors before I wasted my money.

  • omnilynx

    So, who can we contact at Google to express our displeasure? We need to make it abundantly clear to them that they are in danger of alienating their core market.

  • osembedded

    I wish google can come up with open source solution especially for the market application. Once you have a version of open source market, google can provide all their other applications in a binary format in the market and Cyan and other mods can keep rolling without breaking any copyrights… just my 2 cents.

  • b01

    I don’t see what the big deal is. I disagree with google playing this card, but I will install a barebones ROM of Cyanogem Mod, with no problem.

    Then I can install the backed up version of the market, then update all my apps with AtrackDog. Or is it illegal for me to install any google apps on a mod version?


    that was a real D*** move google and you will soon see a major dip in your reputation

  • EngelVonTodes

    That’s just absolutely F***ing stupid of Google…
    I thought Google wanted to be better than Apple?
    I guess I was wrong!
    I turned my back on Apple for this?

  • Screwgooglebigtime

    I broke my G1 yesterday, the deductible is more than what it would be to sign on with TM for a couple years and get another phone, I was going to wait and get the new Samsung Android phone, but Google has made me change my mind about android phones. I have emailed Samsung, Tmobile, and Google. Let them understand it WILL affect the bottom line.

  • migdroid

    Interesting, he’s working it out. I’m not happy about this situation but let’s not over react. Hopefully, they will do what’s best given the legal conditions and so on. The world isn’t coming to an end, but it does leave a bad taste which is never good. Google’s image is slightly taking a hit, at least to those that actually care about this kind of stuff. :)

  • ???

    IDK about this issue. You all need to think of this in a business sense. If you were running a business would you let one of your “open-source” customers release your unfinished product yet? I’m not saying google is right but cyanogen messed up pre-releasing certain apps. Nevermind android, if this were to happen to one of the “other” companies those kocksuckers would have done the same thing. Bottom line, just hold out your release. Even if its better than the originator’s……

  • brad

    if google’s team of 10 bajillion developers could get a nice stable and fast rom working on the phone I bought a FREAKING YEAR AGO as fast as this ONE GUY can do it, then maybe they wouldnt be in this pickle.

    I was on the G1 preorder list, have had this phone for a year and theres still no apps or games worth a crap on it. The only thing is has going for it is the qwerty keyboard, and i swear if apple ever makes a qwerty im buying an iphone. in the meantime, as far as im concerned this was googles dumbest move ever and im looking at other phones. F lawyers

  • brad

    let me repeat that one more time: F Lawyers

  • mobile brazzers

    What were they thinking? “Don’t be Evil” … wtf?

    This sucks because I was just about to flash that rom- my old JF is getting outdated, now what are we gonna do

  • Richy

    You’re all unbelievably over-reacting. Is the android platform really so bad that you HAVE to root and mod? You’re up in arms about a small bit of customisation..its embarrassing.

    The future of android relies in its ability to have a library of good apps, which it is severly lacking at the moment. Maybe a freeze on ROM developers is a good thing, as now they might actually start benefiting the growth of the platform, and using their excellent skills to develop apps that will sell handsets and the platform.

    • Brantyr

      Frankly, yes. It’s not a small bit of customization, it makes my Magic a lot more usable. Rooting and modding for me

      - Lets the browser hide the notification bar so it doesn’t take up 10% of the screen in full screen mode.
      - Gives me pinch zooming in browser, the buttons are horrible by comparison.
      - Lets me make the OS look less boring (not themable by default? WTF google? Much crappier phones support basic menu/button/text colour changes without rooting and replacing parts of the OS
      - Lets me use the homescreen in landscape, which is not essential but very nice
      - One word, compcache

      Now a few of these are upcoming features in donut, but why are we still waiting? Cyanogeen has them out, stable and awesome while the entire google dev team hasn’t?

      The obvious solution here would be to make all these apps downloadable and installable via the market (hopefully the market wasn’t one of the apps they’re trying to prevent him from distributing, or did I miss that part?).

      • Brantyr

        Bah, I meant portrait mode for the browser. When you don’t have much screen space available and you’re trying to use a regular webpage every bit counts.

      • Richy

        Ok so what you’re saying is that it adds a couple of “niceties”, which will eventually (granted later than cyno) be added through official android releases..

