It seems HTC’s defualt phone keyboard is pestering users with ads. As far as mobile advertising is concerned, the less intrusive they are the better, but not like this. While there are some add-ons like Adblocker for web/mobile browsers to block popups and some other frustrating ads, but here on HTC’s phone is not that case anymore.
Some websites have ads that forecefully interject themselves into your web browser, users can easily fight back by refusing to visit sites with insufferable ads. But what happens when mobile users can’t escape pestering ads because they’re inextricably tied to the OS itself?
Otherwise, it looks like a mistake, but it’s still creating plenty of headaches. Taking about HTC and its phone’s keyboard ads. Believe it or not, it’s actually an issue currently affecting HTC users.
According to the latest report, HTC users are finding themselves that the stock TouchPad keyboard now features mobile ads, started serving banner ads to unsuspecting users of phones like the HTC 10. As far as intrusive and downright oppressive advertising is concerned, this one has to take the cake. It’s the first thing to be bombarded with ads when browsing the web, it’s completely another situation to see ads when you have your keyboard open and could potentially be in the midst of typing a personal text message or an important email.
You’re not stuck with the keyboard, obviously, but most people would rather not have to switch keyboards just to avoid crass commercialism (and, for that matter, reclaim screen real estate). The image below shows up what many HTC users have been seeing:
Going into the root of the problem, it doesn’t actually seem to be anything HTC did proactively on its own. Rather, it seems as if the ad-centric update to the keyboard was done by TouchPal without any input or authorization from HTC itself.
One point is clear and that is “HTC shouldn’t let another company control such a vital component of its products.
Predictably, frustrated HTC users have been blasting company after ads appear on the default keyboard, also been lighting up the Taiwan-based company on Twitter.
When asked HTC for comment about the situation. At first glance, though, it looks like HTC was just as surprised as anyone else. It’s asking users to uninstall TouchPal’s updates, and TouchPal itself has claimed that a server issue led to the unwanted promos. No excuse here, it looks like a mistake – TouchPal flipped the wrong virtual switch and started sending ads to customers who were supposed to see them.
Meanwhile, HTC’s official Twitter account has been instructing users uninstall TouchPal updates to the keyboard app. Additionally, impacted users can also opt to use a different keyboard altogether.
All in all, the incident highlights the risks of outsourcing system software. If a manufacturer doesn’t write their own code (or trust it to an OS developer like Google), it’s somewhat harder for them to avoid surprises like this. The mess also hurts HTC’s business and image. And it’s still quite the PR disaster.
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