TapContext is shit - breaking policy and making loosing active users!

How breaking google policy?

I got intersitials and notifications with … Betsafe, it’s casino, poker and bookmaker site in Europe. In USA and google play this site is forbidden.
Notification said: “Betsafe - wpłać i wygrywaj pieniądze” in translate for english “Betsafe - deposit and win money”
I saw also intersitials…

How making loose active users?

SPAMING ANTIVIRUS AD! Even I have one app with TapContext, my device was spammed with antivirus defender ad!

Intersitial : “xxx app : scanning” and this "pseudoantivirus’ found something and redirecting users to use credit card to download some application outside market. Sorry! It’s not legal… also ads have to be ok with google policies! Charging users outside market is illegal.

notification: “Scan ‘appname’ ? Tap for Security Scan by Armor for Android” OMG STUPID AD NETWORK! It’s telling users that my application can contains VIRUSES!!!


On app page of my application I have:
“Users installed too:
-Lookout security
-AntiVirus & Mobile Security”

“Users watched also:
-Free Antivirus
-Lookout security”


interesting… @rajan also reported getting banned for using TapContext, so this post definitely explains why. thanks for the info, will definitely not be trying them.

OMG!!! That´s why i am always hesitant to try new networks who come from nowhere :eek:


Look here on my last post… i have more images but haven’t time to mask my package names and uploading…

Thank you for your feedback. Even when you are pointing out perceived weaknesses in our ad delivery platform, we appreciate that you’re willing to make your voice heard and share your experience with TapContext. It provides an important opportunity for us to clear up misconceptions about our platform and how it works.

We would love for every developer who uses us to fall in love with our model and ad delivery mechanism. We think it’s a powerful new way to show ads. We also recognize that some people just aren’t going to like what we do or how we do it. So right up front, let’s agree that perhaps the TapContext network isn’t a good fit for you or your app. That’s ok.

There may be others, however, who would like to know more about how TapContext works and whether we are compliant with the developer policies… let me try and address all the concerns I’ve seen so far in the 2 forum threads referenced.

First, you are absolutely correct that the developer terms and content policies include any ads or links in your app. That’s why it’s extremely important to pick reputable ad networks who understand the Android ecosystem.

Of course, some of that responsibility also falls on the developer. For example, it’s up to you, as a developer, to rate your app appropriately given the ad networks you include. If you publish your app with an “everyone” rating and then include an ad network that shows location-based ads, you will be in violation of the Google Play developer policy (which requires at least a “Low Maturity” rating if location data is accessed). This is a rather common oversight by app developers, and one that is extremely difficult for ad networks to police. TapContext does not run adult or gambling ads and can safely be distributed in any app with a “Low Maturity” rating or higher.

To clarify regarding the post with screenshots, TapContext does not specifically identify your app (or any other app, for that matter) as a virus. A big part of what makes TapContext unique (and allows us to offer such generous payouts worldwide) is that our ads are contextual. In other words, when the user installs a new app, we partner with a service that asks if the user wants to scan their device for threats and malware. It should be noted that we specifically do not identify individual apps as threats during the subsequent scan.

Please also note that the malware scan, while quick and simple, is 100% real. It is not a fake scan designed to drive clicks and sales. We require all our contextual advertising partners to provide real and verifiable services to the user. In the case of the threat scanner you mentioned, the service provided is both truste and av-test certified. If the user has no threats, the contextual quick scan will tell them they have no threats. If they do have threats, malware, potentially unwanted apps, trojans, etc. then the quick scan will also tell them that.

The only thing “limited” about the scan is that it won’t scan unknown apps (apps not in the service provider’s threat database), and it doesn’t identify the apps that have been flagged. Both of those require the advanced version (which is how you get paid, we get paid, and the service provider gets paid).

Also, contextual ads triggered by real system conditions like a low battery shouldn’t be confused with simulating or impersonating system notifications or warnings. TapContext does not in any way attempt to impersonate system notifications or warnings. We do, however, display clearly identified ads, with proper attribution and opt-out information, for relevant apps and/or services for a low-battery condition. There is a rather large jump between impersonating a system warning and showing a clearly identified ad triggered by a system state. We neither impersonate the Android OS nor try to deceive the user in any way.

We also have other contextual points where we might display an ad. It could be as a result of an action taken by the user (for example, taking a picture might trigger an ad for a backup service or a photo editing app). Or it could be the result of system state (for example, a weak or lost signal might trigger an ad for a tower location app). These are all part of our patent-pending contextual triggering system, and is in no way trying to impersonate the system.

