back to article Rogue Android apps rack up hidden charges

Applications installed on an Android handset are capable of automatically switching on data connectivity, and roaming, so their owners run up huge data charges. Several US users have complained of unexpected data charges being run up on their G1 handsets, and Engadget reports that T-Mobile has put out a statement clarifying that …

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Jobs Halo

Smug iPhone Owner........

And people have the audacity to complain that Apple vets each app before it is allowed on the app store. At least i can relax in the knowledge that my phone wont run up massive data charges!!!!

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Stop

Oh lordy, ha ha ha

The 'solution' provided by the 'what's needed' comment is complete bollocks frankly.

No app should be allowed to cost you money without you not knowing, home network or not.

Epic failure, rattlement and exposure.

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Joke

Let me be the first to say

My iPhone wouldnt do that as Apple has a stranglehold on the market and it turns water into wine.

/No I dont have an iPhone

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Pirate

In Today's Lesson, We Learn...

...exactly why Apple has been so scroogish with their application dev.

I'll bet there are some REAL NASTY Android apps waiting in the shadows, with brickbats.

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Not the apps at fault

Not really the apps at fault is it?

Android, being basically unfinished, added an option that doesn't work properly.

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Thumb Down

The real problem here is...

...the carriers are still fleecing people for data charges.

With the advent of the iPhone and Android (and all the other 'smartphones around') it's about time the carriers - who punt mobile internet connectivity as if it's a right not a privilege - started making the charging structure so people can just us it without running up large bills.

It's not fair to blame the app developers, nor the platform. If a platform comes out which offers GPS, web connectivity, etc., etc then why not use it? Complaining that it's the app devs fault is a bit like somebody complaining when they installed vista without having broadband and then had to pay for 3 weeks' of constant dial-up connection costs because it had to download 300MB of updates.

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molested by a robot!!

behold the googlebeast has ticks, leaches and oh? FAIL!!!! :D

(and to retain impartiality: hahaha AppleBoi's why doesn't your jesusphone let you cut and paste? hahaha FAIL!)

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Er ....

Mwahahahahahahahahaha!

(Collective response of Apple Fanbois, of which I'm one!)

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Paris Hilton

@Oh lordy

Regards the solution: Most people have home wifi that doesn't cost anything to use (other than the monthly broadband cost). I guess yours charges for bandwidth?

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Alert

Unlimited?

Guess it all goes back to the old issue of how unlimited, is unlimited!

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jai
Silver badge
Jobs Halo

<--- another smug iphone owner

there were so many El Reg readers last year saying how horrific it was that Apple were locking down the apps on the iPhone and how it was a human rights violations and all sorts and how Android would show the world the way

funny how none of them have commented on this story to explain why it's still such a good idea to allow apps on the device this kind of control

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Anonymous Coward

Odd

How strange. Windows Mobile doesn't have an App Store, and I've never had an app initiate a shady data connection wtihout telling me.

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I blame the users

It warns you before you download any app what it can do on your phone (even pathetic stuff like "disable sleep mode"), if you accept that the app you're downloading can connect when it wants, then it's your own fault!

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Jobs Horns

@How Strange

I've had a Windows app initiate a data connection without notifying me. That's because I wanted an app that would do that. I'd be a bit miffed if I'd bought an iPhone and found that an app which needed to instantiate a connection (e.g., an RSS aggregator) couldn't do so because of some dumb limitation of the OS.

Although the iPhone circumvents the 'shady background apps initiating a connection' by not allowing any apps to run in the background. D'oh.

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Dead Vulture

not every user reads the small print....

If I actually read the agreements of all the software I've ever downloaded/installed, I'd be sitting here reading with a backlog of about 2 years to go.

A tombstone 'cause that's where I'll be by the time I've read them all.

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@Matt Bradley

That's really great Matt, don't take your *mobile* phone out of range of your home WiFi in case you get raped by roaming charges. Awesome

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Don
Linux

Settings

It is true that an app can send network data on its own if you grant it permissions for that. But there is a setting which disables data when roaming:

Settings -> Wireless Controls -> Mobile networks -> Data roaming - Connect to data services when roaming.

This is enabled by default but can be turned off. I wonder if apps are overriding this as well or if unchecking this would solve the problem. It seems like it would be better to have this setting disabled by default to prevent this sort of thing and to not let applications override it. So I suspect a work-around would be to simply uncheck this setting.

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Coat

eh?

Not having looked at android yet I'm not sure how configurable the connections are but surely this should be easy for anyone with even minimal tech skills.

Simply set up any WIFI connections with your preferred encryption and passwords etc and then set any network data (GPRS/EDGE/HSDPA etc) connections to request a password.

When I'm anywhere that I have "unlimited" access, data works no problems, If i'm out and want to go online, the phone wont connect unless I switch the password option off on the connection I want to use.

none of the network defined connections actually require a password but forcing the phone to ask for one prevents it from inadvertantly connecting and me having to explain high data charges to my boss - takes a few seconds to change the setting

mines the one with the large pocket for the rediculous N61 calulator lookalike that work requires i carry around...

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Paris Hilton

smug mobile user

doesn't use apps... saving £hundreds.

I have a camera for taking pictures, a piece of paper for taking notes and I install programs on a computer which has reasonable security. The phone I use just as a phone. Oh, and these rogue apps were nothing to do with me.

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