You have probably encountered them. Most likely if you use some of the cheap smartphones flooding the market, you have met lock screen ads. Their presence has been a major point of concern for users going as far back as a year ago on most Chinese phone brands. But lock screen apps have not been a preserve of an annoying push by select device makers. App developers, too, are in the mix. Lock screen ads are the new annoying Android notification shade adware menace of 2012. When you download some apps, like those developed by Cheetah Mobile (CM Transfer quickly comes to mind), they will not hesitate to show you ads when your device is plugged in (for charging purposes) while still connected to the internet.
Google knows this. It knows how irritating it can be more so for unsuspecting users who now have to wonder why they are staring at banners asking them to install the Uber app.
Some policy changes made by Google will have developers of apps that sneak in lock screen ads shaking in their boots. “Unless the exclusive purpose of the app is that of a lock screen, apps may not introduce ads or features that monetize the locked display of a device,” Google’s revised monetization and ad policies read.
However, this does not mean that this is the last we will be hearing about ads on lock screens. While Google has moved to block apps that are not meant to show ads on the lock screen, it is not prohibiting developers of apps whose functionality includes acting as lock screens from doing so. The onus is now on users to carefully vet the lock screen apps they choose to install on their devices if they want to keep such annoying ads behind them.