Google Wallet Unsupported on Rooted Devices

The idea of using your phone as your wallet is a great one, but Google Wallet is proving to be a bit of a security nightmare. It looks as though Google has thrown up their hands on rooted devices, at least for now, and put a warning in the Google Wallet app of unsupported devices. The problem is the ability to perform a brute force hack on rooted phones, where a thief could crack the pin code on Google Wallet and proceed to use your phone to make purchases with your credit cards.

Google had issued a statement encouraging rooted users to seriously reconsider using Google Wallet. To make sure everyone received the message, Google has also decided to make this information into a warning message at the top of the app. If you tap the link, you’ll see an explanation of the unsupported device policy, which basically comes down to: “Don’t use this if your phone is rooted”.

While the capability to root your phone is one of the great things about Android, it does take away the control and therefore the responsibility from the carrier, the manufacturer, and Google. We hope that Google is still working on a way to secure Google Wallet on rooted phones, although that is a huge task given that they have no control over a ROM they did not produce.

Let us know in the comments if you’ve received this warning message, and if it has changed your ability to use Google Wallet.


source: Droid Life

» See more articles by Emily Aquin


  • Anonymous

    Wow , thanks Google, for making wallet unsupported for the techy crowd. We appreciate it…..

    • Anonymous

      It shouldn’t affect the techy crowd any. It’s simply unsupported but available for download and you can still use it. Like Emily said, however, Google can’t afford to take responsibility for phones running custom software or those that have root permissions. Therefore, they don’t support what your doing, but they haven’t gone so far as to prevent you from doing it. Pretty acceptable stance IMHO.

  • limitedtime

    It says its unsupported. Not that it won’t work. There’s a big difference.

    • Emily A

      Yes, exactly. We’d love for readers to chime in on whether Google Wallet is working normally on their rooted phone, or if they’ve noticed any changes other than the unsupported device message.

  • Jason

    It works still on my rooted galaxy nexus running a custom from. It says “unsupported device” but I definitely bought bananna milkshake from mcdonalds with it. Yay!!!

  • http://dmartin.org/ Dan Martin

    Google Wallet on a rooted phone is still more secure than a credit card.  A credit card has no pin.  A credit card has no phone lock screen.  This is two more layers than a standard credit card.  

    In the case of loss, a credit card in Google Wallet can be deactivated by the card issuer, the same as a physical card.  

    In the case of a prepaid card, a real prepaid card is the same as cash.  If you lose a physical prepaid card, it’s like losing cash.  In the case of a rooted Android phone with a prepaid card in Google Wallet, the recipient still has to get through your phone lock screen, and then if he’s capable, he may be able to access your Wallet pin.

    If you are rooted and using Google Wallet: Don’t disable your lock screen.  Don’t keep USB debugging enabled.  Be extremely cautious about which downloaded apps you grant Root access (the popup you see when apps like Wifi-Tether need root).  

  • Aaron Preudhomme

    I love Google for this…. I don’t care what it says at the top it works and that’s all that matters,hell… nfc and Google wallet was the only reason I bought the gnex on Verizon.But the Google wallet does not work stock…. so I rooted and I am currently running bugless beast ics…it came with wallet and I have 3 dollars left after today I will be using this as my primary method of purchase.