Xposed Framework And Google Wallet

It turns out that Google Wallet was updated the other day. I know this because I recently flashed Paranoid Android and had wallet auto-update on me when I was trying to reinstall it. I was able to get it working by removing the Wallet and the update, opening the Play Store, disabling auto-updates, and then re-installing wallet (adb push /system/app).

Being on that always wants to be on the bleeding edge I immediately looked around the internet for the latest patched version. The two threads that I follow on XDA relating to wallet seemed to be in a bit of disarray. One thread had the OP stating that he was working on a fix and it would be posted soon. The other thread seemed to be a bit behind in that the OP had not indicated a fix was coming.

Finally I saw that open1your1eyes0 updated his thread with this post:

I managed to figure out the issue. Looks like the official Google Wallet apk no longer works with the stock Verizon Galaxy S III build-prop (only on the Galaxy Nexus one) so there’s no way to escape that. I’m going to have to integrate Paul’s new mod method instead but I have tested that it works properly once you install it. The benefit is that it should make it much easier from now on to update the files. I should be updating later today with the updated files and methods rewrites.

Now when I saw “integrate Paul’s new mod method” I instantly thought of the Xposed Framework method of hooking into the methods in the Wallet app to disable the device and carrier checks. As it so happens I’ve written a small piece about the Xposed Framework and some security issues. This piece has been cited in a few other blogs and I still stand by my position of not suggesting people install this on their devices.

However, I’ve now come up with a bit of a dilemma. I really love Google Wallet! I go out of my way sometimes to frequent places that have PayPass installed. It would be a shame to forgo the use of one of my favorite Android apps.

I’m waiting to see if there is any other developer out there that is going to patch the apk. Paul seems to have set on using the Xposed Framework to keep Wallet working. I looked into the Xposed module he created and can see what methods he is hooking into and modifying. It seems he’s returning “true” or “false” in a few methods that check for device, carrier, and root settings. I’ve used Paul’s patches before when it comes to Wallet so I’m sure he has no nefarious code. However, using the Xposed Framework puts you at risk of having some other application use it to any end it wishes.

I’ll have to do some thinking on this. Let me know your opinion in the comments.

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