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'Bloatware' Becoming a Problem On Android Phones 415

Posted by timothy
from the maybe-they're-just-pregnant dept.
elrous0 writes "According to a recent article in Wired, consumers of many new Android devices (including Samsung's Vibrant and HTC's EVO) are complaining about the increasing presence of something that has plagued consumer PC's for years: Bloatware (or, to use the more kind euphemism, 'Pre-installed software' that the computer manufacturer gets paid to include on a new PC). Unfortunately the bloatware (aka 'crapware') that comes with these phones has a nasty quality not found on even the most bloated PC: it can't be removed. Many angry consumers have begun to complain openly about this disturbing trend."
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'Bloatware' Becoming a Problem On Android Phones

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  • by WilyCoder (736280) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:31PM (#32992612)

    Exactly, I am so pissed I can't remove that crap from my EVO.

  • Buy better (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tom229 (1640685) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:32PM (#32992640)
    Guess that'll teach ya to buy GSM only and direct from the manufacturer.
  • I'm Confused... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:33PM (#32992646)

    I thought android was the "Open" one...

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:36PM (#32992696) Journal
    Is that phone makers can do anything they want with it.

    The horrible thing about Android is that phone makers can do anything they want with it.

    “It’s different from phone to phone and operator to operator,” says Keith Nowak, spokesman for HTC. “But in general, the apps are put there to meet the operator’s business and revenue needs.”

    Nowak must be new to PR. He was supposed to spin it as "free apps, everybody wins!" But instead he handed out a healthy dosage of the truth. Enjoy it, it rarely happens.

  • Re:Tit for tat (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DJRumpy (1345787) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:38PM (#32992742)

    Apple doesn't install said Fart apps. rather the end users choose to. Not so with bloatware...

  • by Captain Spam (66120) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:41PM (#32992812) Homepage

    But at least the Sprint apps are full-featured and not trial only.

    For now.

  • by iluvcapra (782887) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:53PM (#32993026)

    The bloatware on the HTC EVO is all Sprint Apps not an android issue

    It's not an issue with the OS, certainly, but the Android platform in particular and the OHA in general was founded with the intention of putting the carriers back in the drivers seat and give them back the control over the phones that they were beginning to lose to RIM, Danger and Apple. Get it? It's OPEN, thus the user can do whatever it wants with it... Of course the end user is a user, unless they're buying a heavily subsidized and locked phone, in which case they're merely a partner with the real user, the carrier.

  • by the ReviveR (1106541) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:54PM (#32993044)
    It is exactly for reasons like this we should support truly open platforms for mobiles instead of "open" like android. I am really happy with my N900 and I hope MeeGo will be a huge success.
  • by mapkinase (958129) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:59PM (#32993138) Homepage Journal

    I dream of the future when "phone service" will be provided by assigning phone address to MAC of whatever device you are using (like Skype).

    May be in the future there will be only data plan and only VOIP on top of it.

  • Re:I'm Confused... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:05PM (#32993236) Homepage

    Funniest thing is that people have said that to me, and they weren't joking. Part of the reason I got an HTC Incredible is that everyone kept talking about how open Android phones are. Then I was like, "Ok, now how do I get WiFi tethering on this bad-boy?"

    The response was, "Oh, it's easy. You just have to root it."

    "So you're saying I have to hack it. Same way I can do whatever I want with my iPhone, but I have to hack it first."

    "No, no. It's totally different. Android is open."

    "But you have to hack it in order to be able to do what you want?"

    "Yes."

    *sigh* "Ok, so how do I root an Incredible?"

    "Oh, you can't. Someone will probably figure it out sooner or later, but for now you're just stuck with what you have."

    "But I could jailbreak an iPhone now and do whatever I want with it. People already figured it out."

    "Yeah, I guess."

    "How is this more open again?"

    "Because with Android, you can do whatever you want! It's Linux, after all."

  • Re:Buy better (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dunkelfalke (91624) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:19PM (#32993446)

    Except that it is very easy to get rid of bloatware in Windows Mobile - a hard reset, and when it says something along the lines of "starting to install software in three seconds" do a soft reset.
    After the phone boots you've got a clean and pristine Windows Mobile.

