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21 votes
Accepted

How does an app reads an OTP SMS without SMS permission?

Verification by OTP uses a different API which doesn't need read SMS permission. You can read more here Perform SMS Verification on a Server Hence, the app isn't reading your SMS but using a separate ...
beeshyams's user avatar
  • 41.1k
18 votes

How can I make an Android app "forget" that it installed on my phone before?

tl:dr; addressing OP's question - sorry, no way AFAIK. From Android 10 onwards normal apps can't access IMEI number. Revised answer with additional inputs from Izzy (thanks) How do apps (Google or ...
beeshyams's user avatar
  • 41.1k
14 votes
Accepted

Captive Portal parameters

Configuring captive portal behaviour captive_portal_detection_enabled (<= Android 7.1.1) works as described in question body captive_portal_mode (>= Android 7.1.2) works as described in ...
Andy Yan's user avatar
  • 9,539
10 votes
Accepted

How to make a complete factory reset, without anyone being able to retrieve my data?

HOW DELETED DATA IS RECOVERED? Data (un)deletion strongly depends on how a storage media (HDD, SSD, eMMC etc.), filesystem (NTFS, FAT32, ext4 etc.) and OS save and delete files. File carving / ...
Irfan Latif's user avatar
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9 votes
Accepted

What is Google Partner Setup?

Google Partner Setup is an app that helps you run applications in conjunction with Google products. For example, with this application's help, you can use the calendar from your device with a ToDo app ...
Prahlad Yeri's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Get new random MAC for same SSID without factory reset on Android 10+

On Android 11, there is a new option "Wi-Fi-enhanced MAC randomization" in the developer options. When you enable it, delete/forget the network, and then reconnect, you get a new MAC address ...
Hannes's user avatar
  • 363
9 votes
Accepted

How does Tinder get SMS verification code?

Since a few years, Google provides a special system that allows apps to use SMS verification without getting access to other SMS. The approach deliver verification SMS to a certain app is that the SMS ...
Robert's user avatar
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7 votes
Accepted

What permissions are granted to an app with device administration privileges?

Yes, a device administrator only has permissions to do what it says. If you change the permissions of the app that the administrator is associated with, the administrators permissions will not change ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 313
7 votes
Accepted

Does Truecalller app leak your phonebook?

Yes it does. When using the Truecaller application or services, you have already accepted their privacy policy: So, in this case, you agree that: Truecaller may use your personal information ...
M. A.'s user avatar
  • 820
7 votes
Accepted

Is it safe to give accessibility permission to an app?

It always depends on how trusted the app is. There are malware apps that abuse accessibility service, that Google took action to remove them from the Play Store. Do not enable it unless you know what ...
Andrew T.'s user avatar
  • 16.2k
7 votes

Does Android AOSP communicate with third-parties?

I know the project has always been open-source but recently purchased by Google. You are mistaken on that point. The original Android, Inc. was founded in 2003 and acquired by Google in 2005. Google ...
John Dallman's user avatar
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6 votes
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Can an app update from Play Store reinstate its permissions I've disabled earlier?

Cases that doesn't affect your current permissions: Updating app from play store.(also maybe the same for apk install too) When you disable/enable any app. When you clear only app cache. When you ...
Rahul Gopi's user avatar
  • 2,253
6 votes
Accepted

WhatsApp: How to isolate contacts and photos - Privacy concerns

Requisites Download Shelter - an open source app from F-droid or GitHub. Quoting the developer, use cases Run “Big Brother” apps inside the isolated profile so they cannot access your data ...
beeshyams's user avatar
  • 41.1k
6 votes
Accepted

How do Android apps access phone's simcard and determine the location/country without permission?

Apps cannot access SIM card directly, neither they can get your exact location without getting permission. But they can get your country code if the device is connected to a cellular network. No ...
Irfan Latif's user avatar
  • 20.7k
5 votes

How can I use the name "A Google user" in my reviews at Google Play Store?

