WeChat

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What it does: WeChat is a messaging app

Offenses:

  • Privacy concern

To the surprise of no one, WeChat has confirmed that it lets the Chinese government see all of its users data. If you don’t live in China you probably haven’t heard of WeChat, but it is an essential application for people in China because not only is it the most used chat app it is also used for payments and as a sort of Snpachat replacement. So if you don0t want the chinese government to know what you say, see or buy then we suggest you don’t install this app.

Alternatives: Telegram, Signal,SMS

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GO Keyboard

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What it does: GO Keyboard is a keyboard replacement app with extra features

Offenses:

  • Privacy Concern
  • Questionable Permissions
  • Naughty Dev
  • Virus

We’re well acquainted with the developer GOMO Apps here on Android Blacklist, in fact, they are one of our naughty developers because they have an history of shady apps. As it turns out all 3(!) versions of GO keyboard spy on its users AND on top of that offers plugins that are known adware. According to the original article, GO keyboard shares your “Google account email in addition to language, IMSI, location, network type, screen size, Android version and build, device model, etc.”

Keyboard replacements are great, but you really do have to be careful with them because they can easily log whatever you type into them and in this case your device info.

Alternatives: SwiftKey, Fleksy, Gboard, Fleksy, MultiLing Keyboard

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Sarahah

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What it does: Sarahah lets users anonymously provide “feedback” to other users.

Offenses:

  • Privacy Concern

Sarahah lets random anonymous users leave comments on your profile, kind of like a more convoluted ask.fm and it’s been one of the fastest growing apps this year, getting more than ten million installs in under 2 months. However, Zachary Julian found that as soon as you start the app it uploads your entire contact list and email address book to its servers which is a huge privacy concern. Unfortunately, if you’ve already installed Sarahah then there’s nothing you can do, but I would advise you to uninstall the app.

Alternatives: No safe alternatives known

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AccuWeather

What it does: Accuweather provides weather forecasts
Offenses:
  • Privacy Concern 

While it is a very well designed app that works beautifully and despite it being my personal go to free weather forecast app I can no longer recommend people AccuWeather. AccuWeather was found sharing user location data with a third party even if the user chooses to not disclose its location, which is a very, very serious offense. That was almost a week ago, but today a report came out that said that despite updating their app AccuWeather was still disclosing user location data, which is simply inexcusable. While all these findings where made on the iOS(iPhone) version of the app we now have strong reasons to doubt AccuWeather is securely handling user data.

Alternatives: Weather Timeline(Paid), Weather Channel(free), your local weather institution app

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PSA: Malicious ad network

Hello everyone, this is more of a heads up than a blacklisted app:
Recently lookout.com found around 500 apps that used an ad network that allowed malicious users to download and run code on your phone. The apps themselves may not be intentionally  harmful so I’m no blacklisting them, but you should still update your apps because a few of them have been updated to remove the malicious ad network. Other malicious apps have been removed from the play store so check if any of your apps have suddenly vanished from the store.
Unfortunately lookout did not provide a list of the infected apps, they’ve only provided screenshots of two apps that have already removed the ad network, these apps are “Lucky Cash” and “Selfie City”, so if you have any of these two installed please update them immediately.
If you’d like a more in-depth look at this issue please read the original source.

TL;DR: Update your apps now, non malicious apps may have unintentionally malicious ad networks.

Android Blacklist has no ties whatsoever to lookout, but we felt the need to warn our visitors.
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Mobile Security & Protection (Web of Trust)

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What it does:  Mobile Security & Protection “protects” you against viruses and malicious websites

Offenses:

  • Privacy concern

Mobile Security & Protection is the app version of the once often recommended web of trust extension which claims to make browsing safer by adding a security rating to every site, which is in theory a very good idea. In practice though, this app(and the original browser extension) must collect user browsing data for it function and Web Of Trust were caught red handed selling user data to third parties and as if that wasn’t bad enough the data WASN’T anonymized! Having your data sold online is almost a given, but most companies at least have the courtesy to anonymize it, but Web Of Trust breaks all trust (irony!) by giving companies data about you with your name and email attached to it.

