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Is Greenify Malware?... or Spyware?

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xxxmadraxxx

Senior Member
Dec 11, 2015
64
44
I originally posted a summary of these thoughts on my Play Store review of Greenify. But, since comments there soon get lost in the traffic, I thought I'd rewrite here.

Greenify seems to get a free pass from pretty much every Android-focussed site as a "must have app". I even saw an article on one site that said all RAM/Battery optimiser apps were a waste of time except for Greenify.

My own findings are a bit less uncritical.

My findings are that Greenify is constantly trying to make internet connections behind your back. I have the excellent AFWall+ installed on all my gadgets and, after I installed Greenify and blocked it from making internet connections, I was having AFWall+ alert me that Greenify was trying to make connections, almost constantly.

I would be doing something on my phone and the alerts from AFWall+ would be popping up continually, telling me that Greenify was trying to connect to one IP address after another. This would literally go on for two or three minutes at a time. It got so distracting that I eventually turned off AFWall+'s alerts for Greenify, just so I could use my phone in peace!

Digging further into AFWall+'s logs I found that, in the couple of months I'd had Greenify installed, it had attempted to make over ten thousand internet connections!

To put that into perspective; during the same time period, the second most tenacious app on my phone, Google's Gboard keyboard [which you'd expect to be spying on you], had made around two thousand attempts to phone home – and the connection figures for all the other apps I'd blocked with AFWall+ were way down in the couple of hundreds.

So, what is Greenify doing, trying to connect to these myriad servers all the time?

Even if you believe it's benign [although I can't see any legitimate reason it should be making ANY online connections at all] you've got to wonder how much the app is saving your battery by shutting down other background processes, when it's pretty much constantly trying to make internet connections itself.

I realise this is just my unverified opinion. I've since uninstalled Greenify from all my devices and so no longer have the AFWall+ logs to back up what I'm saying. And you've got no reason to trust me on this. But, if you've any doubts, feel free to install AFWall+ and try it yourself. You might just get a nasty shock.
 
@xxxmadraxxx I'm a long time user of Greenify in its donation version running on all of our devices and I confirm all of your observations. As you could see by my other own threads, I'm very heavily privacy minded but I continue to use Greenify despite its permanent attempts to "call home" (actually the 1e100.net i.e. Google) because I'm able to fight it. From my perspective, reason are the implemented Google analytics tracker. Certainly, I'd prefer if first no trackers at all were implemented and second no attempts to connect to the internet were made at all. Grenify doesn't require an internet connections for its functionality.
However, as I said I'm able to fight it and I don't want to miss Greenify as it certainly enhances the duration of my battery.

All of our devices still run on custom Nougat ROMs for specific reasons. As far as I see if you're already using Oreo or Pie you wouldn't require Greenify any longer to achieve a better battery duration.

Remark: Malware? Not from my point of view. Spyware? As much as every application that contains trackers or analytics tools but there are a few I trust for the benefit of the developer and the development. As an example: SD Maid and Piwik (now Matomo) (the SD Maid Privacy Statement).
If interested: https://forum.xda-developers.com/android/general/how-enhance-battery-duration-sgs-3-lte-t3478287
 

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xxxmadraxxx

Senior Member
Dec 11, 2015
64
44
...I don't want to miss Greenify as it certainly enhances the duration of my battery...

...As far as I see if you're already using Oreo or Pie you wouldn't require Greenify any longer to achieve a better battery duration....

Remark: Malware? Not from my point of view. Spyware? As much as every application that contains trackers or analytics tools....

My problem isn't so much with the fact Greenify phones home per se. I know that most apps do so, or at least try to. My problem with Greenify is the tenacity and persistence with which it tries to phone home. As I said in my previous post, it made over TEN THOUSAND! attempts to phone home in the space of the couple of weeks I had it installed.

With the vast majority of other apps, they'll try a couple of times to phone home, maybe using a couple of different IP addresses and then give up. With Greenify, I would sit there and watch the AFWall+ alerts pop up on screen, one after the other, with a succession of different IP addresses, literally for 2 or 3 minutes continually. Also, as I said previously the only other app I had installed that came anywhere near this level of persistence was Google's GBoard which would regularly try and phone home as I was typing stuff on my phone [you can draw your own conclusions as to what that entails for your privacy!]. But, even then, Gboard only [relatively speaking] made about a fifth of the attempts to connect to the internet that Greenify did.

