You might have noticed something missing from the Play Store in the last few days. One-click theming app Themer Beta by MyColorScreen was pulled from Google Play late on February 2nd due to a copyright complaint from Apple. When it will return is not clear, but it's probably not going to be immediate.


The issue stems from Themer's "Seven" theme, which you can see above. This is, admittedly, an obvious clone of iOS 7 – Apple pointed to the icons in Seven as the infringing content. There are over 200 themes in Themer, but this one complaint was enough for Google to remove the app, citing the terms of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act in the automated email sent to the Themer developers.

nexusae0_2013-12-18-17.37.32 nexusae0_2013-12-18-17.36.09 nexusae0_2013-12-18-17.36.50

The team immediately removed the offending content, hoping Google would restore the app in short order. However, here we are a week later and no dice. Google doesn't have a direct point of contact for developers in this situation, so there's no way to know when Google will certify the app is properly sterilized. The developers are preparing for a wait as long as several weeks, but they won't be distributing Themer as a manual download in the meantime. The team plans to push quickly to a 1.0 non-beta release and doesn't want users running an older build that was sideloaded during this standoff.


Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Dennis Ulijn

    For some reason I was looking for this app last week and couldn't find it. This explains why. I've this app a few times, and while it might work for people who need help skinning, this app is not really offering the options an app like Nova gives you.

    • MikeJwF

      Agreed, I love the way it makes my phone look on the surface, but there are too many steps needed to accomplish what takes little effort with Nova, or even countless other launchers.

  • Cherokee4life

    "doesn't want users running an older build that was sideloaded during this standoff"

    hahaha good luck

    • wolfkabal

      I side-loaded just the other day just because of this. Wanted to put it back on another device I wiped. Pulled it from another that had it, and side loaded. Yay!

  • BarKa

    It was crap anyway

    • Dairox

      The theme, yes. The app, NO.

  • http://www.jeroenheijster.com/ Jeroen Heijster

    "Google doesn't have a direct point of contact for developers in this situation" Google doesn't have a direct point of contact for developers for any situation..

    • http://claytoncondon.com/ Clayton Condon

      It is true, on my old account I was banned from Chrome Web Store/Google Play Development/Google Wallet, apparently someone opened an account with my information which limited my account access when they did something wrong.

      There was no phone number, just lousy email support.

    • Matthew Fry

      Google has no direct point of contact for anything.

    • Heather Connr

      Google disgusts me. They shut down my account as well after 3 years of never having issues. I simply added 3 apps that have the same Ad network called "Startapp" which pops up an ad after the app is closed. Apparently that is a big no no with Google eventhough Startapp claims to be compliant with Google. Suddenly, I got an email of termination to one app, then immediately another email, then another and then they terminated my entire account due to "multiple violations."


      And Abby, you CLEARLY work for Google. Appealing is NOT an option because it is not a human that reviews these. It is some robot or program that declines. There is only an "appeal" for the same of saying there is an appeal process. Really, there is no appeal. Within 4 days Google closed my nephew's account also, my programmer's personal account, and several of his clients accounts. Google is systematically ruining small developer's lives with this horrible inhuman approach.

  • http://claytoncondon.com/ Clayton Condon

    This is crazy, the developers should be focusing on growing the app.

    Not dealing with copyright issues this early.

  • Dairox

    We all know this is stupid and that this kind of things are even on Windows, but Apple just want to fuck Google even in the slightest way

  • Tony C

    WTH was Themer thinking? Don't they know that Apple invented icons?

    • xHabeasCorpusx

      AND THE RECTANGLE. People need to learn.... Sheesh.

      • remister

        Chamfered Edges get it right!

        • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

          Is my dick wholly mine? Or did Apple "invent" that as well?

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/77537273@N03/ Herman

            Well, Apple does have a tradition of keeping things small like the iPhone...

    • cj

      While Apple claims are most time ridiculous, this is actually an iOS theme so yeah I would say it infringes on the copyright as it's a direct replica.

      • Ismael Rodriguez

        The biggest point of nonsense with this complaint is that it's just a theme and there have been MANY iOS themes over the years, but we haven't heard of any of those being attacked like this. Not to mention the continued poor service of Google to it's developers, in terms of contact and support. It's only a theme that "violated" their copyright, not the app itself. I know Google takes these issues seriously, but this could have been handled better.

        • CoreRooted

          As I remember it, aren't most themes in Themer user contributed? I don't know if this one was or wasn't, however, it seems to me that if a user submitted it, then the user should be the one punished, not the app itself.

          • squiddy20

            While I agree with that, aren't the developers at least somewhat responsible for the content within their app; sort of a "captain is responsible for the actions of the crew" sort of thing, like on Star Trek?

