The Moral Dilemma… Adverts in Android Applications!

For most users of Android phones would be aware that many of the free applications available in the Android Market contain Google Adverts. This is so that the program developer can earn a small income for their application unless they provide a paid version (no adverts)

Now if you have made the choice to “root” (unlock/jailbreak) and install a custom ROM, most of these come with a modified “hosts” file (/data/etc/hosts) that has a large list of known advertising, stat counters and similar all being redirected to (localhost) so in effect they are forced to resolve to an address where the intended address is elsewhere.

This has two outcomes, the first being that you won’t see the adverts or send statistics to services thus saving you on download data and keeping most websites looking clean and ad free. The second outcome is the loss of potential revenue from those adverts! So the question is…

Should custom Android ROMs block this content and in effect potentially hurt new developers from gaining a small income?

From my point of view I see a valid reason for both, but I noticed that this WordPress for Android application is affected by the modified hosts file for reviewing the stats of my blog because “” was included. Ok so some could say just remove that entry and you will be good to go… well yes that would be true, but if a needed service is required by any application that happens to be blacklisted like this is going to fail to function as it should, like me attempting to view my statistics via my Android!

Now if you don’t use an adblock plugin for your browser, you would notice that I have Google adsense advertising on this blog, I’ve never expected it to give me enough revenue to retire! But maybe a few coins to help pay the power/ISP bills! To date I’ve had neither, but I was never expecting that. But if you happen to be viewing my blog with your Android’s custom ROM then you would never had seen the adverts anyway!

So just something to ponder over if a free application has a black bar with nothing filling that space, you have just denied the program developer. 🙁

Posted from WordPress for Android

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