Android News

Lookout Ad Network Detector Brings More Transparency to Android Advertising

February 24, 2012 | by Jamie Maltman

Android Apps, Android apps, Tools

Lookout Ad Network Detector

Lookout Labs continues to do their best to keep up with the aggressive malware and adware creators in the Android ecosystem. Hot off the heels of releasing the well-received beta Push Ad Detector a few weeks ago, that identified if any of the six known push ad networks were at play in any of your apps, now they’ve extending it and re-releasing it as Ad Network Detector.

Ad Network Detector gives you even more information to understand and manage what is going on within the apps on your phone, and how they tie in to advertising. It scans your phone for the 35 mainstream ad networks, including the ones that were already identified by the Push Ad Detector that can pop up ads to the system notification bar.

The additional information it  provides includes:
- what types of ads can be displayed (including aggressive ones like adding desktop icons or changing or adding bookmarks)
- what personal information they can collect

Now that you can see this easily for each app, it puts the power in your hands to decide what is appropriate and what is over the line. If you decide a particular app has gone too far, you can vote with your feet and uninstall.

Here’s the list of all the ad networks that are currently identified by the app:

  • AdFonic
  • AdKnowledge
  • Admia
  • AdMob
  • AdWhirl
  • Aduru
  • AirAd
  • Airpush
  • Appenda
  • Burstly
  • BuzzCity
  • Cauly
  • GreyStripe
  • JumpTap
  • InMobi
  • IZP
  • LeadBolt
  • Letang
  • LogiaAd
  • MDotM
  • Medialets
  • Millenial
  • MobClix
  • MobFox
  • MOcean
  • Moolah Media
  • MoPub
  • Pontiflex
  • Smaato
  • StartApp
  • TapJoy
  • Tapit
  • Vdopia
  • Vserv
  • ZestAdz

Lookout Labs will continue to add to this list and will expand the types of ads that are identified as new ones are developed.

We applaud all Android developers that profit from their apps, and ads are an important part of the business model. The ad networks continue to come up with new and targeted ways to serve their ads and make them more effective, and this has and will continue to irritate some users as they find out what people respond to, and what makes them angry.

The issue is that with so many apps requiring a bewildering array of permissions and access to data that aren’t obviously necessary, users need more transparency and a better understanding to make an informed decision and Lookout continues to strive to serve that need. New products like Ad Network Detector should continue to help find a balance between the needs of the advertisers and consumers in this ever shifting marketplace.