I firmly believe that when we buy a tech product and we pay entirely for it, then it should be ours in totality and we should be allowed to do whatever we want with it. That’s why I never liked gadgets that come preloaded with a bunch of bloatware, because I was feeling that my product was somehow altered. But what if your phone would bring annoying ads to you, and, of course, services that you didn’t request?
That seems to be the case with some Micromax users, according to a recent Reddit posting, reported first by Neowin. The affected user owns a Micromax A093 Canvas Fire, a low-end Android handset that currently retails at a price of Rs. 6,999. He is saying that he started noticing apps that he never installed, and lists a few – Newshunt, Anapdeal, Amazon.in and others. The customer is accusing Micromax of installing apps without his permission and ‘using up precious space and 3G‘.
For your reference, the smartphone only has 2.25 GB of internal storage, so if you don’t get a microSD card for it, then it makes sense to be careful with each and every app that you install. The affected user further adds:
These aren’t exactly light apps, mind you – they’re atleast 7-8 MB each. Space is really short. I need to uninstall games if I want to update Whatsapp, it’s that bad. Meanwhile, looks like Apps reappear after uninstalling them. This is ridiculous! Many times, instead of downloading apps, it creates 8-10 notifications which are advertisements for online stores and other apps. All of this happens immediately after connecting to the internet which I mostly do using airtel 3g.
The app responsible for generating these notifications is generically called SoftwareUpdate; and as you guessed, it can’t be uninstalled and restarts automatically when disabled. However, the smart folks over at XDA Developers did some further investigation and found out that Micromax had allegedly added custom software to some of its devices, which in the process removed the standard Google OTA software updater in the Android OS and replaced it with the company’s own ‘Software Update’ app.
Apparently, the software responsible for the adware is developed by a Chinese firm called Adups. On its website we see listed such features as “app push service”, “device data mining” and “mobile advertising”. So, if what happened to this users gets replicated by more users, then Micromax stands accused of deliberately flooding its customers with unwanted adware. And in these times when there are so many choices, its customers won’t think twice before deciding to choose another company. But we need to be mindful of the fact that this is not a widely reported issue, and something which has just come out in open. We have reached out to Micromax to see what they have to say on this alleged issue. Be sure to see an update as and when we hear back from them.