If there’s one thing that consumers don’t particularly care for, it’s the manufacturers of their devices basically trying to force the usage of apps and services on their devices. Consumers likely take the situation a little more seriously when OEM’s make the attempt to install apps or software onto those devices without the user knowing. There were multiple reported cases of this issue happening from various OEM’s last year including both Sony and Xiaomi, and now it appears that Micromax is following the lead and installing apps onto users devices without their knowledge of the act. While the OEM’s will mention this is something that users can choose to opt out of after the app is installed and that it is only meant to capture anonymous data in the first place, silently installing apps onto devices under the radar is worse than loading them onto the devices as bloatware before a user sets up the device.
XDA points out that users in India of certain Micromax devices have been reporting the issue at hand, and that uninstalling the applications doesn’t seem to help as they seem to re-install after a short period. Ethics aside, cyber security in this day and age is a major issue, and the act of installing apps on users devices without consent brushes up against the boundaries of this topic and crosses the line. Users should be able to check the permissions of the apps being installed, and first and foremost they should have the choice to install an app. According to XDA, the apps are also being installed over mobile networks, so mobile data charges immediately become a concern, and storage space is another problem that can arise as Micromax devices tend not to have too much internal storage.
XDA has the full breakdown of evidence shedding light on the app installs happening without people’s knowledge, but the gist of it is that Micromax opted to use a third party OTA check service application on the device instead of the stock Google one, which when broken down had references to the website of the company who created it (a Chinese company called Adups) with a feature list dedicated to “boosting revenue” and including features like app pushing services, device data mining, unique package checking and mobile advertising. While all of this is certainly a little disheartening to hear, there is a temporary solution which includes rooting your phone, setting up the Android Debug Bridge, (ADB) and disabling the software update application so you don’t get any more unwanted installs of apps that you won’t know about. Head on over to XDA to find the process for getting those three steps completed if you’re using a Micromax device and are worried about this issue.