Android “Updaters”

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What it does: These apps claim to update your android phone

Offenses:

  • Snake Oil
  • Intrusive ads

 

Updates are usually a good thing and with way most android phones are, they’re usually a rarity, so these apps come to solve that problem, except not really. For a phone to be updated the actual manufacturer(Samsung, Huawei, Motorola, etc.) has to push the update to your device, or in some countries the carrier will do that job. What this means is that none of these app has any chance to work, the most any of them will do is open the update setting. That’s right, every android phone already has an updater that actually works and it also happens to be the ONLY one that works, so if that setting doesn’t show that there’s a new update available then in most cases you’re out of luck. I say most cases because some manufacturers (like Asus) will release an update on their website before they push it to their phones, but this isn’t always the case and differs from manufacturer to manufacturer, so the takeaway from this post is if neither the manufacturer website nor the “update” setting has an update available then these apps will never EVER work. This kind of apps only serve as a vehicle to show ads, if you want a newer OS version wither get a newer phone from a manufacturer that is know to keep their phones up to date (or look into custom ROMs if you’re an advanced user).

Here’s a list of some of these apps, I’m sure there are a lot more

samsungupdate.com

com.umrsama.updatesoftware

la.tn.my.up.dev

tn.My.Dev.Up.com.tm

com.gonext.gonextupgrade

com.hexamob.allandroidupdates

com.sp41ky.updatesw

com.googleandroidupdates

com.update.software.clone1

com.update.for.android

com.protoolapps.androidupgrade

Alternatives: Your phone’s “update” setting.

 

GO Launcher2016(GO Launcher Z)

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What it does: GO Launcher is a launcher replacement

Offenses:

  • Questionable permissions
  • Intrusive ads
  • Snake oil
  • Naughty Dev

Go Launcher, sometimes called GO Launcher Z or whatever other variation GOMO thinks off is an invasive and bloated app that should always be kept at least 50 meters way from your device. All jokes aside, this app asks for every permission under the sun including contacts and sms which constitutes a serious privacy concern given the level of trust GOMO has. As most apps of its kind, it’s filled with ads and since it is a launcher that means ads on your homescreen, not to mention various reports of lockscreen ads. To top it all off GO Launcher offers a suite of RAM and app cleaners which like we already discussed here many times before are compltely useless.

Alternatives: Nova Launcher, Smart Luncher

Purify – Speed & Battery Saver

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What it does: Purify is a RAM cleaner/phone booster
Offenses:

  • Snake oil
  • Privacy concern
  • Intrusive ads
  • Questionable permissions

If you roted your phone with kingroot you probably have this app installed and don’t even know it. We’ve already discussed in previous reviews and on our apps guide why ram cleaners are placebo apps, but this one takes the cake because most of the times it is installed it has root permission which allows it to really wreak havoc in your phone if it wants to. As most apps of this kind its main purpose is to collect data and sell ads which is why it earned its second and third offenses.

Alternatives: Android cleaners are redundant, android does housekeeping by itself. That said, SD Maid or CCleaner are good apps

Indian Browser

What it does: Indian Browser is a web browser
Offenses:
  • Privacy concern
  • Intrusive ads
Indian browser is an app that preys on the ingenuity of ingenuity of Indians that love their country. This browser is mostly devoid of actual features, lacking even the most basic ones like tabbed browsing. It has a permanent undismissable banner ad that obstructs a decent part of any page you’re viewing and also shows fullscreen ads every time you open the app. By default it has a permanent almost useless notification, altough that can be disable within the settings. If you touch the about submenu it shows that this browser was made with an app making website that makes canned apps, so the guy that owns this app didn’t even write it. We don’t know if this app collects data, but users shouldn’t take the risk.

 

Xender

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What it does: Xender is a file sharing application
Offenses:
  • Intrusive ads
  • Privacy concern

Xender’s core concept is a really neat idea, it essentially makes file transfers between phones really easy. However, this concept is completely ruined by their business model. Before you even get into the app it asks you to enable a feature that price checks products, which is not what I downloaded the app for. After that it scanned every single app on my phone, which also left me very uncomfortable. The main screen is basically a huge banner ad with some info tucked away and this is one of the apps reported for lockscreen ads. If all that wasn’t enough it also has a section that is literally just ads and a Bollywood music downloading service(?). Why anyone would want all this on a file sharing app is beyond me

Alternatives: Send Anywhere,NFC, Bluetooth, Dropbox, Google Drive, most messaging apps.

 

UC Browser

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What it does: UC Browser is a web browser.
Offenses:
  • Intrusive ads
  • Questionable permissions
  • Privacy concern

As soon as I installed UC Browser it asked for permission to manage my phone calls. I don’t know why a browser needs that, but I’m not going to try and find out why. The next thing it did, and mind you, this is before I even opened a single web page, it sent a notification about some topless model. If that was not enough last year many users reported that UC was displaying ads on their lockscreen. This is truly unacceptable behavior for any application and it’s actually quite amazing how it manages to stay on the top downloaded apps and have so many users vouch for it on the reviews. Then again, this has also been the most requested app which means not all users have a high tolerance for intrusive apps.

Alternatives: Brave, Lighting Browser, Firefox Focus, Opera

 

I’d like to thank everyone that recommended I feature this app

 

Z Camera – Photo Editor

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What it does: Z camera is an image editing app

Offenses:

  • Intrusive ads
  • Naughty Dev

Z camera, previously owned by Zero Team which was bought by GOMO is an image editing app that shows ads on your lock screen. In fact, all of the apps by Zero Team did that including their launcher but they have since been acquired by GOMO which is a proud listee on our Naughty Devs page. Definitely an app to avoid.

Alternatives: Snapseed, Adobe Photoshop Express

 

GO Weather Forecast & Widgets

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What it does: Go Weather provides weather forecasts
Offenses:
  • Naughty Devs
  • Intrusive ads
  • Questionable permissions

While it is a pretty app,  GO weather is an ad filled mess that should be kept away from your phone. Besides the ads, the app asks for too many permissions, a weather app shouldn’t need more than location wifi and may media permissions, asking for device & app history is too much. If you add to that list that it is made by GOMO then you have the perfect example of an app that you wouldn’t want to touch with a 10 meter pole.

Alternatives: Weather Timeline, AccuWeather, Yahoo Weather

DU Battery Saver – Battery Charger & Battery Life

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What it does: DU Battery saver claims to extend your phones battery life

Offenses:

  • Snake Oil
  • Intrusive Ads
There are many ways to extend your phone’s battery life, but this app isn’t one of them, in fact in most cases it actually decreases it. The app is plagued with ads and bombards phones with notifications and locks screen ads. It also claims it can speed up the charge rate of your phone, which is completely false, charge rate is dictated by phone hardware, the type of charger you’re using and in some cases cable quality.
Alternatives: Greenify, Amplify

ES File Explorer

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 What it does: ES File Explorer is a file manager.

Offenses

  • Intrusive Ads

If you asked any android buff 5 years ago what file explorer they’d recommend they would tell you to download ES File Explorer in a heartbeat, unfortunately the devs have since pumped the app full of bloatware and it asks you to download shady apps a few of which have questionable content. ES also started displaying ads on the locks creen without user consent.

Alternatives: MiXplorer, Solid Explorer, FX File Explorer