CyanogenMod Installer is an app designed to walk you through the process of installing the company’s custom version of Android on your phone or tablet. The app actually consists of two parts: an Android app that helps walk you through the process and a PC app that does the heavy lifting.
Earlier in November, the CyanogenMod team started offering the installer through the Google Play Store, making it easy for folks to download. But now it’s been removed from the Play Store, at Google’s request.
You can still download and install the app for free from the CyanogenMod website — you’ll just need to enable support for apps from “unknown sources” in your Android settings first.
According to the CyanogenMod team, Google didn’t consider the app harmful, but asked that it be removed from the Play Store since it encourages users to perform an action which may void their warranty.
Unlocking the bootloader and replacing the firmware on most phones and tablets violates the warranty terms for most warranties, no matter how easy it is to do. It’s also possible to re-lock the bootloader and re-install the stock software on most Android devices, but the CyanogenMod installer offers no guidance for doing that.
CyanogenMod is a custom version of Android designed to replace the software that came on your device. It’s based Android Open Source Project code, but includes tweaks such as the ability to customize the quick settings panel or register for a CyanogenMod Account which lets you remotely locate or wipe a device without going through Google’s servers.
It’s one of the most popular custom builds of Android, and the CyanogenMod Installer simplifies the process of loading it on a device — but it only works with a small number of devices at this point, and to be honest, there’s a downside to simplifying the process. If anything goes wrong and you’re unfamiliar with the world of ADB, fastboot, and custom recovery, you may have to go through a crash course to fix any problems that arise.
Still, the more people use the CM Installer, the more people will be able to provide feedback and help the developers improve the software.