In fact, we feel like we’ve gone above and beyond to be compliant. Even in the screenshots you attached, it is exceedingly clear that it is an ad, which app triggered the ad, and how to opt out of receiving more ads. We do not use system icons or misleading labels in any way. We even changed the background color. We admit that what we’re doing is definitely new and different, and nobody else is currently doing what TapContext is doing. But that shouldn’t be confused with “not allowed.”

Lastly, there is no prohibition by Google against apps charging outside of Google Play, provided those apps aren’t distributed through Google Play. We agree that you cannot distribute your app through Google Play and charge for it using your own merchant processing.

There are other specific provisions, however, regarding advertising and distribution of non-market apps. Specifically, a Play app cannot “cause users to unknowingly download or install applications from sources outside of Google Play” or “use the Market to distribute or make available any Product whose primary purpose is to facilitate the distribution of software applications and games for use on Android devices outside of the Market.” TapContext does not cause your app to violate either of these policies. The user remains at choice and in control throughout the entire process (i.e. they cannot “unknowingly” download and install any advertised product or service). And you, as the developer, control whether the “primary purpose” of your app is to facilitate the distribution of non-market apps.

I hope this clarifies some of the questions surrounding our new ad platform. We are the first to admit that we haven’t figured everything out yet and still have work to do. We do, however, take our developers and their apps seriously. You are our lifeblood. Please continue to use our SDK and find areas where we can improve as a company and a service. If you have questions or concerns, we are here to help. Perhaps, if your app is appropriate, we can even use it as a backend contextual service provider.

We’re excited about this new way of advertising. It opens up many previously unavailable channels for monetizing and distributing your apps. But confusion and misinformation hurts everyone involved. Hopefully I have helped clear things up and addressed your concerns here. If not, I’m sure you’ll let me know :wink:

And I still can’t decide if I should give it a try or not on play store…

I would call BS on this.

  1. Without installing an app how is an Ad scanning for virus? Are you including antivirus software as part of your SDK?
  2. Why are these malware scan apps not in Play Store? Because they are scams and google booted them out for being scam?

In order to make money networks are putting developer’s businesses at Risk. To me it appears you are in clear violation of developer policies and got caught.

There is no way to scan phone via ad also for every scan you need explicit approval. But they know there is adware on phone because developer implemented their SDK. :rolleyes:
Always asked myself how someone can trust to portal, network, website that has wad of money on the front page? Its so unprofessional.

This surprised me too, at first. But on a technical level, it’s not difficult to make this work. Any app has permission to list all the packages you have installed. That’s right - you don’t need any special permissions for this. Surprising, but true. I just tried it myself, and was able to list every package on the system without adding a single permission to a new Android project.

So all TapContext has to do is grab a list of your installed apps, compare it with another list (provided by the antivirus “advertiser”) containing the package names of supposed malware. Then they can show the pretty “antivirus scan” window, which just has to scroll through the list, highlighting malware when it comes up.

This does raise an important question: is TapContext sending the list of installed apps to the advertiser? Or is the advertiser providing a list of malware, which the SDK compares on the client-side (i.e. without sending anything back to the server)? I’d think that both ways are technically legal (comply with Google Play policies). But sending a list of apps to a third party has significant privacy implications which developers should be made aware of.

I will give it a try now for one single day in play store.

The first thing to notice is, while I have 41 downloads on opera mobile store and 8 downloads from other sources, TapContext only shows 8 installs - sounds very very hardly like airpush -.-

I think it’s their way to show that extremely high RPMD

Yes I understand that. Buf if you look at what it means they have (part of) SDK implemented specifically for this kind of advertisers. As most of Virus Scan apps are a scam by themselves to me it feels they are in this game to make a quick buck based on scams.

The antivirus scan is real, it shows a progress bar with the name of every app you have installed as it scans each one. We’ve been using tap context for 2 weeks alongside a few other networks (startapp, appwiz) but I ran a quick test before and after adding the startapp sdk - tap context’s AV scan showed no threats the first time, but after adding startapp, the scan threw out a warning for “Armor.Trojan.Plankton” - so the scan is actually functional.

However, it doesn’t show the name of the “virus” app until a user enters their credit card info and agrees to the $0.99 subscription fee… per day!!! For a total of $30.69 prepaid every 31 days (although the initial $.99 is charged upfront so it’s less noticeable on their statement). Who would willingly pay that much for a service offered for free by a dozen more established AV apps?

This is what ramzip was referring to with the screenshot of his “users also installed” list, where everyone is installing AVG and stupid Avast to see what virus TapContext/Armor for Android is detecting. Except it’s not a virus. Startapp is just as compliant with Google’s policies as tap context, if not more. Calling them anything other than aggressive adware is misleading and a sad attempt at making AV apps seem more useful (which is why I hate avast, who i have contacted on multiple occasions to discuss the impact of their misusing terms like virus and malware).

