liwen · Jan 24, 2012 at 03:36 pm

Japanese Carrier KDDI Puts Ads In Notification Shade

Well, the notification shade is one of the better thought out features of Android, you know. It aggregates all notifications and displays them as little icons in the notification bar, reminding you of them without being overly obtrusive. But as Asiajin noticed, what Japan’s second largest wireless carrier, KDDI, has started doing with it, is everything but unobtrusive: through its own custom marketplace, it displays advertisements as system notifications. See a sample in the picture – it’s an ad for a diet app.

Even though there have been other third-party services that also displayed ads as notifications or even homescreen icons, for example AirPush, they have never gotten traction with developers to include them in their own apps – while potentially offering good monetization opportunities, most users would probably simply remove apps showing ads in such a blatant way. However, with the “au one Market” being preloaded by the carrier, it cannot be uninstalled so easily.

There is some good news in that you can apparently opt-out of the notification ads. If you see the license agreement popping up, do not tap the “OK” button, but instead scroll down and tap on “Click here if you do not like to see the ads”. We’re not sure, though, whether there’s any way to disable those ads after you accidentally enabled them before.

Update: kuroneko007 has pointed out a way to disable the ads once you’ve agreed to them. See the instructions.

More screenshots at Asiajin.

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