Google issues cease-and-desist to Cyanogen

Open-source Android mod Cyanogen has been hit with legal trouble from Google. The ROM heavily modifies the original Android operating system to make it much faster, using parts of code that are already available from the open-source development team, but not yet publicly released as a fully-fledged update.

But Google doesn't like it. The issue is that Cyanogen redistributes Google applications like Maps, Talk, Market and YouTube that the Goog says are proprietary and not part of the open-source operating system. Manfuacturers like HTC who mod the Android OS (with HTC's "Sense" interface, for example) have to get Google's permission to include those apps on their devices.

For a while, it looked like Cyanogen would be forced to shut down, but the modder behind it has come up with a cunning solution. Future releases of the mod will be "bare bones", which will have the call, SMS, photo, etc functionality, but won't have any of the Google applications in by default.

But given that those apps shipped with your handset already, it should be legally okay for you to reinstate them on the new Cyanogen interface. All you need to do is make a backup - using an app that Cyanogen is developing - and then overlay that backup onto your handset. There'll also be an alternative app store, like SlideMe or AndAppStore, which will let you grab alternative applications instead.

Cyanogen promises that more updates will be available once he's manged to work out the code. We'lkl keep you posted of his progress.