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Popular Android Theming App Pulled From Google Play Due to Apple Complaint Over iOS 7 Skin

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
51,560
13,187



Google has pulled Themer, a popular Android home screen customization app, from its Google Play Store following a complaint from Apple over one of the themes included in the app.

"Seven", one of more than 200 themes within the app, was designed to make an Android phone look like an iPhone running iOS 7. It incorporated multiple Apple design elements and several icons, including Phone, Mail, Messages, Maps, Music, and more.

Image courtesy of Lifehacker
Though the app and the theme have been in the Google Play Store since at least October, Themer was removed on February 2 for copyright infringement following a copyright complaint from Apple. Given the app's resemblance to iOS 7, it is no surprise that Apple, a company that rigorously defends its property, asked for the theme to be removed.

According to Themer CEO Ashvin Dhingra, who spoke to TechCrunch, the Seven theme was immediately removed from the app following Apple's notice, but Google opted to remove the app from its Play Store entirely and has yet to restore it.
"We've spoken to legal representatives from Apple (who have been very nice, reasonable, and helpful), and they have no remaining concerns. But apparently, Google has a process for these things, and there's nothing we can do to accelerate that process. Unfortunately, we still have not heard from anyone at Google."
While Themer has been able to settle its dispute with Apple by removing the offending iOS 7-style theme, the company is running into some organizational hurdles with Google. Google seems to lack a point of contact overseeing the Google Play Store, which has resulted in Themer contacting multiple people with little result.

It remains unclear when Themer will return to the Google Play Store, but Apple's issue with the app has been successfully resolved.

Update: Google has notified the developers of Themers that the app will be returned to the Play Store within the next few hours.

Article Link: Popular Android Theming App Pulled From Google Play Due to Apple Complaint Over iOS 7 Skin
 

bookwormsy

macrumors 6502
Jul 7, 2010
281
172
damn really? if i was apple id be happy that someone wants to skin my OS

That's why you're not Apple. If there's even the slimmest of chances that someone could buy an Android phone instead of an iPhone because of confusion that the Android has iOS or buys the Android because of the iOS design, they'll go after it.
 
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redscull

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2010
785
739
Texas
The real mystery is who would actually want those awful iOS 7 icons on their phone?

Seriously! Apple should be flattered that they've managed to popularize ugly icon design.

And isn't iOS 7 a bit of a rip of Android in the first place? I realize this Seven theme is a direct copy.. but still. Apple should have to pull iOS 7 first.
 
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Swift

macrumors 68000
Feb 18, 2003
1,763
922
Los Angeles
I'm trying to understand

I'd like to talk over the question of trademark, etc., but really who cares here? I am curious as to the psychology of the Android fan who likes to hang around talking smack about Apple on an Apple site.

I mean, I'm not remotely interested in hanging around an Android fan site. Not to disparage Android, it's not my thing. Why would I hang around such a site calling its fans all kind of names? I can't think of a single reason.
 
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notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,055
162
Canada, eh?
That's why you're not Apple. If there's even the slimmest of chances that someone could buy an Android phone instead of an iPhone because of confusion that the Android has iOS or buys the Android because of the iOS design, they'll go after it.

Yes, there are numerous reasons why Apple should protect their intellectual property, even if they are flattered that someone likes their look.

Lost sales due to confusion is one.
Brand dilution is another. What if this app (or some other app which copies Apple look and feel) was crashy and unreliable? Someone might think it was an actual Apple product and think "Apple isn't so great. I'm not buying their products."
There is also the concept of trademark erosion, where one company's trademark becomes used so commonly in other places, and the company fails to stop it from happening, then it is no longer a protected trademark.
 
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kuwxman

macrumors 6502a
Jul 25, 2009
646
476
Olathe, KS
I understand the whole copyright issue here, I just think it was dumb of Google to pull the whole app over a singular theme. Send the developer a message about the issue, let them resolve it and move on. The only case I can see why the entire app would be pulled is if Google gave the developer some time to drop the theme and they didn't.

Because no matter what, those that already have the app installed and are running the theme are still doing so.
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,257
27,959
I thought iOS 7 was the ugliest design in history of UI design? If that's the case, why would someone want to copy it as a skin for Android? :confused:
 
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Diesel79

macrumors member
Aug 3, 2013
71
13
I understand the whole copyright issue here, I just think it was dumb of Google to pull the whole app over a singular theme. Send the developer a message about the issue, let them resolve it and move on. The only case I can see why the entire app would be pulled is if Google gave the developer some time to drop the theme and they didn't.

Because no matter what, those that already have the app installed and are running the theme are still doing so.

