Amazon Appstore and Google Play Store ban sideloading helper app DroidAdmin

An app called DroidAdmin had been gaining in popularity recently on the Fire TV and other Android-based devices. The app’s intended purpose is a bulk downloader which lets you download multiple files to your Android device at once. While that sounds innocent enough, it has recently surged in popularity among the piracy community as a way to sideload pirated apps and apps that are not allowed in the Amazon Appstore or the Google Play Store. As a result, Google recently banned the app from the Google Play Store and Amazon just followed suit by banning it from the Amazon Appstore.

The core functionality of DroidAdmin is innocent enough. You create an account on the app’s website and then create a list of URLs that include files that you want to download onto your Android device. An example use case that DroidAdmin gives is creating a list of images online that you want to download to your device at once to use as wallpapers. Once your list has been created, DroidAdmin’s website provides you with a numeric code that you enter into the app in order to easily download the list of files without needing to type each URL on your device.

The piracy community recently latched onto DroidAdmin as a means of easily sharing pirated APKs and banned APKs that facilitates piracy. These APK downloads are normally scattered across the web because they are not allowed in either the Google Play Store or the Amazon Appstore. DroidAdmin provided a means of gathering them in one place that was easily shared. Within the last few months, codes to massive DroidAdmin lists containing all sorts of pirated apps, piracy tools, and piracy add-ons began emerging and being shared across websites, forums, and YouTube videos. This use of DroidADmin is ultimately what likely lead to its removal from Google and Amazon’s app stores.

In my opinion, the issue with DroidAdmin, and the likely reason why it was banned from both app stores, is that it crossed the line from being just a downloading utility to essentially being an app store. Google, Amazon, and Apple all strictly do not allow apps in their stores to act as app stores. While DroidAdmin was probably not intended by its developers to be an appstore, that is essentially what it had become and how it was being used. By simply entering a short string of digits into DroidAdmin, a user would be presented with a massive list of apps to select from, of which many were themselves banned from the major apps stores, that could be installed with a single click.

The banning of DroidAdmin should not be considered an attack on sideloading, but rather, an attack on 3rd-party app stores and piracy. My own Downloader app provides very similar functionality to DroidAdmin at its core. However, the big difference, and why I think my app remains in both the Amazon Appstore and the Google Play Store, is that my app does not guide the user towards a particular download, nor does it provide a way to view a list of suggested downloads.

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16 comments
  1. Jeff says:

    Much like Firestarter, when one app is banned or dissolved, a clone appears soon after. This is just another minor bump in the road..There is other multiple ways to sideload apks…This is a tiny fly in a huge pool of ointment.

  2. shwru980r says:

    Can’t you just sideload the droidadmin app?

  3. RowMan says:

    The core of the app may have been good, but the guy who created it screwed up in his YouTube videos where he clearly tells you how to sideload piracy apps with his app. Amazon and Google don’t want to support something so blatant.

  4. Joe says:

    Had this app not been “banned I’d never heard of it. Now I’ll sideload it to various non-Amazon devices.

  5. itzme says:

    Is there any way to get Google Play store apps onto an older Gen 5 tablet? I want to get the Ultimate Alexa App onto my old tablet, to give it some life.

  6. Adam says:

    The app functions in a similar as Downloader except each icon in Droidadmin points to a specific url, it is basically an easier version of downloader with multiple links. Downloader works in a very similar way with the exceptions of loading one file at a time. Es explorer can also point to piracy files same as downloader by inputting a link to an APK or any other file.

    Every dog gets his day and Droidadmin got theirs that is all.

  7. tom42 says:

    Your downloader in the play store is not compatible with Samsung s7 for some reason

  8. Tampa8 says:

    I have no problem with not allowing this app given what it does more importantly how it does it. If they were to stop sideloading that would be the end of FireTv for me and I’m guessing many.
    It’s already a little dicey for Amazon devices with Google’s new policy on adding the Playstore to devices not approved.

  9. Primal says:

    What’s the point of this app? It’s really easy to sideload a browser onto any Android device, and then you can just click on any link or type any url.

    This app just seems like an added step, making it MORE complicated.

    • Packin says:

      For someone like me who programs fire devices for my house, my friends, and my family, it comes in VERY handy. Even easier that FireDL. All of the files I need to program the device, all in one place.

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