Back in 2016, Amazon introduced Prime Exclusive Phones that took a page from its Kindle line and featured lockcsreen offers and ads. In exchange, the devices are available to Prime subscribers at a subsidized price. This month, Amazon is dropping lockscreen offers and ads on all Prime Exclusive Phones. This is likely due to recent Google Play rule changes.
Amazon began alerting customers of the change in an email this morning. An update to the Amazon Offers app is rolling out today to disable lockscreen offers and ads. Meanwhile, Prime Exclusive Phones sold from tomorrow will adopt the new changes out of the box. The company frames this as as allowing users more customization:
This will allow you to more easily use your phone’s mobile unlock technology, as well as personalize your lockscreen with a photo or wallpaper.
However, it’s important to note that in December, Google banned Play Store apps that put ads on your lockscreen. As the preloaded apps on these devices are distributed via Google Play, Amazon has to abide by these rules.
Amazon will still offer unlocked phones to Prime members at a discount. Numerous Amazon apps and service will continue to be preloaded, while the limited-time offers are still viewable through a widget.
A look at the updated FAQ notes that Amazon is still otherwise collecting usage data, including “your device’s interaction with software, applications, and services on the device.”
We collect information about your use of your device, including your device’s system and stability, applications and services on the device, and your device’s interaction with software, applications, and services on the device. We may be provided this information directly from the device or its manufacturer. We use this information in order to provide, improve, and maintain the operability of our products and services, including the Amazon Widget app.
Update: There are some reports that users who already paid to remove lockscreen ads are eligible for refunds. Try contacting Amazon support.
Thanks Alijah Lettieri
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