“Device Pulse is spyware.”
I was shocked to see reviews and forums pouring out this information.
Because it’s not as simple as saying the app spies on you.
After hours of digging, there’s a better explanation for all of this.
And that’s what you’ll find out in this guide.
Read on to know:
- If Device Pulse is a safe app to use.
- What other users have to say about the app.
- How Device Pulse works (and the pros and cons of the app).
- Whether the app is spyware or not (and why it seems that way).
- And many more…
What is Device Pulsе?
Device Pulse is an instant messaging app developed by TracFone. It’s similar to messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram. The Device Pulse app mirrors your device activity and stores it in a cloud database. Lastly, it also provides info on your phone’s hardware along with RAM, battery health, etc.
Is Device Pulse spyware?
Device Pulse isn’t spyware or adware as some reviews/forums claim it to be. The app uses end-to-end encryption, which has proven to be safe for messaging. Device Pulse strictly monitors and collects device information for ad targeting. This functionality is similar to apps like WhatsApp or Telegram.
How does Device Pulse work?
Device Pulse is a default messaging app that comes pre-installed on TracFone phones.
However, you can also download the app on Google Play Store.
To use the app, you’ll have to grant permissions on your phone, including the following:
- Call data.
- Device ID.
After granting access, Device Pulse imports all your contacts and messages.
Then, it sends all this information to the cloud database.
The cloud database is what allows you to use the app on different devices, like your tablet or laptop.
Both messaging apps allow you to send texts via your computer or another smart device.
You also get notifications via your desktop or tablet.
That way, you don’t have to use your phone all the time when messaging several contacts.
Device Pulse: Pros & cons
#1: Clean and simple interface
Device Pulse isn’t an app with any fancy features or bright colors that make your eyes pop.
It’s a simple app designed to do one thing: instantly message your friends or family.
As mentioned earlier, it functions the same way as Telegram and WhatsApp.
Sure – Telegram has a useful self-destruct feature for private chats.
But, what makes a messaging app useful is its ability to send and receive messages seamlessly.
And Device Pulse delivers on that.
However, there are a few cons worth noting too, as you’ll find out soon.
#2: Being able to use the app on your computer or tablet
How do you make instant messaging more convenient?
“By adding more features?
Through stickers, funny gifs, and bots?”
No and not necessarily.
To make messaging more convenient, you expand its functionality.
In other words, if you can use your laptop to send texts with the same app and contacts…
It makes messaging so much more convenient, especially in times you can’t use your phone.
And that’s another benefit Device Pulse has.
Think of it this way.
You’re meeting up with a friend, and you have yet to text each other where you’ll both meet.
Your phone dies.
If you have a tablet or laptop with you, messaging your friend shouldn’t be a problem with Device Pulse.
Heck, if you have a spare phone, that would work too.
#3: Provides a lot of info about your phone
Although Device Pulse has messaging capabilities…
It also has one more benefit worth mentioning.
You can monitor your phone’s battery health, RAM, software version, etc.
Put simply, it’s a messaging app and…
It provides useful info about your phone.
Some of this information includes the following:
- SIM Number.
- Software version.
- IMEI or Phone ID.
- Phone battery status.
- Phone memory (RAM).
- Other hardware properties of your device.
Having all this on one screen is extremely helpful.
It’s convenient to have all this info without toggling through your phone’s settings menu.
#4: You can’t uninstall the app
Aside from all the benefits, this is the one drawback that weirded me out.
The app is pre-installed on TracFone phones, and…
You can’t uninstall the app for some reason.
Not even through the Google Play Store.
In fact, some users didn’t even know the app was installed on their phones.
“Does that mean Device Pulse isn’t safe?”
Don’t worry. I’ll get to that in a moment.
#5: The app alone is chunky
When I say “chunky,” I mean…
It’s heavy enough that some phones may even slow down or malfunction.
Not to mention, the app goes through constant updates.
Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
However, it’s no wonder that user reviews claimed the app to be spyware.
