Realme 1, the company’s first-ever smartphone which was launched in India in May 2018, has received its latest software update that brings Dark Mode and the October security patch. The ColorOS 6.0 has brought in a multitude of new features to Realme 1 and Realme U1 which users will be excited about. But one thing which should shock many is the apparent introduction of ADS inside the system apps.
The software update to Realme 1 with version number CPH1861EX_11_C.45 has introduced ads inside system apps like Download Manager. As per some Twitter users, there is a new setting called “Get Recommendations” inside the “Additional settings” which is switched on by default. Interestingly, Francis Wang, CMO of Realme India responded to a user query on Twitter dismissing the claims saying it must be on the beta software only to be proved wrong as ads are indeed present on Realme 1 with C.45 update. We aren’t sure if Realme U1 with version number RMX1831EX_11_C.15 has also got ads in ColorOS.
The changelogs for both Realme 1 and Realme U1 suggest that the update brings Dark Mode, the October security patch, a new Realme laboratory, a new data switch in the notification center, app cloner support for more third-party applications, and a manual lock function by long-pressing the power button. This update also brings Digital Wellbeing feature which Google had recently made mandatory for all OEMs.
Many Smartphone OEMs in recent times have started showing ads in their UI, be it on the lockscreen or system apps or via app notifications. At a time when there is a cut-throat competition in the smartphone market, companies like Xiaomi, Samsung, Vivo, and others have tried to subsidize their offerings by allowing ads on their smartphones. While Realme has always stayed away from this practice, this new development sort of indicates that they are testing waters with ads to see what the user reactions will be on social media and outside. Mind you, there are no reports of ads on any other Realme phone till now except Realme 1.
We have reached out to Realme India for a comment on what’s Realme’s policy is when it comes to Ads on the system apps and if we will see more ads on more devices soon. We will update this post as and when we hear back from them.
Update: While we await a response to our questions, Francis Wang has tweeted it’s a ‘system error from a beta software’. For now, it seems like Realme isn’t meddling with ads, but still not clear why they would be testing this feature on beta if they have no plans to implement ads on Realme phones.