Adult app company MiKandi has worked around Google developer restrictions — again.
The Seattle-based startup made headlines this past summer after releasing the first-ever pornography app for Google Glass that allowed people to record sexual content on their Glass and share it with the Mikandi community.
Shortly thereafter, Google updated its platform developer policies with a new section that banned sexually explicit material. Mikandi responded by relaunching a new Glass app that filtered out the pornographic content.
Today, MiKandi debuted what it is calling “the world’s first third-party Chrome app store.” MiKandi Mint List is a Chrome app store that curates adult content handpicked by MiKandi, including HTML5 apps, themes and extensions for Chrome. The goal is to bring an updated list of adult entertainment to users without them having to use a search engine and run into potentially harmful content.
Previously, similar to the ability on Android to allow installation of apps from unknown sources outside of the Play Store, Chrome users had to run a Mint List launcher only once to allow the installation of apps, themes and extensions from the third-party Mint List store.
But the new update eliminated this function, forcing users to approve installation of apps from unknown sources every single time they wanted to download Mint List content.
“Imagine on Android having to check ‘unknown sources’ every time before you download an app, even thought you already checked ‘yes,'” MiKandi co-founder Jesse Adams said. “It’s frustrating, but doable. But with Android at least this ‘check unknown sources’ button is available as an option. On Chrome, the user doesn’t have this button, so we had to build it.”
So MiKandi built a workaround, forcing users to always launch a Mint List installer before opening Chrome to enable the installation of content from the Mint List Chrome store. Once users close Chrome, they have to repeat this process to download themes, apps and extensions from Mint List.
Adams said he doesn’t know if the new Chrome rules, which he calls “Apple-esque restrictions,” were a coincidence or bad timing.
“We’re not 100-percent sure, but one thing is for certain, they are definitely making moves to stop companies from delivering their own Chrome apps,” he told GeekWire.
Adams said Chrome is losing its balance between security and openness by controlling the newly-updated Chrome Apps.
“I believe Google will say that the restriction is about security and protecting the user, but we’re sensing it’s more about controlling HTML5, which is weird because it should be more open than Android apps,” he said.
You can check out Mint List here, but be warned, it is most definitely not safe for work.