1. Android Central Question's Avatar
    Hello there

    I am using a Wiko Jerry, everything updated properly to the latest possible, android 6.0. Recently I started getting app recommendation ads in my app bubbles and it freaked me out a little. I am typically fairly safe in using electronics and it looks incredibly fishy. Here's a link to a screenshot on imgur. You'll see the ads on the bottom, below the installed apps in the folder.

    I ran both Kaspersky and Malwarebytes and they found nothing. I tried uninstalling and disabling all 3rd party apps I installed and nothing changed. It uses internet, but doesn't activate on cellular.

    I'm inclined to think it came from Wiko, but can't find anything about it. Perhaps it's a way for them to bully people off of 'old' phones?

    Anyway, I was hoping to get rid of the ads and any help would be appreciated!! If more information
    12-23-2018 12:05 PM
  2. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Welcome to Android Central! We can't see the screenshot. Here are the steps: https://forums.androidcentral.com/ge...d-central.html. You'll have to register here first: https://forums.androidcentral.com/as...community.html

    Does this persist in Safe Mode? https://www.hardreset.info/devices/w...y-2/safe-mode/
    12-24-2018 05:24 AM
  3. XmasSonico's Avatar
    Thank you very much!

    Made an account quickly, so I'll give the extra information.
    First, here's the screenshot How to get rid of app recommendation ads in the app bubbles-screenshot_20181225-104508.png
    As you can see, I am in a bubble with a few app icons, and on the bottom of the screen there's App recommendations with some random apps shown.

    I have tried safe mode and the problem persist.

    It might also be helpful to say that we, husband and wife, both have the same phone, and though at first only her phone had this issue, it just now appeared on his phone as well, and also persists in safe mode. Looks the exact same as well. Save some of the bigger ones (like the Facebook Lite app and the Line messaging app) we don't actually have any identical third party apps.

    We've also turned on developer options and had a look at the apps that were running. I had an inkling it was the Wiko Starter App, as the description online says it's there to recommend you apps to install, but when I factory reset and disabled the app, the problem still persisted, so that didn't actually make a difference.

    Is there anything we could still try?
    12-25-2018 03:57 AM
  4. B. Diddy's Avatar
    I'm not familiar with Wiko's launcher. When you say "app bubble," do you mean an app folder you created to group your apps together? Does the launcher have an App Drawer, or is it more iOS-like, where all installed apps have to appear somewhere on the homescreen (either on their own or in a folder)?

    Try long-pressing any empty part of a homescreen and look for a Home settings icon. Look through there for an option for App Recommendations.

    It's not unheard of for a manufacturer to start shoving ads into their own preinstalled apps. Alcatel started doing this recently, adding ads to their preinstalled apps like the gallery. I believe Xiaomi includes ads in the system settings menu, which really turns my stomach.
    12-25-2018 06:37 AM
  5. XmasSonico's Avatar
    Thanks for your response!

    Yes, with bubble I meant folder, my bad for that. It's iOS-like in that sense indeed.

    Attached I put a screenshot of what it looks like when I was looking for home settings and it doesn't look like it's there.

    Is it safe to say it's from Wiko's preinstalled apps, then? If so, is there anything I could do to remove them? At least that means they're just ads, right? And I don't have to fear that my personal information is at risk, right?

    I could circumvent using the folders, though it's a little bothering. I also considered installing a fresh version of Android on the phone, but I legitimately don't know how difficult/allowed it is. Somehow it feels like it wouldn't be allowed.
    Attached Thumbnails How to get rid of app recommendation ads in the app bubbles-screenshot_20181225-143921.png  
    12-25-2018 07:51 AM
  6. XmasSonico's Avatar
    It turns out that Home Settings (of some sort) is accessible by attempting to change the folder name. Stumbled onto it just now. Thanks for the help so far either way!!
    B. Diddy likes this.
    12-25-2018 12:05 PM
  7. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Ok, but you still can't get rid of the App Recommendations that way, right? If you don't like them, I suggest installing a 3rd party launcher like Nova. The basic Nova Launcher is free, but the paid version (which has a bunch of nice features) is currently on sale for I think $0.99, which is a great deal.

    The question of Wiko using your personal info is a tricky one. Assuming they are responsible for these app recommendations, they're probably just using your browsing history and your app installation history to suggest other apps. On the other hand, throwing ads at you in a place that has traditionally been off-limits (i.e., your own homescreen) is kind of tacky, and raises questions about the judgment of Wiko's developers.
    12-26-2018 07:40 AM
  8. XmasSonico's Avatar
    Oh snap! My bad, that wasn't clear. There's an option there to turn off the ads, so I'm sure that it's Wiko.

    But thanks! I'll have a look into the Nova launcher anyway, as using Wiko's just isn't as appealing anymore. And I'll need some research because it feels like it'd change quite a core feature of how my phone works.

    But thanks a lot! The initial issue has been resolved and I'll look into the alternative launcher.
    B. Diddy likes this.
    12-28-2018 04:06 AM

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