Over the weekend, some people started to notice that the stock keyboard on their HTC had started to display ads while they were using it. This is something that we could see happening from a free 3rd-party application in the Play Store, but it certainly seemed out of place on HTC’s stock keyboard. Although, HTC certainly isn’t afraid of leveraging their own products so they can push advertisements in front of people’s eyes.
So these reports started going circulating the internet over the weekend with what seems to have started from a post on the /r/MildlyInfuriating subreddit. The screenshot shows someone in a web browser on the Google.com website as they attempt to type in a web search. Naturally, this brings up the keyboard and sitting right above the emoji/suggestion bar is an advertisement for Trivago (yeah, that one). The ad is for the company’s application so it also has an install button so it’s easier for you to install it.
This raised a lot of people’s eyebrow because of how ludicrous it is to start with, but then made people get paranoid that HTC was using words you had previously typed as a way of delivering personalized ads. Since the Trivago application looks to already be installed on this person’s phone, you can see how some people came to that assumption. However, HTC has since responded to the public and says this was done out of error and shouldn’t have happened.
The HTC UK Twitter account went out a tweet that says the company is “working to fix the error and remove these as quickly as possible.” The regular HTC Twitter account has also responded with a temporary fix to the situation as they suggest users uninstall all of the updates from the TouchPal keyboard since it was a recent update that added this functionality to the keyboard.
Source: /r/mildlyinfuriating Source: @HTC_UK