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Google finally bans apps that include shady lock screen ads from the Play Store

Ads are just a fact of life in mobile apps. You can't completely avoid them, but there are some ad implementations that are so annoying that Google has explicitly disallowed them from the Play Store. Remember Airpush? The current advertising scourge is ad-infused lock screens, which have shown up in previously safe apps like ES File Explorer, Peel, and Hotspot Shield VPN. Google has finally listened to our pleading, and lock screen ads are no longer allowed in the Play Store.

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[Update: It's back] UC Browser temporarily removed from Play Store due to setting "not in line with Google's policy"

UC Browser is massively popular in India, with over 500 million installs on the Play Store. But just two days ago, the app was removed from the store. Now it appears that a setting in the browser itself, rather than rumored data theft or misleading promotions, is the reason it has been removed.

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[Update: You can turn it on now] Chrome 64 will block those pesky redirecting ads everyone hates

Over the past few months, we've received dozens of complaints about redirecting ads on this site, which we have been repeatedly reporting to our ad networks. The problem ultimately comes down to rogue ads being published through common ad networks (even 'safe' ones like AdSense and AdX), which then show up on sites like ours. When the ads load, they hijack the parent page to load a misleading message, like the one pictured above, often while turning on the device's vibration motor to make it seem more realistic.

Most ad networks don't have any kind of manual review process, making this behavior difficult to pinpoint, and the ad's code can even be obfuscated to hide the malicious behavior.

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Google will now allow real-money gambling apps on the Play Store in the UK, Ireland, and France

Last month, we heard rumors that Google was planning to relax its ban on real-money gambling apps in the Play Store, but after reaching out to Google we didn't get a response either way. With an update to its developer policy page, Google has now confirmed that some of these apps are going to be allowed on the Play Store in the UK, Ireland, and France.

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[Update: HTC is working on a fix] HTC's TouchPal Keyboard has started to show ads to users

There are a few places where advertising is acceptable. Your phone's keyboard is definitely not one of them. The TouchPal keyboard, which HTC ships as the default system keyboard on many of its phones, has been updated to display ads.

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Weekend poll: Would you be interested in an Android Police "premium" subscription that removes ads?

Late last week, we announced that we were ending our trial run of Google's Contributor 2.0 platform. The system, which sounds great in theory, allows readers of a website to remove ads from it in exchange for paying a small amount of money per pageview. In reality, the system is quite buggy and presents a number of serious user experience issues, and as such, we've decided that it's not worth the headache.

However, on that post, many of you asked why we weren't able to offer an ad-free Android Police experience in exchange for a subscription-based fee. The answer to that, for now, is that such a system is rather complicated to set up, but we do want to gauge interest in such a thing among you, our readers.

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[Deal Alert] Prime Exclusive Moto G5 Plus on sale for $30-60 off, $154.99 (32GB) and $179.99 (64GB)

The Moto G5 Plus is one of the best budget phones you can get, and it's available cheaper if you get the Prime Exclusive version from Amazon with ads. However, this already good deal is even better today. Both capacities are on sale for an additional $30-60 off.

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Google resolves to stop reading your email (for advertising, anyway)

Today Google made an announcement on their blog in which they expressed a desire to "more closely align" their efforts on the consumer side of Gmail with G Suite's Gmail. It might sound humdrum, but it's a biggie. That's because Google wants to bring the two more closely together by taking a page from G Suite and no longer using the content of your emails as input for personalized advertising. This is expected to occur later this year.

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[Update: Site is live, more details] Google launches Funding Choices, a way for users to pay sites to hide ads

You may recall Google Contributor, which was a service by Google that allowed users to pay a monthly contribution to see fewer ads online. Your money would directly substitute the money earned by the site for advertisements. Contributor was discontinued in late 2016, with Google saying that an improved version would become available in "early 2017."

Today, the company launched Funding Choices, the successor to Contributor.

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Google confirms it will block bad ads in Chrome, starting in early 2018

About two months ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google would add an ad-blocking feature into the Chrome web browser. Similar to AdBlock Plus' default setting, Chrome would block ads deemed unacceptable (such as pop-ups, auto-playing video ads, etc). Google has now confirmed this, and shared further details about how it will work.

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