Chunky | Goodness

The Mystery of Tuenti Mobile for Android

I’m not quite sure what to make of this, and google is so far not throwing anything up for me. I’ve put this post up to see if anyone else who’s seeing the same thing as me could leave some comments to shed some light on the subject.

A few days ago, I noticed that application ‘Tuenti Mobile’ was appearing in the upgrade list in the Android Market on my phone (low spec Huawei U8210 on Vodafone NZ, branded as a Vodafone 845, Android 2.1). Now, this is strange in several ways:

  • I never installed this app
  • The application appears to be for a Spanish social network
  • There is no ‘uninstall’ option for the app.

The application appears to be valid, and before a couple of days ago it was showing nothing but positive comments on the Android Market, with over 250,000 downloads.

However, looking back at it today, it appears I’m not the only person in the dark as to how and why this app has ended up on their device:

to delete this ap u have to go to privacy settings an reset yr,fone. ~ Susan

I dont understand his and i cant uninstall it.help please? ~ Edona

What the hell why cant i delete it?? D: ~ Michael

The fact that there is no uninstall option is very strange, as if the app is part of the ROM on my phone. But it doesn’t appear in the list of applications on the phone, only on the Market update list.

Curiouser and curiouser … leave a comment with details of your device if you’re having the same problem.

UPDATE: After further investigation, it doesn’t look like there is anything sinister about this app. It appears to be part of the default crapware installed on the ROM from Vodafone, i.e. the default set of software that Vodafone installs when shipping a device.

There is evidence scattered around the net that there is probably a commercial relationship between Vodafone and Tuenti. If you’re having the same problem, I’m betting you have a Vodafone branded phone too.

For now, it looks like I may have to put up with this upgrade lingering in the list on the Android Market, but at least it doesn’t look like anything malicious is going on. If I work out a way of removing the app I’ll update this post.