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Google Bans Apps From Displaying Lock Screen Ads (androidpolice.com) 58

Google is banning lock screen ads from the Play Store. In the new section on Google's developer monetization page, Google says: "Unless the exclusive purpose of the app is that of a lock screen, apps may not introduce ads or features that monetize the locked display of a device." Android Police reports: So, an app that bills itself as a photo editor, VPN, or file explorer cannot also cram a new lock screen on your device that's infested with ads. However, an app that is actually a lock screen can still monetize with ads. Presumably, you know what you're getting when you install a lock screen app. This policy change is long overdue. It's been a few years since these ads started showing up, and it's getting pretty out of hand.

Google Bans Apps From Displaying Lock Screen Ads

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  • I had no idea Android (Google?) phones displayed ads like that. Why would people put up with it?

    • by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @06:02PM (#55654263)
      Amazon sells fire tablets running amazon ads on the lockcreens. They sell them for cheaper than the non-ad versions.

      Presumably people put up with it for the same reason they put up with the far more annoying ads interrupting TV shows: they're used to it.
      • by jetkust ( 596906 )
        I have an Amazon Moto G with lock-screen ads. They don' t bother me at all. It's probably the least annoying way to get an ad.
      • by swell ( 195815 )

        I seem to recall that these devices have screen technology that doesn't drain the battery. They can be on all the time- no problem. Not so with most phones & tablets.

        • by AuMatar ( 183847 )

          That's kindle paperwhites, not Fire tablets. Fires have normal screens. They also have shit for sales.

      • Amazon sells fire tablets running amazon ads on the lockcreens. They sell them for cheaper than the non-ad versions. Presumably people put up with it for the same reason they put up with the far more annoying ads interrupting TV shows: they're used to it.

        Which can be removed with some adb commands while hooked up to a PC, BTW

        The number of people who will do that is a rounding error, so everybody wins. (Not like somebody willing to remove them was going to tap on such ads anyway.)

      • Amazon sells fire tablets running amazon ads on the lockcreens. They sell them for cheaper than the non-ad versions.

        Which can be removed with some adb commands while hooked up to a PC, BTW. You don't even need root. The number of people who will do that is a rounding error, so everybody wins. (Not like somebody willing to remove them was going to tap on such ads anyway.)

      • That seems like a different thing to me, though. Presumably Amazon is running ads for stuff that you can buy from them. At that point, they've already got my purchase history and are probably offering me things they know I'd like. If I were to buy a Fire Tablet, I'd almost certain want the one with ads even if it weren't that much cheaper; I'd be buying it for the service of advertising to me so I can buy from Amazon.

    • People put up with ads because they don't want to PAY for apps. Ads can be ignored and forgotten - we are inundated with them every day, so it's easy to block them out.
      • Oh, I'm fine with ads in games or other apps that I use but aren't worth paying for. But that's only while I'm using the app. Having them fill up your lockscreen with no way to remove them is a step too far.

    • by sad_ ( 7868 )

      I'm an android user and i had no idea that was a thing either. Ofcourse i don't install random apps on my phone like most people do.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      I had no idea Android (Google?) phones displayed ads like that. Why would people put up with it?

      Because of two facts.

      Android users are cheap, and Google features free over paid apps (in the early days). The latter came about when Google Pay/Wallet/Whatever was in two countries or so, so people with paid apps were hidden from all the other countries in the world. They adopted free apps in order to be sold worldwide, and to eat, so in-app ads and such were the way the developers were paid for free apps.

      The fo

  • by DatbeDank ( 4580343 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @06:00PM (#55654239)

    I have a phone that's not possible to be rooted and i've been using the paid version of this app to block all of the ads.

    Until unlimited data plans become cheap and affordable AND malware ceases to be a vector from online ads, I will always block ads on principle and pay for my services I want to be ad-free.

    • Re:AdGuard (Score:4, Informative)

      by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Friday December 01, 2017 @01:51AM (#55656233)

      Until unlimited data plans become cheap and affordable AND malware ceases to be a vector from online ads

      Wow, talk about low on the list of reasons to block adverts. Let's add some:
      AND battery life isn't affected
      AND web pages / apps don't take forever to load.
      AND the device ceases interrupting me to view an advert (video ads are instant grounds for uninstalling apps)
      AND the ads stop taking up most of the content space
      AND ....

      Common people, chime in. I'm sure we can make this thread go on for ever. Forget malware and bandwidth. Ads are a blight on the entire mobile world right now.

  • I'm glad I never got a lock screen ad because then I wouldn't have a phone naymore but a phone shaped hole in my wall.
  • put a feature in the google play app so i can block all apps that display advertising no matter where they are displayed, i rather not use an app if it has advertising, or spend a few dollars on a good quality app that does not have any adds, and since google play cards can be bought almost anywhere that makes it even easier for everyone to buy a paid app that does not have advertising
  • by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Thursday November 30, 2017 @07:12PM (#55654703) Journal

    So much so, that as soon as I discover that an app uses the lock screen ads, I remove it immediately and make a mental note of that app.

    So, I find this move by Google to be unreservedly positive.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Don't forget to leave a review so others can discover those apps before installing them.

  • I just uninstalled 360 security for exactly this reason. Some time ago they added this "feature", which wasn't too much of a problem as they had an option to switch off the retarded add filled custom lock screen. However, after installing a update it now ignores this setting, which caused me to immediately uninstall it.

  • Do people still bother to think that Android is a "non-walled garden"? Or have people realized that bit of rhetoric was simply overblown?

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