The Dying Legendary Apps & Developers

So, you would have read about the bloatware and adware that is now a part of ES File Explorer. Let's talk about it a bit and other apps which suffered a similar fate.

ES File Explorer

I will summarise the issue in just a few lines. So, the most recent update of ES File Explorer brought in something known as DU Battery Booster, available as a "Charging Boost" option within the app. If you enable this, your lock screen will be flooded with ads and all that. The screenshots below summarise it all:

The Aftermath:

Clearly, this made the app lovers angry and they expressed their frustration in the form of one star ratings on the Play Store and bad reviews on the XDA thread too. This forced the developer to come out and calm down the chaos. Here is what he had to say in the form of a reply to a review on the Play Store:

Sorry for inconvenience. Charging Boost is a new feature provided to make charging faster by limiting the power consumption of your device during charging. You can turn on & off from left Navigation Bar or the charging screen. About ads, we made a difficult decision, but it's one that will let's operate ES into the future. Hope you can understand

I have taken up this issue a bit later in this post. So, read on.

If you are looking for a version of ES File Explorer minus the bloatware, either use ES File Explorer Pro or use ES File Explorer 4.0.5. Get the APK by clicking here.


Considered by most of us as the best gallery app, QuickPic was acquired by Cheetah Mobile in September 2015. Cheetah Mobile is the creator of the apps like Clean Master. So for those who don't know, Clean Master doesn't make your phone faster, in fact slows it down. It is full of useless and crappy things that we don't even need. Plus, it also consists of adware and all. So, in short, Cheetah Mobile has a very bad reputation. When the acquisition happened, the natural thoughts were that QuickPic might get flooded with bloatware just like other Cheetah Mobile apps. It did happen to some extend. Cheetah Mobile started offering a free cloud storage of 1 TB (1000 GB). Seriously! Who would offer you 1 TB for free? Obviously, they would have had something in their mind. Then, there were claims that Cheetah Mobile may steal our data and sell it to other companies.

What did Cheetah Mobile had to say regarding all this mess?

In a response to an AndroidPolice post, here is what Cheetah Mobile said:

QuickPic is a popular picture gallery tool that has been out for a long time, accumulating its own unique technical and functional advantages. Tons of users enjoy QuickPic today, and we’re excited to make even more progress with the app.

On top of its solid, yet light-weight (~1MB) foundations, Cheetah Mobile plans to build more user-oriented product features. Cheetah Mobile will also combine CM Backup for a more simpler, speedier, and safer cloud storage experience.

Cheetah Mobile currently does not have any plan to charge users for QuickPic or place intensive advertising in it. Our focus is on improving the user experience and developing new functions.

Data privacy is a primary concern for Cheetah Mobile. No personally-identifiable information is ever passed back to us from our apps, and any data that is collected as part of routine app functions is always completely anonymous. For users outside of China, Cheetah Mobile stores anonymized app usage data on Amazon’s AWS overseas servers using industry-standard encryption.

Well, till now I haven't seen any adware in the app though, but what about my data privacy? I won't ever in my life trust Cheetah Mobile for it. Even though they do say "no personally-identifiable information is ever passed back to us". But, after seeing apps like Clean Master and all the other apps from them filled with bloatware, I didn't trust them a bit and started using QuickPic minus the Cheetah Mobile stuff, that is QuickPic version 4.5.2. (Here is the APKMirror link:

Why is all this happening?

The one word answer is money. Developers need to earn too. After all, they have to spend their precious hours making all the wonderful apps we use.  What do they get in turn for hours of hard work? Some good ratings on the Play Store, respect from the Android community, some thanks to uplift their thanks meter on XDA and appreciation. In the world we are living in today, we need money to do most of our things. So, to earn money, developers collaborate with companies like Cheetah Mobile or DU, or even sell their apps to these companies because they are lured by money.

In a conversation with a Recognised Developer & Recognised Contributor at XDA (name withheld) on Hangouts, I asked him what he thought about the QuickPic issue (after it had been acquired by Cheetah Mobile). He told me that it's not a thing that would astound him. According to him, to make an app which is as popular as QuickPic, one "needs to work off their ass". It involves "tons of hard work". And then to maintain the app till that level and at the same time be innovative enough to pack in new features and meet user expectations is "something that is really demanding and frustrating sometimes. Because you don't get money for it & need to concentrate on job or college." He went on to say that he knew developers who were leading a miserable life and were developing just out of the respect they got from the community.

I will ask him and if he allows me, I will put up the entire conversation for you guys to read. Give me a day or two for that!

But, anyways, the situation is pretty clear. Developers need to be supported, in monetary terms.

What is the solution then?

Clearly, XDA needs to step in. XDA itself earns from ads. But, we aren't allowed to post shortened ad links (like, It's against the rules.

I think this has to change. XDA needs to change it's stance in this regard at least. Maybe, allow developers to use Adsense codes in the XDA Dev-DB projects. Adsense is Google's ad network. So, clearly, something has to be done.

But, yeah, we need to reach out to XDA and tell them to help out the developers. Because, if you are an Android developer, you would have visited XDA at least once in your life time.

Shortened ad links and Adsense ads would help developers earn and maybe, it would support the developers in monetary terms.

More importantly, it will keep all of the Android community together. We use developer's stuff and help them earn at the same time. I wish things would change soon!

In the end, if XDA does not do something, maybe I will try and do something for all the Android developers out there. 

Let me know what you guys think about this issue and any resolutions, if you have.

Krittin Kalra
Krittin Kalra is a 20 year old Android freak. Striving for passions, chasing down his dreams and living a life without regrets is his sole mantra. A bit moody, he also does custom ROM reviews for AndroGuider. Currently pursuing his B.Tech, he aspires to follow his heart.
The Dying Legendary Apps & Developers The Dying Legendary Apps & Developers Reviewed by Krittin Kalra on 5/12/2016 12:54:00 PM
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