How many of you have received this message lately?
Whether you believe that the Facebook Messenger app is spying on you or not, it can be annoying to have yet another app in your drawer, or draining battery life, when you don’t need it there.
While not a perfect fix, I’ve found a way that allows you to use the built-in messaging capabilities of the Facebook app without resorting to just using the web page, and the only sacrifice is the space needed for the Messenger app. Yes! That means that, at least for now, Facebook still has it’s messaging capabilities left intact, they are just disabled.
You will need to have root access, and Titanium Backup installed for this to work.
The first thing to do is install Facebook Messenger.
Once you open the app, there’s just a little first-time setup, just skip most of it, since you won’t be using it anyway.
If you notice, after it is installed, you can’t just use KitKat’s “Disable” (or the Samsung “Turn Off” variant) in the app management settings.
However, since those options are essentials Titanium Backup’s “freeze” option, you can achieve the same thing.
But what good is installing an app, just to prevent it from running? Well, if someone created a second app (We’ll call it Facebook) that merely checks for the presence of the first app, then changes it’s enabled features, then this would allow the Messenger app to appear installed without actually being used. Notice Messenger is no longer installed, yet Facebook still has messaging capabilities.
This will probably be changed in the future, but for now, this was probably the easiest way to implement the change, even though they had plenty of time to work this out. Since the Messenger app doesn’t seem to actually be initialized when using the Facebook app, no actual verification is done, so more than likely, it would be possible to create an app with the same package name as Messenger (com.facebook.orca) and possibly trick the system into thinking you have it actually installed. This approach may have legal ramifications though, since you would be purposefully circumventing an intentional “security” measure, and you definitely couldn’t distribute such a simple app on the Play Store, since each app needs a unique package.
This just shows another reason why rooting your device allows you capabilities which you would normally be denied, or other operating systems merely dream of.