Jan 24, 2012
Japanese carrier KDDI is offering a particularly nasty proposition to its customers: advertisements in the notification bar, served by difficult-to-remove bloatware. KDDI phones come with their own app store, the au one Market, preinstalled on their phones. This app is then pushing advertisements to the devices as notifications. This isn’t something that can be disabled easily, and the au one Market is not easily removed from these phones. This is obviously an annoyance for many users: notifications are supposed to be notifications about things that are important to the user, not an advertisement served indiscriminately to the user with no relevance. Airpush, which provides similar services to developers looking to monetize their apps, has not been well-received from Android users. It’s gotten to the point where Airpush themselves offer an app to opt out from their ads, though user reviews indicate this is not a perfect solution.
Thankfully, when these users upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich, this bloatware will be more easily disabled. But then, carriers typically are slow to adopt new versions of Android as upgrades for existing phones. It’s a catch-22 of anti-consumer behavior; hopefully US carriers won’t get any funny ideas from this.