Android Nougat Guest Account

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  • Problem
  • Updated 8 months ago
I managed to get myself a Google Pixel XL phone and was all excited about it. However, I soon realized that on Android Nougat, one can simply click "Guest Account", and literally in about 10 seconds, access an entirely new phone setup without Covenant Eyes installed. I.e. Covenant Eyes is ineffective on Android Nougat, which is what all new Android phones will have.

I spoke with CE about it, and they technically have a workaround where you can create a new user account and pretend that the 2nd account is actually your main account. From there, you can lock yourself out of the actual main account and also disable the guest account. 
I tried that, but it didn't work on my phone for 2 reasons:

1) If I ever needed to restart my phone (and I try to do that often for the health of the phone), it required me to log in to the main account to access the phone. I couldn't simply click on my new account. I.e. I was completely locked out of my phone until an accountability partner logged me in. That became a major problem, especially when traveling on my own.

2)  Although I could send and receive texts on the new account, I did not get notifications about incoming texts. I tries multiple SMS programs and the problem persisted. Also, with most SMS programs, outgoing messages were sending twice. So basically, texting gets messed up. 

In the meantime, I am giving my Pixel XL to another person on our account who doesn't use CE, and I am downgrading to an LG G4. I believe the LG G4 will be getting Android Nougat eventually. Does anyone know if that means it will also have this User Account and Guest Account feature? If so, I will try to avoid installing the update. 

OR...Hopefully CE can come up with a better solution, as it seems to me that this is a MAJOR problem.

Thanks
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Bob

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Posted 2 years ago

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BarneyFifeFan

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If I were to guess, the only real solution to such a problem could only happen on a rooted phone that gave CE root access. There are all kinds of problems with that, from a security standpoint, which brings us back to square one...
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Bob

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Well, other people suggested CE find a way to have the reports report a red flag if a user accesses the guest account or another account. But currently they have no way of reporting that.

So, it seems to me, that currently CE is simply inneffective for all Android phones going forward, which is certainly sad for people who like to keep up with the latest phones.
I hope they can somehow figure something out.

If someone from CE is reading this- can you update us on whether any progress has been made on this?
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Bob

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Can someone from CE let us know what the current progress is on this?
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chewiebacca

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Marshmallow has the same problem for whats it worth. If you're comfortable rooting your phone you can modify the build.props file and lock your phone to a single user account. Once you lock the bootloader down again you can't modify the build.props file without resetting your phone. It's a good deterrent. 
(Edited)
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Bob

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I have an LG G4 on Verizon with Android 6.0 and, as far as I know, there is no Guest Mode or Add User. So that's worked for me.
And yes, I'm comfortable rooting my phone but I have zero experience doing it. Do you know anyone I can hire to do it for me?  For a Pixel XL on Verizon
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Bob

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Anyone have any further thoughts?
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Steel

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If you want a straight forward rooting solution, I have used wugfresh before with ease. Not sure about file mods (need to recompile? Etc.?), But unlocking, rooting, locking was really easy.
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Bob

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To keep yall posted, I ended up getting an LG G6 and from what I can tell so far, there is no easily accessible guest account like there is on Google Pixel (and if there is, please don't tell me lol!)
So, for those out there concerned about this issue, the LG G6 might be a good option
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Bob

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Update: Covenant Eyes does not work properly on an LG G6. My phone kept on getting sluggish/freezing, so I'm using EverAccountable and that seems to be working fine.
If anyone at CE sees this, please comment on whether a solution is being worked on for the LG G6.
Thanks
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Annelise, Official Rep

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Hello Bob,

Thank you for your post and apologize for the difficulties you're experiencing. We are aware of the issues our current version has, specifically with the newest operating system with Android, which is what I suspect your LG G6 is running. Luckily, we do have a solution for you! If you would like to email me at annelise.h@covenanteyes.com I can email you instructions or set up a time to call and walk you through this solution! I look forward to hearing from you!

Best regards,
Annelise
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Bob

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Thanks just emailed you. Looking forward to trying this out!
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Tony

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This is my exact problem and I cannot find a workaround.  Essentially, CE is unusable.  From the sound of it, the new beta they are working on will not fix this issue either.

CE team, please respond to this problem.  It effectively renders CE useless on new versions of Android (specifically for Google Pixel - I don't know what it's like for other phones).
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Danny B., Official Rep

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Tony,

Thank you for sharing with us how this affects you personally. While we are aware of the technical issue, it also helps when we can continually relate it to the people who are affected.

We will continue to investigate ways to make Covenant Eyes® serve our members better!

Danny B.
Customer Service Representative