After rooting my Galaxy Nexus (international GSM version), I looked around a bit with Titanium Backup and found several system apps that were frozen. Among them are: Google Earth, Google Play Books, Google Play Magazines, and Google Wallet.
I thawed them and found that Google Play Books and Magazines wouldn't work here in Korea, and Wallet seemed to assume that it was in the US. Meanwhile, Google Earth worked just fine.
When I rebooted my phone, the apps I'd unfrozen were frozen again. I thawed Google Earth again and didn't bother with the others.
More recently, Google Play Books has magically thawed itself and Google Play (both the app and the web interface) spam me with promos for books in a language I don't read (Korean), despite the fact that my phone is set to English.
Google Earth still tries to hide on every reboot.
Why are these system apps doing this? If they're part of the ROM, they should be available at all times, right? I can kind of understand hiding apps that don't work outside the US (like Google Wallet), but why hide Google Earth? It's relevant worldwide by its very nature.