For better or worse, AnTuTu is the go-to benchmarking tool for Android phones. It may not be highly accurate in its representation of real-life performance but it tests both the CPU, GPU, memory and user experience giving you a rough idea of how well a phone performs.
It used to be available on the Google Play Store and is still available on the Huawei App Gallery, but earlier in the year Google removed it claiming the app is developed by Cheetah Mobile.
Banned from Google Play Store
The ban included 600 apps on the Play Store, including all Cheetah Mobile's apps “for violating our disruptive ads policy and disallowed interstitial policy.”
Cheetah Mobile has gained a bad reputation in recent years by buying up successful apps and mining data and plaguing phones with adverts as well as introducing many in-app purchases.
This has then meant anyone wanting to install AnTuTu had to go to the website, download the APK and manually install it.
Google obviously thinks the business practices of Cheetah Mobile are serious enough that they have taken further action against the company.
Now, when you go to Antutu and try to download the APK with Chrome, you get a warning that the site ahead contains harmful apps.
How to install Antutu Benchmark (but you probably should not)
Google obviously don’t want you to install Antutu, so I am not going to suggest you should, you will potentially expose your data to Cheetah Mobile. As part of the phone review process, I still install it, but then uninstall afterwards. If you want to install it, do so at your own risk.
You will need to go to the Antutu website, click the download link on the menu bar. There are two files you need to download, the main APK then the graphics APK. It is the main one that gets the warning.
- When you click on the link, you will be greeted with a red warning saying not to install it.
- You then have to click on details,
- Then click underlined link that says visit this site.
- Android then may also give you a further warning saying it is blocked by Play Protect, so you will need to click install Anyway
What has Cheetah Mobile done?
Cheetah Mobile has been getting up to mischief for years. Back in 2014, the popular Clean Master App was reported used ads that manipulated Android users with deceptive tactics when browsing websites within the app's advertising framework. In April 2014, Ferenc László Nagy from Sophos Labs captured some pop-up ads that led to Clean Master, warning the device had been infected with a virus.
In July 2014, Cheetah Mobile encouraged users to uninstall Google Chrome and replace it with Cheetah Mobile's own browser during Clean Master's clean up and optimization process.
In December 2018, Cheetah Mobile was implicated in a massive click fraud scheme
What apps are made by Cheetah Mobile?
A lot of these apps are blatantly spammy just by looking at them (Clean master & battery doctor), people that are familiar with phones will know not to use them, but they prey on people less experienced with technology
- Armorfly – Ironically, a browser which have high privacy and security.
- Battery Doctor – Claims to extend smartphone battery standby time.
- Clean Master – Claims to improve smartphone performance and free storage space by erasing junk files
- M Backup – A cloud backup service.
- CM Browser – A mobile web browser with antivirus security functions.
- CM Flashlight – An ad supported flashlight app with a built-in compass.
- CM Keyboard – A keyboard application that allows customizing the phone's keyboard.
- CM Launcher 3D – Launcher only compatible with Android devices.
- CM Locker – An Android lockscreen app.
- Security Master – An antivirus application for Android phones.
- CM Security VPN – A free VPN application.
- CM Speed Booster – An Android optimizer.
- CM Swipe – A quick access tool for easy access to apps and tools with just one hand.
- CM TouchMe – An assistive tool to quickly access system operations or apps, inspired by the assistive touch tool in iOS.
- CM Transfer – A file transfer tool to exchange photos, videos, music & apps offline.
- CM QR Code & Bar Code Scanner – An ad supported QR code scanner tool hidden in QR & Bar Codes.
- File Manager – Popular for Android, bought in early 2014 from Rhythm Software.
- GoTap! – A data management tool that claims to help users manage or reduce mobile data usage and battery.
- Notification Cleaner – A notification manager tool.
- QuickPic Gallery – A photo gallery application. Which was acquired from Q-Supreme team in 2015
- Ransomware Killer – A ransomware virus killer application that claims to kill malware on an infected Android phone.
- Simplelocker Cleaner – A locker cleaner application that performs a full scan of an Android device, and checks for example if a Cryptolocker virus is present. Claims to use a special anti-hijack solution to remove an infection.