dialer-kitkat

Could Ads Be Coming to the Dialer in KitKat? Some Code Hints As Much [Update: Ads are Not Coming!]

November 1, 2013 - Written By Alexander Maxham

In Android 4.4 KitKat, Google has really redone the dialer, and it looks a lot nicer and is much more functional. As much as we don’t want to believe it, people do use their phone to still make phone calls. In Android 4.4, Google has changed up the overall UI of the dialer, and given it a smarter Caller ID. They’ve also added enhanced search and a new card-based UI.

Of course now that the factory image is out and we have access to all the APKs, some tinkerers are going through the APK code to see what else can be found. And there’s actually something in there that a lot of you won’t like. But before we continue let’s remind you that Google is an ad company. Always has been and probably always will be.

According to Ron Amadeo, there’s some code in the APK that clearly refer to ads. However it’s still not clear how or if they will be implemented into the dialer.

<string name=”enable_disable_advertisements”>Advertisements</string>
<string name=”advertisements_enable”>Advertisements enabled</string>
<string name=”advertisements_disable”>Advertisements disabled</string>

What I’m thinking is Google may show an ad for a local business, where if you tap on it you’d be calling the company. Probably at the top of the dialer. Although we don’t know for sure how it’ll work. We’ve already gotten used to seeing them in Google Maps and now in Gmail. Which when ads showed up in Gmail many people were upset, I guess they forgot where Google makes nearly 90% of their revenue from.

It’s important to remember here that the reason Google gives away Android for free and sells their hardware so cheap is to get more people using their services, which in turn means more people see their ads. So this shouldn’t be a huge surprise to anyone. And if it’s like the ads in Gmail, they’ll probably be pretty tasteful, so let’s hold out for a few before we say some choice words about Google and ads.

Update: Google has reached out to us to let us know that this is old code and that they are not looking to bring ads into the dialer. So everyone can take a deep breath now.