Carriers can now install apps on users’ Android phones even after sale

Carriers can now install apps on users’ Android phones even after sale

If you thought finding bloatware on your brand-new carrier-subsidised phone was annoying, this will drive you up the wall: a new service will soon allow carriers and manufacturers to ‘post-load’ apps on your Android device, reports Forbes.

Dubbed ‘Ignite‘, mobile solutions provider Digital Turbine’s service is designed to make pre- and post-loading apps easier for carriers and manufacturers – allowing them to push apps onto users’ devices without their permission whenever they like. And it’s apparently legal too.

Digital Turbine says that Ignite will help its clients ship devices quickly without having to wait for authorizing apps before launch, as the service allows for delivering those apps over-the-air once they’re ready to go. The company already counts Verizon and T-Mobile among its customers, so it’s possible that these carriers could begin post-loading apps at some point in the future, even if they currently don’t do so.

Bloatware irks many users because it eats up precious device storage, can’t be uninstalled (unless you root your device) and is often irrelevant to their usage habits. With the ability to post-load apps, carriers and manufacturers will be able to push more software and content to users’ devices for increased revenue from partnership deals and advertising.

App developers and content publishers benefit from this practice because they’ll be able to claim large install bases – but whether that will translate into actual app usage and content consumption is another matter altogether.

Personally, I’m not a fan of these practices. It’s one thing to install apps without asking for permission, but not allowing users to uninstall them means that you’re not interested in putting users first.

As I see it, install bases that include scores of inactive users are meaningless. It might help to instead allow uninstalls and collect feedback as to the reasons for doing so, and help developers and publishers understand why people aren’t interested in their apps and content.

That’s data that you can use to improve your offering. Plus, you can engage your active users and find out what’s working for them, and focus on those aspects to better your product. Is that too much to ask?

Carriers Can Now Install Apps On Android Handsets Without Customers’ Permission [Forbes]

Image credit: Digital Turbine [YouTube]

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