Google Play Store Forced Mobile BTC Samourai Wallet To Remove Security Features

Mobile BTC Samourai Wallet has revealed that Google Play Store’s extremely restrictive new policies had them remove some security features from their wallet.

The developers have applied for the exemption to the new rules, but Google denied the request.

Disabling three security features 

“It is with great sadness that we are disabling the following features within Samourai Wallet as of version 0.99.04 – which will be released tomorrow – due to new extremely restrictive policies Google has decided to introduce in their effort to become more of a ‘walled garden’ experience.”

The three features that had to be disabled are called “Stealth Mode,” “SIM Switch Defense,” and “Remote SMS Commands.”

The developers also made sure to note that Google doesn’t care at all about any of the security benefits that the wallet has been providing users. They also said that if they hadn’t complied with Google’s request, the wallet would have been kicked out of the Google Play Store.

It seems that these critical security features have been a part of the Samourai Wallet since back in 2015 since it was released for the very first time.

The team of developers also said that they would do anything that can to bring back these crucial security features.

Alternative distribution methods 

Meanwhile, they said that they expect to resume offering all these features via other distribution methods such as direct download and F-Droid. This is the most popular alternative Android app marketplace, and it has fewer restrictions compared to the Google Play Store.

“In the coming months, we will expand our distribution model to include self-hosted APK [Android install package file] downloads and inclusion in the open source F-Droid app store. These versions will all include the Stealth Mode, Remote SMS, and SIM Switch Defense features,” the developer team wrote.

They also made sure to warn users to disable stealth mode before updating to the new version.

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