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posted by martyb on Thursday December 07 2017, @11:55AM   Printer-friendly
from the ad-vanced-protection dept.

Ads are just a fact of life in mobile apps. You can't completely avoid them, but there are some ad implementations that are so annoying that Google has explicitly disallowed them from the Play Store. Remember Airpush? The current advertising scourge is ad-infused lock screens, which have shown up in previously safe apps like ES File Explorer, Peel, and Hotspot Shield VPN. Google has finally listened to our pleading, and lock screen ads are no longer allowed in the Play Store.

Technically, the new policy is a bit more nuanced than "no ads on the lock screen." Here's the new section on Google's developer monetization page.

Lockscreen Monetization

Unless the exclusive purpose of the app is that of a lockscreen, apps may not introduce ads or features that monetize the locked display of a device.

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.


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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @12:11PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @12:11PM (#606775)

    Ads are just a fact of life in mobile apps.

    Only if you don't know what you are doing.

    Install F-Droid ( which itself has lots of apps with no ads at all, then install Blokada ( from the F-Droid store.

    Suddenly you see almost zero ads. Blokada has blocked 54,926 ads on my phone since I installed it (it reports how much it has blocked).

    Go even further and install Firefox mobile then add Ublock Origin to Firefox mobile and you can block a whole bunch more, such as all the F'ing dick bars ( that have begun infesting so many web pages recently.

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Wootery on Thursday December 07 2017, @12:37PM

    by Wootery (2341) on Thursday December 07 2017, @12:37PM (#606776)

    There's another solution: stop using a million different spammy apps.

    I use very few apps. Audible, Spotify, and a few others. There's no need for a huge arsenal of apps, especially not from untrustworthy vendors. When possible, just use the web to get the job done.

  • (Score: 1) by anubi on Friday December 08 2017, @05:19AM

    by anubi (2828) on Friday December 08 2017, @05:19AM (#607101) Journal

    Another browser that so far is working pretty good is Brave browser ( This one is at Aptoide ) []

    One of you guys clued me in to this one a couple of weeks ago, when I had just about hit my breaking point on the Javascript Lock Screen option that the JavaScript team so "wisely" provided to WebMasters.

    I was then of the opinion that my phone was next to useless for browsing the web because few webmasters seemed to know just how frustrating they can be by forcing me to interact with an ad. More and more of us know ANY interaction with an ad using JavaScript technologies can have devastating results if an asshole webmaster coded it such. Every one of us who has had malware delivered to our machine is a new convert.

    Many of us end up spending hundreds of dollars to purge our machine of the results of an ignorantly clicked spot.

    How much do I trust a website that is flat demanding I click on an ad? Safer to close the window from the browser itself before I invoke any surprise JavaScript code?

    Or, should I play it safe and use JavaScript blockers?

    While I may THINK that clicking the "X" would close the ad, it could be coded to implant unwanted programs in my phone as well. It takes a lot of trust, knowing how JavaScript is written for the WebMaster's ability to control the client, not the client. The trick is to get me to click on something. The magic is with the illusion that if I do this, I expect a specific thing to happen. But this is not the case with something as powerful as JavaScript. It can overwrite the URL bar, so as to mislead me as to where I am. With the magic of JavaScript, anything can be programmed to do anything. By trying to close a window, I may agree to something that I am not even told about - and we put this kind of power in the hands of webmasters, some of whom get a kick out of infecting people like me with malware.

    No wonder all this shit happens.

    Now, I have been told that Brave hijacks copyrighted content and is unethical to use. I hold that forcing people to interact with ads, while hiding behind "hold harmless" clauses for things like insertions of Cryptolockers and their ilk, is also unethical, as is ramming megabytes of unwanted data down my pipe.

    When advertisers get too obnoxious, like a noisy party next door, there comes a time when something has to be done, and I can't simply "call the cops" on obnoxious ad content, but I can search out and install blocking technologies that others more knowledgeable than I have been able to make to counter these knothead coders.

    "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]