back to article Google to CyanogenMod: YOU! GIT yore warranty-BUSTING ASS outa Play

Google has taken a dim view of the CyanogenMod Installer, an app that makes it easier to install alternative firmwares on Android phones, leading its developers to pull it from the Google Play Store. The installer was the first major undertaking by Cyanogen Inc., the Seattle company recently formed to promote CyanogenMod, its …

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Silver badge

Support when things go wrong.

I have been a follower of Cyanogen and XDA Devs for a few years, I am(was) also a programmer ( from assembler to VBA), I also have about 20 years experience in the PC/IT industry world.

I have also modded numerous phones... from CM and various other flavors.

BUT, there are times when even I am a little confused about what to do when things go wrong.... OK I know how to use forums and ask questions but it can sometime take a while to know who to trust. There are a lot of newbies on the forums with a lot of "newbie" advice..... dangerous.... I usually hang about the forums for a week or so before beginning any knew modding in order to pick up on whats good, bad and ugly.

I am not sure why but I get the feeling that releasing this kind of tool to the general public ( there are a lot of numpties out there) is not such a great idea. As long as everything goes OK, why not, but when the shit hits the fan, and it will, there will be several very angry people thinking these b****rds have ruined my phone. ( yes they will be wrong but they don't know that).

Most of the mods are non-destructive but that won't stop a lot of people panicking and no-one will be around to help them...

I am not ranting or complaining about CM or modding in general, I've used/followed them far too long for that, I am just imagining the scenarios that will undoubetdly unfold.

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Bronze badge

Re: Support when things go wrong.

BUT, there are times when even I am a little confused about what to do when things go wrong.... OK I know how to use forums and ask questions but it can sometime take a while to know who to trust. There are a lot of newbies on the forums with a lot of "newbie" advice..... dangerous.... I usually hang about the forums for a week or so before beginning any knew modding in order to pick up on whats good, bad and ugly

I know exactly what you mean! I must have spent the better part of a Year learning the "chops" before I committed myself to jailbreaking my PS3. and most of that ~last week~ reading, and re-reading nothing but that information. 'cause of that I didn't run into any problems, either.

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Re: Support when things go wrong.

Yep. there is a learning curve which I feel is necassary before heading out into the deeper waters. I mentioned hanging about for a week but usually it is much longer. Some of the XDA threads easilly run into hundreds of replies/posts amongst which you have to try and filter out the fluff and hopefully manage to find the hidden gems.

If modding was so easy and without problems then XDAs forums would be empty, but they are not....

( There might be other forums but I always stuck with XDA, there are some very talented devs over there)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Support when things go wrong.

Oh to have a phone where I do not feel the need to have to 'mod' it - a friend had a Galaxy and complained of so much crapware he installed Cyanogenmod and then found his phone crashed frequently. Yawn.

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Re: Support when things go wrong.

Agreed.

I think that at the very least having to actually go look for the software and research it puts what is in effect a tiny barrier in place for someone for whom the installation of the software isn't likely to be a disaster, but it's a progressively higher barrier the less and less you know (and so therefore the more likely you are to run in to troubles, and by troubles, that can be something as simple as a yes/no question you don't know the answer to for example, or losing your contacts list or any number of other things).

I'm not a fan of obfuscating the world of modding or by extension things like linux to "only the select few" but when I think of some of the people I know with Android handsets I shudder to think what mess they could get in to very quickly and very easily if they stray from the well trodden paths.

Which is FINE - not everyone needs to hack their phone. Just saying, it's not for everyone.

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Re: Support when things go wrong.

My old Nexus7 tablet has had its wireless FUCKED OVER by Jellybean 4.3, yet Google is staying utterly schtum about complaints on the issue (Im far form th eonly one affected)

It strikes me that support is about the same no matter whose firmware is on the device.

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Anonymous Coward

Very typical action from Google.

Google's iron grip on Android - http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/10/googles-iron-grip-on-android-controlling-open-source-by-any-means-necessary/4/

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Anonymous Coward

RE: AC @ 07:16

Oh sure, because sideloading apps on your Windows Phone is a piece of piss? And what about installing IPA files on your iPhone... oh, wait, that's right... you don't have a choice with either....

