Developers have uncovered evidence that Indian hardware brand Micromax has been surreptitiously installing software on its devices without users' knowledge, following complaints from handset owners who were confused by apps repeatedly appearing without their approval.
One user on Reddit detailed their experience of repeatedly attempting to remove these apps, only to find many of them reappearing on the handset again later. That user's experience prompted the folks over at XDA Developers to look into the matter further.
They found that Micromax had added custom software to some of its devices, which ditches the standard Google OTA software updater in the Android OS, and replaces it with the company's own 'Software Update' app. The software is developed by a Chinese firm called Adups, which lists "app push service", "device data mining" and "mobile advertising" among its features.
Indeed, some Micromax users have described how the app sometimes floods the notifications pane with 8-10 alerts "which are advertisements for online stores and other apps."
As if it wasn't enough that the company is barraging its customers with crapware that they don't want and can't permanently uninstall - and ads to remind them to install more of it - users are also finding that they're having to share the cost of these unwanted apps, as each download is deducted from the user's carrier data allowance.
In India - a market where many buyers are highly cost-sensitive, with limited budgets to pay for their mobile service - eyebrows will surely be raised at these users being forced to sacrifice their data allowances to download something they never requested. Indeed, this seems especially distasteful when you consider that Micromax is likely bringing in revenues from its agreement with Adups, by apparently allowing it to harvest the information of Micromax's customers and harass them with ads.
XDA Developers has put together a 'temporary solution' to work around this unholy mess and disable the Software Update application on your device - but it'll take a bit of effort, and you'll probably void your warranty. If you're okay with that, hit the source link below for a step-by-step guide.
Source and upper image: XDA Developers