09
Jun
hi-256-0-84d21c2f1122afcce96572384fb9c3ff2928194e

I am not a big fan of unsolicited ads, so you can imagine how annoyed I was when I started receiving ads in the notification area of my phone prompting me to install random apps. I wasn't sure when or why it started happening, but after a little research I quickly discovered that I was not the only unhappy recipient of this type of ad.

notification

Look familiar?

These ads are known as Airpush advertising. As described by the company itself, Airpush is "a mobile ad network based around an innovative ad unit - the push notification ad." The company goes on to tout itself as "a paradigm shift in mobile advertising, which provides a superior experience for developers, advertisers, and users.” That last part is quite questionable, though.

This service is appealing to developers because Airpush promises ten times the revenue as normal ads, and it can be used, without interference, along side exiting ad technologies. Unfortunately, on the consumer end, this brings twice as many ads to our devices and ten times the frustration, especially when you can't figure out exactly which application is pushing the ads into your precious notification area. However, all hope is not lost.

While Airpush may be here to stay, there is a way to identify and get rid of the apps that are causing these notifications. Airpush Detector detects and removes any app that is hiding this technology amongst its code. Once installed, all you have to do is run Airpush Detector and it will detect all installed apps that are associated with Airpush. Simply tap on the app to uninstall it, and you're done.

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Here's to hoping Airpush will die a horrible, agonizing death shortly - in the meantime, Airpush Detector will be there to save your sanity.

Update: Apparently, Airpush provides a Permanent Optout app which disables Airpush ads altogether (thanks, modplan!).

  • Matt

    It worked. I just got pushed this $1 app :-(

  • http://silverfang77.tumblr.com Silver Fang

    I receive ads like that sometimes after playing my Mahjong game.

  • lincthra

    I had not run into the existence of this yet. *L* I would have been pretty upset if this had been dumped in my lap unawares. Even knowing about it, the concept upsets me.

    As a developer, I guess it could be useful, but as a user, it is so offensive of a way to force things onto my phone that I might hold a grudge against anything on there to the point of not using it... even if I might have considered it beforehand.

  • http://iandouglas.com Ian Douglas

    Google needs to make "Notification Advertising" a security setting that we have to accept, so we can see them up front.

  • ZZ

    Uh, this one has been out for a while and does it for free:
    https://market.android.com/details?id=com.brosmike.airpushdetector

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

      Thanks - the one in Rich's post seemed to be a direct rip-off of this one with a tacked on $1 price tag. I've updated the post now.

  • modplan

    You could you know, just install the AirPush permanent opt-out, created by the ad company themselves and still enjoy the apps that have these ads. As intrusive as the ads are, kudos to the company that sells them for allowing anyone to opt-out for free.

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

      Thanks, though it's completely non-obvious and you would only find it by chance - I've updated the post now.

    • airpushbescammin

      they make money every time you download that app that they force you to download to remove their spam ads. it's a scam. just uninstall apps that require full internet access from third party providers; big name companies aren't dumb enough to tag team spam ads onto their apps because they know how much customers hate that shit.

  • jonathan

    Why would you use this app when Airpush offers an app to permanently opt-out of receiving their ads? Just install the opt-out app and never see an Airpush ad again.

    https://market.android.com/details?id=com.airpush.optout&feature=search_result

    • Coldman

      See above – it’s already been pointed out.

  • Giltwist

    Why does the permanent opt-out require full internet access and the phone number/serial number?

    • Uphor8

      Looks like it talks to their server and tells it not to serve ads or something.

      • Giltwist

        Couldn't this simply be accomplished by some sort of offline-only cookie? Dialing home and saying phone number blah doesn't get ads is a very uncool way to do it.

  • eTiMaGo

    what's kinda ironic is that I always see rather large Airpush ads on the Androidpolice site :D

  • Uphor8

    Huh? What are you talking about?

  • Dono86

    So Happy I found this. I had been stressing out over these dumb ads. My phone vibrates and alerts me everytime one pops up, so instead of randomly uninstalling potentially liable apps I was able to pinpoint which ones were causing the problem. I had some "Battery Saver" app that I didn't use that was causing me to receive about 5 of these suckers a day. It's the same as telemarketing in my opinion.

