Carriers Have Found a New Way to Install Crapware on Your Smartphone

Carrier bloat is something almost every smartphone owner has to live with. What's worse is when you're not even allowed to uninstall certain third-party software that your wireless carrier decided to integrate into the OS. It's one reason why the newest Android builds take so long to deploy, but that's not the worst of it. There are reports that carriers have picked up a practice called "post-loading," which essentially refers to sneaking more unwanted programs onto your handsets at any given time.

According to a new a report in Forbes, there's a company called Digital Turbine that launched a new service named Ignite. It's for Android devices, and what it does is give wireless carriers the ability to install apps on its subscribers' smartphones to rake in more advertising revenue. Indeed, on the company's website, it brags about "connecting content to mobile devices" and talks about gaining a competitive edge through post-loading software.


"Ignite redefines the rules of the game by greatly simplifying smartphone app delivery," the company states in an advertisement.

That's right, wireless carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile (both of which are customers of Digital Turbine) can now shovel crapware onto your Android handset whenever they wish. Whether or not they're taking advantage of this new ability isn't fully known, though over on the XDA Developer's forum, there have been reports of a program called "DTIgnite" showing up on phones.

One of the users noticed a handful of apps on his phone that he never installed -- Cookie Jam, Drippler, and RetailMeNot. After doing a big of digging, that's when he discovered the DTIgnite program on his handset.

"I don't recall it being in the file directory before, but it's there now and it survives a factory reset. Mine started doing it yesterday and I have done about two dozen factory resets trying to narrow down the problem. I was able to determine that it only downloads these programs (the same thee mentioned) when the SIM card is inserted," the user explains.

Welcome to the new (and shady) way of doing things in the mobile world, folks.