Is there any way to completely block anyone or anything from detecting an app that is installed on any Android device? Not from physically looking through someone's device but from google or any outside program or company scanning a device?

  • Malware kits offer those functions on a rooted device. It might be easier to buy a second phone. – eckes Mar 30 '19 at 22:22
  • So the only way to do this is with Malware and a rooted device? Does it have to be rooted for anything to work? – Aaron Mar 30 '19 at 22:59
  • The Security Model of Mobile devices depends on not beeing able to hide applications, so you can only do it with special privileges like os vendor (google), device oem or root. (There might also be devices which give more priveledge to developers, not sure). In all cases hidden applications can be seen by System and MDM tools so tomfoolery those you would have to use evasion techniques used by malware. – eckes Mar 30 '19 at 23:05
  • You could use a third party launcher to hide the app from the list of apps. This may make a casual observer not see an app. – Daisetsu Apr 1 '19 at 2:36

On a stock Android OS from a major vendor it's very unlikely that there will be a function which allows hiding an app completely. Since Android is open source though there's always the possibility someone creates a version with a kernel mod that allows the user to specify certain apps should be hidden and not listed.

One naive way of hiding an app is to use a third party launcher which doesn't list the app on the launcher. This doesn't fully hide the app though as it would be visible in the list of installed apps. One such example would be the Nova Launcher.

There are apps called "lockers" which attempt to disable or hide apps until they are unlocked. There are many of these apps and some may be more successful than others, especially if they require a rooted device. Some third party Android firmwares such as Lineage OS have this option built in by default.

There's another app I ran into that claims to copy a target app I to itself and run in a sandbox like mode. This would make it appear as if the app being protected wasn't installed.

Note: I am not recommending any of these apps, I'm simply including their names as examples of their type of solution that is available.

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