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OnePlus is sneakily installing an app on existing phones and users are angry

OnePlus users have taken to the Google Play Store to review-bomb the app.

Published onSeptember 4, 2020

A picture of the OnePlus Buds true wireless earbuds in white and Nord Blue next to a OnePlus 7 Pro smartphone with the earbuds menu pulled up on the screen.
Lily Katz / Android Authority
  • OnePlus is forcing the installation of the OnePlus Buds app on its phones.
  • Users have flooded its Play Store listing with negative comments and one-star ratings.
  • It seems as if it’s a stub app OnePlus is simply activating right now.

OnePlus is under fire from users for sneakily installing the dedicated OnePlus Buds app on existing phones. We got a tip about the issue from an Android Authority reader named Segio, who uses a OnePlus 6 and mysteriously found the OnePlus Buds app downloaded on his phone.

Just like Segio, many other OnePlus users have noticed the unauthorized installation of the OnePlus Buds app. Most of these users don’t own a pair of the company’s true wireless earbuds.

The OnePlus Buds app is designed to help users download firmware updates and tinker with the settings of the buds. Users can also track their OnePlus Buds with the app in case they ever get misplaced. Currently, the app is only downloadable on OnePlus phones but that doesn’t really matter because OnePlus is forcing the installation of the app on existing devices.

Also read: OnePlus interview: Behind the scenes with the controversial Oxygen OS 11 update

Angry OnePlus users are review-bombing the app on the Google Play Store with one-star ratings and negative comments. “Listen to your users. Don’t force the installation of an app if we don’t want to purchase the corresponding hardware,” writes one disgruntled user. There are also several complaints saying that the app can’t be uninstalled.

For what it’s worth, this isn’t really an unprecedented situation. Google also did the same thing for its Pixel Buds app when it was released earlier this year. Some Pixel 4 and Pixel 3 users found the app pre-installed on their phones without their knowledge and subsequently bombarded it with one-star ratings. It happened to be a stub app that was added to Google’s firmware in advance. When it finally went live on the Play Store, it simply got activated on the Pixel phones which had the updated software.

It looks like this is the same reason why the OnePlus Buds app is appearing on existing phones. OnePlus recently added support for the OnePlus Buds system app on phones like the OnePlus 7, OnePlus 7T, OnePlus 6, OnePlus 6T, and more.

Also read: OnePlus 8 buyer’s guide: Everything you need to know

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