I uninstalled it because I really couldn't see how whatever small savings in battery juice that Greenify was purportedly giving me by sleeping apps which aren't doing anything much anyway wouldn't be being more than cancelled out by the drain on my battery caused by Greenify spending countless minutes every day, trying to make hundreds of internet connections behind my back.

I haven't noticed any difference whatsoever in battery life, since uninstalling Greenify.
 

DB126

Senior Member
Oct 15, 2013
15,269
10,044
My problem isn't so much with the fact Greenify phones home per se. I know that most apps do so, or at least try to. My problem with Greenify is the tenacity and persistence with which it tries to phone home. As I said in my previous post, it made over TEN THOUSAND! attempts to phone home in the space of the couple of weeks I had it installed.

With the vast majority of other apps, they'll try a couple of times to phone home, maybe using a couple of different IP addresses and then give up. With Greenify, I would sit there and watch the AFWall+ alerts pop up on screen, one after the other, with a succession of different IP addresses, literally for 2 or 3 minutes continually. Also, as I said previously the only other app I had installed that came anywhere near this level of persistence was Google's GBoard which would regularly try and phone home as I was typing stuff on my phone [you can draw your own conclusions as to what that entails for your privacy!]. But, even then, Gboard only [relatively speaking] made about a fifth of the attempts to connect to the internet that Greenify did.

I uninstalled it because I really couldn't see how whatever small savings in battery juice that Greenify was purportedly giving me by sleeping apps which aren't doing anything much anyway wouldn't be being more than cancelled out by the drain on my battery caused by Greenify spending countless minutes every day, trying to make hundreds of internet connections behind my back.

I haven't noticed any difference whatsoever in battery life, since uninstalling Greenify.
It's amazing the conclusions one draws when given a tool. Perhaps Greenify behaves differently on your device than the huge universe of other long time users, some of which share your concerns over excessive outreach. I do not see the aggressive characteristics you and a few others describe - perhaps because I permit *most* analytics to flow unimpeded.

The power saving potential of Greenify and similar tools has depreciated over time given native doze and more aggressive enforcement of app background behaviors via Google policy. That said, Greenify remains an essential tool in my arsenal for performing selective tasks without manual intervention. It certainly is not malware/spyware as your click-bait thread title suggests.
 

Lusty Rugnuts

Senior Member
Apr 17, 2019
104
28
@xxxmadraxxx I'm a long time user of Greenify in its donation version running on all of our devices and I confirm all of your observations. As you could see by my other own threads, I'm very heavily privacy minded but I continue to use Greenify despite its permanent attempts to "call home" (actually the 1e100.net i.e. Google) because I'm able to fight it. From my perspective, reason are the implemented Google analytics tracker. Certainly, I'd prefer if first no trackers at all were implemented and second no attempts to connect to the internet were made at all. Grenify doesn't require an internet connections for its functionality.
However, as I said I'm able to fight it and I don't want to miss Greenify as it certainly enhances the duration of my battery.

All of our devices still run on custom Nougat ROMs for specific reasons. As far as I see if you're already using Oreo or Pie you wouldn't require Greenify any longer to achieve a better battery duration.

Remark: Malware? Not from my point of view. Spyware? As much as every application that contains trackers or analytics tools but there are a few I trust for the benefit of the developer and the development. As an example: SD Maid and Piwik (now Matomo) (the SD Maid Privacy Statement).
If interested: https://forum.xda-developers.com/android/general/how-enhance-battery-duration-sgs-3-lte-t3478287

There are a couple of ways around Greenify's nearly constant call-outs to Crashlytics.

First, set up your hosts file.

Second, use MyAndroidTools and XPrivacyLua to lock Greenify down.

In MyAndroidTools, disable:
Content Provider > Greenify > com.crashlytics.android.CrashlyticsInitProvider

In XPrivacyLua, disable everything for Greenify except:
Determine activity
Get applications
Read identifiers

In Settings > Apps > Gear Icon > App permissions, go through and ensure Greenify isn't enabled for anything.