Edit: As of August 2016, it is no longer required to have a Google Plus Profile to leave a comment in Google Play Store. However, it would still require great sacrifices to comment anonymously in ...
iBug's user avatar
  • 7,787
5 votes

Get new random MAC for same SSID without factory reset on Android 10+

The key related to MAC randomization is only generated for the first time. And the MAC address is calculated by calling hmac_sha256 over the SSID with the generated key. This key is stored in the /...
liangpig1's user avatar
5 votes

How to prevent an app from sharing its data with Google?

See Data backup overview. Since changelog is talking of Android 6 compatibility, it is referring to Android auto backup (see table). Enabled by default. Apps can opt out by disabling backups. ...
beeshyams's user avatar
  • 41.1k
4 votes

How to use GPS without using Google Location Services

Using Fairphone 2 and Fairphone Open OS and following this guide to living without Google, I set up location services using location middleware provider µg UnifiedNlp (no GAPPS) It is easy to do this ...
Zanna's user avatar
  • 257
4 votes

On Android, how to disable Google Chrome's incognito mode

You could try Incoquito - it's a paid app and allows you to either automatically close all incognito tabs when the screen turns off or to disable incognito browsing altogether by preventing incognito ...
Lemino Labs's user avatar
4 votes

What permissions are granted to an app with device administration privileges?

As you explicitly pinged me for an answer: AFAIK, apps can only use permissions declared in their Manifest – so there should be no way an app could add itself permissions it never requested there. ...
Izzy's user avatar
  • 91.2k
4 votes

How to use a firewall AND a VPN?

There's many ways to go about this (sorted from easiest to most complicated): Use Adhell 3, the Samsung KNOX based content-blocker that doesn't require root and also allows you to use a VPN app at ...
ItsIgnacioPortal's user avatar
4 votes

Does "Draw over other apps" permission allow the app the see the content of the background app?

The official developer docs do not mention any such possibility with Draw over other app (SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW) permission. Apps with that permission can only receive touch feedback, like other apps. ...
Firelord's user avatar
  • 25.2k
4 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to disable gmail sync completely, without logging out?

Disabling sync and removing email history is possible, but it will not stop others from simply enabling sync. Option 1. To disable sync for Gmail, go to settings -> accounts -> Google. And deselect ...
aBochur's user avatar
  • 2,539
4 votes
Accepted

How to Audit Android Apps (for screenshot activity)

Taking a screenshot requires root or system permissions (or an root exploit). I assume your ROM is a official Lineage release. Assuming further that their signing key has not leaked the app you are ...
Robert's user avatar
  • 20.5k
4 votes

Does an adblocker defeat the tracking part of the ad module, or just the display of ads?

tl:dr; Tracking can be done by an app without showing ads. By merely blocking ads you are not preventing tracking Hosts based ad blocking is better than browser ad blocking, since it does not ...
beeshyams's user avatar
  • 41.1k
4 votes

How to share VPN connection with devices on hotspot?

Android doesn't redirect hotspot traffic through VPN network as far as I have tested on Pie ROM (almost stock; custom ROMs might have different implementations or some specific settings). The reason ...
Irfan Latif's user avatar
  • 20.7k
4 votes

Info on and removal of COVID contact tracing in Google Play Services

The Covid contact tracing in Google Play Services is an API. And according to he documentation this API is working opt-in. By default your device will not track anything. Also note that "contact" in ...
Robert's user avatar
  • 20.5k
4 votes
Accepted

What can WhatsApp access on my phone?

You can take the description "device's photos, media and files" for sure. If you grant this permission to Whatsapp everything that is located in your "internal storage" (sometimes called sdcard ...
Robert's user avatar
  • 20.5k
4 votes

How can I make an Android app "forget" that it installed on my phone before?

I don't know exactly how each app implements this but I wold assume that they use the ANDROID_ID. Each app gets an ID that does not change. ANDROID_ID is a random number generated on first boot after ...
Robert's user avatar
  • 20.5k
4 votes

What are all these Google internet hosts (domains) and why is stripped-down Android connecting to all of them?

I don't know the purpose of all hosts, but here is what I know: connectivitycheck.gstatic.com On this host typically only the URL https://connectivitycheck.gstatic.com/generate_204 is used. It is used ...
Robert's user avatar
  • 20.5k

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