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[XA2] MobilePay can't use camera to read QR codes [answered]

asked 2019-07-13 17:11:37 +0300

Direc gravatar image

Hi,

I tried to use MobilePay today to pay using a QR code, but it keeps telling me camera can't be opened. It works in WhatsApp and natively, so it must be something in the method it tries to utilize the camera. It also constantly reminds me about not having Google Play Services installed, because I don't :)

The app works fine otherwise; I have sent money using a phone number several times already. It's just the QR code reading part that, actually, makes it unusable in paying in a store - which is quite a flaw :(

There's no point in asking for aupport from MobilePay creators, since SFOS isn't Google Play Store certified.

I'm using XA2 Ultra with SFOS 3.0.3.10. MobilePay app version is 4.13.1.5830 but at least the previous version had the same issue.

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The question has been closed for the following reason "the question is answered, an answer was accepted" by Direc
close date 2019-07-15 19:08:07.396816

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Did you use the same app in the past with the XA2 or a Jolla?

If the app asks for Google play services, the G-QR code reader is probably needed. Then it will not work without the Google Vision API.

You can check it in the manifest file of these app. WhatsApp and the native apps don't need such Gapps APIs.

4carlos ( 2019-07-14 07:51:51 +0300 )edit

I had never tried it until two days ago, so it has probably never worked. If it requires the Google Play Services provided QR code functionality, then it will not work for me at least. I'll check the manifest at some point.

Direc ( 2019-07-15 14:27:11 +0300 )edit

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answered 2019-07-15 17:12:43 +0300

DrYak gravatar image

updated 2019-07-16 12:41:42 +0300

Same problem in a couple of apps (including QR-like "photoTAN" codes for Bank's 2FA, WhatsApp's photo and web qr-code, etc)

seems there is some bug with some app grabbing the access to the webcam and not releasing it. (in a distant future, once multiplexing system get more widespread under Linux, this will disappear).

Work-around

  • Try starting a native Sailfish camera app like Photo
  • Try exitting all Android app (e.g.: if you have WhatsApps constantly open in.the background )
  • Try to completely stop and restart the AlienDalvik Android Applications Compatibility layer ( <- always works)
  • At this point the native app work 100% until some Android App (e.g WhatsApp) selfishly grabs it again for it self.

Google Service

Less spying/tracking

  • Install something like Defender from openrepos.net - it's a ad-/spy-/track- blocker that works at the OS level by leveraging host-files. Among the downloadable block lists, you can pick lists that include blocking trackers.
  • I have written a Howto about how I attempt to prevent intrusive apps from starting, this might prevent apps filled to the brim with tracker to start. (It works for me even with ultra-agressive ones, like Aliexpress)
  • On such aggressive apps, after closing their windows, you would probably need to forcibly stop them from the Settings Sailfish app. (In my case, that's still required after e.g. exiting Aliexpress)
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Thanks for the answer.

I checked the camera usage; I could use camera in WhatsApp, then Camera, then WhatsApp, then Camera, but after those not in MobilePay, and it still worked in WhatsApp and Camera - so it's definitely the way it accesses camera or requires Google Play Services.

WhatsApp QR code functions work, so they must be fully in-app.

Direc ( 2019-07-15 19:07:43 +0300 )edit
1

4 tracker inside of MobilePay:

  • Appdynamics (com.appdynamics)
  • Google Ads (google.android.gms.ads.mediation)
  • Google CrashLytics (com.crashlytics)
  • MixPanel (com.mixpanel)

furthermore "com.google.firebase" and a lot of unwanted entries in the manifest file. MicroG can't help.

Somehow too much for a banking app. Is it safe?

Edit, I forgot : Vision API is needed too. It is the "OCR" part.

4carlos ( 2019-07-16 07:15:24 +0300 )edit

what a mess in a payment app!

I would thus add: use some OS-level ad-/spy-blocker, such as hostfile-based Defender. And I have written a guide about blocking dubious Android apps from auto-starting (with this it's almost possible to use notorious bad apps as Aliexpress)

DrYak ( 2019-07-16 11:46:43 +0300 )edit

added links, added the note about defender and auto-starting apps.

just to expand a bit, on such garbage-ware app, you want :

  • to block as much of the tracking as possible ( -> defender )
  • prevent the application from even starting, as it won't track while it's not running ( -> my howto )
  • kill the app after using it to stop any ongoing tracking ( -> settings -> apps -> force stop )
  • use a com.google.android.gms API provider which won't constantly track you and which is a bit more configurable (-> use microG instead of Google Play Services)
DrYak ( 2019-07-16 12:44:16 +0300 )edit

MobilePay is at least nordic-wide payment app likely with different apps in different countries. It comes from MobilePay A/S which is supposed to be subsidiary of Danske Bank. If the app spies on you and can't be trusted, it's very, very bad news for the mobile banking in total, since it is the most widespread paying app I know of.

Direc ( 2019-07-16 16:18:05 +0300 )edit

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Asked: 2019-07-13 17:11:37 +0300

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