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A while back, I disabled the Google App (com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox).

IIRC, disabling the app caused some problems which I discovered over time. Unfortunately, all my notes on the topic were lost. I am no longer even sure of the version of Android on which I performed the testing.

There are at least two reasons to disable the app:

  1. Lack of trust in Google. Desire to have as few Google products in use as possible.
  2. The Google App starts running on its own, using valuable memory, CPU resources, and storage space.

For users that have no use for the Google App, are there now any consequences or problems with disabling the app?

If there are issues, what about blocking everything it tries to access using XPrivacy (Xposed module)?

  • This seems like a lot of non-compensated testing work to compile this. Asking for this level of precision is unusual to a casual user. Is this homework, or non-paid data for an article? – wbogacz Sep 25 '15 at 20:31
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    @wbogacz As far as I know the OP, neither of the two – but rather a question on whether it's safe to disable that app on newer Android versions, or to expect unwanted side-effects. From the phrasing, he wants to rule out those "smart ass answers" rather than having us setting up our labs: if you've already tested this, please answer – but our Lizard doesn't want the whole world starting academic studies on the topic (though he wouldn't reject that if we did :) – Izzy Sep 25 '15 at 20:45
  • Izzy (as usual) is correct. I just want to know if there will be problems with disabling it, and if so, what they are. I remember experiencing issues in the past, but my notes were lost. The issues were not immediately apparent, but I was able to trace back various problems to disabling that app. IIRC, it was on a very old version of Android (and the Google App), so it is very possible none of those issues exist anymore. If people have it disabled, and are not experiencing any issues (or disabled it and did experience issues), I am very interested in learning from their experiences. – RockPaperLizard Sep 25 '15 at 21:28
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    This is not a core system app, it may not even exist on a given ROM. So if there are issues, it's due to the particular ROM doing something incorrectly. Polling is off-topic here, whether of experience or opinions. – Matthew Read Sep 26 '15 at 1:21
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    @MatthewRead That might be true, but even some of the Nexuses were affected by that "bug" (rendering the device close to unusable if that app was disabled) – on their stock ROMs. – Izzy Oct 14 '15 at 23:27
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Disabling the Google App (com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox) may cause the Voice Input button on some standard keyboards (including the AOSP keyboard) to not appear or not work.

Some alternate keyboards, such as TouchPal, will allow downloading a separate speech-to-text package from Google. Other keyboards, such as Swype, do not require any Google software to support voice input.

Outside of that issue, I have not found any consequences (outside of having more storage space) of disabling the Google App.

  • I disabled Google App (if disable "grayed out", uninstall updates, at which point disable option appears), while using the Google Now launcher, and was permanently unable to load my home screen, even if I reenabled Google App. Eventually tried reboot, and it froze forever on "Starting apps", due to inability to load home screen, so was forced to do a factory reset. Be advised, the Google App may be tightly entangled with the Google Now launcher, so setup a different launcher ahead of time before disabling Google App in this case. – maxpolk Aug 28 '16 at 17:57
  • @maxpolk Thanks for that info. I'm not familiar with the Google Now launcher. On what device did that occur and what version of Android? – RockPaperLizard Aug 28 '16 at 18:48
  • I have Nexus 6P Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Google Now seems to be tightly related to Google App, even wikipedia says "Google Now is implemented as an aspect of the Google Search application". Disabling Google App seems disharmonious to Google Now users, as I experienced. – maxpolk Aug 28 '16 at 23:42
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    @maxpolk Thanks for the details. It seems to be something new (similar to the bad idea of how Microsoft "integrated" Internet Explorer into Windows). Previous versions of Google products don't seem to suffer from that issue. – RockPaperLizard Aug 29 '16 at 3:34
  • @maxpolk What launcher do you recommend? Is it possible to get something like the AOSP launcher (if it's something other than Google Now)? (In my particular case, I'm trying to dump Google App from Nexus 5X with latest stock Android firmware, right now it's 7.1.2). I tried simply pm disable com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox from su prompt, and default launcher seems to break in this case. Fortunately I enabled it back without reboot and it survived. – Sarge Borsch Apr 27 '17 at 6:38

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