Help Wanted: Got a phone/tablet with a debug build of Android 6 or higher?

I’m kinda stuck here, trying to keep Raccoon up to date with the latest changes on Google Play. It’s nothing critical (yet), but we are missing out on some fancy stuff since Raccoon can’t interpret some of the data it gets from the servers (wouldn’t it be lovely to have a clientside filter for removing adware from the search results?). Read more ›

Posted in Android, Coding

Bypassing region restrictions on Google Play

I keep forgetting this, but since I’m in the process of phasing the akdeniz library out of Raccoon: it may not actually be nescessary to use proxies to bypass region restriction on Google Play. There is a HTTP GET request parameter called “ipCountryOverride” that sounds like you could tell Play: “hey, I’m on vacation here, please give me the app selection of my home country”. Likewise, there’s also “mccmncOverride” which probably does something similar for carrier locked apps.

The values are loaded by the keys “finsky.ip_country_override” and “finsky.mcc_mnc_override” respectively through Context.getContentResolver().

Not quite sure what to use as values, yet.

Posted in Android, Note to self

I get quite a bit of spam mail offering me to boost the download count of my own apps on Play (thanks Google for requiring me to maintain a spam support address). I also get occasionally asked if my APK downloader can be used to increase an app’s download counter. The short answer is: you can’t use Raccoon to cheat on Play. Period. Read more ›

Posted in Android

The password dilemma with client/server applications.

I should probably mention this, even though it’s not actually worth mentioning: Raccoon v4.1.6 reverts to the Raccoon v3.x policy for storing credentials. That is, your password will be stored on disk again.

Read more ›

Posted in Security

Finding/Downloading buried apps on Google Play

Just learned something new today that feels like I should have known it for years (probably even did once, but then forgot): did you ever have the “page 99” problem? You know exactly what app you want, how the name is spelled, what the icon looks like, but now matter what you type into the search field, the app in question is always buried on page 99 (or later) in the search results. The answer to this problem, of course, is not to search for the app, but locate it by package name. On the Play website that means fiddling around with URL parameters, in Raccoon, you’d (currently) have to go through the commandline. Neither is particularly user friendly. Read more ›

Posted in Android

Raccoon: Error when downloading (continued)

Looks like I spoke to soon in yesterday’s post, announcing that Raccoon v4.1.3 would solve the “Error on download issue”. It does, kinda, but it’s not a final solution, as it requires an annoying workaround (see below). Read more ›

Posted in Coding

Raccoon v4.1.3 should fix the no download problem

Just a quick heads up. Raccoon v4.1.3 should fix the “app not downloading” issue that has arisen yesterday. However, I’m currently in a rush and don’t have time for a proper, tested release.

PS: If you haven’t done so already, now would be a really good time to buy a premium key. Your money is what keeps the project alive.

Posted in Coding

Raccoon: app search works, download doesn’t

Well folks, we need to talk. Today, I opened my mail client and was greeted with a “Raccoon is broken, fix it!” message. Most of the time that’s the result of a handling error, but once in a while, usually twice a year, Google actually changes something, causing Raccoon to stop working. Figuring out what what that something is, can easily take several days of research. Read more ›

Posted in Coding

Do not use fingerprint sensors! Period!

I had this discussion with a friend the other day, who is now the proud owner of a fingerprint protected front door and smartphone, but since fingerprint scanners are creeping into more and more security appliances, it is worth repeating it here. Read more ›

Posted in Security

Where does Raccoon store my credentials (and how can I view them)?

People ask (me) fairly often, how Raccoon handles their Google account (and if it’s safe to trust the software with their passwords). From my point of view, that’s a funny question. I’m always tempted to answer: “if the idea of loosing your account sounds scary to you, then maybe you already trusted Google too much!”. But that’s a discussion for another day. Read more ›

Posted in Tips and Tricks