Greenify, being root, will still try to connect, but it won't be able to because of the hosts file.

---------- Post added at 06:25 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:15 AM ----------

My problem isn't so much with the fact Greenify phones home per se. I know that most apps do so, or at least try to. My problem with Greenify is the tenacity and persistence with which it tries to phone home. As I said in my previous post, it made over TEN THOUSAND! attempts to phone home in the space of the couple of weeks I had it installed.

With the vast majority of other apps, they'll try a couple of times to phone home, maybe using a couple of different IP addresses and then give up. With Greenify, I would sit there and watch the AFWall+ alerts pop up on screen, one after the other, with a succession of different IP addresses, literally for 2 or 3 minutes continually. Also, as I said previously the only other app I had installed that came anywhere near this level of persistence was Google's GBoard which would regularly try and phone home as I was typing stuff on my phone [you can draw your own conclusions as to what that entails for your privacy!]. But, even then, Gboard only [relatively speaking] made about a fifth of the attempts to connect to the internet that Greenify did.

Google Keyboard is, by Google's own admission, a keystroke logger... it's in their privacy policy for GBoard. I've removed it from my phone, along with nearly every other Google app (16 Google apps removed, 3 disabled in case I need them in the future)... and what remains is so locked down that the only thing that works is Google Play Store... for the rest of Google Play Services and Google Services Framework functionality, I've used MyAndroidTools and .xml file hacks to disable. I have no location tracking from Google, no logging from any Google components, no aGPS phone-homes to anywhere (aGPS is completely disabled)... in fact, Google can't even see when I'm online unless I change to my 'Google Enabled' AFWall+ profile to visit Google Play Store. In fact, I've recently disabled all Google Ads functionality... I found out that Google is presenting to the user a fake_adid_key that the user could change but which otherwise did nothing, yet they also have an adid_key which never changes, which they use as a GUID to track users.

Try Hacker's Keyboard... no ads, I've never seen any connection attempts from it, and it's a very nice keyboard once you configure it to suit you.

For me, I set Portrait keyboard height to 45%, landscape keyboard height to 55%, Keyboard mode in portrait and landscape as 'Full 5-row layout', Gingerbread keyboard theme, Auto-capitalization, Double-tap Shift mode, Apply Shift Lock to modifier keys, no Ctrl-A override, no Ctrl key code, no Alt key code, no Meta key code and ignore slide-typing.

It does everything I need, I can type pretty quickly, and it doesn't log keystrokes. I especially like the little arrow keys which let me navigate around in a text file, and the fact that I can Ctrl-A (select all), Ctrl-C (copy) and Ctrl-V (paste) just like a regular keyboard.

Pro-tip: If you want to select a few lines of text, hold the shift key, and tap the down arrow key, just as you'd do on a regular keyboard.
 
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xxxmadraxxx

Senior Member
Dec 11, 2015
64
44
Lusty Rugnuts said:
There are a couple of ways around Greenify's nearly constant call-outs to Crashlytics...

Google Keyboard is, by Google's own admission, a keystroke logger... it's in their privacy policy for GBoard. I've removed it from my phone....

Try Hacker's Keyboard... no ads, I've never seen any connection attempts from it, and it's a very nice keyboard once you configure it to suit you....

I found the simplest way of reining in Greenify was to uninstall it. As I said, I've not noticed any detriment to battery life whatsoever –although that may be partly because I'm using an Oreo based ROM now. When I had Greenify installed I was on Marshmallow.

I do use Hacker's Keyboard for apps like Termux and JuiceSSH when I need access to all those extra keys, but it doesn't have swipe-to-type [or didn't last time I looked] so it's no good for my day-to-tay messaging/email/texting etc. where I swipe-to-type all the time.

After uninstalling Gboard and having a brief foray through Samsung's built-in keyboard, I've ended up using SwiftKey on all my devices.

Don't laugh! –I know it's owned by Microsoft which is a huge red flag. But if you set it up without creating a SwiftKey account and switch off any of the "cloudy" options [such as backup, dictionary sync, downloading themes, etc.], it does all its word-prediction processing locally on your device and [according to AFWall+] has never tried to make a single online connection.
 
