Sneaky Mobile Ads Invade Android Phones

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Are you wondering how that mysterious icon ended up on your Android phone’s start screen?Annoyed at the ads clogging your notification bar?You aren’t alone. Thousands of Android apps now come with application that shoves advertising and marketing icons onto your phone’s start screen or pushes advertisements into your notification bar and many of the apps provide you with no warning concerning the ad invasion. Many of these ads come from mobile marketing firms corresponding to AirPush, Appenda, LeadBolt, Moolah Media, and StartApp. The businesses work with app builders hungry for some way to earn cash from their phone software.

By bundling their adware into regular Android courses, these advertising businesses say they at the moment are pushing ads to tens of millions of new smartphones each week. The mobile ads are called “push notification ads” and “icon ads. ” Push notification ads deliver small alerts to an Android phone’s notification bar. When you swipe to drag down the notification bar from the top of your phone’s screen, a corresponding ad shows up under Notifications. Icon ads, as the name implies, are icons which are inserted onto an Android phone’s start screen.

When you touch the icon, it launches a Web page usually a search engine or Web provider. This Push Ad next to the golf green star didn’t come with an opt out. As mentioned above, I reviewed Android functions that comprise push notification and icon ad generation and located that only a few include any disclosure about the adware before setting up. Not only does the silence of app makers make it hard to avoid this kind of mobile commercials, it makes it difficult to cast off the adware once your phone is invaded, since you likely won’t know which app snuck it onto your handset. For instance, anyone who has lately put in the extremely common app called MP3 Music Download Pro also installed adware era from AirPush. But when I looked at the privacy and safeguard settings offered by Google’s Android Market for MP3 Music Download Pro, I saw no disclosure that the app contained the AirPush adware.

Nor, once MP3 Music Download Pro is installed to your phone, is there any mention of the AirPush era in Google’s Manage Application settings. When app maker Hyperkani introduced push notification ads to its Android app, Air Hockey Speed, earlier this year it did not reveal at that time that the app contained adware. “We were afraid that it could affect the down load counts negatively,” says Janne Honkala, with Hyperkani. After a flood of one star reviews in the Android Market, Hyperkani says, it got rid of push notification ads from all its Android apps. On the bright side, when I spotted My Daily Free Amazon App, a looking program that contains StartApp icon ads, in the Android Market, I saw written notification that ads can be put on my start screen. The program’s description states: ” In order to keep the app 100% free, one could receive the following: Search shortcut icon to your home screen; Search shortcut for your bookmarks; and Search Homepage.

” The app’s writer, Steve Imar, points out in the app’s description that shortcuts can be deleted without a impact on the appliance. In April, Martin Adamek, developer of the app APNdroid, claims his app was quickly booted from the Android Market by Google after it added push notification ads to 100,000 handsets together with his software on it. Adamek says that days after adding push notification functionality to his app, he bought a flood of terrible feedback from users, which he believes led to Google suspending him from the Android Market. “Google told me many users were reporting my app as malicious or malware like due to the ads,” he says. APNdriod did include disclosure of push ads, says Adamek. But he admits most of his users were caused to update their existing APNdroid application already installed on their handsets via a notification from the Android Market mobile client.

When users were told an update to APNdroid was obtainable, it was not disclosed that push notification ad technology would be added. Both AirPush and Appenda offer clear ways to opt out of receiving ads via their internet sites. But it is not apparent that patrons would know they need to visit those sites to opt out. In the sampling of ads I reviewed, it was hard to inform who was sending the ads or which apps were guilty for the frenzy notifications and icon ads. I used third party program to check the ads’ origins. On Appenda’s site, you submit your phone number to opt out of receiving push notification ads.

AirPush also offers a Web based opt out form that calls for you to input your phone’s IMEI picking number. AirPush does not inform you how to find your phone’s IMEI number, but the WikiHow web site has easy to follow steps for doing so. Airpush also offers an Android app called Airpush everlasting Opt out so that you can set up to forestall receiving ads.