PSA: Play Services Update Broke Titanium Backup & Substratum. Here’s a Fix.
Recently, a lot of users of certain popular root applications such as Titanium Backup and Substratum began experiencing some rather odd issues.
Suddenly, Titanium Backup would become stuck at 0% when trying to restore applications, and Substratum users noticed that themes were failing to apply. Some users believed that the issue was related to USB debugging being enabled, but disabling that feature didn’t help either.
All rooted users of these app-restoration apps across a wide spectrum of devices began having these issues at around the same time, so it was clear that the problem wasn’t with the apps themselves. Substratum team members George G and XDA Recognized Developer Nicholas Chum surmised that these force closes were likely related to a recent Google Play Services update. Following that train of thought, they’ve discovered what appears to at least be a temporary fix to this problem.
The fix is pretty simple and straight-forward. All you need to do is navigate to the “Verify Apps” section located in Settings-> Google-> Security. Once you reach the “Verify Apps” section, disable the feature. Then head over to Developer Options and un-check the “Verify Apps over USB” option. That’s it. After successful completion of both of the steps above, you should have Substratum and Titanium Backup working flawlessly on your device once again.
As Google is apparently beefing up the security of their ‘Verify Apps’ feature on the server-side, downgrading the Google Play Services application will not work. But now that we have a fix for our rooted users, this should be a satisfactory compromise for those users. Just be extra cautious about what applications you are installing, because to enable this fix you are intentionally disabling Google’s security feature.
As far as developers interested in Substratum are concerned, in a G+ post Nicholas Chum stated that developers might want to take a look at this commit to know how the issue was meant to be fixed. If, however, the OMS7 rootless commits have already been merged, the commit linked above can be ignored.
Did this fix work for you? Let us know in the comments below!