          • RTWright

            Go to Stardock.com or Wincustomize.com and look over themes there for Windows. OSX themes have been around for as long as OSX has been in existance as well as previous Apple OS versions. The only reason Apple gives a rats ass here is because it's Android associated. There have been Apple based themes going back as far as Windows 3.1. So I do not agree with Apple having any say or rights here. All they did, the person creating this theme, was Mimic their precious iOS by giving all icons Rounded-Corners and then took the UI and made it look that of iOS. They did NOT like take the actual iOS icons from an existing iPhone or run their pathetic iOS on an Android ( Which I know has been done, how stable it was not sure but that was funny to see ).

      • NinoBr0wn

        If that's the case, there are countless themes available right now that "infringe" on owned content, whether it be characters or TV shows and movies, but surprise surprise, Apple if the only one to complain about stolen squares. Gimme a break.

      • Forza

        Nope Apple just afraid people will flock to Android, because this iPhone theme looks better than the original

    • bachinphx

      And they invented the Apple, the letter "i", anything that enters your mind, they have already thought up. So just give up people, it's all over!

      • abobobilly

        Suck a D"i"ck !Apple! because you OWN it.

    • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

      Apple invented the fucking world (and everything in it). Only a matter of time, before you start paying up for opening your eyes in the morning, blinking, etc.
      You know that object that fell onto Newton's head? It was an Apple...iPhone 0.1S!

  • Trent Callahan

    God forbid Apple not get its panties in a bunch. Honestly, were these developers hurting anyone? Were they making a profit off of their design? No, they were intrigued by it and used it as their source of inspiration.

    If anything, Android phones running iOS7-cloned homescreens would be publicity for Apple.

    • Philippe Bigeat

      I don't think lags, bad design or erratic behaviour is not the type of publicity Apple would like to receive.

  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

    I have had similar bad luck. I had an iOS7 uccw theme in the play store and it was kind of popular. Then all of a sudden, Google suspended it without mailing me. When I contacted play store support, they told me I can file DMCA counter notice. i.e. The app was taken down because of a DMCA complain and Google didn't even send me the DMCA complain copy. Anyway, I submitted the DMCA counter notice and instead of getting the app reinstated, Google terminated my developer account. I had 50+ apps in the store; I lost all of them. And they have rejected my petition to reverse the account termination three times now.

    • mrjayviper

      So that's why I can't find you anymore on the store! :o bought many uccw widgets off you and you are very responsive to emails

      • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

        Glad that you liked my work. Interacting with my app users is what I miss most. :(

    • Sean Lumly

      That is despicable. Why not play their game? Start a new account and re-submit your non-offending applications.

      • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

        I've heard that Google tracks 2nd account creation after an account termination. These are the scenarios -

        1. Simply create a new account - After few days, Google will suspend the account automatically; seeing that a previous account was terminated.
        2. Create new account with different email id / name - You still need to provide bank account detail. And if this bank account's billing address is same as that was registered with Google for the terminated account, Google will again terminate the new account.

        Only solution is moving to another city, creating a new bank account, creating a new Google account and then submitting apps. Even then, I've heard that I might need to sign all my apps with a different certificate; as Google might have recorded the signature of the certificate I had used for apps in my terminated account.

        Unless anyone has any better suggestions. I'm all ears.

        • Sean Lumly

          That's too bad. So it seems that they paying attention enough to spot a similar account but not enough for direct contact. It seems as though they are actively ignoring developers.

          This makes a wonderful case for a non-Google-Play Android store.

    • GraveUypo

      that sounds like post 2011 google, yep.
      that's what we get for actually supporting a company for years.
      from now on, i trust no company. they're all wolves in disguise. there's no good guy.

      • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

        I am appalled at the way Google treats its Android developers. There's no support, no live communication option, no phone line, mails are hit or miss. Even if you get a reply, it is mostly auto generated reply from a bot.

        Did I mention that my Google Wallet account was also suspended along with the dev account? Yea, that happened. It took me 2 months and several mails and Google products forum posts to get that reinstated.

        • abobobilly

          Google doesn't just treat their "Developers" that way. General users get treated the same way. If you want a very simple example, just have a look at YouTube's notices those get while uploading a video.

          Don't get me wrong. I love Android. But i don't like Google. I "NEVER" trust any of these companies. They are there only to make MONEY. (they may seem to care about people by presenting themselves as "green" or giving more "charity" but make no mistake, they are (as someone above writes) "Wolves in disguise".

    • Falez

      Wow, that's really shameful for google. Did they send a couple of warning emails first ? Or did you have history of DMCA infringement on any of your previous apps ? Perhaps google have reasons to do that.