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There are a couple of ways around Greenify's nearly constant call-outs to Crashlytics.
...
I'm glad to see that we both have nearly the same setup to protect our privacy.:good:
I found the simplest way of reining in Greenify was to uninstall it. As I said, I've not noticed any detriment to battery life whatsoever –although that may be partly because I'm using an Oreo based ROM now. When I had Greenify installed I was on Marshmallow.

I do use Hacker's Keyboard for apps like Termux and JuiceSSH when I need access to all those extra keys, but it doesn't have swipe-to-type [or didn't last time I looked] so it's no good for my day-to-tay messaging/email/texting etc. where I swipe-to-type all the time.

After uninstalling Gboard and having a brief foray through Samsung's built-in keyboard, I've ended up using SwiftKey on all my devices.

Don't laugh! –I know it's owned by Microsoft which is a huge red flag. But if you set it up without creating a SwiftKey account and switch off any of the "cloudy" options [such as backup, dictionary sync, downloading themes, etc.], it does all its word-prediction processing locally on your device and [according to AFWall+] has never tried to make a single online connection.
I'm surprised that you quoted me but with statements in the quotation, which I've never made. As far as I see they are by @Lusty Rugnuts. If you click the quotation you're referred to post #2 with a totally different content. May I politely ask you to edit your post in regard to the quotation.
 

Lusty Rugnuts

Senior Member
Apr 17, 2019
104
28
I found the simplest way of reining in Greenify was to uninstall it. As I said, I've not noticed any detriment to battery life whatsoever –although that may be partly because I'm using an Oreo based ROM now. When I had Greenify installed I was on Marshmallow.

I wish there were a way to do away with it on Nougat... I take the Lotus approach, add speed by taking away. The less installed, the better. The stock ROM backup I took when the phone was brand-new is 4.74 GB in size. My latest backup is 2.29 GB. Yeah, I've stripped out a lot of Google-stuff.

I do use Hacker's Keyboard for apps like Termux and JuiceSSH when I need access to all those extra keys, but it doesn't have swipe-to-type [or didn't last time I looked] so it's no good for my day-to-tay messaging/email/texting etc. where I swipe-to-type all the time.

The Hacker's Keyboard options does have an "ignore slide-typing" option, so I'm assuming it supports slide-typing / glide-typing / swipe-to-type. I've never tried it... I'm a creature of habit, and regular typing suits me. I watched my sister-in-law doing slide-typing, and it seems like one would need very good word correction to get readable text. Besides, I'm a mechanical engineer, I use my hands as hammers, pliers, etc. all day... they're not exactly "tuned" for the finesse I think slide-typing would require.
 

htr5

Senior Member
May 18, 2014
358
238
I came across this thread because in the past year, three times I have been notified by Xposed that a module has been updated. SuperSU also asks me to grant root access again so I'm wondering what the app is doing self updating?

Version 4.5.1 (donate)
 
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DB126

Senior Member
Oct 15, 2013
15,269
10,044
Never ever had a "self-update" of Greenify.
Currently on Greenify v4.6.3 (Google beta programme) & Greenify (Donation Package) v2.3
Same. This FUD about Greenify being evil by design is disinformation the net craves. I expect this to be a top trending thread in no time that trashes the reputation of an otherwise fine product. Shesh.
 
Same. This FUD about Greenify being evil by design is disinformation the net craves. I expect this to be a top trending thread in no time that trashes the reputation of an otherwise fine product. Shesh.
Absolutely concur. I'm going to refrain from bumping this thread any longer; this is the last time. BTW: Congrats to well deserved 9,000+ thanks. And what does "shesh" means? Never heard it. Just for me to learn.
 

xxxmadraxxx

Senior Member
Dec 11, 2015
64
44
Same. This FUD about Greenify being evil by design is disinformation the net craves. I expect this to be a top trending thread in no time that trashes the reputation of an otherwise fine product. Shesh.

