Yet another reason to get a real iPhone: Carriers install apps on Android phones without users’ permission

“The carriers have a new way to try to squeeze a few pennies out of a user’s handset: It’s called ‘post-loading,’ and it’s just as annoying as it sounds,” Matt Hickey reports for Forbes.

“A company called Digital Turbine has a new service – called Ignite — for Android handsets that allows a carrier to install apps on customers’ smartphones ‘for more advertising revenue’ whenever it wishes,” Hickey reports. “In other words, carriers can now push garbage apps onto their users handsets to make a few bucks here and there whether the user wants it or not, and it seems as if the practice is perfectly legal.”

“The application as it stands now only affects Android devices with carrier-specific versions of Android installed, which, sadly, is the majority of Android devices,” Hickey reports. “Digital Turbine claims Verizon and T-Mobile as customers (among others), but that doesn’t necessarily mean that those carriers are currently using the service to push apps, but it does mean that they could if they wished. That said, some users have as recently as this week claimed that they were pushed updates called ‘DT_Ignite’ for ‘performance enhancements.’ The update apparently asks for permission to access almost any part of the phone’s system, making it not just annoying but also potentially dangerous.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s time to stop settling and finally get a real iPhone, fragmandroid sufferers!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

36 Comments

    1. Hardly advertising, and it’s not exactly difficult to remove music from iTunes or a phone.
      Certainly compared to apps installed without permission, and over which the user has no control.
      I suggest you actually behave like an adult and quit whining about being given for free something that does, in fact, have a real monetary value.

        1. I think his argument is valid, although he does poop on it in the last sentence when he resorts to the impolite language.

          As for U2, nothing was installed, really. While I can somewhat understand the complaints from those who discovered the album taking up space on their phone, other than it taking some ~100MB on the device, it didn’t affect the recipient’s device in any way. This is fundamentally different from installing an application that would deliver unwanted advertising to the user without providing them with ANY incentive in exchange.

      1. I can’t imagine what it was if it wasn’t advertising. U2 just had too much music and couldn’t think of anything else to do with it?

        And I’m guessing uninstalling the uninvited apps on Android is also quite easy.

        1. What makes you think that? Typically, carrier-installed apps that are pre-installed when you get the phone cannot be uninstalled, and the carriers make no extra money if you can delete it, so it would not surprise me at all if you had to root the device to be able to uninstall these new apps, or even have to install a plain version of Android.

          1. Either way, there’s an iOS analog. If they’re removable, they’re no different from the U2 material Apple installed on your phone. If they’re not, they’re no different from the Maps, Game Center, Weather, etc. apps that Apple installed on your phone.

      2. Being free isn’t the point. If Apple had just put the album in iTunes, with a download button, that would have been cool. Instead they dropped it in everybody’s iCloud library. Most people were pissed and I can understand why.

        Personally, I like the album and I have been a U2 fan for years.

    2. You really should turn in your iPhone immediately and get a dumb flip phone. It’s obvious that you don’t know that the music couldn’t have been downloaded without you specifying in your phone settings permission to download all purchased items automatically. You authorized the download. Why would you be surprised that it happened?

      1. Yeah, most people authorized the download, and most people are idiots too. The point is, the US album should never have been there in the first place. Instead of forcing the album to show in my iCloud library, they should have just put a “Free” button on the album.

  1. Let’s be honest about this: Verizon and T-Mobile are not customers of Digital Turbine but yet do not push software to your Android phone. If they are paying for the service, you bet they’re using it.

    1. I would really like to understand this, so could you please explain how was that so traumatic? Exactly which moment of it was the most painful and why?

      I was also one of the victims of this outrageous act, but I didn’t think of it as awful as you describe it. I noticed some new songs on my list of purchases and it just raised my curiosity, so I went ahead and listened to them. Since this isn’t the music of my personal taste, I removed them from the iTunes and from the phone. The process it self took a few minutes of my precious time, but there were no emotional scars left, or did I experience any special grief.

