Stupid Android time – Ads on Startup.

Simple post time.

This week on stupid Android games. We talk about the game of "Advertisement" and how Google in particular has been playing stupid games with everyone in the world for fun and profit. We've used a similar statement about content creation. It's not just a person coming up to you to take a shit in your home and giving you ad money. This individual (and/or) company is going to the manufacturer to pay them money to shit in the households of millions of people. Those millions of people will be FORCED to like it because these silicon valley companies use the excuse that any rapist would use.

They obviously wanted this. Why else would they be buying something so expensive? It's like they're begging us to give it to them! - Rando tech company executive

Would you like to know more? Read on to continue the diatribe!

Android TV

Android TV default welcome screen in the years 2024

We factory reset our Nvidia Sheild and then updated it to the latest version of Android TV. This is what every American sees not only on Nvidia Sheilds android TV. But every embedded Android TV in America as well. We know this because we also purchased a 65" Sony which inadvertently had its own Android operating system built right in. Guess what? Same shit above.

Now, we're not blurring out the ads this time because it defeats the point of what we're about to talk about. The shows promoted in the picture above are bigger and far more important on the front-end GUI than the applications you want to access on your TV.

Why go to the ultra-small Kodi icon when you could re-buy movies you probably already have in DVD form for double the price?

Advertisement in Navigation bar.

This is amplified as Google deploys what are known as "dark patterns" throughout their GUI front end. You cannot navigate between your applications and the content bar at the top without interacting with their advertisement billboard system. Showing you watch movies with applications not even installed on your system. The advertisement system gets monumentally worse the longer it runs as soon it will try to promote movies for you to buy. In the advertisement world having a "Shop" tab isn't enough. Advertisement feeds on redundancy as the industry wants you to get used to this as actual content rather than you think they are taking a giant shit on your TV screen. To these people, the content IS the advertisement! A perpetual Space Jam circle jerk.

Android TV unwanted applcations.

Even if you do not have an application installed their Shop tab is more than eager to get you into as many ecosystems as possible. Eventually, you're paying 3-4 times more than a cable subscription because of the exclusivity of movies only available on certain networks.

Pirate Bay Logo

In the true form of Hollywood, they end up creating their disasters. Piracy is a great example of this. Initially, during the whole Android TV/"Cut the Coord" movement Piracy was slowly heading downward. Netflix offered a solution that was cheap and easy to use. But, like every tech company out there; Enshittification occurs. The concept is that over time the services become more expensive, worse to use, and gradually lose their value due to both competition and shareholders demanding a return for their monopolistic end-game like YouTube. Except the streaming world is fragmented.

Reject Modernity - Embrace Tradition.

Suddenly, learning Linux (Twofold on this one. Most viruses are Windows trained, and fuck Co-Pilot as well as any other corporate surveillance software under the guise of user assistance), and buying a monthly VPN service to stop the cable companies from fucking and sailing the high seas of piracy becomes a far more economical solution than keeping up with 5-16 subscription services. Streaming legitimately became harder and more expensive to do. I'm sure those networks would just shrug and go:

Meh, not our problem. Pay the price or don't watch TV.

To the streaming services that think this way; You are correct. Our best option is to not watch how Hollywood union hack jobs you call writers butcher stories and instead just read the source material. Turn off that Flat panel and go to the Library. To which if that was the answer you were looking for. Glad we could help!

But instead, people turn to piracy. Way to destroy a good thing Silicon Valley AND Hollywood!

Ads on your hardware.

Nvidia Sheild Remote - Gen 1 and 2

When the Nvidia shield was released this is the remote that it came with. Generation 1 of this remote had a lithium-ion battery that was rechargeable and unserviceable leading to a lot of these remotes going right into the landfill. Generation 2 used watch batteries which depending on if you used the voice function on your remote went through those batteries rather quickly! You can tell by its design that it was a little envious of Apple products with having just a dial instead of buttons. Overall, this remote was acceptable. Why? No ads!

Nvidia Gen3 and Sony Remote

As we progress into the 2020's enshittification (Seriously, thank you Cory Doctorow for this term) of Android remote controls gets worse as well as the software. Nvidia Gen3 remote added more reasonable buttons and houses AAA batteries making it last a little longer. However, instead of taking the sensible thing and just adding programmable buttons to improve the user experience allowing the end-user to decide what apps to open the most. Nope! Instead, you have proprietary buttons that are strategically placed where the thumb would rest. Making the user self-aware of how they're handling the remote. If they get too lazy. Suddenly whatever they're watching is interrupted and sponsored content is downloaded to the set-top. Having the average customer accidentally click on the giant Netflix button on the Sheild. Or one of the many corporate-sponsored buttons on the Sony remote.

Button Mapper Application

For this problem, we can take a little bit of acetone put it onto a cotton swab, and gently wipe away the advertisement paint. Then after that install this utility called "Button Mapper" allowing us to tell the Android TV service that Netflix isn't Netflix but Kodi. And We're done! Should we have to go to such lengths to control a button? No. But this is unfortunately the world we live in where a company wants to shit on your remote as well as your screen. Why didn't we acetone ours? Because we don't use the remotes. We take the batteries out and throw them into a drawer

Xbox Elite Controller version 2

The ultimate solution is to get a Bluetooth game controller that likes Android:

  • You don't have a microphone (Making Google Assistant deaf in your household is better security for all.)
  • You can control it with the d-pad or analogs.
  • Better battery life.
  • As it's bigger. Slightly harder to lose.

