Uh oh! HTC's default keyboard is showing ads

Gwen Vasquez
July 17, 2017

These ads reportedly began after an update to the TouchPal Keyboard for HTC, which is the default HTC 10 keyboard app.

HTC 10 owners seem to be worst affected (we're not seeing it on the newer U11 for what it's worth), with the ad bar taking up a good chunk of screen real estate. Heck, it is even possible that HTC didn't know that the ads would appear.

The company says it won't be showing ads on TouchPal, HTC's built- in keyboard app. They are probably present because they're controlled by TouchPal. Ads will be removed "as quickly as possible", while in the meantime, folks on Twitter are being told to locate the TouchPal app in the Settings menu and uninstall its updates. On the one hand that is an easy thing to do.

Ads are a pretty common way for companies to make money online, especially when providing a free service. Removing those ads require users to purchase the paid version of the keyboard.

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Over on Reddit, one user moaned: "I'd prefer my privacy-critical pieces of software (keyboard is one of those) to be open source so that I don't have to put blind faith in an un-auditable black box created to make money off of my usage of it". However, the one place that you do not expect to ever see ads on is on your phone's default software. It is, however, still a awful first experience for users who really just want to be able to type in peace, without being bothered by ads.

While it isn't entirely HTC's fault that the otherwise-popular app is now showing ads, it's a risk that the company should have anticipated when it agreed to have a third-party keyboard pre-installed on its devices. More worrying, however, is the thought that such an invasive change slipped past HTC or that it allowed it to go through, despite being "not the experience we intended".

While it's definitely plausible that this was an innocent error, it has already turned into a PR mess due to the delay in HTC's response. Hopefully this is the first and last time such an unintentional misstep happens.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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