Official Google Wallet app requesting root permission


Something odd is going on with the Google Wallet app. After a recent update the app appears to be requesting root access, though the initial report is that nothing has changed within Google Wallet that would need root access.

Some suggest Google is doing this to check if a phone is rooted or not so they can deny access, but the app has worked for some whether they grant it access or not.

Another odd thing is that some people were not able to use the app after allowing it root access, but were able to use it once they disallowed it. In other words, we have no idea what’s going on with Google Wallet. Nothing in the changelog suggests Google made this change intentionally. It’s just one big mind scrambler. How is it acting for the lot of you? [via Droid-Life]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I permitted it and the application still runs for me. I haven’t been able to test out actually using it yet to purchase something though. I just get the unsupported device warning at the top of the screen, but that has been there since I rooted my phone and appears to just be a warning that it isn’t secure to root my phone.

    I tried allowing it and denying it and could see no difference in the app, at least in general running of it.

    1. I had a similar experience but then found out if that unsupported banner is at the top it will never successfully let me use it. that banner does seem to go away for me if i deny it root though …..

      1. The banner comes back. But, that banner has never stopped me from using it. Works perfectly.

  2. maybe it’s a safety measure. the only way the app will work is by denying root, which makes it safer for rooted users. by denying root that should mean the app has less access, similar to how it would run on a non-rooted phone

    1. Deny it SU access is exactly the same as if the app never asked for it. It’s not making it any safer at all.

  3. I can’t wait to get home to see what Wallet on my Nexus S does.

  4. Weird.

  5. It has been doing this for over a week. I’ve denied it and it still says unsupported device.

  6. Odd, I haven’t had it ask me for this on mine and I thought I used it since the last update.

  7. I am running a rooted Verizon gnex. I am able to use wallet, but I have/can not update the version I am running because of the unsupported device issue..hence not affected

  8. I called the support number on Thursday and they were not aware that it was asking for root. They are researching a work item I set up and I contacted the Google Press team.

    My article posted on Thursday. Good to see more awareness about this, if anything, I’m curious as to why on earth the app is asking for root.

  9. The official Facebook for Android app asked me for root permissions once

    1. probably facebook doing a pilot test

    2. I have too. Several times actually.

  10. Google Wallet has been extremely slow and error prone in development. Someone at the top needs to step in and clean house on the project.

    1. Does “someone at the top” ever step in and fix things at google? This, and their lack of humans in key support areas, is one of google’s blind spots.

      Look at how long the pseudonymity debacle went on with google plus. We all knew they would eventually stop trying to police user’s names, and the sooner the better. They just let it go on and on, as if there was no one at the top paying any attention, or even more worryingly, seeing the problem but not knowing how to mange it or escalate the matter to someone who could.

      Meanwhile, the window of opportunity for google plus to become the “facebook” for online hookups between the vast army
      of pseudonymous commenters and bloggers passed by. People stopped paying attention — and got tired of waiting for a rule change. At launch, google was ideally placed to bring those disparate online communities together into one super community. Google blew it.

      Schmidt and Brin and the rest of the top guys should have their *sses kicked for letting their company be so perennially mis-managed. And I say this as someone who loves google and all they have given us.

  11. It’s really odd that a Google app is requesting root access.. Does that mean the next Google nexus will come already rooted?

    1. Nope.

    2. Nice logic.

  12. I’ve had the official Facebook app ask me for SU permissions several times a while back.

  13. If Google was going to steal your money they would have done it a long time ago… and you probably would have not even noticed.

  14. I used it for the first time today without any problems on my unrooted GNex. It hasn’t asked me for root access either.

    1. You won’t get the notification if you don’t have superuser on your phone. In other words, if you’re not already rooted there’s nothing there for apps to ask.

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