Tech - News
The File Explorer App You Should Probably Stop Using On Android
By JULIAN VAN DER MERWE
If you've been in the Android community for a decent length of time, you'll at least have heard of ES File Explorer, an app that has access to the phone’s entire file system. When app and device safety comes up, most people think about the safety of their individual devices and the data on them, but the ES File Explorer committed an offense against Google itself.
Google's biggest issue with ES File Explorer was that its developer, DO Global, was committing click fraud — the practice of generating ad revenue from in-app ads by faking taps on users' devices in the background. The app tricked Google and its advertisers into believing that the users were tapping on ads when, in reality, they weren’t.
DO Global owning ES File Explorer also brought up privacy concerns regarding user data stored in China. Between obtrusive in-app ads, notifications that insisted that you upgrade to the paid version, and the aforementioned privacy concerns and violations of the Google Play Store terms of service, it became impossible to recommend ES File Explorer.
Google eventually removed ES File Explorer from the Play Store — which wouldn't necessarily remove it from your phone, so it’s best to remove it if you still have it. DO Global posted a message to its homepage, claiming it was unaware of the misuse and "irregularities," stating that it was launching an investigation and cooperating with Google to help resolve the issue — and the app is yet to reappear on the Play Store.