12
Nov
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When you use free software, ads are usually part-and-parcel of the experience. However, typically developers are considerate enough to limit the advertising to within the app itself. Sadly, whoever programmed the popular document viewing application QuickOffice lacks such scruples and has decided to start pushing notifications to users, inviting them to upgrade to the paid version of their app. In many cases, QuickOffice is pre-installed with a phone's version of Android - even something carrier agnostic like the Nexus One - and is difficult to remove, leaving non-root users at the mercy of the app's creators.

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Credit to TheFunkyMonk of reddit for the image

While the notification has only appeared once on people's phones so far, and is easy to dismiss, this really seems like an over-stepping of the bounds. Google themselves are masters at subtle advertising , but we can only see a method like this irritating users and turning them off the application or service in question.

We are reaching out to Google for a perspective on this, considering QuickOffice is such a widely installed application, and will update if we get a response.

Source: reddit [1][2]; droidforums

Brian O'Toole
Having learnt his writing techniques reading e-Books of Sherlock Holmes, Brian now spends his time /kicking, lurking, SSHing and encoding.
  • Narwhal

    God damnit AP. I have defended you to the depths of reddit /r/android hell and I had to yell at them yesterday for their stupidity and then you run this fucking headline?

    "Sign of things to come"

    "Reach out to Google".

    Are you kidding me? THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH GOOGLE. An app, that either a user or a carrier installed on a phone, caused a notification? So what?!!?

    That's not Google's fault, problem, responsibility... Google's response is going to be "We don't give a fuck".

    Seriously. Keep yourselves above this shitty reporting. I expect this from one of the dumb Engadget writers. Not you.

    • Brian O’Toole

      I like how you've omitted the question mark in your quotes. This may well be a sign of things to come, considering the fact that if QuickOffice can do it and get away with it, other developers are sure as heck going to start doing it as well.
      As for reaching out to Google, I want to know what their stance on this kind of invasive advertising is. It contradicts the subtle advertising methods that Google themselves espouse.

      Thanks for the backhanded compliment, by the way.

      • Narwhal

        It wasn't a backhanded compliment. I compliment the fact that AP's content is usually much more level headed than frankly any other tech site, and I stand by that comment.

        1. The "Signs of Things to Come?" (didn't mean to omit the question mark, I didn't c/p it, I was just typing from memory) Anyway, I just think it's a sensationalist headline. For the billions of notifications that people receive from hundreds of thousands of apps, it just seems incredibly irresponsible to imply anything of the sort. Especially since iPhone fanboys will splooge at the headline for the chance to mock Android users.

        2. I didn't realize that Quickoffice was installed by default even on the Nexus One (though I still wonder if that was Google or T-Mobile. The QO source is not in AOSP from what I can tell). Either way, Google will probably not be desiring to continue using it.

        3. My tone and 'tude was rude. Sorry for the angst, didn't do as well on my Chem test as I should have and it came out in my comment.

        <3 you AP.

        • Brian O’Toole

          The idea was not to give iPhone owners something to circlejerk to, it was to let people know that there is a risk of this spreading if Google don't put their foot down.

          And we <3 redditors, even if they swear at us.

        • Narwhal

          Mmm, I disagree. Google shouldn't put their foot down, and how could they? Every scenario I imagine for Google "blocking" this either involves "Going Apple" or making architectural changes that would break every single existing app.

          Unless you simply meant stop using the QO app... which I suspect is a possibility after this little charade. Someone at QO got greedy.

        • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

          Google could say, if you don't stop doing this crap, we'll stop bundling you, for example. Granted, they don't even have Google phones anymore. For now.

      • Narwhal

        Hey Brian, posted another reply below, don't know if you get notifications for sibling replies or just children replies.

    • R.J.

      Quickoffice is an app that comes pre-installed with official 2.2 builds, making this Google's responsibility.

      • Brian O’Toole

        Good point. My Nexus One came with QuickOffice yet is a phone that was (gloriously) un-interfered-with.

      • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

        Quickoffice came even with the Nexus One, so Google definitely has something to do with it.

    • Keefers

      Everything has to do with google! Before long android will be everywhere. I do not want bloatware sending me crap. It was an info blog. Deal with it!

  • R.J.

    Hey, this is the Redditor who took that screenshot. Great post, I really look forward to hearing a follow up on whether Google responds!

  • Zyphbear

    I would actually like to make a note about TweetDeck and their constant notification about Facebook Places as well. Since the version of TweetDeck for Android integrated the Placed into it, every time I reboot my phone, I get a notification that you can click to enable. I have clicked it and closed the web window several times as well as just clearing the notification, thus it still pops up the next time. The main issue here is that TweetDeck doesn't have many options here, including being able to disable this feature.

    • Brian O’Toole

      That sounds like more of a bug than anything, have you tried opening a report on the TweetDeck support forums? You might also want to try contacting @richardbarley about the issue.

  • portnoyd

    Damn, good to see I wasn't the only one who got it and was annoyed by it.

  • http://timmyjohnboy.com Tim

    Personally I'm sticking to Google Docs for my document needs. I know I know it can't replace everything but for what I need...

    BTW, I think Adroids ought to come rooted out of the box.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Heh, don't we all? The evil carriers don't want you to remove their crapware and manufacturers don't want to potentially provide support to devices they've no idea how have been changed. That's pretty much it.

    • Alan Tucker

      The latest version of Documents to Go has Google Docs integration

  • GergS

    If an app ever does that to me it'll get auto-uninstalled. Not kidding one bit.

  • Alan Tucker

    This has yet to show up on my device, I use Documents to Go on my Desire anyway.

  • LarrythePoster

    The problem with Quick Office's Notification bar spam is not so much Google's fault, but it will be Google's responsibility. I mean, who wants to use a phone that allows such access to an app, to run in the background, even if you've never used it, or are not currently using it, for the simple purpose of spamming you with offers?

    The point of this post at AP, and the various posts at Reddit, Motorola, and Quick Office's own website is to make enough noise to make it clear to Quick Office, and other app vendors that this mode of advertising is unacceptable, and that if they do it, we'll just switch to another vendor's app that won't do it. Already, many people at Reddit and Motorola have said they've either rooted & uninstalled Quick Office, or have downloaded Docs to Go, specifically in response to Quick Office's spam.

    AP, did you guys reach out to Quick Office to respond to their spam?

  • SOUSAFRUI

    Is it possible that the fact i uninstalled quickoffice from my nexus, is preventing me to update from android 2.2 to 2.2.1?
    By the way i do agree that google should stop this types of advertisements. Is not aceptable being annnoyed by a intrusive developer.
    Sorry for my out of context question, but i would love a simple yes/no answer.

  • Joe the Plumber

    I'm not too technical so I figured I'd do my duty by calling AT&T tech support and pestering the rep for 20 minutes about this.

    I figure if enough people complain about it, Android and AT&T will figure out that this sort of thing is damaging their brand and costing them money.