Your phone carrier could soon be able to remotely install apps on your Android device, without your permission. A company called Digital Turbine has a technology called Ignite, that will give carriers the ability to install apps on devices, bypassing app stores.
Most carriers add some apps or customization to Android, but it’s often not popular with users, as you can’t easily uninstall them. With Ignite, your carrier will be able to push new bloatware onto your device after you’ve bought it: ‘post-loading’.
Digital Turbine claims Ignite can help carriers get more advertising revenue, and while that’s probably good news for carriers, consumers are less likely to be happy about more advertising being pushed to their phones.
Being able to push apps to users will allow companies to get new apps to a big audience, without that audience having chosen to download them. Not all Android devices will be affected by Ignite – only those with a ‘carrier specific’ version of the operating system. ‘Clean’ installs of Android, like those found on the Nexus devices, or anyone who rooted and reinstalled Android, cannot be affected by Ignite. Digital Turbine says Verizon and T-Mobile are already customers, but so far there is no evidence that those carriers have used Ignite.
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