  • Leum

    If there's an opt-out there's no real issue here....

  • http://www.airpush.com Airpush support

    Hello,

    If you recently received an Airpush ad, this came from an application you downloaded that is using our service. Airpush is an advertising network created for Android developers to effectively monetize their free applications.
    If you do not wish to support applications with Airpush you can permanently opt-out of receiving our ads by downloading our opt-out app here https://market.android.com/details?id=com.airpush.optout OR please visit out opt-out page: http://www.airpush.com/optout using this will remove your Android device from our network.

    Thanks,
    Airpush Support Team

    • Henriette

      I found an application my 10 year old daughter had installed came with 'adult content' advertising... Now luckily it was on my phone and not her own - but I do wonder.... Do you sell 'adult advertising space' to kids games and applications??????

  • Daethian

    I shouldn't have to install your SHITTY OPT OUT APP to stop your shitty apps from hi-jacking my phone. F*ck off and die AirPush.

    • Shaddow

      Nicely put. Fuck airpush!!!!

      • Taj3779

        My phone is always off power.

  • Pat

    Any app that uses AirPush is immediately uninstalled from my phone. I inderstand that I can opt out but have to allow you internet access to my phone to do so. I hate this method and hate any app that forces this crap onto my phone. You will NEVER get my business with this strategy.

  • Tomoko

    Wait - I found this after wondering about the app I downloaded. The app was free so I have no right to complain about it. I test by removing the app and two day later it was not advertising. I reinstall and found advertising. But this advertising is same place I receive ads from Plentyoffish, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Sprint. So why everyone mad about receiving free service that so many big companies use anyway? My personal opinion.

  • Xie

    Completely untrue. I have seen article like. Apps using Airpush not kicked out of Android market. It is just myth rumor started by salesman from another advertising platform who loosing my account and other to Airpush developer relation.

  • Henriette

    GREAT - it worked. I have just downloaded this software to find out which application was pushing 'sex adds' to my phone - guess what, it was a kids application that my 10 year old daughter had installed.
    But after deleting the application the advert went away. THANKS!! so brilliant.

  • ctshane

    Dear AirPush & advertising companies, I am getting ads everyday with no idea how. It is such a lost feeling to try to figure out, how do I get rid of these ads? Esp since they wake me up in the middle of night! I leave my phone on so my family can reach me if they need to so hence the sound is on. Which I have every right to do. The ads are things that are spam like "you are a winner, collect your prize." That is not a useful ad. I don't want the ads at all but spam in the middle of the night, really? I feel cornered since I don't know how you got into my phone in the first place. This is not why I spent all this money on a fancy Android phone so I can get spammed. I saw opt out at xapush.com in an Airpush ad in my PERSONAL notification bar. So I went there and it gave me a manual opt out and a download this Airpush opt out. I, of course, chose, manual for why should I trust the company that is spamming my phone? But then I have to put in some special IMEP or something number that I do not know. So I'm left with downloading this ap? Airpush you have broken my trust. So I read the 151 negative 1 star ratings on the Opt Out app download page (Airpush, you don't see there is something wrong with getting such a bad rating?) and that's where I found the androidpolice, ending up here. Now I see comments that I have to spend $1 to weed out Airpush. Airpush are you collecting this money? If not, someone else is capitalizing on your mistake? I shouldn't have to pay. What to do?

  • ctshane

    Dear AirPush & advertising companies, I am getting ads everyday with no idea how. It is such a lost feeling to try to figure out, how do I get rid of these ads? Esp since they wake me up in the middle of night! I'm not turning my phone off. The ads are things that are spam like "you are a winner, collect your prize." I don't want the ads at all but spam in the middle of the night, really? I don't know how you got into my phone in the first place. This is not why I spent all this money on a fancy Android phone so I can get spammed. I saw opt out at xapush.com. I went there and it gave me a manual opt out and a download this Airpush opt out. I, of course, chose, manual for why should I trust the company that is spamming my phone? But then I have to put in some special IMEP or something number that I do not know. So I read the 151 negative 1 star ratings on the Opt Out app download page (Airpush, you don't see there is something wrong with getting such a bad rating?) and that's where I found the androidpolice, ending up here. Now I see comments that I have to spend $1 to weed out Airpush. Airpush are you collecting this money? If not, someone else is capitalizing on your mistake? I shouldn't have to pay. What to do?

