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This is inspired from this answer to my question - Can there be malicious apps on Google Play?

Aside of that: In case you're still unsure, pick a good forum and ask. Another good idea is to check other apps from the same developer (just follow the link on his name), and use above criteria on them.

Since currently finding an ad-free application is not easy, is it OK to ask for recommendations (i.e. for example "Can someone recommend an ad-free FTP server that is not a virus")?.

I looked in the FAQ and it said app-recommendations are considered "primarily opinion-based", and if I ask "What is the best app doing X", it would be true, but ad-free and not-virus is just true or false, there is no opinion there.

  • Even if we allowed app recommendation questions I don't know how that would be useful. Certainly someone coming here to hawk their app isn't going to admit it's malicious. And people who do a quick search in the Play Store to provide a simple link answer but don't actually use the app aren't going to have vetted it. – ale Dec 20 '13 at 14:06
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    This might also be helpful: How do I ask a question that may require recommending a product? – ale Dec 20 '13 at 14:07
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    Recommendations are a definite no. I absolutely hate the alternate "Is App X ad-free?" questions as well because you can ask that about literally every app. They are incredibly low value questions and part of the reason I wish the Too Localize close reason was still around. – Matthew Read Dec 20 '13 at 18:35
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"Does App X contain a virus?" questions tend to be off-topic, because if it's a closed source application, we can't determine what's in the application. A better question for this site would be, as Izzy already mentioned, "How can I determine whether an app is ad-/virus-free?".

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I would suggest that it depends on the wording of the question.

Asking for a straight recommendation is rightly off topic pretty much everywhere. This is why there is a proposal on Area51 for Software Recommendations which would wrap them up in their own home.

Asking "Is app x ad-free?" may be acceptable but only if the answer isn't clear from the relevant app store.

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I second what Chenmunka wrote, but want to give you a second hint on how to avoid the "recommendation OT". Here are two questions for the very same purpose, #1 being off-topic, #2 would be perfectly fine:

  1. "Is there any ad-free..." / "Can someone recommend..."
  2. How can I determine whether an app is ad-free, when it requires Internet to work (e.g. a web browser)?

For the second, I could even give you some good answers. So if you ask it, and I don't jump, feel free to ping me in chat :)

  • OK, so how do I determine if an app is ad-free? Right now I think the only way is to install it and see. – sashoalm Dec 21 '13 at 8:53
  • @sashoalm That's a question well fitted for our main site. Ask it there (after checking it has not already been asked, of course), and look forward to its answers! – Izzy Dec 21 '13 at 15:58
  • @sashoalm: That seems like a solution to me. It doesn't cost any money and only a little time. We expect people to do research before they post here. Asking a question that you could easily answer yourself is a waste of everyone's time. – ale Dec 23 '13 at 19:16

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