Samourai Wallet forced to off some features to remain in Google Play

Posted 08 January, 2019

Samourai Wallet reported on January 7 that they are forced to shut down a number of functions under strict security requirements of Google Play. 

The company press release reads:

"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."

According to the released data, the wallet will cut off such modes as stealth, sim switch protection and remote SMS management. Notably, all three features were available beginning from 2015 when the wallet was launched. The company noted that it had filed an exemption application with Google, but the latter rejected the request. 

"Samourai Wallet would have been removed from the Google Play Store had we not complied with this dictate," commented  Samourai Wallet's representative.

Notably, there are no wallets that have these features, and with the current Google requirements, they are unlikely to appear.

For reference, one of these features (remote SMS commands) allowed users to delete wallet information if, for example, the device is lost. Besides, users may turn off the stealth mode, as the project team noted.

As the company added:

"In the coming months, we will expand our distribution model to include self-hosted APK 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."

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