The company says it won't be showing ads on TouchPal, the keyboard app, adding that the ads found their way up onto the keyboard app "due to error". As if it weren't bad enough to be faced with ads no matter what corner of the Interwebs you go, HTC has decided that you should also see them in nearly all screens of your smartphone. It is the default installed keyboard on the Lenovo Yoga Book (Android edition).
Ads are a pretty common way for companies to make money online, especially when providing a free service.
That said, HTC is not without fault here.
As the damage was already done, HTC's PR team soon started to recommend angry users on Twitter to uninstall the app as soon as possible. On the one hand that is an easy thing to do.
Criticising the software, TouchPal user Selina wrote: "It used to be good but recently ads keep popping up when I'm in the middle of something and it's really inconvenient and annoying". However, ads on a keyboard, let alone a default keyboard app for one of the "flagship" smartphones is truly unacceptable. Tap on that and accept the warnings.
Other phone makers, including HTC, pre-install a third party keyboard such as Swiftkey or TouchPal. Not to mention the potential privacy issues such ads might raise.
Update: HTC has reached out to Neowin to provide the following statement:.
"This is absolutely not the experience we intended, and we're working to immediately fix the error and remove the ads as quickly as possible".
Android comes with a default touchscreen keyboard built-in, but many companies including Google and BlackBerry design their own. This was due to HTC shipping the phone with the basic version of TouchPal and in order to disable the ads the customers needed to get the premium version. Hopefully this is the first and last time such an unintentional misstep happens.