How to disable Alien_Sync (showing SFOS contacts to Android apps)?

I would like to keep my main phone contacts away from Android apps. (Untrusted apps like WhatsApp should only see the Android contacts and be denied access to the rest.)

How can I achieve that?


If I would/when I will need android apps, that would also be important to me.
The same for the galley, call history and so on.
It is one of the reasons why I postpone the moment of trying some android apps.

1 Like

Some related existing topics:


Another method that doesn’t need any trickery is to use a second user account which has the contacts which are OK to be shared with Android, and only use Android Support with that account.

Yeah, I do this but reversed: The main user uses Android with empty/selected contacts - pics …
And the second user has all my data for daly use.
Are you able to have Android support in the second user account ?
Me not. No AD for additional users, only for “DEvice Ownder”

Are Android settings not sufficient?

On my XA2, I can launch the settings thusly:


Go to Privacy => Permissions Manager and block apps from seeing contacts.

AFAICS this should be possible even before the app is started the first time.

1 Like

:grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: I didn’t even know/remember the existence of it.
Ignorance, source of much sorrows…
And do all apps accept to work with denied access?
I had a prejudice that they would rant but didn’t actually test.

Wow! My phone (XA2 4.4) just died.

I dont know if this is related but it happened just after I tried

I launched the command as defaultuser.
Nothing happened.
Then I realized I had to run Android Support. But the button was gray with a spinner.
I had to leave for a while like 1 hour.
When I came back, my phone was off.
Rebooted and saw the Ahoj! screen. Shut down immediately, backup /home from recovery.
Rebooted, had a Ahoj!-Licence accept loop for 3 or 4 times, maybe pin code somewhere and black screen with pinkish-grey led on.

ATM restoring…
Will see…

I could restore my phone.
/home/defaultuser/ contents has been completely deleted, except .android and one more file I don’t remember.
By luck, all my data were into the additional user home directory.
@ohnonot, maybe would it be safe to put a small warning in your post, in case my problem had something to do with apkd-launcher

That seems very unlikely.
I just tried again, to make sure, with Android App Support stopped and started. It just shows the Settings UI as expected in both cases.
From an ssh connection and from a launcher on the phone.

You didn’t try this as root???

To my knowledge, yes.
Android is actually pretty secure, if you disregard the fact that you have to promise them your firstborn for the privilege of using it for free.

I was about to warn, but then hoped that others were more lucky. Switching users leads to deleted home’s. Generally, one should not use features on Sailfish that aren’t expected to be used by many others. They’re effectively “untested”.

Personally, I had my files deleted twice by simple touch on something in the GUI: Once a couple of years ago by activating developer mode and a couple of months back by switching users:

Nono, as defaultuser.

Probably one ot thoses (rare) random bugs we can read here and there.

Ok. Dunno why I have this feeling that I have to beware Android so much…
You say android is secure: did you make deeper tests to discover what it does/not does in your back or are there maybe some reports from others you read? I am just curious as not using it somuch.

Thanks for confirming this happens sometimes. It is kind of a strange experience!

Just to clarify, what ric9k experienced is not directly connected to launching Android settings?
It comes from switching users, and using any sort of “uncommon” command?

Make no mistake, I fucking hate Google, all their products, and what they did to OpenSource.
The problem with Android per se is not its securtity - it’s its privacy.
“We will keep you safe as long as you promise to give us all your data, and let us make all the decisions” has been their business model for a long while now, and holds true even for AOSP.

The Playstore is of course neither safe nor private, but thats a slightly different topic.

And then there’s popularity - any OS that is that popular is going to be a target for hackers.

I don’t have a direct answer, but here’s some reading for you:
Google’s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary | Ars Technica
Android ⋆ Kuketz IT-Security Blog

1 Like

I believe you are not alone…
Thanks for the link

Do you refer to apkd-launcher or to second user?
Because for the second user, it is surprising not being supposed to use it as it is just here, available to all. Would be too bad to see it disappear, pretty cool feature imho.

Yes, unfortunately. I mentioned it once in an email to Jolla, but there wasn’t much reaction to it. (We focused more on seeing if we could get the phone to boot again.)

IMHO Android stalled development for what feels like an eternity by today - it was re-inventing all the wheels already present in Linux, Windows, Mac within yet another new framework all over again. I remember getting the G1 phone and finding out that even exporting contacts as CSV was a paid app at the very beginning. “It’s roadblocks, all the way down.” so to say.

Imagine worldwide dev hours for the last ~12 years being spent on interoperable app and multi-arch libraries thus pushing desktop & mobile at the same time. But of course that wasn’t desired.

Luckily there’s always a handful of people somewhere who are willing to spend time to create something valuable, instead of just pricey.