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Back before Android had gone mainstream, there was an incident where Google removed an app using a feature called Remote Application Removal.

This potentially allows Google to start removing political or anti-authority apps although I'm aware they have so far only used it to remove malware.

Still, I don't trust Google or any other corporation very much and would rather do everything I can to keep them out of my phone.

I already use CyanogenMod 9 (latest nightly 2012-06-21) but since I use the Market/Play it is kind of beside the point.

Is there a way to hack the Market/Play app so that it can't delete apps from the phone without specific authorization from the user?

Alternately, is there a way to set up per-app permissions in CM9 so I can prevent the Market/Play app from deleting anything?

http://android-developers.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/exercising-our-remote-application.html

http://phandroid.com/2010/06/24/google-can-remotely-remove-apps-from-your-phone/

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The Market is a system app, so it can do whatever it wants. I'd suggest you don't use the Google apps package if this is a concern. –  Matthew Read Jun 21 '12 at 17:56
    
I realize all that. –  warsong Jun 21 '12 at 17:57
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You could use droidwall to block gapps from accessing the Internet except when you install apps. Paid apps will maybe break if they have a scheduled recheck of their licence however. Plus: Website based installation requests (play.Google.com) won't work. It's not a perfect scheme but it's almost bullet proof code.google.com/p/droidwall/issues/detail?id=168 –  ce4 Jun 23 '12 at 7:02
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2 Answers 2

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Is there a way to hack the Market/Play app so that it can't delete apps from the phone without specific authorization from the user?

Yes, there are tools to decompile an APK and DEX files and make modifications and put them back together again; you'll need root, the appropriate softwares, lots of knowledge about Dalvik and Java bytecode, and many weekends spent on reading. Also be warned that you're breaching the TOS of Google Play.

And ... good luck, you'll need it.

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Hacking the Play app is probably no feasible option. And as Matthew Read suggests, as a system app, it can do what it wants.

The only other options I can think off is using an alternative Android app market. You can find some here: http://www.howtogeek.com/106175/the-top-5-alternatives-to-the-android-market/

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