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

 

CM Launcher 3D – HD Theme & Live Wallpaper

What it does: CM Launcher 3D is a launcher replacement for your homescreen

Offenses:

  • Naughty devs
  • Privacy concern
  • Questionable permissions

Cheetah Mobile is known to be a shady developer that really likes to collect user data, and this app is no different. A launcher app usually has many permissions, but it shouldn’t need to read your SMS or your contacts. To top it off, the app is full of gimmicks and unnecessary additions like a security and RAM cleaning suite. The app is a bloated mess that is sure to slow down your phone.

Alternatives: Nova Launcher, Smart Launcher

Photo Editor – Photo Effects & Filter & Sticker

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What it does: Photo Editor is an image manipulator that allows you to add stickers and effects to your images
Offenses:
  • Privacy Concern
  • Questionable Permissions

With so many photo editors on android why is Photo Editor the most downloaded one? Who knows, but it is a privacy nightmare with awful permissions. An image editor should never ask for permissions to read your device history, sms, contacts and connection information, who knows what the devs are doing with all this information on its users.

 

Truecaller: Caller ID & Dialer

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What it does: Truecaller identifies unknown numbers and blocks spam calls.
Offenses:
  • Privacy concern

You should always be careful when you install apps that can read your contacts, and Truecaller is probably the best example of a bad app. As soon as you install it True Caller uploads your entire contact list somewhere, this is how they are able to identify numbers. If that wasn’t enough, ironically, people are reporting that they are getting more spam calls after installing Truecaller, which leads us to believe that it sells your data. If you have installed this app and want to try to remove your number from their lists I suggest you visit this page

Alternatives: No safe alternatives known to the writer

Dolphin Web Browser

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What it does: Dolphin browser is an ad free web browser
Offenses:
  • Privacy Concern

On paper, Dolphin Browser is an amazing apps, it supports HTML5 and flash, has integrated ad blocking, has tabs and a bunch of other features including private browsing. However, it saves all the sites you browsed on a file on your phone. Not to mention the amount of things this browser tracks, everything you do in this app is tracked and sold to someone.

Alternatives: Brave, Lightning, Firefox Focus, Opera