  • You are not alone (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:19PM (#32993450)
    It sounds like you need to sit down with your father and have "the talk." Fortunately, now days you are not alone, and there are plenty of useful web sites to help you through this difficult discussion. One such site can be found here [ubuntu.com]. While it may be a little uncomfortable and possibly a bit embarrassing at first, you will find that he may keep an open mind and be willing to share some of his fears and views on this sensitive but important topic.
  • Re:I'm Confused... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ballwall (629887) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:25PM (#32993544)

    While I agree for the most part, the critical exception is that [most] of the android phones don't have to use the single all-powerful app store, you can still install apps from anywhere. (There are exceptions to even this, though)

  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:25PM (#32993558) Homepage

    It's sad how the open platform gets saddled with crap you can't remove and the closed platform (iPhone) is kept clean by a CEO who gives a shit about aesthetics and user experience.

    Try to get an iPhone without iTunes.

  • Re:I'm Confused... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:33PM (#32993694)

    (disclaimer: I own both a Nexus One and an iPhone 3GS ... and develop software for both of them. I bought the Nexus One because it was more "open" ... and then discovered that it really wasn't)

    BZZT wrong, Android is more "open" in one very important way:

    I can sign and distribute an application for Android myself, with no restrictions. With iPhone, if I want to sign and distribute an application to a large number of people, the ONLY WAY TO DO IT is through that shithole called the Apple App Store.

  • Re:I'm Confused... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bnenning (58349) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:38PM (#32993756)

    I bought the Nexus One because it was more "open" ... and then discovered that it really wasn't

    How is it not? You can develop and distribute apps without begging for permission, and Google specifically makes it easy to unlock the N1's bootloader (and void your warranty, yes), while Apple considers you to be a criminal if you jailbreak.

    Yes, the carriers are being as obnoxious and user-hostile as always. Which means if you want a phone that's actually open you have to do a bit of research beforehand. But at least you have that choice, unlike with the iPhone.

  • by david_thornley (598059) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @03:32PM (#32994562)

    Interesting view of history.

    In 1998, Microsoft had two operating system lines, one for more serious computing and one for personal computing, neither clearly superior to Mac OS. The merger into the clearly superior XP was in the future. Moreover, the field was and had been dominated by Microsoft for various business reasons, and there wasn't much room for expansion left in the market.

    In 2010, I've seen no evidence that Android is better or worse than iOS. It's theoretically more open, but much more vulnerable to what the cell phone carriers want to do to it. The market is still wide open, and anybody with a claim for previous dominance has been losing market share fairly fast. The limits on what a user can do with a non-jailbroken iPhone are not onerous to most people in practice. In short, I really don't see much of a comparison.

    In addition, neither Windows 95/98, Windows NT, Mac OS9, or iOS was or is open source. Android is. That means that Google can't really enforce anything on the cell phone companies, since they really don't need Google's permission for anything. Apple enforces what AT&T can and can't do with the iPhone, and given the choice of giving some corporation power over my phone Apple's a lot nicer a possibility than AT&T or Verizon or Spring. I don't see that Google has any possible fix for bloatware, and would be interested to know what one would be.

  • Re:I'm Confused... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dissy (172727) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @04:12PM (#32995188)

    I love me some open Linux-y goodness, but Android isn't open.

    The problem is, and you just did it too, that people use the word 'Android' to refer to two totally separate and different things.

    Android is the OS. It is open. You probably will never get to use it however so that point is moot. Unless you happen to build hardware capable of running Android, then never mind :P But I will assume for now you do not build cell phone hardware.
    (PS, you don't have to root it, the default build has no root password set, just login as root and hit enter for the password.)

    Now, what most people do is also say Android is the phone itself, which is just not true.
    The phones are in no way open. The phones need rooted. The phones can't run any OS you choose.

    None of those very valid complaints however make the phone 'Android'

  • Re:I'm Confused... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MogNuts (97512) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @04:59PM (#32995936)

    That's your opinion. I think iOS has a vastly *inferior* UI. I think the fact that Apple is missing a "back" button and you can't press and hold something to bring up a menu makes Android 100% superior. A different sized back button in a different font and location everytime. Yes, that's wonderful for quick navigation Apple!

    And another great Apple UI invention:
    How many actually use your smartphone? I get texts, e-mails, IM's, etc. I have a 3GS. I get bombarded 24x7 with alerts that interrupt me and won't go away until I touch a button. People hate pop-ups, but when iOS gives them, they "love their Apple experience." Anyway, this gets real annoying for someone who actually uses their phone and gets more than 1 IM, e-mail, etc., and doesn't spend their day jerking off to playing a piano on his Iphone. Meanwhile, Android has a nice little non-intrusive alert. Android even elegantly sorts a drop-down box if you would like to see items at a glance. And it doesn't interrupt what I'm doing.

