Since Google still only reveals a tiny portion of the file system to Android end users, most intermediate and "power" users have a go-to file manager that they use on a regular basis. ES File Explorer was, at least until recently, one of the most popular options on the Play Store - it offers a simple interface, a robust set of tools, and it's been available for years. But recent changes have made long-time fans of the app wary; now ES File Explorer includes a built-in web browser, "junk cleaner" notifications, and "recommended apps" (read: advertisements), among other bells and whistles that no one really asked for in a file manager. Read More
Google announced a badge to make users aware of ad-supported apps in the "Designed for Families" program at I/O this year (see what that looks like above). Now, all apps will be subject to the same requirement going forward. Developers are getting email notifications of the change right now, and they have until January 11th to log in and state whether or not an app has ads. Read More
Google rolls out new versions of Chrome all the time, but Mozilla is no slouch when it comes to Firefox. Version 42 of Firefox is hitting the stable channel with a number of important changes and improvements, but right at the top of the list is a revamped private browsing mode with a feature called Tracking Protection. It's basically a built-in ad-blocker. Read More
The day we've been waiting for is finally here—the ad-free YouTube Red service is a reality. Well, technically it will be a reality in a week on October 28th (close to the date we had before), but we've got all the details now. For $9.99 per month you'll never see another ad on YouTube, and it includes a number of other cool perks. Read More
When Amazon announced Underground, the remodeled Appstore that features the ability to play paid and freemium games (as well as other apps) for free, I immediately raised the question of how they planned to make money on this venture. Users obviously benefited by getting free stuff and certain developers would make more money since Amazon compensates them on a per-minutes-used basis. But where was the cash flow to Amazon?
A deeper dive into their developer documentation gives a clue. The following comes under a heading labeled "Interstitial Advertisements":
When a user launches an Amazon Underground app for the first time, a welcome message in the form of an interstitial ad plays.
Commercials on Hulu getting on your nerves? Now there's a way to skip them, provided you're willing to pay a little more each month. Hulu has announced a commercial-free version of the service that will cost $11.99 per month rather than the usual $7.99. Read More
Have you heard? Samsung has announced new phones. In case you have not heard, here's an ad in your notification shade. It looks like this has happened to at least a few people thanks to the Samsung Push Service. In a separate incident, I myself have been served an ad by the bundled Peel remote app. Is nothing sacred anymore, Samsung?
Most of us are more familiar with seeing ads than managing them, but those with Google AdSense accounts will be pleased to know that the latest version of the Android app has gone material. And that's just the beginning. Read More
HTC has been experimenting with alternative revenue streams lately, and it was already walking a fine line. Ads started showing up in BlinkFeed a few weeks ago, but users could disable them. Now a large number of One M8 and M9 users have been served an ad in the notification shade. It was promoting a Fantastic Four movie theme, and people are not happy at all.
Google started showing a few ads in the Play Store phone client earlier this year, but the feature has been in testing this whole time. Play Store ads are now available to all interested parties, so get ready to see a lot more of them. Read More