I was going through my apps and discovered this:

enter image description here

Um, what? Unfortunately, I'm not fluent in the language that the app is titled with (Chinese, I'm guessing?), so I have no idea what it is or where it came from. Any ideas? I tend to be careful with what I download (no third-party markets) so I would be surprised if it was malware, but that being said it still looks mighty suspicious to me.

It's a Galaxy Nexus running Android 4.3 if that's relevant.

  • That there's a "Disable" button rather than "Uninstall" indicates it's a system app. As far as I know, there is no official 4.3 for the Galaxy Nexus, so what custom ROM are you using?
    – ale
    Mar 12 '14 at 21:10
  • Maybe I'm mistaken, I'm just running stock Android. Under "Settings -> About phone -> Android Version" it says 4.3.
    – Mike G
    Mar 12 '14 at 21:15
  • Who's your carrier then?
    – ale
    Mar 12 '14 at 21:31
  • Sprint. (15 chars)
    – Mike G
    Mar 12 '14 at 21:33
  • 1
    @AlE. Yes there is an official 4.3 for the GN. There is no 4.4. See, e.g., developers.google.com/android/nexus/images#takjujwr66y
    – derobert
    Mar 14 '14 at 6:36

It looks like it's Google's Pinyin IME. The icon has since changed to use squares instead of circles, but you can still see that it is generally the same, and you can find examples of the old round icon on the Internet still. It's still on the page for Google's Windows variant, in fact:

enter image description here

Google must evidently ship this in their vanilla Android builds for Nexus devices, which would explain why it cannot be uninstalled. This seems to be verified by various sites around the web (one, two, three).

  • Guess that's it. Any idea why it's showing up in Chinese on my device instead of "Google Pinyin IME"?
    – Mike G
    Mar 12 '14 at 23:17
  • @mikeTheLiar: I can't say for sure, but if I were to hazard a guess I would say it's in Chinese so that a user who needs it (i.e. someone who only speaks Chinese) will be able to read the label. Mar 12 '14 at 23:22
  • 2
    Which is a fair enough point, but when I see an app that I didn't install, which can't be uninstalled, with a title in Chinese, my first thought isn't "Oh, clearly this is intended for a Chinese speaker. Nothing to see here." My first thought it "OH NOEZ HAXORS! Do I have to change all my passwords and my bank account information now?"
    – Mike G
    Mar 12 '14 at 23:46

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