I have installed a cleaner app on my Android. It’s terrifying, but it has 10 million downloads

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One of my routine tasks is to open the Play Store and take a look at most downloaded apps. This helps me get a general picture of user habits, and uncover a few hidden gems from time to time. Telegram, WhatsApp, Instagram. There are always the usual suspects.

And today it’s time to talk about those usual suspects, and there seems to be no way for cleaner apps to disappear from the top of the Play Store. The cleaners Y booster they are useless and, in most cases, achieve the opposite effect to that desired. I have sacrificed myself for science, I have installed one, and I have not come out well.

The cleaners are more alive than ever, and this is dangerous

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Already in 2020 Google completely banned the famous Clean Master and your entire app empire. Nevertheless, cleaners are more alive than everaccumulate millions and millions of downloads, with several of them ranking in the top 50 most downloaded applications on Android.

Originally, cleaners were born out of the need to free up space and RAM on Android. Those were times when having 8 or 16 GB of memory was normal, and where the 2 or 3 GB of RAM that our phones had did not go far. Taking advantage of the lack of resources, these applications became popular but, to this day, they continue to give war.

The cleaners have grown in functions, and now they have everything. So many are their functions, that they even promise what they cannot do. From cleaning the cache and residual files they have gone on to “cool down the CPU” of our phone, add antivirus protection, save battery or “increase the performance” of the phone.

I have written “cleaner” in the Play Store and I have downloaded the first one that came out. It has 10 million downloads and 4.8 starsso all indications for the average user point in the right direction.

Cleaner

As soon as I open the app, it asks me for notification permissions. I understand that it will be to send me reminders that my phone is dirty, but it will not be today when I give you this permission. Then, it tells me that my phone is not running at optimal speeds” (“how not?”, if it’s a Pixel 6!) and offers me the solution to speed it up.

The solution is, as usual in this type of app, close absolutely all apps that are open. This, the only thing it will achieve, is that these apps reopen after a few seconds, spending more battery than has been saved. But I continue.

After “optimizing” my phone by closing 20 apps, the app shows me a message saying that there are multiple apps “severely” draining my battery. So I hit repair. It takes me back to the same menu to close the apps and, since they are all closed, it invites me to activate the accessibility permission, the most dangerous of Android. Since all the apps were already closed, I decide to exit this menu.

Cool

On the left, temperature of the app cleaner. In the center, actual temperature measured with CPU temp.

In the list of phone functions I look for “cooling”. Upon analysis, it determines that my “processor is overheating,” reading 41.4 degrees. A quick check in CPU monitor tells me that the CPU is at 35 degrees, so the data is completely false. To cool down the device, the solution is again to close all the apps.

In short, an amalgam of inaccurate information, functions that do not fulfill their mission and, in between, Lots of publicity. Like this app, which is just one example, there are dozens in the Play Store. They are still allowed, and they continue to make the Play Store a slightly worse place.

One of my routine tasks is to open the Play Store and take a look at most downloaded apps. This…

One of my routine tasks is to open the Play Store and take a look at most downloaded apps. This…

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