Microsoft Is Sneaking App Ads into Android Menus

It has been pointed out that in case a person uses a Microsoft app on their Android phone, Microsoft might be silently advertising its other apps in their ‘Share’ and ‘Open’ menus. It has been stated that Microsoft mobile apps offer some added options to the menus when one interacts with a file.

A news portal tested this with many Microsoft apps, and another technology and media networking site even affirmed that it’s certainly happening with Your Phone Companion, an app for synchronizing Android and Windows devices. So when one shared a photo from their phone with Your Phone Companion installed, then the sharing menu includes an extra icon ticketed “Microsoft OneDrive (Install)”. On tapping the icon, the Your Phone Companion app gets opened and it’s redirected to Google Play Store. Similar results were revealed while opening a PowerPoint presentation file with MicrosoftWord installed.

The issue has evidently been around for at least a few months. However, it didn’t get much attention. As cited by a leading news portal, Microsoft just started a desktop notification feature that allows the Your Phone Companion app more useful.

These little ads aren’t a huge inconvenience. Many people who install one Microsoft app will have others installed already, so they’ll just see usual icons. In fact, many people won’t even open PowerPoint or Excel files. Sharing photos is a far more common job, but dozens of never-used icons on the share screen, are hardly noticed by a user.

Even so, Microsoft is setting a bad example here. If every app developer followed its lead, Android menus would be even more crowded and confusing than they are now. Luckily, it has been mentioned that Android Q limits its effectiveness — so rather of seeing a misleading OneDrive icon, one would see the normal Your Phone Companion one.

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