I don't see how stating a fact and questioning why it happens is spreading "FUD". And it's certainly not "disinformation". Surprised you didn't also call it "Fake News", since that seems to be the millennial way to deal with anything you read which doesn't align to your own personal viewpoint.

10,000+ attempted internet connections by Greenify in the space of a couple of months is a statement of fact that I observed on my own device. But, as I said in the first post in the thread:

xxxmadraxxx said:
I realise this is just my unverified opinion... And you've got no reason to trust me on this. But, if you've any doubts, feel free to install AFWall+ and try it yourself...

Hardly spreading FUD and disinformation. Just letting people know what I saw and telling them to check for themselves and draw their own conclusions.

If other people want to believe that Greenfy is 100% benign, because it's useful to them, then that's fine too. But I could counter your accusations of FUD with saying other people are spreading CCC [Complacency, Certainty and Confidence]. ie. you're blindly trusting an app just because it provides a useful service

[cf. Google, Facebook, et al, if you want to see where that can lead].

I also note that these questions about Greenify's surreptitious behaviour have been raised before on this forum, on other forums and also on the app's reviews on Google Play and, as far as I can see, the developer has not once responded. That may or may not seem suspicious to you but I ask myself:

* If there's an innocent explanation, why not just explain it and clear the air?

* If there's a bug in the app which is causing these attempts to phone home to be repeated endlessly, thousands upon thousands of times, why not fix it?

or, since the phoning home is not necessary for the app to function;

* Why not provide a preference to turn it off? [especially for those people who have paid for the donation version]
 

DB126

Senior Member
Oct 15, 2013
15,269
10,044
Defensive wall of text speaks for itself. Moving on.

(several generations removed from "millennial")

I don't see how stating a fact and questioning why it happens is spreading "FUD". And it's certainly not "disinformation". Surprised you didn't also call it "Fake News", since that seems to be the millennial way to deal with anything you read which doesn't align to your own personal viewpoint.

10,000+ attempted internet connections by Greenify in the space of a couple of months is a statement of fact that I observed on my own device. But, as I said in the first post in the thread:



Hardly spreading FUD and disinformation. Just letting people know what I saw and telling them to check for themselves and draw their own conclusions.

If other people want to believe that Greenfy is 100% benign, because it's useful to them, then that's fine too. But I could counter your accusations of FUD with saying other people are spreading CCC [Complacency, Certainty and Confidence]. ie. you're blindly trusting an app just because it provides a useful service

[cf. Google, Facebook, et al, if you want to see where that can lead].

I also note that these questions about Greenify's surreptitious behaviour have been raised before on this forum, on other forums and also on the app's reviews on Google Play and, as far as I can see, the developer has not once responded. That may or may not seem suspicious to you but I ask myself:

* If there's an innocent explanation, why not just explain it and clear the air?

* If there's a bug in the app which is causing these attempts to phone home to be repeated endlessly, thousands upon thousands of times, why not fix it?

or, since the phoning home is not necessary for the app to function;

* Why not provide a preference to turn it off? [especially for those people who have paid for the donation version]


---------- Post added at 09:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:47 AM ----------

Absolutely concur. I'm going to refrain from bumping this thread any longer; this is the last time. BTW: Congrats to well deserved 9,000+ thanks. And what does "shesh" means? Never heard it. Just for me to learn.
"Sheesh" (forgot the second ''e') is a mild expression of exasperation generally uttered as a final remark. Not entirely dismissive but leaning in that direction. Akin to 'geez'.

As for the other, any and all acknowledgements go back to the XDA community who support each other like a well designed house of cards. Each depends on the other for support but removing one (or many) does not lead to collapse but the subtle shifting of another 'card' to share the load.
 

xxxmadraxxx

Senior Member
Dec 11, 2015
64
44
Defensive wall of text speaks for itself. Moving on.

(several generations removed from "millennial")

In other words:

I'm not a millennial and just to show how mature I am –because I disagree with what you're saying, I'm going to stick my fingers in my ears and go "Na! Na!Na! I can't hear you!"

M'lud. The defence rests its case.
 
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htr5

Senior Member
May 18, 2014
358
238
Same. This FUD about Greenify being evil by design is disinformation the net craves. I expect this to be a top trending thread in no time that trashes the reputation of an otherwise fine product. Shesh.