    And don't get me started on multitasking. IOS has limited multitasking and the programmer has to enable it. This reminds me of back in the day when shit-brained Apple still had cooperative multi-tasking while the entire world was on true pre-emptive multitasking. Apple left it to the coders to do multitasking. Look at how well that worked out back then. Most coders are not that good, and as we see from the App Store (don't get me started on that one--95% are a buggy featureless mess), most of those developers are downright awful. Presently, thousands of apps now handle multitasking like garbage. And history repeats itself.

    I only got the 3GS because I wanted a change at the time. I used Blackberries for years (which I absolutely loved; the Bold 9700 is quite possible the best phone in existence for people who actually use their phone, and don't play games or need 10,000 fart/flashlight apps), but I just felt like eating chicken instead of steak. I regret ever being duped by the hype ("but-but-Apple gives the best experience") and believing that Apple actually made a good product with a good UI.

    For the rest of us, who actually want a superior product, stick with RIM and Android.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, 2010 @05:01PM (#32995968)

    I have no idea what you're talking about, but whatever it is, it's not what anyone else is talking about.

    The iPhone simply won't run until synced with iTunes. Seriously, it displays an image showing the USB cable and the iTunes icon when turned on out of the box. Until you sync with iTunes, the phone is completely useless. (Same thing after a hardware reset.)

    Which is completely retarded, because it already has your phone number and subscriber information since it's on the fucking SIM card! There's absolutely no reason to require iTunes at all, but they do. Why? To force you to install Apple's bloat-ware on your computer.

    Fun fact: iTunes for Windows comes with a descent chunk of Mac OS X ported to Windows since they're too lazy to make a proper Windows application. But, apparently, not too lazy to port part of Cocoa to Windows.

  • Re:I'm Confused... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MogNuts (97512) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @05:14PM (#32996180)

    Judging from your low UID you should know better than that.

    1) Approval--unless for no reason Apple pulls your app out of the blue. There goes your investment. Or declines it for any other numerous reasons.

    2) You get distribution, exposure, hosting and a lion's share of the money on Android Marketplace. Fail.

    3) I shouldn't have to Jailbreak a device to get retardedly simple functionality. That limit that Apple puts up shouldn't even be there in the first place. Every other smartphone manufacturer has let you install anything u want. This entire argument wouldn't even exist if not for Apple creating it. Apple is single-handedly ruining the entire smartphone future.

    Sorry Apple, tethering (and not AT&T's extra fee per month forever) and flash capability does matter. Short of reading online journal's, newspaper, etc, alot of web functionality comes from flash. The entire web won't change for you Apple, no matter how trendy now they're trying to make HTML5. And I don't care that NBC.com's online videos compete with Apple's ITunes. I don't care that Netflix streaming competes. These things give me a valuable service and I need flash to do it.

  • Re:I'm Confused... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, 2010 @05:50PM (#32996670)

    The Android Market rejection rate may be zero, but it means that there's even more crap on there than in the Apple Store (which is also loaded with tons of crap). There's not even an attempt to weed out malicious or buggy apps, forcing the 'community' to root out the malware and spam. I even saw somebody selling SNES rom packs -- I'm pro-emulation and have a ton of roms, but selling them is just wrong.

    Yes, things are more open than on the iPhone, but 'open' doesn't always mean 'better', especially for the average phone user.

  • by Shihar (153932) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @06:18PM (#32997012)

    That is a nice noble fantasy you have. The deal was not settled on who offered more or less bloatware. The deal was based purely upon who would share the most profit. Verizon and AT&T bid. AT&T offered to cut Apple into vastly more profit than Verizon was. Verizon looked at the numbers and told Apple to go take a hike. Comparing AT&T and Verizon's stock price changes, it is pretty clear that Verizon didn't make a mistake. AT&T got exactly nothing when they got the iPhone. That is also the reason why Verizon is completely uninterested in the iPhone. They are not willing to pay the Apple tax and are pretty content to build their Droid line and keep all the profit.

If a thing's worth having, it's worth cheating for. -- W.C. Fields

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