Bad App!

Random story from a random Android App: the "Photo Manager" app that I was using in my phone was updated a couple weeks ago. Opening my photos now requires the following steps:

  1. Tap the icon to open the app.
  2. Deny access to my location, because you don't need that to show me photos.
  3. Deny access to my calendar, because you don't need that either.
  4. Get sent back to the main screen, because the app will not run without this information.

This is a typical marketing tactic to try and sell my personal data for a higher price, but I was surprised at how brazen it was: most apps would still work, as selling me bad ads is better that selling none, but apparently the cost of me having their app installed is too high. Or maybe it was bad error handling. There's no way to know.

I was ready to uninstall it (which I did) and call it a day, but then I looked a bit deeper. It turns out that I was wrong, and the app is not developed by some obscure adware company in an effort to catch some low-hanging fruit. Instead, it was (probably) sold to a company first, which then repacked it with ads in an effort to catch some low-hanging fruit. Do you have an app you'd like to sell them? Here's a link. I'm willing to bet this specific app was sold around January 2019, as that would explain why they have gotten (almost) nothing but bad reviews for a year straight.

I don't really have a deeper point. I was just surprised at how quickly the app went to hell, and thought entrepreneurial people would appreciate it as a case study on what not to do.