Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
Your Android phone has a variety of system apps and services, each with their own role. One such app is Android System Intelligence. Google has chosen to name the app rather broadly and vaguely, and it’s not immediately clear what it is, what it does, and why it needs so many permissions. Here’s what you need to know about the Android System Intelligence app and if you can remove it from your Android smartphone.
Android System Intelligence is a system app for Android that is responsible for a whole range of intelligent functions including live subtitles, live translation, now playing, intelligent auto-rotate and more. The app can be disabled or uninstalled if these features are lost.
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What is Android System Intelligence?
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Contrary to popular belief, Android System Intelligence is not a new app per se. This is a rebranding of an older app called Device Personalized Services that was introduced in August 2018 with Android 9 Pie.
Android System Intelligence, also called Device Personalization Services, enables many “intelligent” functions on our Android smartphones. The app is available on many Android phones that have Google Play Services installed. However, some of the features it enables are Google Pixel specific and one of the main selling features of Pixel UI.
Google describes Android System Intelligence as:
Android System Intelligence is a system component within Private Compute Core that enables intelligent functionality for Android while keeping your data private.
In short, Android System Intelligence is a system app that makes your smartphone “intelligent”. The name is rather vague and opaque, but that’s due to the “diverse” nature of the features it includes.
What does Android System Intelligence do?
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But what does this app actually do? As mentioned earlier, Android System Intelligence supports a number of features.
Live Subtitles: Automatic subtitles for media. Screen caution: Your screen will not turn off while viewing (present on the Pixel 4). Smart Autorotate: Detects the orientation in which you hold your phone. Improved copy and paste: It makes it easier to move text from one app to another. App Predictions in Launcher: Suggests the app you might need next. Notification action buttons: For example, the action buttons could add directions to a location, help you track a package, or add a contact directly from the notification. Intelligent text selection throughout the system: Makes text selection and editing easier. For example, you can long-press an address to select it or tap to check directions. Link Text: Converts text in apps to links. Live Translation: Translates live text calls and videos. App search: Find a specific app. Voice Assistant: Dictate text with your voice using Voice Assistant on Gboard. Now Playing: Detecting the music around you. Add a boarding pass with a screenshot: You can add a boarding pass with a screenshot to Google Pay.
Note that not all Android devices have all the features. Some features are Pixel specific and others require different hardware.
Do I need Android System Intelligence?
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As can be seen from the list of features, there are some good features that enrich your smartphone experience. Features like Live Caption come in handy when you’re having trouble recognizing the language in movies on your phone. Smart Autorotate is one of those smaller features that you don’t notice but that enriches your experience over the years.
Of course, you can also use your smartphone without these functions, but you forego access to the full potential of the smartphone you have already paid for. So while you don’t need Android system intelligence for a working smartphone, you do need it for a satisfying Android experience.
Can I uninstall or disable Android System Intelligence?
Many users see the higher memory footprint of the Android System Intelligence app and are confused about its usefulness. Some may even recognize that the app is consuming battery in their battery stats and wonder where they used it. Some others may wonder about the regular location requests that Android System Intelligence might ask and think that’s too much. For these reasons, you may no longer want the app on your phone.
While it’s tempting to remove the app, we don’t recommend it. Android System Intelligence supports many good features on your phone. If you remove the app, these features will no longer work. You can continue to use your phone, but the experience won’t be the best it could be.
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Google will also provide additional functionality over time through Android System Intelligence through the Google Play Store. If you disable or uninstall the app, you will no longer have access to these features in the future. If you change your mind in the future, you’ll either need to run complicated ADB or root commands to restore the app, or factory reset your Android phone to get it back to its default state.
How to uninstall or disable Android System Intelligence from your Android phone
Android allows you to disable the Android System Intelligence app. Here are the steps for that:
Locate the list of installed apps on your phone. It is usually available under Settings > Apps > See all apps. Here is the listing for Android System Intelligence. Open the entry and click the Disable button.
Disabling the app is pretty harmless and you can re-enable it in the future.
Since Android System Intelligence is part of the Android system, you cannot uninstall it like a regular app. If you really want to uninstall it, you need to root your phone or use shell commands to uninstall it.
Here is the command you would need to run on adb on your computer to remove the app on your phone:
Copy textadb and uninstall com.google.android.as
Uninstalling the app is also relatively harmless, but with the caveat that the functions mentioned above do not work. Luckily, removing the app won’t affect telephony or other important features of your phone.
Why does Android System Intelligence need location permissions?
Google doesn’t specifically disclose why Android System Intelligence requires location permissions. However, Google mentions that the app uses system permissions to provide smart predictions. The example Google says is for contacts permission, but we can extrapolate the same thing to location permission as well. For example, the app suggestion feature needs access to your location in order to intelligently present ridesharing apps on the go.
What happens if I disable Android System Intelligence?
Certain smart features such as Now Playing, Live Subtitles, Live Translation, and more will stop working if you disable Android system intelligence. However, your essential phone features will still work.