A couple of disturbing and growing threads on Reddit and XDA allege that – after the latest software update – Galaxy Note 4 users on T-Mobile have some unwanted and potentially invasive software. Software dubbed DT_Ignite has purportedly been installed on the Note 4 along with the update, but – according to user responses – isn’t a regular piece of wanted software. Instead, it’s been installing apps on to customer phones without their permission.
Complaints state that apps named Cookie Jam, Drippler and RetailMeNot are being installed. And, although they can be uninstalled, they automatically show up again upon restarting the device. And, to make matters worse, DT_Ignite cannot be uninstalled through the regular means. As noted by Reddit user Real666_: “The app is found in /system/priv-app. The file is Ignite_TMO.apk. Package name is com.LogiaGroup.LogiaDeck.”
Possible reasons for the apps showing up again after being uninstalled can be seen in DT_Ignite’s app permissions which include (among many others):
- Download files without notification
- Full network access
- Run at startup
DT_Ignite, or to give it the full title “Digital Turbine Ignite” is a program developed specifically for carrier handsets. And, from the words of the company itself:
Digital Turbine Ignite lets mobile operators regain a competitive edge, maximizing the efficiency of pre and post loading applications on smartphones for more advertising revenue. Carriers can cut down the long process of authorizing and implementing apps by the OEM, and instead lead the market with the most up-to-date app packages and customized CPI deals, right from initial device activation.
Now you can see why this would appeal to carriers. It would allow them to sidestep a lot of the waiting for OEM’s to allow their pre-installed apps to be approved. Instead, they have a way to push content directly to users’ phones. And many carriers including Verizon, Cricket and Boost have signed up, and are using the software. As is T-Mobile.
For the sake of not turning this in to another “U2 is forcing its free album on us!” first world moan, I’d like to try and apply some balance here. For the reasons mentioned in the above paragraph, this could be a good thing. T-Mobile could – for instance – receive its device shipments, and get them to customers quicker without needing to get the nod from OEMs to install carrier-specific software. Instead, just having the apps pushed to the devices when they’re booted up for the first time.
At the same time, it’s not okay for apps that aren’t even carrier specific to be be pushed to devices without customers requesting them. I mean, if I was going to be “gifted” a Candy Crush ripoff (like Cookie Jam) I’d like to be able to delete it, and to have it stay deleted. Permanently.
It’d be naïve for us to think that T-Mobile isn’t in the money-making business. At the same time, I’m also idealistic and optimistic enough to assume that it isn’t the kind of company which wants to provide a poor experience for its customers just to make a few more bucks. And given its recent comments about other carriers loading bloatware on to their Nexus 6’s, you’d think the Un-carrier would have the same values regarding its entire handset portfolio.
Nobody’s being charged for any of these and – as far as we’re away – none of these apps are being “forced” on to any other devices. That said, it’s fair to say there’s a lot of frustration making its way to the forums.
Are you bothered by this free stuff landing on your phone? Have you experienced it? Let us know in the comments. It’ll be interesting to see how many people have noticed.
UPDATE: You can disable DT_Ignite by heading into Settings>Apps>All Apps, then finding it in the list.
For more information read these sources:
Thanks for the tip, Byron.