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Stop

Re: RE: AC @ 07:16

Woah there tiger!

The person you are responding to made no comparisons to Windows Phone or iPhone, in fact they didn't mention them at all.

Maybe you want to rein in your inner fan-boy, stop with the straw-men, get a life and realise that your precious Android device is JUST A FUCKING PHONE!

(Posted from my Samsung S3 Mini before you decide to go batshit insane again about imagined slights to your chosen Phone OS and characterise me as one of those Windows/iPhone using DEMONS from the inner circles of HELL.)

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Re: RE: AC @ 07:16

well said Alex

still can't understand why people get so worked up about what OS/Computer or phone people chose.

That said, i got a great laugh at the weekend when a mate started blasting me about how great his S3 was compared to my over priced iPhone. So i just said, 'don't worry, if you work really hard, one day you will be able to afford one" Loads of laughs from all around and then the muppet starts declaring how his S3 cost more than my iPhone (where is the overprice argument gone?) Ahh, I really enjoyed those pints. Time for more.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: RE: AC @ 07:16

Not a very nice way to behave towards a mate.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: RE: AC @ 07:16

Do you have any good stories?

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FAIL

Re: RE: AC @ 07:16

Never understood why anyone has a problem with not being able to "sideload" apps... unless they're a developer or a thief...

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Thumb Down

Re: RE: AC @ 07:16

@RyokuMas - because it's *my* hardware which I bought outright, just like the last 3 phones I owned. It's not the Telco's and it's not Google's. I should be allowed to do what I want with it. If I want to void the warranty, that's my right. So far as I know (IANAL) nowhere is it illegal to void your warranty (but the manufacturer can now refuse to help you with your device).

So your trying to lump me with "thieves" has been taken rather badly. Your statement ranks up there with "thieves use cars, so you don't need a car... unless you're a car engineer or a thief."

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Meh, the app isn't needed

The app doesn't nothing more than what a user can do in a few taps in the settings menu. Any user who can't work out how to do this without the app probably shouldn't be flashing a custom firmware anyway. So I say good job on pulling the app.

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Re: Meh, the app isn't needed

Exactly. When I first heard of the app I thought what does it do? If it can overwrite the is then what other apps could, but then we'd have heard of those before.

Unless you have a device that's been built to prevent rooting it's pretty straight forward & if you can't handle something like adb & custom boot loaders etc then is probably best you don't try unless you are willing to take the risk.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Meh, the app isn't needed

> if you can't handle something like adb & custom boot loaders etc then is probably best you don't try unless you are willing to take the risk.

Exactly. There is an analogue in the iPhone world- 'Jailbreaking'. Think of it as a test, one that being unable to complete means you might be better off in the walled garden.

I have a mate who is always ringing me up to fix his PC... wish I could lock Win 7 down so he can't fluff it up when I'm not looking.

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Re: Meh, the app isn't needed

You can lock Win7 down, companies do it all the time, much to the chagrin of the users often.

Win7 Professional and up needed I would imagine. Management console stuff, not my thing because it is all IT sounding and horrible.

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Silver badge

So

You can still download the app in the UK?

I ask this because I remember seeing a legal case a while back about rooting phones etc, where it was decided in court that, unless the rooting / new rom is what causing the problem, the manufacturer has to honour the warranty. I'll see if I can find the article.

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Re: So

Don't know about the status in the UK, but you are right. The EU ruled that replacing firmware/OS does not void warranties (for consumers).

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Re: So

"Don't know about the status in the UK, but you are right. The EU ruled that replacing firmware/OS does not void warranties (for consumers)."

The Eu may have ruled that, but Samsung are still refusing to their legal obligations (They're not alone, Apple and Microsoft both try to pull this one routinely too, as do nice German outfits like AVM.de - makers of the highly whizzy Fritz! range of DSL/Cable routers)

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Re: So

Don't know, but it worked wonderfully on my Galaxy SIII. It had been getting sluggish (5 seconds to quit mail back to the home screen, for example). Installing CM made it almost instant.

