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How to determine source of an App on my S23+

(Topic created: 05-30-2024 04:06 PM)
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Steerpike58
Asteroid
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Galaxy S23

I'm helping a friend load up on some useful apps that I have on my Samsung S23+ . I'm on Android 14, OneUI 6.1, Verizon-sourced phone. 


Reference image (since the icons are the only definitive element): https://imgur.com/a/osSws3f

MessengerApps.jpg
I'm finding it frustratingly difficult to refer to apps in any definitive way. For example, take 'messages'. I have two 'Messages' apps, one has a blue speech bubble icon (white background), the other has a white speech bubble icon, blue background, with three dots inside it (see reference image). The first - blue speech bubble - has a section (in settings / apps / App info) "App details in store" and says 'App downloaded from Google Play Store', and also says 'version messages.android_.... samsung_dynamic'. The second one - white, rounded speech bubble with three dots - has no such 'App info' entry for "App details in store", but does have a 'version' entry - 15.1.20.27. My hunch is, this is a samsung app, but I can't find it in the (vaguely named) 'Store' app (which is, I believe, Samsung's app store). Or maybe it's a Verizon app? If I open this app, and go to settings / about Messages, it just says 'version 15.1.20.27' and 'the latest version is already installed'. No hint of who wrote it, where I got it from, etc! Both apps exist in the 'apps' list in 'settings'.


Another example - variation on the problem - 'Magnifier'. I've found two great magnifier apps over the years, and have both installed. Both are simply named "Magnifier", but have different icons (see ref. image). One shows up in the 'settings / apps' list, but the other one does not! (and only one shows up in the 'app drawer'). If I 'long press' on either of the two apps, I can then choose '(i)' for info. The 'green icon' instance simply has 'version 14.0.32' - no reference to "App store". The 'white icon' instance does say 'App downloaded from Google Play Store' and has a version (1.3.6.5). I've looked for this 'green icon' magnifier in the Google Play store, and the Samsung (Galaxy) Store - to no avail. So I have no idea how I got it in the first place! How do I determine 'where' this 'green icon' app came from (so I can tell a friend how to get it)?


In addition to being an inconvenience (unable to refer an app to a friend), this seems to be something of a security issue - how do I 'audit' my phone's apps to ensure they are legit/etc? Note - I've never installed anything from APK files and try to stay very mainstream in terms of apps.

I just took a look at the 'My Files' app; in it's info area, it says 'App downloaded from Galaxy Store' - so Samsung/Galaxy store apps are identified as such, as are Google Play store apps.  

Does the issue have something to do with 'pre-installed' apps - either from Android, Samsung, or Verizon?  I have a Samsung S6 Lite tablet also; it does NOT have the (green icon) magnifier app, and I can't seem to find it anywhere in order to install it! 

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Steerpike58
Asteroid
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Galaxy S23

OK, I figured it out!  The magnifier app is not an app at all, but a widget.  Not that I understand the difference, but in order to install this magnifier, you don't install an app from the play store, but rather, you long-press on a blank area of the home screen (to get into editing mode), then choose 'widgets', then scroll the long list and find 'magnifier'.   Then select it, and you'll have the 'widget'. 

It seems very confusing to me that a single-icon with no animation or information on it would need to be a widget; why isn't it just an 'app'?  And why doesn't Samsung or Android identify it as such when I do the 'app info' on the icon on the home screen?  

Anyway - now I know. 

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GaryB82
Epic Samsung Care Ambassador
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Galaxy S23
The first message app is Google messages and second one I Samsung Messages
The second the Green Magnifier is Samsungs and the one with the Magnifying Glass is unknown to me
If you long press on a app a popup will show up with a little i in the corner if you click the i and scroll to the bottom you can click app details in store
The green Samsung magnifying app won't have store details since it's built into accessibility function of the phone


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Steerpike58
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Galaxy S23

Thanks for the response.  Regarding 'The green Samsung magnifying app won't have store details since it's built into accessibility function of the phone'.  Shouldn't I be able to 'get this' on my Samsung S6 Lite tablet, then?  I just went into settings/accessibility on the tablet, and there's nothing relevant that I can see. 

However, on my phone (S23+), under settings/accessibility, I do see 'vision enhancements' (no other entry has anything relevant).  Under 'vision enhancements', there's a 'size and zoom' category, and there I find entries for magnification and magnifier. Magnification relates to screen magnification; magnifier sounds highly relevant, but - when I open it, I see 'magnifier shortcut', but ... it's turned off.  When I touch it, it suggests a whole different magnifier - nothing to do with the 'green icon' I'm describing (it's a blue body on a white background - see image below)

Accessibility-Magnifier.jpg

So I'm still unclear where this green icon came from, and how to disable it (if I didn't want it) or how to tell a friend how to get it, or how to get it on my Samsung S6 lite tablet. 

Regarding the 'Samsung messages' app - I agree / guessed that it was a Samsung app, but how would I know?  Why isn't the author identified somewhere? How do I know it's not a generic 'Android' app rather than a samsung app? 

And although I asked specifically about messages and magnifier, my question was more general and I was hoping for a more general answer - is there a definitive way to 'source' or 'trace' any app on my phone? 

Another example is 'Contacts' - icon is a white body on a red background. Long-press / (i) reveals nothing other than a version #.  I also have a second 'Contacts' icon (blue body on white background) and it identifies itself a Google app from the store.  I was having issues with contacts syncing, and trying to discuss the problem online was a challenge because the only way to differentiate the two apps was by referring to the color of the icon!   When I launch the phone app, and then choose 'contacts' at the lower right corner, 'some contacts app launches' but I find it hard to know if it's the (presumably) Samsung one or the Google one.  

Thanks again for providing some insight! 

 

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bbblondie
Cosmic Ray
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Galaxy S23
Download Geeky Security. Best free app I've found that goes through and tells you everything you'd want to know, not just about your phone, but all the apps too. There's an option to pay for a premium, but for me the free version gives PLENTY of helpful and useful info. 🙃1717131762547.jpg
Steerpike58
Asteroid
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Galaxy S23

Can anyone tell me how to get the 'magnifier' app, shown above, on my Samsung S6 Tab Lite (2022)? That's the one with the green icon, shown in the screenshot above (the one with no App Store details, and with version 14.0.32)?  If it's a Samsung app, but not available in the App store, how can I get it? 

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Solution
Steerpike58
Asteroid
Options
Galaxy S23

OK, I figured it out!  The magnifier app is not an app at all, but a widget.  Not that I understand the difference, but in order to install this magnifier, you don't install an app from the play store, but rather, you long-press on a blank area of the home screen (to get into editing mode), then choose 'widgets', then scroll the long list and find 'magnifier'.   Then select it, and you'll have the 'widget'. 

It seems very confusing to me that a single-icon with no animation or information on it would need to be a widget; why isn't it just an 'app'?  And why doesn't Samsung or Android identify it as such when I do the 'app info' on the icon on the home screen?  

Anyway - now I know. 

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