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Cyanogen Android ROM modder bends to Google's will but does not break

Tim Stevens

Late last week word hit the Android community that the developer of the Cyanogen Android ROM received a cease-and-desist from everyone's favorite "do no evil" company, Google. Many reacted negatively to Google asking a developer to not modify what is purported to be an open-source operating system, but the issue was not with the OS; rather it was with the apps that ship on it, things like Google Maps and Gmail -- things that are most definitely not open source -- which Google does not want distributed on modified flavors of Android. The solution, according to the dev, is to simply remove them from the ROM, but to provide a way for users to install them back on their devices. The dev will be working on an app that will enable users to back up those applications and then, after the ROM has been installed, to restore them like new. It certainly sounds like a tidy way around Google's restrictions, albeit one that is going to take a considerable amount of time to implement, the net result of which will be exactly like before. That leaves us wondering: was this really worth the bad PR for the Googs?

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