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Vodafone Pre-Load Issue of ScanLife / Bidi App

Update [10.14.11]

We have had a number of conversations with HTC and Vodafone about this issue and we have a little more detail for those affected.  A version of the ScanLife app called Bidi is commonly preloaded in devices for Spain specifically.  However, the app was also shipped with some HTC/Vodafone devices but never “activated”, so you would have never seen the app on your device.  However, Google recently updated Android Market to automatically look for apps on the device and prompt the user to download the latest version.  In this case, the Bidi app was pre-set to auto-update and it goes to Market to get the version for your country which should be ScanLife.  This is why you were prompted to download an app that you have never seen before.

Because the original app is in the ROM (or permanent device memory), it cannot be deleted (similar to other preloaded apps that you may get when you buy a new phone).  We do not yet know if there is a long term resolution to this issue, but we will continue to work with HTC, Vodafone, and Google.  We will update you here when we have new information.  In the mean time, please feel free to try the ScanLife app to scan QR Codes and UPC codes on products to get valuable information on your device.

Thank you.


Over the past few days, a number of people from Europe and Latin America have reported receiving the ScanLife Barcode Reader application on their device (also known as BIDI in Spain). Our app is sometimes pre-loaded or built in by certain operators and some times an operator will push what is called a “virtual preload” which sends an app, or a bundle of apps, to your device through the network connection.

In this case, it appears the BIDI app which is meant for Spain (in Spanish) went to devices in other counties as part of a larger bundle. Vodafone seems to have configured the bundle in a way that makes it impossible for the user to delete the app.  Other apps like Twitter were also included.  So far, only Vodafone and only the HTC Desire [added HTC Wildfire] have been reported to be involved with this phenomenon in countries like Germany and Ireland.

The app on Android Market is NOT MALWARE. It is a perfectly safe app which is used by over 8 million people around the world to scan mobile barcode like QR Codes or UPC Codes from products.

We are working with Vodafone to understand the root of this issue, and provide some possible options for you to delete the app if you would like. However, in the mean time, please know this issue was outside of our control, so your negative reviews are unfairly hurting our credibility. We hope that you will try the app, and find it a useful tool to link you to relevant information and content from the physical world. You can see some ways it can be used from our YouTube page.

We will post new updates here as we have them.  Thanks for your support and understanding.

  • Filed under: Educational, Features

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    • 10 Responses for "Vodafone Pre-Load Issue of ScanLife / Bidi App"

      1. paul October 10th, 2011 at 4:20 AM 1

        You may wish to change the Android market description to ” If this has apeared on your device and you are on Vodafone, we are working with Vodafone to address this issue. For more details visit” then blog name.

        Reason; most users who got it are looking for the unistall and are too lazy/annoyed to follow the link.

        [I had to replace my blackberry because they (Vodafone/blackberry) pushed so much onto it that it ran of of memmory and wouldn’t make calls! ]

      2. Michiel October 10th, 2011 at 11:19 AM 2

        To suggest that users have ‘unfairly’ hurt Scanlife’s credibility by their reviews is really misplaced.
        An app that installs unwanted, cannot be removed and and that has unlimited access to dialer/SMS has every characteristic of malware. Users warn other users.

      3. nigel October 10th, 2011 at 5:16 PM 3

        also happening on HTC wildfire s. As its your app you are responsible for it. To claim its an update when its not is wrong. One should not have to find this big to find out that you are looking into the matter, you should guarantee that it can be removed and it should be removed immediately.

      4. Admin October 11th, 2011 at 6:24 PM 4

        We understand your frustration, but again it was not our decision to send an app to your device or configure it in a way which it could not be deleted. Those are things which your carrier controls.

        Believe us when we say that we are more probably more disappointing by this issue than you are, and we are trying to get it resolved as quickly as possible…

      5. Chris October 13th, 2011 at 5:35 PM 5

        The fact that it’s in Spanish doesn’t really help me to even try it!

        I consider it spam/malware as it has access to far too much on my phone, I didn’t authorise it nor can I remove it.

        WHEN will there be a proper update to remove or change language?

      6. Stephan October 13th, 2011 at 7:03 PM 6

        You can add the HTC Sensation to your list of affected mobile devices (Vodafone Germany). Also strange: you can remove the update (language: English) of the Scanlife app but not the enforced Vodafone basic installation (BIDI app).
        Android 2.3.4, kernel, Software no.

      7. Ron October 14th, 2011 at 1:54 AM 7

        “We are working with Vodafone to understand the root of this issue…”. “To suggest that users have ‘unfairly’ hurt Scanlife’s credibility by their reviews is really misplaced.”
        An app that installs unwanted, cannot be removed and and that has unlimited access to dialer/SMS has every characteristic of malware. Users warn other users.

        thats really my opinion. Your (vodafone and you) only Achievment are ANGRY CUSTOMERS.

      8. Admin October 14th, 2011 at 10:07 AM 8

        We just left an update to the blog. The Bidi app was preloaded in the ROM by HTC which why you can’t remove it. Market looks for an update to that app which is called ScanLife in every country other than Spain.

      9. Stephan October 14th, 2011 at 12:34 PM 9

        I don’t know what they (Vodafone, Google, HTC, ScanLife) did but today the BIDI app has disappeared from my mobile phone. And also I can’t find the ScanLife app on the Android market anymore.

      10. Stu October 15th, 2011 at 10:01 AM 10

        Agree it is unfair to blame users for ruining your credibility – surely an ‘update’ changes the code, so an ‘update’ can do many things…. Like make the app an empty/dummy app or change defaults so no-one sees it. Use some initiative. Also giving own app 5* on market reviews hurts our credibility even more… No chance will ever try any app again solely on the basis of your responses to the situation (however it originated!)

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