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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.

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Its related with your rooting method. Did you just flash exploited system partition? –  Sachin Shekhar Nov 3 '12 at 20:04
    
My guess: system partition already has frozen apps and this partition is restored everytime you reboot. –  Sachin Shekhar Nov 3 '12 at 20:06
    
@SachinShekhar: This is a Galaxy Nexus so there's no need for an exploit in order to root it. And Google Play Books used to be constantly re-frozen, but now it isn't. So there's something more going on. –  Scott Severance Nov 4 '12 at 2:29
    
Some Google services "freeze" if you are in an unsupported country when you first setup your phone (Books/Movies/Sound Search/Magazines/Wallet). This is done once on the first configuration. So if you setup your phone in the US then traveled, the apps would not freeze. I am unaware of any configuration file you can manually edit to remove this, if you are willing to do so, you may format your phone then connect through a US ip address on first setup. [NOTE: This may not be the best method, and it may not be approved by Google, and may lead to loss of data if you don't backup] –  Raghd Hamzeh Nov 4 '12 at 19:44
    
Actually, that's not quite accurrate. Apps can automatically unfreeze themselves. And there are many possible ways for the phone to determine its country: IP addresses are one (though I don't think I can set up a VPN at the first boot screen), GPS and WiFi data is another, and the SIM card is still another. –  Scott Severance Nov 5 '12 at 9:45

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