If you loathe all the junk that comes pre-installed on the Android phones sold by America’s biggest carrier – Verizon – you’re really going to dislike the next piece of information. It looks like the startup behind the Evie launcher has partnered up with Verizon to introduce a new product called AppFlash.

AppFlash will soon become the default experience on Android devices offered by Verizon, popping up whenever users swipe to the left of their home screen. AppFlash aims to help users find content and services across different apps – so it’s basically a universal search bar of sorts. The app launcher slash search utility will be rolling out to Verizon subscribers’ Android devices in the upcoming weeks – regardless of whether you want it or not.

Verizon is basically forcing another application upon Android users, which can’t be easily uninstalled, unless the phone is rooted. But that’s not actually the worse part. A quick look at AppFlash’s Privacy Policy reveals Verizon might have a darker reason for wanting to put AppFlash on its Android devices. Here’s what the app will be used for:

Collect information about your device and your use of the AppFlash services. This information includes your mobile number, device identifiers, device type and operating system, and information about the AppFlash features and services you use and your interactions with them. We also access information about the list of apps you have on your device.”

Basically Verizon is telling us AppFlash will also be used to spy on you – tracking the apps you download and use, so that the carrier can sell you ads over the Internet based on the knowledge gained by watching you every move. Big Red candidly admits this intention:

AppFlash information may be shared within the Verizon family of companies, including companies like AOL who may use it to help provide more relevant advertising within the AppFlash experiences and in other places, including non-Verizon sites, services and devices.”

Verizon explains that because the Evie launcher is so popular worldwide (it has been installed more than 1 million times), the carrier wanted to get in on the action too by delivering the same experience right next to your home screen. The company claims customers are always looking to get things done easier and AppFlash will help them do just that. While also helping the carrier accumulate more royalties, heh.

Google already collects much of the information available on personal smartphones and now Verizon is joining the race with total disregard for users’ privacy. Now the question arises – will customers go along with it? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. What happens if you don’t accept the EULA? Does the phone become a brick?
    Can this spyware be disabled?

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