Because an app that slows down a user’s phone or causes it to malfunction is one sign it’s spyware.
As one user put it on a Google Play Store review, he said:
“Basically turned my phone into a plastic brick.”
The user goes on to say how he has to restart his phone every time he needs to use an app that needs WiFi.
Another review also mentioned:
Running the app left her device with 0% storage available.
See what I mean? Chunky.
With a capital “C.”
#6: Collects a lot of data and information
Apart from all the access permissions the app asks for…
It also collects and monitors your phone’s data information.
Not just any kind of data information.
A ton of it.
Elephant-sized ton kind of info, such as:
“Why does the app need all this data?”
So that it can provide localized or branded experiences.
Think of it like creating a positive brand experience for users.
The data collected by the app gives better insight into the user’s thoughts, emotions, habits, etc.
That way, it can provide an experience that leaves a lasting impression to connect users to the brand.
Take Zoom, for example.
When people say video chat, online meeting, or group call, what comes to mind?
The majority would think “Zoom.”
And that’s what brand experience is.
With valuable data, it’s easier to cater to a user’s needs strategically.
Whether that’d be in the form of ads, marketing, or PR campaigns.
I can understand why Device Pulse needs this data.
However, it also makes users wonder and doubt the app’s true intentions.
Not to mention, it slows your phone down.
That said, we’ve finally arrived at one of the most important questions in this guide:
“Is Device Pulse a safe app to use?”
Is Device Pulse safe?
It may be hard to believe, but Device Pulse is safe.
Yes – it collects a huge chunk of data.
And it slows your phone down even to the point some apps can’t function well.
However, this doesn’t mean it’s a spyware app.
Despite its benefits, this has mostly to do with how the app was designed.
Or the way it was developed.
“How can I know for sure Device Pulse is safe?”
One thing I failed to expound on earlier because I was saving it for this section is that…
Device Pulse uses end-to-end encryption.
“What is end-to-end encryption?”
As defined by Kaspersky, end-to-end encryption is the act of…
“Applying encryption to messages on one device such that only the device to which it is sent can decrypt it.”
Put simply, the only people that can access the message or data are:
- The sender.
- Intended recipient.
Any third party or hacker can’t access the messages on the server.
Or, put it this way.
When you send a text to a friend, it’s as if the message is contained in an impenetrable box.
Not even Superman could break it.
Only 1 person has the key to open the box.
Specifically, that would be the friend you sent a text to or the recipient.
In other words, end-to-end encryption ensures your communication is private and safe.
Finally, we’re talking about a legit company here: TracFone.
It’s unlikely that an American prepaid phone provider would be dwelling in spyware apps.
Not to mention, the company is a subsidiary of Verizon.
Would one of the leading providers of technology risk their revenue for a spy app?
I doubt it.
What do people say about Device Pulse?
The biggest user complaint about Device Pulse is being unable to uninstall the app.
After all, it’s common nature for apps to be installed and then uninstalled if the user has no use for them anymore.
And most of all, it’s a concerning issue why users can’t uninstall Device Pulse.
Another complaint is how much data the app collects.
This leads to wonky and glitchy apps and even causes the user’s phone to lag.
Worse – some reviews on Google Play Store the phone starts to malfunction.
That said, some users raved about how easy it is to use the app.
Several users also mentioned the app has a lot of info that they frequently need.
In fact, one user even said Device Pulse takes care of you.
Not to mention, it lets you know when something’s wrong with your account.
What’s even more surprising is TracFone responds to all user reviews.
Every. Single. Review.
Now, that also means something.
If it were spyware, why take the time to respond to each user, right?
Overall, the app has a rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars on Google Play Store.
For more concerns, you can contact TracFone through their customer service page.
Is Device Pulse necessary?
Device Pulse isn’t necessary considering there are several messaging apps available today. You can disable the app by restricting permission access. Another way is through USB debugging with an ADB app. This requires technical knowledge. If done poorly, it can cause your system apps to malfunction.