Last Updated on March 14, 2021 by Shivanandana Hegde
Recently, many Xiaomi Mi phone users have raised concerns on “Quick apps Blocked by Play protect”.
Additionally, the warning also states why is quick apps blocked: This Quick apps can collect data that could be used to track you.
In my earlier post on ‘What Google Knows about me‘, I’ve shown how a tech-giant like Google stores all your e-commerce purchases and invoice without any active intimation to you.
Xiaomi has been criticized in past for stealing user information. The word on streets here is that these Chinese mobile companies are stealing user data and this is a new way of ‘spying’ on us.
This accusation by Google play adds insult to injury. So, I wanted to know what is happening with this ‘Quick Apps‘.
First of all, what the heck is Quick Apps? – I own this phone from almost 2 years and I wasn’t even aware that it exists in my phone. It doesn’t show up in app drawer, never got any notification from it. However, suddenly today, quick app is blocked from upgrading by google play protect.
So what really is Quick Apps?
If you do a Google search, you most likely won’t find much useful information on this app. Some blogs, including many MI official support threads, say that this app is full of issues. It drains battery, it is a bloatware… etc.
If you don’t prefer to use Xiaomi’s built-in browser, you most probably won’t even care what this is.
Many Xiaomi MI community users believe that Quick apps is Xiaomi’s version of ‘Instant Apps’. It is exactly like Google’s ‘Play instant Apps‘. For a layman, it means you can run an app without actually installing them in your phone.
So, I uninstalled quick apps from my phone and I see that ‘instant-launch’ of these games and apps is still working fine without any problem.
When I compare a Xiaomi MI phone with Quick Apps Vs without Quick Apps, there is literally no difference in terms of instant application. I mean, there are several instant apps/games in built-in browser that will still launch without problem even without Xiaomi MI’s Quick apps.
Google play instant is also working flawlessly. So this is not a Xiaomi’s version of instant apps.
By the way, this is the best way to uninstall Xiaomi Mi system apps without rooting. ?
Why Google play protect blocks Quick apps?
The first layer of detection in play protect has to do with Quick app’s ridiculous ‘permissions‘.
If you navigate to settings >> Apps >> Manage Apps >> Search for Quick apps >> Tap ‘Permissions’. You’ll most likely see that the permissions are turned off and it feels pretty safe.
The app looks so pretty right?
Quick apps has so much more permission that are not active. Click on the three dots on top, and tap ‘All permissions’. Then you’ll see the real scene.
I was shocked to see this app has almost every possible permission including recording audio, installing apps without notifying you etc. ? ? ?
These hideous amount of permissions is the reason!
It’ll definitely take a while even to just go through all of these permissions. I’ve just put it on the right side and will continue article here.
Mr Gagan Jain from medium.com has reverse engineered this app and has put a detailed post here.
You may require to login with your Google account to view this post. Here is the summary:
- This app has over 55+hidden permissions.
- It uses SHA1RSA algorithm which is vulnerable to collision attacks
- App can install unregistered apps in background without your consent.
- App creates your profile in Xiaomi back-end and dumps your data.
It surely looks like a backdoor and Xiaomi hasn’t explained what it intends to do with so much of data.
When many bloggers contacted Xiaomi on quick apps getting blocked, their reply was like this:
” We’re aware of the update concerning one of our system apps called Quick Apps. Some users may get a notification that this app has been blocked by Google Play Protect. We are in touch with Google regarding this and it is likely happening due to a revision in Google Play Protect’s algorithm.”Xiaomi Clarification
SUMMARY:It is still not clear what is the use of Quick Apps, why Xiaomi has so many hidden permissions in this quick apps and most importantly, what is the purpose of this app?
So, if you are not concerned about privacy and your life is a open book, well kudos!! Nothing to do there. 🙂
But if you are wary of these data leaks and possible privacy breaches, I would say, simply uninstall this app using the method shown in my earlier post.
There is absolutely no problem after installing this app. All functionalities are working fine and there is slight improvement in battery life!