Solutions.

A policy on this blog is when a problem is presented we want to talk solutions. Artificial intelligence in its current narrow-band state can only generate bullshit. Not actual solutions.

Projectivy Launcher

This is one of those moments where we're grateful for all the time spent on our Ouya. It wasn't a great gaming console. But a very useful tool for learning how the Android OS worked without bricking an expensive phone. One of the things we learned is you can assign an application as a "Launcher" in Android. So the very first thing it boots up with after a power cycle is it opens an app.

This is where the program "Projectivy" comes into play. It's a replacement for your Android TV. According to the developer, this application was originally designed for Chinese projectors that had Android built into them. Like what Google is doing the Chinese vendors of those projectors would throw endless amounts of ads in Chinese to the end-user. As these projectors were being exported out of the country. Regardless of language. Advertisements are bad.

For those outside of the Google PlayStore. There's also Wolf Launcher (which is no longer updated by the dev) and FLauncher which do the same job. But considering many are running non-rooted hardware combined with the notion that Google Play still allows this app to be sold. We'll take the Projectivy approach.

Replace Google TV Launcher.

Projectivy Launcher Settings

First, let's tab down and go into Projectivy Launcher settings.

Projectivy Settings Menu.Jump into the General tab.

Projectivy - Settings - Changing the Launcher.From here we will be changing our default launcher which will take us into the Android settings area for setting our default launcher. On our Sony TV we also had to check the box to Override the current launcher. Why? Sony is a group of assholes. That's why.

Android - Setting default home launcher.

We check our Projectivy Launcher and click the button to Set as default. On the Nvidia Sheild, it kicked me back out to the Android TV when we turned this feature on

Projectivy - Accessibility Services warning.Now, we should've probably heeded this warning that Projectivy was telling us for all 5 seconds when we first launched this app. Because after we rebooted our Nvidia Shield it booted right back to the Android TV home app instead of what we wanted. Under Android TV or Projectivity changing this was simple.

Projectivy Settings - Power

We went back to Projectivy and changed the "Autostart on boot" to the launcher as well as making sure Android TV cannot accidentally start from standby either.

Rebooted and it STILL wanted to load Android TV.

Finally, my mistake was realized when we did what the application was originally telling us to do by going into the Accessibility services in Android settings.

Android TV Settings - Accessibility - Projectivy toggle switch.Like magic there's a toggle switch to turn Projectivity Launcher On

Android TV warning in Accessibility.

Android settings gives a respectable warning that you shouldn't be entering your credit card on your TV anyway. Not really because of the dev of this app. But Google TV in general.

Android TV - Settings - Accessibility - Projectivy enabled.

After we hit OK on this and rebooted our Android devices. If all goes well. Instead of getting a screen full of ads. You are greeted with Projectivy which is a launcher that feels like you are in a hotel.

Final thoughts.

Projectivy- Complete.

Now, we know we could customize this more. remove almost everything on the screen EXCEPT the applications themselves. But staring into the void of darkness is what we like to call 'serenity'. We've assisted some elderly people with their Android TV box with this application and no longer are they getting lost in the deluge of ads. Or accidentally downloading services they haven't paid for. On their systems, we made the icons bigger for they to see exactly what they are clicking on with the remote.

Loved it so much we paid for it.

Projectivy-Premium-Unlocked

The free version of this app has about 95 percent of the features unlocked and ready to rock and roll for you. The only thing the premium version gives you is the ability to replace the backdrop and also the ability to change screen savers as well as color profile selection. Some users on Google Play were bitching about the price being $9(USD) for it. In ouropinion, it's well worth the money. here's why:

  • The money you deprive Google Ad-Sense will more than make up for the cost of the application in about a year.
  • A launcher application is something you use in Android EVERYDAY!!! Thus, the developer deserves more money than a few extra gems in Candy Crush. Wow, guys.

Side note: We have never contacted this developer to review this application. The application was purchased with either donation money or our own money. We make no money in recommending this application and feel that developers should get all the credit they deserve for making such a great application and maintaining it for future Android TV set-tops. It's not an easy job trying to factor all of those Chinese receivers out there.

War never changes.

Like the software piracy war. Advertisement and the war over the minds of humanity rages onwards. Where there are people who think you should go to prison if you decide to go to the bathroom during a commercial break. They will even try to say that the product you paid for existing in your house is technically not yours. Thereby denying your ability for right-to-repair.  There's a chance that applications like this will be blacklisted or crippled just like Google Chrome is trying with U-Block Origin . But when that time comes perhaps its time to ditch Android as an OS all together. And go back to PCs hooked up to flat panels provided we can still purchase a TV that isn't 'smart'.

Keep your middle fingers strong folks. Make it muscle memory so well after your dead you'll be flipping these people off.

That's what server said.

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