      However, if a good standing developer with clean history got suspended without any warning, that's really evil and disrespectful. People should rethink again to publish apps through Play Store..

      Google, you read this ?

      • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

        I had a couple app suspensions earlier. In one case, the developer of an icon pack submitted a DMCA against my icon pack. Now both of these icon packs were in the Windows Metro style; which was the cool thing back then. You know, icons like Stark, Minimal UI, Metro Inspired Icons etc. All these as well as mine were minimal flat square icons. This one developer submitted DMCA complain against my app claiming copyright on the flat square icons and Google suspended my app. I sent Google a link to my project folder, showing that everything is made by me; but nope. Google won't hear you unless you are a big-shot. At least in this case Google sent me a mail saying that they are suspending my app. (Not before, not warning mail. Info mail AFTER suspending my app).

        I'm guessing since Apple is involved in this last app suspension, Google doesn't want another lawsuit and hence screwing over developers.

  • joser116

    How is the configuartion in that orange screenshot in the middle achieved?

  • Matthew Fry

    Pretty soon devs will have to submit their Android apps to Apple for approval.

    • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

      Pretty soon, one will have to ask for clearance from apple to even pee and poop. You never know which one of those was "invented" by Apple.

      • Guy

        That's getting old really fast. Apple's a dick but those jokes are pretty poor.

        • Leonardo Farage Freitas

          The first one was nice.. but the second one stretched a little

  • squiddy20

    This is sad.
    Firstly, because Apple does such bass--ackwards things as this (it's only a theme). Secondly, because Google hasn't put the "offending" app back up in a timely manner, or even has a way for developers (or anyone really) to easily contact them.

  • TheUndertaker21

    I must say it here '' FUCK YOU apple ''

  • Sean Lumly

    Really? This is like pulling flickr from the market because you can access copyrighted Apple materials. Ridiculous.

    I sincerely doubt that the iOS7 theme is functionally linked to the application or even part of the APK.

  • Dakota

    What about the dozen other ios clone apps on Google Play?

  • Mav6

    FYI to Apple Inc.
    Android now has 80% and growing global market.
    Apple you need to worry about the 43.9% market share you now have in the US which is down 5.8% from 49.7% I guess things are still really good for you but it's a changing world you could wake up one day and be Blackberry if your not paying attention.

    • acer1096xxx

      While android owns much more of the global market share, Apple is by far more successful. After all, they own ~44% from just ONE phone. Regardless, they are losing market share which I'm always happy to see, but they are by no means going anywhere downhill, unfortunately.

      • abobobilly

        If making more money means they are "successful" then sure, they are. But the way Android is catching up, make no mistake ... there will be one day when no one will give a rats ass about iOS.

        But if i am honest, till that day ... another OS superior to Android might also come out to compete. So you never know whats gonna happen.

  • Crispin Swickard

    They should have gone all out, and used Cupertino as the location for the weather forecast.

    • Larizard

      i lol'd

  • Android Developer

    Wait, they removed both the themes and the app ?
    if so, Why?

  • Stacey Liu

    Why the hell are the comments against Apple? They've handled this fairly reasonably and resolved this on their end. Google is the one causing delays now.

    • abobobilly

      For being a "Dirty Player".

      But then its that American Patent company which "accepts" such rubbish patents, at mistake here.

  • jesuguru

    This is what Jobs meant by going themernuclear (sorry)

  • Arcthur Arcthur

    That's sad. I've seen the iOS themes on their list though. I can tell it's close as a clone. Well, I hope they can get back after this issue. Hoping that they filter/ investigate the user's submitted themes to prevent copy right violations.

  • Tomáš Petrík

    This is just sad. You know, other cool companies (you know who I mean) would hire the designer/developer of the theme, instead of punishing them.
    But, what can I say. It's been established a long ago that Apple are d*cks. (Yeah, it's ducks.)

  • gumbald

    If you want your phone to look like an iPhone, buy an iPhone.

  • Wesley Modderkolk

    I have seen quite a few unhappy comments towards Apple in this article. But I'm obviously missing something, what is so wrong about them enforcing their copyright? Isn't that the whole point of copyright, to protect their creations from being stolen or exactly copied by others?

  • Thatguyfromvienna

    Apple drinks donkey cum.
    So do their users.

  • flosserelli

    I am still surprised anyone wants to make their android device look like iOS in the first place. Whatever floats your boat...

    • abobobilly

      I like milk. Should i get a cow?
      I like to add chocolate in my milk. Should i buy a chocolate company?

      Your argument is as rubbish as those people "defending" Apple. I like Android, and occasionally would love to "transform" it for a different taste.

  • Derp

    Apple can go suck goat cock; fucking hypocrites.