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Microsoft releases app ads in Android menus



If you use a Microsoft app on your Android phone, Microsoft may advertise its other apps in your "Share" and "Open" menus. Android Police pointed out that some Microsoft mobile apps add extra options to your menus when interacting with a file. These icons show Microsoft apps that are not on your phone and record real estate that is usually reserved for programs you chose to install.

Android Police tested this with several Microsoft apps and The Verge ] confirmed that it certainly happens with your phone buddy, an app for synchronizing Android and Windows devices. When I shared an image from my phone with your phone company installed, my sharing menu included an extra icon labeled "Microsoft OneDrive (Installer)." If you tap the icon, your phone buddy opens and then redirects me quickly to the Google Play store. Android Police found similar results when, for example, Opens a PowerPoint presentation file with Microsoft Word installed.


  Microsoft's OneDrive Ad on a Picture Sharing Menu

Microsoft OneDrive Ad on a Picture Sharing Menu.

] The problem has apparently existed for at least a few months. Android police said a user had sent a tip on it in April, and Thurrott mentioned it back in February. But it has not become widespread attention. As Android Police notes, Microsoft has just launched a desktop notification feature that makes your phone Companion app more useful.

These little ads are not a big trouble. Many people who install a Microsoft app will have others already installed, so they just want to see common icons. As Android Police notes, many other people will almost never open PowerPoint or Excel files. Sharing photos is a much more common task, but I've already got dozens of never-used icons on my split-screen so I've hardly noticed one more.

Likewise, Microsoft sets a bad precedent here. If every app developer followed his lead, the Android menus would be even more crowded and confusing than they are today. Fortunately, we haven't seen another big company using this tactic. Android Police mentions that Android Q limits its effectiveness – so instead of seeing a misleading OneDrive icon you see the normal your phone community one.


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