Yeah I agree with that. I switched from iPhone to Android and I don't understand people who want to own android but want it to look like iOS. I like my mac to look like a mac, my Android to look like an Android and my Linux installation to look like Linux.
 
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nzalog

macrumors 6502
Jul 25, 2012
274
2
I'd like to talk over the question of trademark, etc., but really who cares here? I am curious as to the psychology of the Android fan who likes to hang around talking smack about Apple on an Apple site.

I mean, I'm not remotely interested in hanging around an Android fan site. Not to disparage Android, it's not my thing. Why would I hang around such a site calling its fans all kind of names? I can't think of a single reason.

Android comes with loneliness and lots of time in grandma's basement installing ROMs. Your few friends give up on you since when they do call or text, you are working on your phone and their calls don't come through. People need some sort of social outlet, why not trash on people who seem happy.

At least that is how I portray it in my head.
 
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kdarling

macrumors P6
The real mystery is who would actually want those awful iOS 7 icons on their phone?
I thought iOS 7 was the ugliest design in history of UI design? If that's the case, why would someone want to copy it as a skin for Android? :confused:

Well, putting on my tin foil hat, I think the answer is clear:

The Apple marketing department, the ones who came up with the iOS7 icons, secretly also created an Android theme to make it seem like people wanted their look !!

"You see, Mr. Cook? They like us. They really like us!"

:D
 
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Flyingorlando

macrumors newbie
Feb 10, 2014
1
0
Why not let them make Android look like iOS?

In the long run, those guys who want the iOS7 look wanna have the real thing. Back at the time of Win XP, there was a thing called FlyakiteOS that made ol' WinXP look like OS X Panther. Quite nice, but after two years I went and got me the real thing. And not only one, it became many over the years and eventually the company converted as well. So, it is a bit short sighted from Apple to shut them down.
And I don't understand Google. Why throw out the entire thine app when only one theme is the problem?
Let people do with their Androids what they want. Isn't this what sets Android apart from iOS? What if the reverse would have happened and Apple pulled an app off the AppStore that makes an iPhone look like Android? BTW, is there an app that does that?:D
 
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FirstNTenderbit

macrumors 6502
Jan 15, 2013
355
0
Atlanta
I'd like to talk over the question of trademark, etc., but really who cares here? I am curious as to the psychology of the Android fan who likes to hang around talking smack about Apple on an Apple site.

I mean, I'm not remotely interested in hanging around an Android fan site. Not to disparage Android, it's not my thing. Why would I hang around such a site calling its fans all kind of names? I can't think of a single reason.

I'm curious, is it the name calling you object to or is it just objectionable when it's Android towards Apple? I ask because I see objectionable content flowing both ways. IMO it all lowers the level of discourse; whether on this site or an Android site. I personally own, use, and enjoy my Android, Apple, MS, and Google products. Believe it or not, there are many like me who don't feel it has to be all-or-nothing.

A single reason? Discourse. Differing opinions makes this site worth visiting. Appleinsider is a better spot for the rah-rah cheerleader stuff.

On topic: I think Apple was right in requesting them to remove the iOS7 theme. Since it was only 1 theme out of 200 I think Google got a little overzealous. Remove the 1 theme and let them keep the 199 in the Play Store.
 
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BaldiMac

macrumors 604
Jan 24, 2008
7,411
7,636
And I don't understand Google. Why throw out the entire thine app when only one theme is the problem?

Perhaps to give them a chance to investigate an app that was distributing copyrighted material for additional infringements.
 
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macnisse

macrumors 6502
Jun 26, 2010
395
1
"Google seems to lack a point of contact overseeing the Google Play Store..."

What!?
 
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Jessica Lares

macrumors G3
Oct 31, 2009
9,368
840
Near Dallas, Texas, USA
MacRumors is the only place you can have a sensitive discussion about this without people piling up attacks towards you. Too many people with negative views over people who use Apple products; Too many people with not enough education to make anything but childish remarks.

I'm happy that we have an alternative forum here for that reason. It's better moderated, people are nicer, and the crowd is much older/mature in general than the brats who hang around other places. We manage with Android/Windows Phone/Blackberry in the mix very well.

I think it's sad for the developer that Google has relayed information, but doesn't give him a way to respond back and he's just trying to contact a bunch of different people who *may* point him into the right direction. What would happen if someone issued out a fake copyright infringement notice and this happened to any other app or game?

People are angry, very angry especially because the takedown involves a company they despise, but copyright is copyright. You paid thousands to have it done, why are you NOT going to make sure it's respected? Doesn't matter if a 17 year-old did it, it's easy enough to Google whether something is or isn't copyrighted.
 
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