I have to disagree with you, and I applaud the original poster for making this thread. No closed source project should be immune from scrutiny.

I of course have been using the app for many years and trust the developer but still don't have an answer as to why Xposed and SuperSU were telling me that Greenify has been updated - I think it would be fair to question what's going on.

Though OP could have probably not used such a click-baity and sensational title. Even if it's not malware, the bug would mean that Greenify is not getting root access unless I manually grant it again.
 
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xxxmadraxxx

Senior Member
Dec 11, 2015
64
44
Though OP could have probably not used such a click-baity and sensational title...

The title wasn't intended to be either click-baity or sensational but, with hindsight, I can see how it might read it that way. Mea culpa.

However, given that no third party has been able to offer any justifiable reason as to why Greenify behaves as it does and the developer has never responded to the oft-expressed concerns of users –I don't think it unreasonable to infer that Greenify may be behaving; at best, irresponsibly and at worst, nefariously.

In which case, maybe the headline wasn't that click-baity, after all.
 

DB126

Senior Member
Oct 15, 2013
15,269
10,044
I of course have been using the app for many years and trust the developer but still don't have an answer as to why Xposed and SuperSU were telling me that Greenify has been updated - I think it would be fair to question what's going on.
Yes, that would be a fair question (sans other baggage).
 
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Lusty Rugnuts

Senior Member
Apr 17, 2019
104
28
10,000+ attempted internet connections by Greenify in the space of a couple of months is a statement of fact that I observed on my own device.

I've quieted Greenify. I used MyAndroidTools to disable the following for Greenify:
Content Provider:
com.crashlytics.android.CrashlyticsInitProvider
com.google.firebase.provider.FirebaseInitProvider

Activity:
com.google.android.gms.common.api.GoogleApiActivity
com.google.android.gms.tagmanager.TagManagerPreviewActivity

Broadcast Receiver:
com.google.android.gms.measurement.AppMeasurementInstallReferrerReceiver
com.google.android.gms.measurement.AppMeasurementReceiver
com.google.firebase.iid.FirebaseInstanceIdReceiver

Service:
com.google.android.gms.measurement.AppMeasurementJobService
com.google.android.gms.measurement.AppMeasurementService
com.google.firebase.components.ComponentDiscoveryService
com.google.firebase.iid.FirebaseInstanceIdService
com.google.android.gms.tagmanager.TagManagerService

That Tag Manager Service and Tag Manager Preview Activity are worrisome...
https://support.google.com/tagmanager/answer/6102821?hl=en
Google Tag Manager is a tag management system (TMS) that allows you to quickly and easily update measurement codes and related code fragments collectively known as tags on your website or mobile app. Once the small segment of Tag Manager code has been added to your project, you can safely and easily deploy analytics and measurement tag configurations from a web-based user interface.

When Tag Manager is installed, your website or app will be able to communicate with the Tag Manager servers. You can then use Tag Manager's web-based user interface to set up tags, establish triggers that cause your tag to fire when certain events occur, and create variables that can be used to simplify and automate your tag configurations.
https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/google-tag-manager-guide
Collecting data using tools like Google Analytics is critical for expanding your business’s online reach, converting leads into customers, and optimizing a digital marketing strategy to create stronger relationships with your audience.

However, collecting data is easier said than done. Google Analytics and other similar analytics tools aid the process, but they work more effectively with the addition of tags.

Tags, in a general sense, are bits of code you embed in your website’s javascript or HTML to extract certain information.
So Tag Manager is yet another way for Google to track your every move... in apps and on web pages. It's almost a backdoor to your device, since Tag Manager can be used to remotely change what it tracks and when. Google is getting awfully malware-y, which is why I've worked so hard to make it so I can completely kill all Google components on my phone and the phone still works... and the Google components stay killed until I start them (without the necessary modifications, Google Persistence kicks in and restarts the Google components, which is also very malware-y... Google is a service provider, they shouldn't run unless the user wants to use their services, and there should be an interface to disable (or uninstall) any functionality the user doesn't want.). Further, the user shouldn't have to rely upon changing settings on Google's servers, while leaving the Google components running on their phone... that means we have to trust that Google is abiding by those settings... does anyone believe they are?

