[Xiaomi responds] Google flagging Quick Apps on Poco F1 & other Xiaomi phones

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New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on November 15, 2019) follows:

Xiaomi continues to seize the smartphone market with its budget devices that are very popular in select countries such as India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand besides its home country of China.

Over the recent past, the Chinese vendor has been creeping into the European market and even making inroads into the African market that is dominated by yet another Chinese player, Transsion Holdings.

Sure, Xiaomi devices are well built and pack top-notch features at their price. In fact, we seldom see compromises in the camera and design of Xiaomi phones, however, you’ll have to forego one of the most important aspects of any device when you pick a Xiaomi phone – a clean UI experience.

Make no mistake, MIUI is one of the best custom skins the Android market has at the moment. There are plenty of useful features in there that you can only dream of on stock Android, but there are also parts of MIUI that can be really annoying.

Truth be told, a certain percentage of the annoying stuff in MIUI would have been acceptable if Xiaomi didn’t prevent users from uninstalling pre-installed MIUI apps.

To make it worse, these pre-installed system apps serve users with many absurd ads that no one asked for in the first place, something that can easily get to one’s nerves, making them easily forget the good stuff about Xiaomi phones.

One such pre-installed MIUI app that cannot be uninstalled from any Xiaomi phone without jumping through many hoops is the Quick Apps. And apparently, Google Play Protect is blocking this app on multiple Xiaomi phones on the suspicion that it collects data that can be used to track you.

Woah! Quick apps tracking scare by Play Protect.
Source

What is this #miui ? Please respond. It popped up while updating quick apps framework from system apps updater.
Source

Google-Play-Protect-blocking-Xiaomi-Quick-Apps
Google Play Protect blocking Xiaomi Quick Apps on multiple devices

Its unclear whats causing Google Play Protect to block Quick Apps on Xiaomi devices, but its likely something to do with some scary findings that came out earlier this year about this very app.

Apparently, the Quick Apps app has access to more than 55 system-level permissions, meaning it can do crazy stuff like installing apps without your permission, recording audio, video and even calls, capturing users’ SIM numbers, IMEI, and IMSI numbers, among other scary stuff.

Xiaomi-Quick-Apps-permissions
Xiaomi Quick Apps permissions (Source)

It’s worth noting that the Quick Apps app doesn’t receive its updates via the Play Store but through the Xiaomi software updater. Considering other Xiaomi system apps also get their updates this way, can we assume that no one is safe?

The fact that you cannot uninstall this app without root access makes it even more worrisome to have it on your phone, but at least Google is warning Android users about it.

Update (November 20)

In a statement sent to Android Police, Xiaomi says a recent change in the Google Play Protect algorithm could be the reason why Quick Apps is being flagged as a potential threat to user safety. The company is in touch with Google to address the issue.

Here’s the full statement:

We’re aware of the update concerning one of our system apps called Quick Apps. Some users may get a notification that this app has been blocked by Google Play Protect. We are in touch with Google regarding this and it is likely happening due to a revision in Google Play Protect’s algorithm. Rest assured that this system app is absolutely safe.

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Hillary Keverenge

Review Editor. Besides phones, I also enjoy the farm, music, football, and, of course, food.