HTC grovels after serving up keyboard ads to some users
HTC HAS TAKEN A LEAF out of Microsoft’s book and has started serving up adverts to users of its smartphones.
So says a bunch of pissed off HTC customers over on Reddit, who have slammed the company for shoving adverts onto the top of the default TouchPal keyboard on some of its Android smartphones, including the HTC 10.
While Microsoft has long been criticised for advertising its own services, such as OneDrive, on Windows 10, HTC smartphone owners are complaining that they are seeing ads for third-party services (below), possibly pulled from Google’s AdSense service, whenever they are typing something.
Over on Reddit, one user moaned: “I’d prefer my privacy-critical pieces of software (keyboard is one of those) to be open source so that I don’t have to put blind faith in an un-auditable black box designed to make money off of my usage of it.”
Another grumbled: “This is not mildly infuriating. This is just unethical to the f*cking extreme. You already bought the phone, they shouldn’t be serving you ads.”
Not only are users griping that these ads are ‘effing annoying, some have also said that the keyboard’s responsiveness has been borked since the third-party crap started to appear.
“I could barely type at all, which made me think even more it was malware,” one user said, while another added: “My space bar works like half the time now.”
In HTC’s defence, the firm has been quick to respond to the complaints and seems as shocked by these adverts as its users. In a statement, the firm has said that the third-party guff is appearing due to an “error”.
“Due to an error, some HTC customers have reported seeing ads on their phone’s keyboard,” HTC said in a statement.
“This is absolutely not the experience we intended, and we’re working to immediately fix the error and remove the ads as quickly as possible.”
The firm is advising users to uninstall TouchPal updates (Settings > Apps > All apps > TouchPal > Uninstall updates) and TouchPal itself has claimed that a server issue led to the unwanted promos. µ