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Banned Android apps welcome in unofficial app store

Sam Spratt

Just because an app is banned from Google's official Android Market doesn't mean that plenty of users aren't itching to install it on their devices. But where can those folks get the contraband downloads they crave?

They could hunt through back-alley websites and dig through shady forums — but that's pretty dicey business. What would be simpler is a visit to an (unofficial) alternative app store, which serves as a one-stop shop in the app black-market.

TechCrunch reports that an Android developer by the name of Koushik Dutta is in the process of building such an app store.

Dutta is no stranger when it comes to software that isn't approved by Google — he's a member of the CyanogenMod Android hacking team and the creator of ClockworkMod, a custom recovery console for Android devices — and the Android community appears to be responding positively to his project so far.

Dutta's alternative app store will serve as a place for customized versions of the Android operating system (also known as ROMs), rooting apps (which allow users to easily gain full control of their devices), tethering apps banned thanks to cellular carrier complaints, and more. It certainly won't be a place where everyone will want to download apps as many may be aimed at Android users with advanced technical knowledge. 

There is also a security risk to consider, as with just about any alternative market. Details are still vague as to whether Dutta will police his store somehow in order to prevent malicious apps from slipping in or if the general policy will simply be "buyer beware."

Either way — assuming the project remains on track — Dutta's app store is bound to leave those who love to push the limits of customizing their Android devices quite happy.

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