Published: Wed, February 07, 2018
Science | By Dan Gutierrez

Amazon Prime Exclusive phones to ditch lock screen ads

Amazon Prime Exclusive phones to ditch lock screen ads

Amazon says that it's removing lockscreen ads to facilitate the use of fast unlocking technologies like fingerprint sensors and facial recognitions that have more or less made the lockscreen somewhat obsolete. Now, with a fresh software update that'll begin rolling out tomorrow, you won't see any ads on the lock screen at all. Now, the biggest advertising surface on the phones, the lock screen, is being scrubbed of advertising.

In December, Google added a new rule to the Google Play Developer Policy saying, "Unless the exclusive objective of the app is that of a lock screen, apps may not introduce ads or features that monetize the locked display of a device". The new rule, labeled "Lockscreen Monetization" reads, "Unless the exclusive objective of the app is that of a lockscreen, apps may not introduce ads or features that monetize the locked display of a device". As a result of all this, Amazon has had to re-think its phone program. And in perhaps even more exciting news, customers who now own a Prime Exclusive device will receive a free update over the next week that will take away lockscreen ads. But the apps are also updated through the Play Store, so the rules should apply to any updates. All Amazon Prime Exclusive Phones will continue to be unlocked and available at prices slightly lower than those without the Amazon experience inside.

Amazon Prime Exclusive phones to ditch lock screen ads
Amazon Prime Exclusive phones to ditch lock screen ads

The only downside to these reduced phones is that they come with Amazon's preinstalled apps, like Prime Video and Prime Music, as well as an Amazon Widget, which displays ads and offers. They removed the lockscreen ads, making their devices far closer to the standard non-ad-filled Android experience available on all non-Amazon phones.

The question now is: "What does the future of Amazon's cheap phone program look like?" We may be provided this information directly from the device or its manufacturer. So do Prime phones just become more expensive now?

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