I've uncovered instances on this very phone where Google is less than honest in abiding by settings... another is their GoogleOtaBinder, which disregards the Developer Options setting to disable Automatic System Updates... the only way to turn off Google pushing a new ROM (without consent, without notification) and rebooting the phone (at midnight each night, without consent, without notification) is to edit a file such that GoogleOtaBinder can't authenticate with Google's servers.

You'll probably also find an app in Settings > Apps called 'Tag Manager'... I got rid of it long ago.

Google Tag Manager / Tracking Pixels and Tags
package:/system/priv-app/TagGoogle/TagGoogle.apk=com.google.android.tag

To get a list of packages installed on your system, in an Administrator-privilege command prompt on your computer, with your phone plugged into your computer via USB and set to 'File Transfer' USB mode, type:
adb shell pm list packages -f

Here's the list of packages I've removed.

{UPDATE}
I've also found the following:
The file:
/data/user/0/com.oasisfeng.greenify/app_google_tagmanager/resource_GTM-KN73P2
contains the following:
Component Display Name:
com.xiaomi.mipush.sdk.PushMessageHandler
alibaba.sdk.android.push.AliyunPushIntentService
com.igexin.sdk.PushService
com.tencent.android.tpush.service.XGPushServiceV3
org.android.agoo.client.MessageRecieverService
com.baidu.sapi2.share.ShareService

"MessageReceiverService"? PushMessageHandler? What is being pushed to our phones?
Further down, because I've completely neutered Google Analytics, it reads:
.analytics.disabled.exception.NoSuchMethodError true
{/UPDATE}

Greenify is also using the real 'adid_key' content in /data/data/com.google.android.gms/shared_prefs/adid_settings.xml, although I doubt they're in on Google's nefarious scheme to trick users into thinking they can reset their Advertising ID, while tracking them with a non-changing GUID (Globally Unique ID).

There are two keys in adid_settings.xml... 'adid_key' and 'fake_adid_key'... pushing the "Reset Advertising ID" button in Settings > Google > Ads changes 'fake_adid_key', but 'adid_key' never changes and is propagated to many other apps.

https://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=79521903


Further, I tried to uninstall Greenify (I'll manually set up device_idle_constants to mimic what Greenify did)... it's never had Device Administrator privileges, I disabled Usage Access, uninstalled the XPosed Framework 'Greenify Experimental Features', then went into Greenify's settings and disabled all that was there... but when I went into Settings > Apps > Greenify, there isn't an "uninstall" button, just "Force Stop" and "Disable" buttons. There's no way to uninstall it from within Greenify itself, either.

I booted into TWRP Recovery Mode, went to /data/adb/modules, deleted the module for Greenify, and when I rebooted, Greenify was gone. All that remained was to wipe it from the Dalvik cache.
 
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  • 6
    My problem isn't so much with the fact Greenify phones home per se. I know that most apps do so, or at least try to. My problem with Greenify is the tenacity and persistence with which it tries to phone home. As I said in my previous post, it made over TEN THOUSAND! attempts to phone home in the space of the couple of weeks I had it installed.

    With the vast majority of other apps, they'll try a couple of times to phone home, maybe using a couple of different IP addresses and then give up. With Greenify, I would sit there and watch the AFWall+ alerts pop up on screen, one after the other, with a succession of different IP addresses, literally for 2 or 3 minutes continually. Also, as I said previously the only other app I had installed that came anywhere near this level of persistence was Google's GBoard which would regularly try and phone home as I was typing stuff on my phone [you can draw your own conclusions as to what that entails for your privacy!]. But, even then, Gboard only [relatively speaking] made about a fifth of the attempts to connect to the internet that Greenify did.

    I uninstalled it because I really couldn't see how whatever small savings in battery juice that Greenify was purportedly giving me by sleeping apps which aren't doing anything much anyway wouldn't be being more than cancelled out by the drain on my battery caused by Greenify spending countless minutes every day, trying to make hundreds of internet connections behind my back.