      As an open-minded person, I’d like to hear first-person accounts of the trauma experienced over this incident, so that I could better understand it.

      1. russ probably just finally realized that Apple has just as much power over his iOS device as Google has over Android devices, although he would never actually admit it. Unspoken but also true is that wireless carriers have essentially equal abilities on both mobile platforms too. If they want to push something to you, read the fine print, you already authorized them to do so.

        It would be wise to be less smug about Apple’s services. Apple doesn’t guarantee any more security or privacy than any other company, just read their fine print. With such smugness and complacency, it is very likely that Apple will get more and more bloated and buggy like windows, not the reverse.

  2. My android phone is full of completely useless AT&T crap that I cant get rid of. I can barely hide it. After an hour of research one day I managed to purge it, only to have it resurface after an automated update cycle.

    The people who decide to do stupid things to customers, to piss them off for no good reason, how do they get these jobs?

    If I ran a mobile carrier I should think that all of my experience as a customer would come into play. I would simply not do the things that made me angry. I would want to develop a reputation as the preferred carrier which should be worth far more revenue than forcing a bunch of craptastic apps on people. I’d spend at least an hour a day reading various comment sections, finding out what people really think.

    You don’t need to use surveillance tactics on customers, we will happily tell you everything we want and expect! All a carrier, or any company providing products and services has to do, is pay attention.

    But noooooo… From the government counting on our stupidity to corporations treating us like cows, we just don’t get any respect.

    1. TM, I have a lot of respect for your intellect and thoughtfulness, but the source of your woes is revealed in the first three words. You can cure your problems instantly.

      1. While I agree with you, some of us have the pleasure (sarcasm) of having a work phone that is an Android and have to live in both worlds. The good news, I am not paying to experience the madness of Android but I am suffering because of it. I use my Samsung S4 purely as a phone and mobile email for work. Personally I preferred the Blackberry before it as it was a much better work phone.

        I trust nothing about Android so I keep nothing personal on it. I have gone to great lengths to create another separate identity not tied to my real life. I don’t have anything to hide but what I have I want to keep hidden.

        1. I can relate. The PC revolution occurred during my work life. I saw (from the inside) a major corporation document the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the Mac platform and then decide to go (almost) all Windows. The old “No one ever got fired for choosing IBM” effect kicked in hard in the IT department. I may have retired a couple of years early just to break free.

  3. To all those entitled whiners that are still bitching about U2’s freebie, stop now; because your constant and jejune commentary is getting beyond a joke. You got a freebie: don’t like it? Delete it! It did not alter the functionality of your device one whit. To hear you people carry on ad absurdam, you’d think the bloody sky had fallen in.

    I’m not overly fond of U2 (more of a jazz fan myself) but I took the gesture in the spirit in which it was given, listened to the album and enjoyed it—YMMV!

    =:~)

  4. My stepfather-in-law thinks I’m foolish to have a new iPhone. He swears his cheapass $75 Windows Phone does everything mine does. I wasn’t about to argue with him and ruin Thanksgiving. He even thinks it can do NFC payments (it can’t), but he won’t use it for that because hackers will steal his information over the airwaves.

    There is a huge market for “just good enough” crap out there.

    ——RM

    1. Just show him a game like Real Racing 3 which plays flawlessly on the iPhone 6 Plus. I’m not a dedicated “gamer”, but I can’t stop playing this thing. The graphics are beautiful, the animation is fluid and the racing competition is one of the most exhilarating things I have ever done in my life. So far I have made it to the Pro/Am level and it is f#%@ INTENSE! Wins baby!! wiiinnnnsss!!

      1. He’s over 70 years old, with gigantic, sausage-fingered hands that shake constantly and are often so dry he has to lick them to get his touches to register. Not exactly what you would call the “gamer” demographic. 😀

        ——RM

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