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.

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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!).