We thought we were well passed the days of ads popping up in our notification shades, but how wrong we were. Made popular by an ad agency called AirPush, we were very clear from the get-go about our disdain for such an awful practice. Of course, Google would eventually put an end to this with some amendments to their Google Play Store policies and we were back to our happy, ad-free notification shades.
Fast forward a few weeks ago where notification ads are apparently seeing some sort of resurgence. Not from some sketchy 3rd party app gone awry, mind you — that’s still against current policies — but from Android manufacturers themselves. It’s still a sort of grey area, one that both HTC and Sony were recently discovered partaking in. Their push notifications were cleverly advertising movie tie-in with themes from their respective Theme stores. Remember, apps are allowed to show notification “ads” as long as they’re an integral feature provided by the installed app (a game reminding you to play again, or an airline app that notifies you of special deals or promotions) or in this case — a new theme based that just so happens to be based on a brand new movie.
Notification ads for HTC and Sony’s new “themes”
Some believed that it was because these manufacturers — who have been falling on hard times — were simply hard up for money. A fair assumption. Maybe that’s why it’s so odd to now find Samsung adopting this behavior on their devices. Android Police is reporting that several users have come across similar notification ads on their devices via Samsung’s own Push Service, a system app that typically shows notifications for things like Samsung Pay or Samsung Link. You know, system stuffs. But not anymore.
Et tu, Samsung?
Samsung is now using Push Service to push the recently launched Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus to their users, along with a link to their own website for more info. Sure this is an actual Samsung product, but there’s no denying this is an ad and more than likely, an unwelcomed one. The good news is that it doesn’t appear to be happening everywhere, so it might only be affecting users in some regions (not all). Of course, there’s a good chance you’ve probably come across something similar with the preinstalled Peel app pushing sponsored ads for shows to their user’s notification shade.
We get it. Ads are just another way companies can promote products or services that their userbase might not have otherwise known about. We understand why Samsung and some preloaded 3rd party apps are is doing it — but it doesn’t make it anymore right. Unless Google can once again revise their Play Store terms of service to curb this kind of behavior, we can only see this further tarnishing the image of Android as the OS of ads run rampant.