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Old 02-16-2019, 05:45 PM
Cardinal is offline
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Can I block the Play Store from installing via PC?


I have an app that can block apps on the phone itself. The play store is blocked, though apps can still update. Is there a way to block installs from a PC accessing the play store? I can't think of one, short of changing the password on the google account, which I think would mean that the email is inaccessible.

Or can I change the associated email account on the phone, to another one? How would I do that?

Also, can we just accept that this is what I want to do, and get on with it? This board likes to call things stupid if it's not what they would do themselves. The problem with dealing with know-it-alls is that they think they can judge everything. I have the satin jacket from that club, so I know of where I speak.

Thanks.
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Old 02-16-2019, 05:50 PM
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Edit your hosts file to point play.google.com to 127.0.0.1

Here’s instructions on how to edit your hosts file: https://support.rackspace.com/how-to...ur-hosts-file/
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Old 02-16-2019, 05:57 PM
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No judgement at all, but it would help if you could break down:

a) what is/are the problem(s) you are trying to mitigate, and

b) what is your desired outcome?

Android is pretty flexible so a bit more guidance will help with a solution that fits your needs.
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Old 02-16-2019, 06:09 PM
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I want the installed apps on a smartphone to remain the only ones that are installed. I had forgotten that someone with the email password can also access the play store on any pc and send apps to that phone.

Editing hosts files is not going to work, as any PC in the world could act as the installer for the phone, for a person with the email/Google password. This is why I ask about associating the phone with another Google account as the backup, so that the email might be used, but the user would not be able to send new apps to the phone.
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Old 02-16-2019, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardinal View Post
I had forgotten that someone with the email password can also access the play store on any pc and send apps to that phone.
Ah, OK.

Is your phone number associated with the Google account? If so, just change the password from your phone or a PC you are logged into your Google account on.

As part of that process there's an option to log you out of all devices. It sounds like you should do that.

It's been a while since I've had to do this, but it should prompt you to turn on two-factor authentication https://www.google.com/landing/2step/

You should do this too - it's a good defence against third parties.

You should also do this https://support.google.com/accounts/...DAndroid&hl=en in case you lose your phone etc
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:16 PM
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Sorry, I don't get it. I found the spot to change at least something about the associated email, under Support - Google - Google Account. There I have the choice of the 3 gmail accounts the phone knows about. But of course I need the passwords to all of those: my useful personal one, the junk one to give forums and websites, and the work one. Even if I could remove them as choices, I assume I would be able to add them back. And even if I could block the settings app, that sounds like a way to cause real problems. I doubt if I could block just this choice.

How do parents make an Android device that clever kids can't just do anything with? Is handing a smart phone device to a kid automatically just giving them a porn portal? I'm just pointing out that this is a somewhat parallel situation, because a kid could supposedly get a junk gmail account and change the associated account, and install anything he wants.
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Old 02-16-2019, 08:44 PM
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In order for someone to install an app on your phone via a remote computer, they need to be logged in (on the computer) to the Google account (or one of the Google accounts) of the phone. So how are people doing that? How are they logging into your account (or one of your accounts)? Do they know your password(s)?
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Old 02-16-2019, 10:00 PM
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There is a place in the wilds of Google settings where you can require a password every time an app is downloaded from the web store. That password is your Google password, so you would need to change it, and not tell anyone. I'll see if I can find it, and let you know.

*Edit* Here you go. Follow the appropriate instructions. It says "For Purchases" on the page, but I have to enter my password for all downloads.

Last edited by Yodalicious; 02-16-2019 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 02-16-2019, 10:38 PM
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OK, I haven't made it clear enough. It's pretty important that the user be able to use the email on the phone, but that means that he knows the overall account password, because they're the same thing to Google. This means that from any PC on the internet, he can send himself apps. This is the thing I'm trying to avoid. What I would really like is a password for the play store that is not the same as the email, but it doesn't seem that's possible. Furthermore, it seems like the phone user can just change the backup/play store account at a whim to an account he made up secretly. Is that right?

It seems like this has to be a question that has been asked and solved before.
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Old 02-16-2019, 10:49 PM
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Maybe parental controls?
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardinal View Post
It seems like this has to be a question that has been asked and solved before.
It is and it has been, but on a commercial scale, something called MDM or Mobile Device Management. It allows a corporation to basically "take control" of the device and dictate everything about it, either in addition to or instead of allowing the device user access.

But these aren't simple to deploy, configure, or maintain, and aren't a good solution for a single user. If you can change the device, switch the device to an Apple one and the iTunes password and the Gmail password won't be linked.

Otherwise, the easiest solution is to switch the play store to a new account that only you know, then configure gmail to use the older (other) account. Depending on what shipped with your device, that might require getting a different e-mail client. That's not a perfect solution, but it's at least a barrier to access to the play store account.

If the person you're trying to prevent from accessing this stuff is actively trying to thwart you and is technically competent, the answer to the OP is "no," barring something like an MDM solution.
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:57 PM
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They wouldn't necessarily have to know the overall password to use email. You can set up an Email app to use a different email account than the Google one. Or you can use a non-default Email app and set it up to check the Gmail account and save the password to the account there, rather than in the main password storage.

That said, it really does sound like you're just trying to do parental controls. I'd look for something that lets you also disable the ability to sideload apps, and to lock away the setting. Same with allowing ADB connections (debugging connections from the computer). You may also just want to have some sort of logging turned on so that you could detect if the clever person figures out a way around it.

It's up to you how thorough to be, but you clearly are thinking they might try to sneak around the Play Store block on the device, so I'm guessing you want this thing very locked down.
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