In a rather surprising turn of events, Amazon has announced that it will be changing its Prime Exclusive phone program in significant ways. It has promised to remove lockscreen ads, and only the lockscreen ads, on its phones, though in exchange for a slightly higher price tag. But that is only going to happen with an update that hasn’t rolled out yet to all users. If you’re feeling a bit impatient, you can actually get rid of those pesky ads now just by sideloading this APK.
Prime Exclusive phones are almost Amazon’s answer to carrier subsidized phones. Almost. Available exclusively to its Prime club, it only has a few models available in its selection. Its cheaper price did have some other price to pay, in the form of targeted ads in widgets and especially on the lock screen.
Google, however, has been cracking down on apps that place ads on the lockscreen. That is, unless you’re actually an app whose purpose is to place ads on the locksreen. Whether Google’s new policy was brought about by its recent and ongoing spat with Amazon over YouTube on Amazon devices, among other things, is still conjecture at this point. At the end of the day, Amazon had to adjust.
So it’s removing lockscreen ads in an upcoming update. That update, however, can be manually installed now by downloading an APK. The APK is for the Amazon Offers app which is in charge of placing ads on the lock screen. It’s still a pleasant surprise that Amazon hasn’t apparently locked down its phones to the point that you can’t simply sideload an APK. That said, since you are downloading and installing from unverified sources, the usual precautions still apply. If you’d rather not risk it, you’ll have to wait for the update, if and when it comes to your particular Prime Exclusive phone.