Users of the third-party TouchPal keyboard that HTC bundles with its new Android-based HTC 10 smartphone recently found ads perched atop their usual rows of letters and numbers, blocking essential parts of the screen and beckoning them to visit sites like Trivago.
HTC said it was an "error" in a tweet earlier today.
The downloadable, free version of the TouchPal keyboard already comes with the ad strip at the top, but it's not supposed to show up on the HTC 10.
"Due to an error, some HTC customers have reported seeing ads on their phone's keyboard," HTC said in a statement to 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."
Smartphone users on Twitter and Reddit are using the occasion to express their dissatisfaction with TouchPal in general.
"I can't understand why you guys still use 3rd party software, when there is one from the guys that are making Android," said Nuno Guerreiro on Twitter.
On Reddit, user SplendaMan called TouchPal "the worst 'keyboard app' I've ever used," and expressed particular annoyance with the way he often accidentally hits the "T-shirt button" above the keyboard that redirects to TouchPal's online store. A few redditors thought he was making up the T-shirt bit, but nope.
HTC users on the Google Play store have been complaining about the ads in one-star reviews for most of this month, such as this disgruntled customer who updated his or her original review on July 4 to read:
"Jesus the newest version after uninstalling and installing it again still shows the ads above keyboard! They introduced ads that pop up when you type. I am uninstalling this piece of sh. You need to be out of your mind to release such a broken product as a default keyboard for HTC."
We contacted HTC via email, but did not receive a response in time for this article's publication.