Alternatives: No alternatives known, use an adblocker on untrustworthy sites

 

Android “Updaters”

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What it does: These apps claim to update your android phone

Offenses:

  • Snake Oil
  • Intrusive ads

 

Updates are usually a good thing and with way most android phones are, they’re usually a rarity, so these apps come to solve that problem, except not really. For a phone to be updated the actual manufacturer(Samsung, Huawei, Motorola, etc.) has to push the update to your device, or in some countries the carrier will do that job. What this means is that none of these app has any chance to work, the most any of them will do is open the update setting. That’s right, every android phone already has an updater that actually works and it also happens to be the ONLY one that works, so if that setting doesn’t show that there’s a new update available then in most cases you’re out of luck. I say most cases because some manufacturers (like Asus) will release an update on their website before they push it to their phones, but this isn’t always the case and differs from manufacturer to manufacturer, so the takeaway from this post is if neither the manufacturer website nor the “update” setting has an update available then these apps will never EVER work. This kind of apps only serve as a vehicle to show ads, if you want a newer OS version wither get a newer phone from a manufacturer that is know to keep their phones up to date (or look into custom ROMs if you’re an advanced user).

Here’s a list of some of these apps, I’m sure there are a lot more

samsungupdate.com

com.umrsama.updatesoftware

la.tn.my.up.dev

tn.My.Dev.Up.com.tm

com.gonext.gonextupgrade

com.hexamob.allandroidupdates

com.sp41ky.updatesw

com.googleandroidupdates

com.update.software.clone1

com.update.for.android

com.protoolapps.androidupgrade

Alternatives: Your phone’s “update” setting.

 

Magic Cleaner

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What it does: Magic Cleaner is a RAM cleaner/battery saver

Offenses:

  • Snake oil

 

We have discussed here time and time again that RAM cleaners and battery savers are useless when it comes to android, but if you’d like to read more about it you can check ot our apps guide. Magic Cleaner is no different nd its equally as useless as Cleaner Masters and others like it. Luckily, Magic Cleaner only requests a handful of permissions and they are all very sensible so at least that part checks out.

Alternatives: SD Maid, CCleaner

Mobdro(“Guide apps”)

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What it does: Mobdro is a piracy app that enables the user to stream TV on their phones.

Offenses:

  • Snake Oil

Mobdro is an app that allows you to watch TV streams. The app itself is very real and also very illegal which is why I won’t link to it here. People like free stuff, so obviously many people hear about mobdro and want to download it the only way they know how, through the Play Store. The Play Stor may be under moderated and host contents of questionable legality, but you’ll nver find any outright illegal app on there, Google isn’t that careless. So all the mobdro apps that clutter the top lists are all FAKE. Most of them are “guides” and their main purpose is serving ads, after all, they have no real content. So jut to reiterate

YOU WILL NEVER FIND PIRACY APPS ON THE PLAY STORE

Under this text is a list of packages of “Mobdro” guides, which you should uninstall immediatl if you have any of them installed. However, these are just a few and there are hundreds more apps of this sort. If you want to help you can report them to Google

com.namedeveloper.tmobdro.tutor.reference

appinventor.ai_link4lach.guidemobdrotvon10

reference.guide.bom

om.guidee.moobdrosbrr

ppinventor.ai_link4lach.fichkel13

tips.mob.mokassa

com.mobdroapp.guide

com.new.mobdro2

com.freetvpro.tmobdro.tutor.reference

com.new.mobdro3

com.guidea.mrdd

com.stream.mobdrotv

com.newmobdro.tipspro

tips.moobco.eren

guide.mobcom.ax

com.dev.guidemobdrotv

com.jordanmason06.guide_mobdroid.enem

Alternatives: Hulu, Netflix, Amazon. None of these are free, there are no piracy apps on the play store, any that you may find are FAKE.

If you have doubts about any of these apps contact us