OEMs partnering with third-party Android keyboard options to provide a better typing experience is nothing new. We’ve seen it since the early days of Android, and HTC has been open to these kinds of partnerships. Recently, however, the company’s partnership with TouchPal has been in hot water.
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Over the weekend, an update to the TouchPal Keyboard for HTC flipped the switch on advertisements within the keyboard. Free keyboard app or not, showing ads between your keys and the content you’re using is just not acceptable, but that’s another issue.
HTC’s partnership with TouchPal provides the company’s devices with a different version of the keyboard compared to what you might see if you download TouchPal from the Play Store. Presumably, TouchPal mistakenly pushed an update for the public version of the app to the HTC version, or just made this change without HTC’s approval.
Understandably, affected HTC users are not happy. This isn’t just happening with only the U11 either, as this same keyboard has been preinstalled on many HTC devices. For now, the two ways of fixing this are to uninstall updates on TouchPal on your device, and the second is to just use another keyboard, like Gboard.
If you’re fine with waiting, HTC is already working (via Engadget) to remove the ads, so I’d assume that an update will be pushed in the next couple of days.
Due to an error, some HTC customers have reported seeing ads on their phone’s keyboard. This is absolutely not the experience we intended, and we’re working to immediately fix the error and remove the ads as quickly as possible.