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Silent Ads Are Slowing Your Smartphone and Stealing Data Allowance



/ 1 year ago

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Ever wondered why your battery is going down faster or your data allowance is just evaporating, though you’re not really using your smartphone that much? The answer is ads… and a lot of them. You may not see them on-screen, but research company Forensiq has said that they are there and found over 5,000 such apps available on iOS and Android.

Forensiq tells that an estimated 20 ads per minute are delivered, summing up to 700 ads per hour. That’s quite a lot, even though they are not displayed on your screen. This may not seem that bad, but take note that the ads need internet connection to work. So when you are not home and have no Wi-Fi available, your data plan is just wasted on ads you don’t want and can’t stop.

The research company notes that a single app may be able to download 2GB of data per day. In addition to data allowance loss, poor battery life will be a side effect of the apps that keep downloading and shuffling these ads. So you not only lose a lot of your monthly data allowance, but you can also find yourself with a dead phone when you need it.

A full report has been made on this issue, but it does not mention any specific apps in question. However, Google Play recently suspended three apps that had the above mentioned behaviour, namely Waxing Eyebrows, Celebrity Baby and Vampire Doctor. The latter are not available on iOS, though other similar apps are present on Apple’s store too. You may think that Apple is more strict when it comes to their store, but truth be told, silent ad-serving is not on the company’s priority list when it comes to choosing what goes on the AppStore and what doesn’t.

While you don’t really have a way of detecting these apps, you can start to take notice of how much data your phone uses daily and how much battery individual apps use. I know the Google Store has some pretty neat apps for that, but even so, the native built-in features in the latest iOS and Android operating systems should be enough to give you an idea if you have silent ad-serving apps installed.

Thank you MacNN for providing us with this information


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  • Eoin Mc Namara

    I still can’t believe just how much the Facebook app is active, even without internet connection. Honestly, as soon as Messenger no longer required the Facebook app, I un-installed it to save my battery.

    Hill Climb Racer is another app that sends silent-ads to you. If you have root access, you can see how the install directory of the app features 20(!!!) 30 second long ads, 115 ad banners, and about 50 different mesh and font icons.

    Any of the “Story” apps like Bakery Story etc. send silent ads too, just not as much as Hill Climb Racer.

    This kind of activity is deplorable and should not be allowed.

    • roppu

      Well if you take it like that, then how about you go buy the app? You see, all these “FREE” apps need somekind of revenue to keep them alive. Everyapp has adds (exp facebook,amazon etc etc). But most users dont want to see said apps and they hide them. Maybe there are to many ads yes, but still.

      • Eoin Mc Namara

        All of the above apps are Free. I don’t mind apps, and can see how Devs need to make a revenue, but this “Hide and Go Seek” is stupid. Hiding the apps guarantees no one will see them, or click them.