Ads invade people's phone keyboards and promote products as they type

HTC has angered customers after adverts started appearing on their phones’ keyboards.

When people start typing, banner ads are popping up above the top row of keys and word suggestions, promoting a range of products and companies.

As well as leading to speculation that every single thing users type – including passwords and PIN keys – is being recorded, the ads also take up a significant chunk of screen space.

The unusual and worrying issue was first spotted by a user over the weekend, and HTC has admitted it was the result of a mistake.

Redditor Azirack posted a screenshot of a keyboard ad on his HTC 10, and it attracted a lot of attention from fellow users of the site.

HTC handsets come pre-installed with a third-party keyboard called TouchPal.

The free version of TouchPal comes with ads, but they’re not supposed to appear on HTC’s phones.

“TouchPal is a third party app,” the company said on Twitter.

It’s also been telling affected users to: “Please go to Settings>Apps>All apps>Look for the app (TouchPal)>Uninstall updates”.

TouchPal has been hit with a number of negative reviews since the rogue update rolled out, with numerous users threatening to switch to another keyboard app, such as Gboard.

“Due to an error, some HTC customers have reported seeing ads on their phone’s keyboard,” HTC told Engadget

“This is absolutely not the experience we intended, and we’re working to immediately fix the error and remove the ads as quickly as possible.”

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