Monday, August 22, 2011

Android Crapware

If you get nothing else from this post, I hope you understand to be careful with your Android device.

If you have been paying attention lately, there has been a lot of press about Androids, very little of it positive.  There have been quite a few applications listed through the Android Marketplace that have contained viruses and trojans, not to mention good old malware.  Much as I truly don't like iDevices, they typically don't distribute a lot of crapware through their marketplace.

The obvious solution is to scan the bloody downloads before making them available to everyone, but perhaps the Droid folks haven't gotten there yet.

Next up is a particularly annoying bit of crapware called xapush.  Certain apps make use of this little item, which pushes ads to your device's taskbar, with a note that you can opt-out at

I object most strongly to this violation of privacy and trust, both on the part of the authors and xapush, not to mention the Marketplace.  At very least there should be a warning about this crapware in the Marketplace.  While I understand the point of it, there should still be a warning, to give you the chance to avoid or opt-out up front.  Auto opt-ins should be illegal (talk to your local Congresscritter about that).

Some (but not all) of the apps that use this piece of... ummm...  malware... are 3D OpenGL, MP3 musicdownload, Best Buy Product Guide and EasyFilter.

Fortunately the Droid community has responded, in the guise of Air Push Detector, also available for free in the Marketplace.


In the meantime, please be careful with your Android device.   Watch permissions requested by all apps.  Make note of permissions that change with app updates.

Don't think for a second that your privacy is protected.  Between Google and its partners, you're toast. 

Don't even get me started on location-based tracking.. err....  services...


  1. I have been wondering if the crapware the phone companies force on us is illegal. It is included on a 'new' phone and/or installed via push without our consent. Even if the phone is 'rooted*' deleting it means no more updates from the carrier.
    Who does the phone belong to, me or them?

    * the past tense of 'rooted' is often 'bricked'.

  2. I've installed AirPush Detector on my Android, found the offending app (Movie Zone) and uninstalled it!