OnePlus Enrages Users After Silently Installing “Buds” App on Devices

By Bill Toulas / September 8, 2020

OnePlus, the Chinese phone maker loved around the world, has taken a controversial decision to push its “Buds” app silently via an update. This felt like a backdoor planting move, even if it really wasn’t, and OnePlus users are complaining about the sneaky nature of the installation.

In the end, the Buds app concerns the OnePlus Pods earphones, and not every OnePlus device owner has or uses the particular product. Thus, they wouldn’t need this accompanying app in the first place.

The Buds app has appeared suddenly on people’s phones, but not for everyone. The app was installed through the Google Play Store, and for the trick to work, the user should have activated the “automatic installation” option. Some users report that they received a notification about the installation of the particular app, while others claim they didn’t. Most of these people are now ranting on social media about the move, which was forced no matter how you choose to see it.

oneplus buds

The Buds app isn’t malware and doesn’t contain a backdoor or anything, so there are no hefty accusations against OnePlus. The method that the Chinese company used in order to push the installation of this app, though, isn’t resonating well with the community, as it leaves little margin for this being the result of a mistake.

Maybe OnePlus wanted to lay the ground for a seamless experience for those who bought the Buds, preparing their phones to connect with the earphones immediately. While the intention is innocuous, burdening all users with this app is not an acceptable way to improve user experience.

The users’ response wasn’t just to uninstall the app - which they were free to do, of course - but to also take their rants over to the Play Store. The “OnePlus Buds” app now has a review score of 1.9 out of 5 stars, which is indicative of the rage against the company.

After this overwhelming response and also the negative media coverage, OnePlus will think twice before they approve any component to be automatically pushed via the Play Store. Hopefully, they will not try to sneak anything again into their customer’s devices.

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