        Cynogen is no doubt an absolutely BRILLIANT developer, but is FAR from essential, and even further from people getting in a tizzy about. If google announced the shutting of android market, that might warrant people announcing they’re leaving android, but this!? Come on!

        Oh and to those trying to make a statement by announcing that they’re moving to Apple/WinMo/etc, you’re pathetic! For one you’re leaving android because it’s “getting closed, and google’s iron fist and blah blah”. And you’re saying you’re going to go to Apple!?

        Secondly, I don’t know about you, but i want android to succeed. If people lose confidence in the platform they’re supporting, android will never grow into a reputable brand. Look at apple fans – you talk to anyone who owns an iphone and you’d swear that they themselves invented it, despite all it’s gaping flaws. Android has a few niggles, and people want to write a thesis on why the keypad makes a “beep” noise instead of a “boop” noise. I just don’t understand it. I can see the android community crumbling from the inside!

        Ok, rant over.

        • Brantyr

          Android is maturing, and not bad right now, but the iPhone is still a better phone in many ways, especially considering the size of the appstore. If Google is going to make customizing Android illegal I might as well just jailbreak an iPhone.

          Ok well hopefully by the time I buy a new phone Android will be mature enough that it’s just outright better than the iPhone but still.

  • ryan

    what doesn’t make sense to me is the line “We make some of these apps available to users of any Android-powered device via Android Market, and others are pre-installed on some phones through business deals.”

    So they make some of the Google apps available to ANY Android powered device via the Android Market, but only Android Devices that are “With Google” can legally distribute the Android Market.

    Which is it? ANY Device can have the Android Market, or ONLY licensed builds…

  • John

    Let’s not forget the biggest reason for customizing as far as I’m concerned – app storage. My G1 by default has room for so few apps and the memory. As far as I am concerned the G1 is useless without a custom ROM with SD card apps. You can fit so few apps, its not even worth having. The new phones coming out are no better. Until Google realizes they need to have at least 1GB storage on phones with Android or allow card installs with Android (you know like Symbian and Windows Mobile do) you almost need a custom ROM.

  • mobile brazzers

    yes, at this point cyano is pretty essential given how slow the phone runs without these mods

  • Rev. Spaminator

    I would love for something magic to happen that allows images to be distributed with everything we need. But lets look at where we are now and find the path forward from here.
    Do we create open source alternatives to some or all of these apps? Do we find a way to install them after the fact? How else do we keep root?
    Google legal aside, I still like the Android platform.

  • Johnnyboy

    Official 1.6 Android ROM is out within two weeks – it is the build that Cyanogen ROM is based on.

    • Jr

      i just wanted to know if you read that some where that I might look at it myself???

  • Heather

    People who ‘hack’ their phones are power users. So go ahead and give us the ROMS minus the google apps… Then let someone else (if Cyanogen won’t) find us a way to extract or backup our google apps on our own.

    Simple, right?

  • Bill

    I was very disappointed with my G1 until I installed the cyanogenmod rom. I bought the phone thinking it was open source and heavily customizable. Otherwise, the iPhone was, by far, the superior phone.
    I think Google mislead its users in the whole Open Source stance. If the phone is not open source as we were lead to believe, I’ll be switching to the iPhone when my contract expires.

  • patrick

    Hey T-Mobile– be sure and thank Google for costing you a sale. My G1 was destroyed last week and I was ready to file the claim and pay the deductible for a new one, but after hearing this, NO WAY! I pre-ordered a n900. AND if the n900 didn’t use the same 3G frequencies as the G1, I’d be back on AT&T. The G1 was the only reason I switched over to you guys.

    I just hope nokia doesn’t pull a similar move because even though the n900 comes rooted out of the box it still has about an 80/20 mix of OSS and proprietary code. I guess the only way to lessen the chance of something like this happening is to go to something like openmoko, which is probably more if not all OSS… if only the HW didn’t suck

  • I’ve only purchased apps and not switched carriers (T-Mobile) because of Cyanogen’s mods/roms. Made me way happier with my G1 then I ever could have been!!! Save MODS Save FREEDOM. I dont want to give up this rom or ones like it!

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    it was a big deal at the time – but it worked out alright in the end

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