    I haven't noticed any difference whatsoever in battery life, since uninstalling Greenify.
    It's amazing the conclusions one draws when given a tool. Perhaps Greenify behaves differently on your device than the huge universe of other long time users, some of which share your concerns over excessive outreach. I do not see the aggressive characteristics you and a few others describe - perhaps because I permit *most* analytics to flow unimpeded.

    The power saving potential of Greenify and similar tools has depreciated over time given native doze and more aggressive enforcement of app background behaviors via Google policy. That said, Greenify remains an essential tool in my arsenal for performing selective tasks without manual intervention. It certainly is not malware/spyware as your click-bait thread title suggests.
    4
    I originally posted a summary of these thoughts on my Play Store review of Greenify. But, since comments there soon get lost in the traffic, I thought I'd rewrite here.

    Greenify seems to get a free pass from pretty much every Android-focussed site as a "must have app". I even saw an article on one site that said all RAM/Battery optimiser apps were a waste of time except for Greenify.

    My own findings are a bit less uncritical.

    My findings are that Greenify is constantly trying to make internet connections behind your back. I have the excellent AFWall+ installed on all my gadgets and, after I installed Greenify and blocked it from making internet connections, I was having AFWall+ alert me that Greenify was trying to make connections, almost constantly.

    I would be doing something on my phone and the alerts from AFWall+ would be popping up continually, telling me that Greenify was trying to connect to one IP address after another. This would literally go on for two or three minutes at a time. It got so distracting that I eventually turned off AFWall+'s alerts for Greenify, just so I could use my phone in peace!

    Digging further into AFWall+'s logs I found that, in the couple of months I'd had Greenify installed, it had attempted to make over ten thousand internet connections!

    To put that into perspective; during the same time period, the second most tenacious app on my phone, Google's Gboard keyboard [which you'd expect to be spying on you], had made around two thousand attempts to phone home – and the connection figures for all the other apps I'd blocked with AFWall+ were way down in the couple of hundreds.

    So, what is Greenify doing, trying to connect to these myriad servers all the time?

    Even if you believe it's benign [although I can't see any legitimate reason it should be making ANY online connections at all] you've got to wonder how much the app is saving your battery by shutting down other background processes, when it's pretty much constantly trying to make internet connections itself.

    I realise this is just my unverified opinion. I've since uninstalled Greenify from all my devices and so no longer have the AFWall+ logs to back up what I'm saying. And you've got no reason to trust me on this. But, if you've any doubts, feel free to install AFWall+ and try it yourself. You might just get a nasty shock.
    4
    Never ever had a "self-update" of Greenify.
    Currently on Greenify v4.6.3 (Google beta programme) & Greenify (Donation Package) v2.3
    Same. This FUD about Greenify being evil by design is disinformation the net craves. I expect this to be a top trending thread in no time that trashes the reputation of an otherwise fine product. Shesh.
    3
    @xxxmadraxxx I'm a long time user of Greenify in its donation version running on all of our devices and I confirm all of your observations. As you could see by my other own threads, I'm very heavily privacy minded but I continue to use Greenify despite its permanent attempts to "call home" (actually the 1e100.net i.e. Google) because I'm able to fight it. From my perspective, reason are the implemented Google analytics tracker. Certainly, I'd prefer if first no trackers at all were implemented and second no attempts to connect to the internet were made at all. Grenify doesn't require an internet connections for its functionality.
    However, as I said I'm able to fight it and I don't want to miss Greenify as it certainly enhances the duration of my battery.

    All of our devices still run on custom Nougat ROMs for specific reasons. As far as I see if you're already using Oreo or Pie you wouldn't require Greenify any longer to achieve a better battery duration.

    Remark: Malware? Not from my point of view. Spyware? As much as every application that contains trackers or analytics tools but there are a few I trust for the benefit of the developer and the development. As an example: SD Maid and Piwik (now Matomo) (the SD Maid Privacy Statement).
    If interested: https://forum.xda-developers.com/android/general/how-enhance-battery-duration-sgs-3-lte-t3478287
    2
    Never ever had a "self-update" of Greenify.
    Currently on Greenify v4.6.3 (Google beta programme) & Greenify (Donation Package) v2.3