But what happens when a user actually thinks their phone is infected, signs up with Armor for Android through our app, and then discovers it was our app that caused the warning?! And then a month later, realizes it costs $31 instead of $.99 like they thought while in a panic. Of course, tap context’s response would be to just not integrate the sdk in the same app with startapp, but I have worked very closely with Ariel over the years and am not willing to give up on them just yet. Especially not over some ripoff like Armor for Android and their suite of scam apps.

Unfortunately, Armor for Android is the only thing in Tap Context’s inventory. I’ve seen the AV app, a signal booster app (yeah sure), a battery saver app, and a cloud photo storage app - all made by armor for android, and all $.99 PER DAY (although that price seems to fluctuate every few days between $.99 daily or $7 weekly). This is unlike any other interstitial or push notification (who all advertise free apps based on IAPs), yet tap context’s entire business model relies on these subscriptions. That’s why revenue is shared over a 6 month period, armor for android is probably sharing 40-60% lifetime revenue generated by tap context’s publishers. After 5 months those future payouts should start adding up, but I doubt we’ll be with them for half that long if they don’t expand their inventory. Which sucks because I think the contextual ads are a cool concept, but armor for android is one of the biggest scams I’ve seen an android network advertising. You could buy life insurance for less than that

Actually i tested a few weeks back several av apps to see which one trigerred startapp/airpush has virus, and Avast was the only one that said the apps were safe without any warnings!, Maybe they did listen to you? :slight_smile:

I installed an app which had TapContext int it.

OMG! Every 10 minutes I got a notification after I closed the app, it was more than 50 notification from a single app in a single day. It was horrible experince.

Really? I never got too many from them. :confused:

Oh wow! I gave up trying to reason with them over a year ago so maybe the ad policy change last August was actually good for something lol. Avast doesnt even show the network names anymore, it only lists which apps have adware in the “privacy advisor” tab. Which is exactly where it should be, not in an interstitial using scare tactics like calling them a trojan or plankton. I just can’t get over the daily subscription fee, I would love to hear how Tap Context justifies this being reasonable. It really makes me question their legitimacy as an ad network rather than Armor for Android’s marketing team. Why aren’t there any other advertisers in TC’s inventory? Were they not able to secure any additional partnerships in the last 2+ months of being live, or are there just no other utility apps charging exorbitant subscription fees to satisfy their business model?

Btw, the notification ads seem to only be showing 3 times max per day for us (for 5 apps with TC so 10+ push ads), but the interstitial shows everytime the app goes into landscape mode. The only fix I’ve heard for this is to make the app portrait only, but what about tablet users…

It depends on your app but when it redraws the screen it also hits the ad. I had a startapp add that would do this because i redrew the screen and hit a ‘super.onCreate’ where my ad resides in a layout. I had to change it to portrait only. But no big deal it actually worked better that way. I have a game i had to make landscape only due to the same reason. But for those two apps they should have been fixed for those two orientations.

BTW i did find 2 older htc phones that would not deal right with the fixed orientation that 3600+ other phones would. Got a few emails about it. I researched it and they had the only phones that wouldn’t use a fixed orientation. Nothing i could do…

@moneymike55 no you can set a variable that states, if the onCreate was already executed or not. If no, show the ad, if yes, be kind to the users xD

Note that every single variable will be reset after orientation change and you have to use onSavedInstanceState

Yes be kind, especially with sound board apps where people put their heads up to it to hear (in a noisy place) and it sends another ad each time like mine did. lol

there are a ton of fixes for it. just google it and find a ton of stackoverflow hits on it. I went with the path of least resistance, but if you need both orientations there is a lot of info out there on how to do it multiple ways.

Just to summarize what Tapcontext is doing right now, is aggressive rebilling which was mainly done during the “Acai” supplements days. If anyone into affiliate marketing, they would know what i am talking about. Basically, the merchants were offering free trial of acai bottles for $1 or 99 cents and then charge them $99 after a week and then keep on charging them till they get mad lol. This worked well for well over a year but then it hit national news when Oprah got involved as her name was used to push products. Soon Visa and Mastercard banned all merchant processing accounts of these sellers and it was all over.

I have little or no doubt the armour for android product and those other scammy ones like battery optimizer are somehow owned by the tapcontext guys. Its funny that no one in the world other than these scammy apps want to buy all their inventory worldwide :slight_smile:

Its just a matter of time before Visa and Mastercard bans this rebill activity. Then the $40 RPMD party is over. The only reason they are delaying the payments over 6 months is they don’t want to pay up all this money upfront in case hell broke lose.

Good Luck to those who are sticking with tapcontext