Companies can be a little overzealous when it comes to serving up ads. Even so, HTC appeared to hit a new low when its TouchPal keyboard that comes pre-installed on some Android devices started pushing out ads to users. This did not sit well with affected users, many of which took to posting their grievance on Reddit. Doing so attracted a lot of negative attention. It also resulted in an apology from HTC, which chalked the ads up to some kind of "error."
"Due to an error, some HTC customers have reported seeing ads on their phone's keyboard. This is absolutely not the experience we intended, and we're working to immediately fix the error and remove the ads as quickly as possible," HTC said in a statement.
Image Source: Reddit (Azirack)
The only feasible error we can think of is possible a misunderstanding between HTC's engineers and executives, the latter of which might have determined that it made financial sense to include ads on the free version of TouchPal. It is not unusual for ads to appear on free versions of apps and utilities, though in this case, the app was pre-installed. That is the differentiating factor that infuriated many HTC device owners and sideline commenters.
"This is not mildly infuriating. This is just unethical to the f***ing extreme. You already bought the phone, they shouldn't be serving you ads," a Reddit user wrote. Another user said, " That's actually ridiculous. This is why I stick to stock Android."
HTC does not have its own keyboard like some other companies do, so it turns to third-parties. In this case, the TouchPal keyboard came pre-installed on a several different handsets, including the HTC 10, which was the company's flagship smartphone last year.
Perhaps it was an error on HTC's part or maybe the company simply failed to anticipate the heated backlash. Either way, HTC at least deserves some kudos for publicly addressing the issue and promising a fix. The next step is to dole out a timely update to remove the ads. In the meantime, there are plenty of other keyboards for Android users to choose from.