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Found A Free App? There May Be Strings Attached

(Credit: Josep Lago/Getty Images)

(Credit: Josep Lago/Getty Images)

Ian Bush Ian Bush
Ian Bush is an anchor, reporter, news editor, and technology editor&nb...
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By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Some smartphone apps are free, but there’s a price to pay.

The app developers have to make money somehow. On iPhone and iPad, iAds mostly appear as small banners.

But on Android, PCWorld executive editor Tom Spring says (via Skype) that they pop up on the notification screen.

“You get an advertisement that tries to get you to click onto a link, and it’ll take you to a website or it’ll take you to the app store, or to try to get you to download a different app.”

Others install shortcuts on your home screen and in your bookmarks folder. Spring says some of the most popular apps in the Marketplace have them, and with many, there’s no warning.

Spring recommends using a program like Addons Detector, AdFree Android or AirPush Detector. And read the store feedback.

“The users are typically ones that will gripe and complain and give them one-star reviews. And that’s where you’re going to find out whether or not there’s adware included in the app you’re going to download,” Spring explains.

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