Tuesday, July 30, 2013

These "Royal Apps" create a Royal Pain

       Google Play still allows the most annoying of ad-ware to be distributed to Android devices.  Airpush and Leadbolt are still very popular and are becoming even more aggressive then ever before in pushing ads for money.  Examples like these "Royal Apps" from small unknown developers with no websites show up everyday.  These apps and ones like it are extremely flawed and most don't even have content other then the ads. Of the few that actually have content, it is even more rare to get one that gives the end user value.

Luckily for us though it isn't hard to spot an abusive Leadbolt or Airpush app. The ones on Google play will display a warning like the one to the left with an opt-out method.  Do not try to hit cancel then use the app it will still display the ads.  The Terms of Service (ToS) agreement has in the small print that activating that just starting the app is an agreement to display ads. Using the "opt-out" link will not help either as the push ads will start again after the app updates.  Please note that not all of the Leadbolt and Airpush apps follow the prescribed practice of using this ToS agreement and display ads anyway. It is ALWAYS a good idea to check app permissions and other user reviews BEFORE installing.  Upon reading the reviews below (and 100 more like them), it should be clear not to install this app.

If installed, prepare to be bombarded with thousands of these little icons that will appear every time the app starts and every time the device is reset. They will fill up the screens until there is no room left for more and keep coming back, even after deletion.

Clicking on any of them will bring up a webpage with even more advertising apps to download that will run even more apps for more ads.  Also be prepared to have random pop-ups for even more "shady" aps.  Like the one to the left for "Armour or Android", which purposely advertises on apps that it detects to make it look like the device is infected with something more threatening then just annoying ad-ware.

Examples of more pop-up ads below:

Stay safe out there