Every day hundreds of new apps are added to the PlayStore. But quantity not necessarily means quality. When developers are motivared by purely short-term revenue gain, they tend to use various dirty techniques to make as much money as possible during the app’s short run.
One of such techniques is to show popup ads on the phone. Quite often app will wait for few days before start of the shitshow and it may not be obvious which app is guilty. This post shows few methods of identifying such apps.
Whenever you see reviews or number of installs, keep in mind that those numbers may not be genuine. Of course, Google is doing its best to protect integrity of that data, but reality is that bad actors can buy fake installs, reviews. Even the app itself can be bought, so don’t be tricked by quality of the app.
If you recently ibnstalled app, especially from unknown publisher - high chance that those app is responsible for popup ads. Need more proof? Let’s got to the next method.
This method is also pretty straight forward and does not require any special tools or skills.
Whenever popup is shown, press Overview button on the phone and check the icon of the activity/screen. Often it will be the icon of the app itself. Go find that app and delete it (don’t forget to write bad review for it and report abuse)
However, this method won’t work whenever developer deliberately tried to hide the app by using different icon:
Fortunately, Android comes with plenty of useful debugging and troubleshooting commands.
One of such tools is
dumpsys is a tool that runs on Android devices and provides information about system services. You can call dumpsys from the command line using the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) to get diagnostic output for all system services running on a connected device.
After installed, you can run following command to identify rogue app (look for mFocusedApp or mCurrentFocus):
In this example you can see that running package is com.
David Šmíd suggested one easy method that eliminates the need for method 3.
If you press the button to switch apps (Overview button), long press on the app icon and another icon appears on the right to go to app info screen. Tap on ‘i’ button and it will reveal the app info.
These three methods will help to find which app is responsible for annoying ad popups on Android phones. Please don’t forget to report abuse and leave appropriate comment.