    • Melissa

      The airpush websites tells you where to find your number. It would be under Settings>About Phone and it will be under one of the categories. Mine (I have the Samsung Galaxy SII) was in Status.

  • akoli

    According to the Airpush ads I was receiving today alone I have won 3 x ipad 2's lucky me !!! ... Downloaded opt out tool and airpush detector and turns out it was MP3 Downloader app that was the culprit... Annoying more than anything given that the adverts are just junk BS that are automatically binned by most email spam filters... !! Glad I found the apps to detect and remove... thanks

  • Gordz

    Yep, MP3 downloader fucked me too. I was furious when these ads starting coming in. No air-push app will ever stay on my phone, and I will never install the intrusive opt out app either.

  • Zardoz

    What a really offensive concept....

    I suspect that as you have no opportunity to specifically opt in, nor are you informed at application installation time, that this may be a criminal offence in the UK under Section 3 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990.

  • Melissa

    You can just go to xapush.com and opt out of receiving air push ads by entering your MEID, IMEI, or ESN number and you will not need to uninstall the app that gave you airpush ads. I did it, and it worked. I didn't uninstall my app, and I didn't have to install the app detector.
    When you go to xapush.com and opt out, there are 2 options: to download the app, or manually opt out. I went to the market to download and saw tons of reviews warning me not to download the app. That's why I decided to manually opt out. Plus I was able to keep my app.

  • Byron

    The point is I shouldn't have to work to get rid of shit.

  • mulegirl

    Thank you thank you thank you thank you ad infinitum. That fabulous AirPush Detector app just saved my sanity. I had no desire to give any information of my own to the developer whose business is creating those ads, so didn't want to deal with the opt out.

    With AirPush Detector, my problem was solved in less than a minute, from QR Code scan here to done!  Awesome!!

  • Ariely07

    Guys... watch out for TS Secret Photos and Videos app... they were spamming the shit out of me. Every day I would get ads on my notification bar plus app would be intalled in my phone desktop... I just runned the AirPush Detector and wiped out that suck ass app. Hopefully it works!! Thank u AirPush Detector.

  • anon

    Remember report all apps using this crap to google, one star these douches and disclose the apps use in review on google play. Report the airpush app too because it is bullshit. You should not have to give out a imei meid or whatever. (it is a unique way to ID your phone) Any app that alters your system without permission is malware or a virus. (installing unknown apps or icons on the desktop etc) This stuff should not be allowed within google play or even within the Android OS itself. All ads I have seen through this method are scams or exploits to trick people into installing malicious software. 2 I have seen are for a bullshit fake play update. I have family that well are older and are easily duped or confused. All that is needed is a official looking site to fool them into installing this crap. AGAIN report all apps 1 star them and leave a bad review denoting the apps use of notification spam and the type. IE the person with the kids game and SEX related ads. Give them a bad name ruin their rep maybe they will smart up or google will kick them out.

  • legion

    The opt out app doesnt work at all nor does manually opting out with your IMEI. Fact is, if mpney is so important to this company and the devs who add it to their apps, DDoS the airpush servers...no ads cuz the website is down. Hold it hostage for a week or longer and watch the devs change their attitude and watch airpush staff squirm to meet your demands. Why havent people thought of the fact that if airpush's host is down, ads cant be displayed, and neither devs nor airpush would make money. Its the internet, take action and defend the only free space we have. If we can block pop ups why cant we block push ads? Destroy airpush by corrupting Nd holding their servers hostage!

    • lolwhat

      Two problems with what you're suggesting.

      First it's illegal, anyone attempting this and get caught can expect lengthy jail time.

      Second, airpush serves millions of ads a day, it incredibly unlikely that they would even notice the ddos.