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An alternative to Google’s official Android operating system called CyanogenMod has just surpassed the million-user mark, its makers say.What’s more, after being snubbed by Amazon, the developers are thinking of starting their own app store, outside of Google’s control, that consists solely of legal apps kicked out the Android Market and ones that work on rooted phones.
“I’ve been bouncing this idea around for a while now,” said Koushik Dutta in a public discussion on Google+. “We need an App Store for root apps. We also need an app store for apps that are getting shut down for no good reason, other than [that the] carrier, or some random corporation doesn’t like it.”
CyanogenMod has grown in popularity because it does things the official version of Android doesn’t — such as take screen captures — and it may perform better than a phone’s current version of Android. CyanogenMod also doesn’t include the dreaded Carrier IQ, a hidden program that tracks everything you do and reports back to your telephone company, the company says.
But all this popularity comes with a problem. How to pay for the servers needed to support its growing community. So why not it’s own App Store of legal-but-banned apps, with some proceeds going to support the CyanogenMod project?
“Apps removed from the Market include, one-click root apps, emulators, tether apps, Visual Voicemail apps, and more,” Dutta explains. “I’ve actually approached Amazon about bundling their App Store in CM if they gave CM a cut of the sales. But they brushed me off, saying that was something they could talk about in a few months.”
This isn’t an entirely new idea, points out The Register. SlideME is an Android Market alternative, and it’s been around since 2008. Then there’s App Planet, which also seems to favour apps that others have shunned.
But with 1 million users CyanogenMod has the power to make its banned-app store a big success.