Thursday, 22 December 2011

Bloat Freezer abuses Airpush ads to blackmail you

Bloat and junk

Your phone manufacturer or network operator may have filled your Android phone with bloatware and other junk, such as Myspace, Carrier IQ, a bunch of live wallpapers, etc.

It's tempting to delete all that junk from your phone, but this usually means that you can't update Android the normal way because the update program will complain about missing bits and pieces. And when you need to get something on your phone fixed under warranty you'll have to reinstall all the junk before unrooting.

Freeze it

But there's another way to deal with unwanted junk. Apps like Titanium and MyBackup can "freeze" Android apps. This way they stay on your phone, but they disappear from your app drawer and won't run. If you need to get your phone back to a state suitable to receive updates or repairs under warranty you can unfreeze the junk, unroot your phone, then reroot and refreeze when your phone is updated or repaired.

Unfortunately the freeze features of Titanium and MyBackup are only available in the paid versions.

Bloat Freezer by Trey Holland promises to freeze your apps for free. It sort of delivers: it doesn't cost you any money, but you pay a price anyway.

Obnoxious advertising and market abuse

Bloat Freezer is infected with the most obnoxious type of mobile adverting ever invented: Airpush. This advertising scheme scam pollutes your Android notification bar with ads, even when you're not using the infected app.

Bloat Freezer has a history of malware-like bahaviour. It used to sabotage AdFree and AdAway by infecting your Android hosts file to unblock blocked ad servers.

There used to be an ad-free version of Bloat Freezer. People bought it and paid for it, but then it was pulled from the market. The people who paid Trey Holland for an ad-free app can't use it anymore and are stuck with the ad-infected version. They didn't get a refund.

But Trey has another trick up his sleeve. Now you can remove his Airpush ads for free, but you'll play along with a blackmail-like market rating scam. You're supposed to ask for an activation code by email, but you only get it if you leave a five star rating on the Android Market plus a positive review.

Usually apps with Airpush get lots of one star ratings and matching negative comments. By blackmailing you into giving five stars plus public praise Bloat Freezer abuses the most annoying advertising method to inflate its ratings and turn the market feedback system into a PR scheme scam.

Stay away from Bloat Freezer and use one of the alternatives instead. If you really want to try Trey Hollands piece of blackmailware, ask for the Airpush removal code and then go back to the market to edit your feedback. Change your rating into a single star and use the comment box to tell everybody what you really think about this kind of Airpush abuse.

The Android Market has a link to report malicious apps. Use it! I'm sure that offering to remove ads in exchange for fake ratings violates the small print.

Update: Bloat Freezer has disappeared from the Android Market again. I guess Google doesn't like Trey Hollands business ethics either.

• Bloat Freezer (no link until Trey Holland cleans up his app)


App Quarantine (completely free, no ads whatsoever)
SystemCleanup (can kill and freeze unwanted apps)
NoBloat (backs up, removes, and restores apps)

tweet this reddit digg this StumbleUpon digg this digg this


  1. @Android underground: I didn't find another way to contact you, so I'm posting here:

    If you are looking for even more alternatives then check out APP QUARANTINE. It is not only 100% free (no ads at all) but also offers a homescreen widget for quick action and supports Android 4.0

    Market link:

  2. Thanx! I added the link to the list.

  3. Good post. It took me a while to figure out what was going on with my wife's phone. I can't believe this developer went that far. It's very bad and I hope his users lash back.

  4. I was one of the people who paid a buck for this and just realized the push ads I was getting were coming from here. One dollar times everyone who paid along with his ad money adds up. This is fraud and theft. I'm looking for others to start a class action lawsuit against this thief. Where do we start?

  5. I had back and forth emails with this dev for almost a month until his out-right lies caused me to go public on the XDAforums about a month ago. Everything the author says in the above post is 100% true. Trey Holland is a thief of the first order. No other way to slice it.