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Owing to a recent Motley Fool report of Google's actions pertaining to Cheetah Mobile apps, it occured to me that I would like to either uninstall or disable (in case uninstall fails), the apps related to this company, and other companies, if need be. Now exposed as employing questionable techniques on even one app, it is unlikely I would ever trust any installed app from that company.

What easy technique to recognize a company's apps are on my device and uninstall them, even if their app names, or their developer names, or their company names are obscure?

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The easiest way is through the web for Google Play. Using the seach bar, bring up the name of one of the suspected apps like Clean Master or any of the apps listed in the article like Kika. Using this page, click the hyperlink for the COMPANY, below the appname. This will bring up all apps for that company, and the card for each app that you have installed will have a green check mark in the bottom right of the card. Selecting in this fashion allows the user some confidence that all his apps from that specific company can be identified. Unfortunately, while the specific app card yields a pseudo-button "Installed", it does not allow uninstall or disable via the web interface. Using the list however, the user would search out, uninstall (or disable) the now-exposed apps directly from the device.

Settings > Apps > <selected app> > Uninstall or Disable

  • +1. Also, if you know the publisher's name, just use in Play Store (for web portal and app both) this query: pub:PUBLISHER's NAME (case sensitive). E.g. pub:Cheetah Mobile and pub:Kika Tech Inc. – Firelord Dec 7 '18 at 22:59
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Android package identification is not easy.

I can call a new application anything i want to, their is no designated spot to write the company name for searching.

Ok for example,
i could call my app region.company.appname as the guidelines encourage developers to use this format when naming application packages... com.company.tester for this example, COM is the region ( Commonwealth ) , Company is the company name and tester is the app name.

To identify applications made using the same naming rules and using the same company name, you'd need to look at the package name for all application's and find the corresponding company name.

This won't show you everything because the developer can easily call the app anon.unknown now the region has been removed, the company is Anon and the app name is unknown...

This makes it extremely hard to recognize all package's by a specific developer.

Back in the day, Google's Play Store only required the application to be signed by a developer key ( used for all apps ) however now developers need to create a new key for each application that doesn't share userID's.

You could have previously checked the Key Hash for all applications and the one's using the same Key are from the same company ( developer ) ... however this has changed.

In my experience, their isn't any regulation on leaving a footprint from your company.... If you wanted, you could make your company name the same as you application name ... For example, Facebook is by Facebook, The company may have been created specifically for the application, therefore the company is the same name, meaning each and every application will be made by development team for that application.

So, other than relying on the developer to use the same naming rules for every application... It's not possible to find all applications made by a specific company...

The company may have side projects that use their respective names as the identity of the creator.

The only possible way is if the IDE ( Integrated Development Environment ) places some sort of digital fingerprint on the software using information from the hardware of the computer... this can still be avoided by using a different computer to develop on.

So as far as i know, it's not entirely possible.

The best alternative is to read the package names and find corresponding companies ( shared user ID's & package names ).

If the application is installed in your System, you can't uninstall it without root access, so you'll need to Disable the app instead.

System > Apps ( Samsung's it's More > Apps ) > ( Selected App ) > Disable.

I hope the developer hasn't used different naming rules for each application etc .... good luck finding them all.

  • Thanks for all of that. I designed my question and placed it here to be for the casual user, rather than a developer. Your answer has a clear "let's dive into the code" feel, especially the parts about developers keys, Key Hashes, and IDE fingerprints. Your answer does coalesce alot of what a developer would consider employing to make easy name detection difficult if not impossible, giving this question's target audience (Cheetah/Kika victim) a bit of additional information to be successful. – wbogacz Dec 9 '18 at 1:31

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