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Google blocks a Xiaomi app; but here's why you shouldn't worry

Google Play Protect is blocking a system-level app on Xiaomi devices citing it tracks users. However, Xiaomi says its customers should not worry. Here is why.

  • Published: November 19, 2019 5:32 PM IST
Xiaomi Quick Apps Google Play Protect

Xiaomi users are seeing a system-level app that is being blocked by Google Play Store. A system app called “Quick Apps” is being blocked by Google Play Protect. We first observed the app being blocked by Play Protect on Friday. We reached out to Xiaomi to understand the cause for such behavior. The Chinese smartphone maker says there is no need for its consumers to worry. The Quick Apps is an application that runs on Xiaomi devices as part of the system image.

Is Xiaomi app is tracking users? Google Play Protect thinks so

We observed the app being blocked for the first time last week on our review unit of Xiaomi Redmi Note 8. When asked the company said it is aware of the update concerning one of its system apps called Quick Apps. “Some users may get a notification that this app has been blocked by Google Play Protect,” a spokesperson for Xiaomi told BGR India. “We are in touch with Google regarding this and it is likely happening due to a revision in Google Play Protect’s algorithm. Rest assured that this system app is absolutely safe,” the spokesperson added.

The issue has been reported by a number of Xiaomi users in the past week alone. Most of Xiaomi smartphone users have posted screenshots of the instance on Twitter and Reddit. Google Play Protect is blocking the app from installing the update with a message saying, “This app can collect data that could be used to track you.” It is important to note that Google Play Protect serves as a layer of protection between Android users and harmful apps. While Google certifies apps before they become available on Play Store, the restrictions are not as stringent as the one followed by Apple.

Watch: Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Review

In the case of Quick Apps, the system application is being updated via “System apps updater” option in Settings. We have reached out to Google to understand how this app violates its policy. For the time being, it could be based on a report that showed ‘Quick Apps’ has access to over 55 system-level permissions. Back in April, this same app was reportedly to have permissions allowing it to install unregistered apps without notifying the users. It was also able to record confidential information like IMEI, IMSI, SIM numbers. The app was also found to be capable of recording audio, video and calls of users. Xiaomi denies any wrongdoing by the app but for now, Google seems to be blocking it nonetheless.

  • Published Date: November 19, 2019 5:32 PM IST