Google Play Protect now treats AnTuTu like spyware

There are still debates on the usefulness not to mention the accuracy of benchmarking apps but now AnTuTu has an even bigger problem to deal with. One of the most popular benchmarking tools on mobile, especially on Android, the AnTuTu is repeatedly getting kicked out of Google's ecosystem. After it got removed from Google Play Store earlier this year, the Android maker's Play Protect security platform is now treating the app as something dangerous, effectively scaring off users from trying to install it.

AnTuTu hasn't exactly been involved in some security or privacy scandal, at least not directly. It got removed from Android's first-party app store as part of Google's expansive sweep to remove all apps associated with Cheetah Mobile, which has indeed been reported to include spyware and hidden tracking features in its apps time and again. AnTuTu denied direct association but its admission that Cheetah Mobile is one of its shareholders was enough to earn a permanent ban.

Google has apparently stepped up its efforts to ensure AnTuTu's benchmarking tool has no place on Android, at least on those devices certified by Google. Trying to download the APK from AnTuTu's website, which is now the official way to get the app, will result in a glaring red warning about the site containing harmful apps.

You can, of course, still try to get a copy via sites like APKMirror but trying to install the APK will cause another warning to pop up. This time, the warning is more explicit in that it considers the AnTuTu Benchmark to be the equivalent of spyware. You can get around both hurdles but these warnings might be enough of a deterrent for simply curious users.

This seems to be a recent development as older versions of the AnTuTu app seem to install just fine. Given the automated way that Play Protect works, there is also a chance that these more recent AnTuTu app versions may indeed have those tracking features. Either way, it doesn't bode well for AnTuTu as far as its reputation goes among the majority of Android users with Google Play Protect enabled.