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Re: So

Might be worth reading up on consumer rights. Samsung have nothing to do with it - your contract is with the retailer, not the manufacturer who DO have a legal obligation. (Assuming you haven't bought direct from Samsung, that is)

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Re: So

Haha, so, all I ever read is about how Windows gets worse with age and now I am reading about a Linux(ish) machine getting sluggish.

My WP seems zippy still, don't measure it of course because I don't have to.

Presumably, a factory reset on the Samsung would do the same thing?

Given that there must be a backup system that you trust built in to the OS that puts everything back, it seems like it would be a pretty quick fix, until it is useless again of course.

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Warranty vs Firmware?

What actual risk does flashing a custom firmware pose to the phone itself? I understand you can brick the phone if you screw up (wrong bios image perhaps, or aborting the process?) but beyond that, can a custom bios actually cause a hardware fault? Can custom firmware allow overclocking or alter the discharge rate of a battery?

What are the faults which mobile phones typically develop that require warranty work? I'd have imagined those would be things like buttons failing, maybe displays failing completely or partially, and battery charge or discharge circuits failing. I'm just guessing. If those aren't things a custom firmware could interfere with I'd expect no issues with warranty service.

Ultimately I'd like a standard option to enable root, even if it came with a huge warning that required me to type 'I accept that I'm on my own from this point forward'. It'd save me having to wait till I knew there was a good root hack available for a new model before upgrading.

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'I accept that I'm on my own from this point forward'

Upvoted for that idea. Brilliant. That would save all kinds of trouble when installing stuff, instead of just blindly clicking 'OK', force the user to type something meaningful like 'yes I really do want you to install the yahoo! toolbar with that'. Or force users to actually open the terms for service by typing text from paragraph 12, line 3... The possibilities are endless!

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Re: Warranty vs Firmware?

Overclocking is definitely enabled on many custom ROMs - although they always come with a big warning message.

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Re: Warranty vs Firmware?

"What actual risk does flashing a custom firmware pose to the phone itself?"

That's just what I was wondering. As far as I'm aware, software is always buggy and for some reason that is accepted by customers, suppliers manufactures and, tellingly,the regulators, and you will have great difficulty returning a device because the firmware/supplied software has bugs so the reality is that for all practical purposes only the hardware is covered by the warranty.

As an aside, it's worth noting that that some hardware is buggy and it's the firmware drivers which work around the faults so flashing the firmware has the potential to cause some hardware to no longer work or to not respond as expected. Manufactures really don't want to recall hardware if they can write/update a driver to work around the fault or transfer some functions back to software while the new hardware release is going into production. I'm pretty sure some gfx cards have shipped with drivers doing some of the functions intended to be done in hardware actually being done by the software drivers

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Ahh, Google

Getting more pedantic, wanky, and driven by beancounters and lawtards every day.

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Google going the way of Apple

And I thought Android was to be open source for everyone to play with. Now Google comes along and starts pulling an Apple and refusing to allow certain apps in their store because they think they are smarter than we are. Not buying it.

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Meh

sailfish..

this has been my hope for sailfish on a phone. Android but only when you want it. I have a TF101 and is has been a PITA with bugs that stopped getting patched once manufacturer moved on, and apps that can access ALL of you personal information with NO control (other than not installing).

Sorry google, you are looking very much as if you've put cyanide in the bird seed... (I hope that's not too obscure...)

P.

PS Happy Thanksgiving everyone ;-)

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I love it...

Google offers stuff that can be rooted and modded, lets you sideload applications (after ticking the box to do so and saying that you understand you may introduce malware in doing so, your own fault. Phone manufacturers lock it down and don't want to honor warranties if you tamper with the firmware (folks have managed to brick theirs by messing with it, recall), and in places besides Britain, this is well within their rights to do. Apple doesn't allow jailbreaking and such mods, actively tries to prevent it.

And Google is the new big bad for having a reasonable discussion with Cyanogenmod about an app that makes the rooting process a bit easier (Cyanogen offers a how-to for how to do it without the app, just have to RTFM), and thus could impact the user's warranty (none of the other apps really might have this issue)? You people are absolute cobblers.

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