View Full Version : Any blogs talking bad things about the "Google Settings" app?

April 16th, 2013, 03:27 AM
I have found *only* 1 blog (http://www.elandroidelibre.com/2013/02/los-ajustes-de-google-representan-todo-lo-que-esta-mal-en-android-ahora-mismo.html) of someone that is concerned about the fact that Google will
push an (useless) app into your device silently overnight, and another one (http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/02/26/silently-installing-itself-on-a-device-near-you-the-green-google-settings-icon-its-just-google-play-services-3-0/) that remotely
sounds like complaining.

I'm sure that Google is hiding the results of people complaining about it in favor of "look
at this awesome new app" posts.

Has anyone read any blogs that actually talks about the security and privacy
implications of the power that Google has shown to have over our devices?

Please share them with us.

April 16th, 2013, 04:22 AM
I have not found anything malicious about the settings app. I agree, it is essentially a redundant app, but then 90% of Android apps are redundant. Most services can be reached through a web page. I find the settings app no more intrusive than storing all of your contact information with google contacts or using google servers to read through your gmail, or documents created in google drive. The settings are the least of my worries. At least by having a separate app, google can push updates as they roll out new services--which they seem to be doing at a rapid clip.

As long as the settings app doesn't suck down my battery or cause advertising pop-ups, I'm OK with it. Google has so many cloud services to manage, it makes sense to have one app control them all.

I performed a total Android update over-the-air on my ATT Samsung III Galaxy phone. I'm more concerned over ATT's control than google.

April 16th, 2013, 05:55 AM
tgalati4, I'm sure the app is useful and there's a reason why it exists, so the concern isn't about the 8Mb of
disk space the app uses or whether it's malicious or redundant or how useful it is for the people who uses
all the Google services.

Just think about it, even Microsoft had the decency of pushing into the XP machines the WGA (http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Genuine_Advantage) via an
update that we could opt no to install; the ones of us who had a VM with a pirated XP installed could just
remove WGA and it would never install again on its own; that doesn't seems to be the case with the
Settings app, for what I've read, if removed, it will just install on it's own again.

It's about freedom, not about free stuff that I'm concerned. Many likes GNU/linux because it's free, and
that's OK; but I like it because I like deciding what enters into my system and what doesn't, and if possible,
what each piece of stuff is allowed to do.

April 16th, 2013, 05:34 PM
The settings app should then be renamed: Google Genuine Advantage--GGA. As I recall it got installed with an update to the gmail app or google-plus app. My guess is that they are splitting out the settings framework so that it becomes a dependency for the other apps to install properly. It should have been bundled/compiled into the base Android system, but then that would require a reinstall of Android on all devices and that would be problematic (400 MB download for each phone).

I agree with you, that there should have been a prominent notice before installing it. But if you declined, then it would uninstall several google apps and that would cause issues as well. I don't think it installed itself, but only as part of google app update that was manually initiated or auto-updated if you have that set.

Android is not a free operating system, there are elements that conform to the GPL and the 4 software freedoms, but for the most part, Android is a DRM-laden, spyware-laden, relatively reliable phone operating system.