The Next Horrible Advertisement Model for Android: Popup Ads


We already get enough of this sick, twisted model on the web, and it may be jumping out of your browser and onto your homescreen or on top of whatever Android application you may be using. The Go Wallpaper Dev Team has released an admittedly-beautiful live wallpaper called 3D Fireflies in the Android market. It’s a great clash of colors that brightens up your homescreen and makes everything feel “lively”. What they don’t tell you is how they aim to support their free version.

As you know, it’d be quite difficult to provide an ad-supported live wallpaper – there really is no ad to display unless there’s a settings page, meaning an “in-app ad” would actually have to sit on your homescreen behind your widgets and icons. Not only would the latter be ugly to the end user, it wouldn’t be very useful for advertisers.

There was AirPush, which is still used by some applications in the market despite a huge uproar from the community regarding its obtrusive nature, but AirPush would have been more desirable than what the Go Wallpaper team is doing. They’ll display ads in the form of a pop-up message, meaning there’s no way to just avoid the ad. It’s there, on top of the home screen and probably whatever application you’re using, trying to grab your attention.

I installed the live wallpaper just to test this out, and between the hour or so I stared at the mesmerizing wallpaper, I saw the ad at least twice. The ads were brief, but it would still be annoying to see one of these come up as I’m trying to browse the web or look through Twitter. (I can only confirm that this happens while on the home screen.) And they were so brief that trying to grab my camera to snap a photo proved useless. I mean, if I had time to stare at my phone all day I would have grabbed it, but I don’t.

I haven’t been able to track down who they signed up with for this advertising model, unfortunately, as it’s not as “out there” as AirPush is. I’m not saying developers don’t have a right to make money on free applications, but I implore you to find a better way. At least implement some settings – any settings – so that ads can be moved out of the way.

I can’t complain, I guess, because the wallpaper is provided as a paid, ad-free application for just under $2. Still, let’s not let this become a habit devs, for the sake of both our sanity and yours. Popup ads on a PC are fine because they can usually be easily avoided and, for the most part, don’t really hurt the experience depending on what site you use. Android is more than a web browser, folks – please treat it that way. []

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Its a wallpaper, basic ones should be free. Good ones should be .50 to .99. People will have no issue dropping a wallpaper if it has popups.

    1. Phandroid needs to shut the fuck up. This website is filled with pop up ads.

      1. Maybe you should learn the difference between an app and a website first.

  2. If I got a popup from a wallpaper, I do not think I would ever use a wallpaper from that source again. I do not want popups on my phone, ever. There is just not enough room on a phone’s screen to support this kind of advertising model.

    1. But if you liked the wallpaper, would you be willing to pay a small amount of money to keep it without ads?

      1. No. This level of obtrusiveness in their advertising would completely turn me away from the maker. I would never try one of their wallpapers again. If you think that your wallpaper is worth money then charge for it, period.

        1. Hmn… I’m guessing though that you’re much less likely to pay for a wallpaper without ever having tried it. How would you feel about a wallpaper that only worked for a limited amount of time? Or what if the wallpaper faded away and displayed an ad as the wallpaper instead for a limited time?
          (I’m just curious… interested in what people think is a good way to increase users and sales without being annoying)

          1. A limited time trial is perfectly acceptable to me. Say, one day. That is long enough to see any effect it might have on my phone’s performance and/or battery life. If I like it, I would then be willing to pay. However, I do not see how an advertisement on a wallpaper would work. But I do like the idea of time trails.

  3. People BUY wallpaper for their phones?

    1. didnt you read IT’S FREE!!! great job genius. smh

      1. It’s free if you want ads popping up over your screen. It’s $2 otherwise.

        “I can’t complain, I guess, because the wallpaper is provided as a paid, ad-free application for just under $2.”

  4. Seriously, even the free wallpaper sites for your computer just have ads on the website you dl it from, not on the damn wallpaper itself. My phone wallpapers are always pictures I’ve taken anyways but I don’t like the idea of other apps starting to use this form as well.

  5. Wallpaper with pop ups? i will pass
    Wallpaper costing more then .99? I will pass

  6. I don’t think ads like that should exist for android. Its one thing to have the tiny ads in app, but if you have a pop up ad like that, its interfering with the usability of other apps. Big no. I wouldn’t even buy the paid version.

  7. I like it very kool. & if you like it & adds bother you pay the 1.99 Great App.

  8. I don’t mind paying for apps, but won’t support any company or any of their products that utilize this type of ad.

  9. I absolutely hate the idea of ads like this, as well as interstitial video ads that ignore the audio settings of the parent application or device (I’m looking at you Angry Birds).

  10. Doom!!!!!!
    The mobile tracking and personal advertisement has begun. next is targeted pop up ads our GPS enabled phone will pop up a coupon for the store you are in. UGH that is when i go back to a feature phone

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