Amazon Prime Exclusive Android phones dump lock-screen ads [Update]

Enlarge (credit: Amazon)

Amazon has announced that it is dumping the lock-screen ads from its Prime Exclusive Phone program. Since 2016, the massive online retailer has been selling low-end Android phones loaded with ads and Amazon software at a discount of around $50 (and in one case, a $200 discount!). Now, the biggest advertising surface on the phones, the lock screen, is being scrubbed of advertising.

In its FAQ, Amazon spins the change as “Amazon being nice” by saying, “This change allows you to personalize your Prime Exclusive Phone’s lock screen and to more easily use your phone’s unlock technologies, such as facial recognition and fingerprint sensors.” The move is more likely related to Google’s recent ban on lock-screen ads from non-lock-screen apps, though.

In December, Google added a new rule to the Google Play Developer Policy saying, “Unless the exclusive purpose of the app is that of a lock screen, apps may not introduce ads or features that monetize the locked display of a device.” The goal of the rule as it is written seems to be not to outright ban all lock-screen ads but to stop apps from misleadingly displaying lock-screen ads without the user’s consent. As a user, it would be very hard to identify which app was displaying lock-screen apps, since any game or app would technically be able to take over the lock screen.

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Source:: Arstechnica – Gadgets