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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 Miamicanes (730264) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:30PM (#32992594)

    NASCAR!!!!! Argh!

    • 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.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        Root your Android phone and then you can remove it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mlts (1038732) *

          That is becoming harder and harder every new model. The N1 (the last easily rootable Android device) is not in production anymore, and newer phones either have signed bootloaders, have hardware tricks to prevent critical filesystems from being remounted R/W, or worse.

          • by 1001011010110101 (305349) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:10PM (#32993318)
            A general android exploit working on every phone has been found already: http://c-skills.blogspot.com/2010/07/android-trickery.html [blogspot.com] It comes with source :)
          • by Miamicanes (730264) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:28PM (#32993594)

            > That is becoming harder and harder every new model.

            Not really. It's just Motorola phones that are crippled by design. With HTC and Samsung phones, at least, rooting is more like climbing over a low, wide wall that's lightly textured to make the experience a little bit unpleasant. Truth be told, I'll bet there are more than a few employees at HTC, Samsung, and probably Sprint & T-Mobile who'd LOVE to be running ads right now comparing Verizon and/or Motorola to Soviet Russia and East Berlin, but can't get management to sign off on them ;-)

            Fantasy Sprint/T-Mobile commercial:

            Cute Google Android strapped face-down onto table that looks like a steampunk cross between a horizontal electric chair and a guillotine. Evil guy wearing military-looking uniform (with stylized 'V' logo) pulls out DroidX and cackles (screen wallpaper depicts Berlin Wall), grabs a thick cable with mean-looking plug on the end (like the ones used in the US for 3-phase 480v AC) and says, 'Vee have vays of dealing mit rootuzerz...' while plugging the cable into the Android's ass. Cut to hand grabbing Frankenstein-style knife switch, engaging the power, and a buzzing, high-voltage type noise that just happens to resonate in a way that sounds like the word "Droid!" at the end of a Verizon commercial being yelped in pain.

          • by phantomcircuit (938963) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:30PM (#32993642) Homepage

            No it's really not. http://unrevoked.com/ [unrevoked.com] point and click.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

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

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by squiggleslash (241428)

        Well it is and it isn't.

        What we're seeing here is kinda like Mac vs PC, circa 1998. The PC was the open architecture, manufacturers providing a wide choice of different configurations, all running a powerful operating system that was available to anyone who wanted it, with the manufacturers choosing to differentiate themselves by pre-installing their own software. Meanwhile, the Mac was the closed architecture box with the clearly inferior operating system, but with the manufacturer taking great pains to

        • 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.

  • 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.
    • Guess that'll teach ya to buy GSM only and direct from the manufacturer.

      Too bad for people who live or work in a part of the United States where T-Mobile doesn't have a reliable signal. Verizon and Sprint are CDMA2000, and unlike T-Mobile's "Even More Plus", AT&T doesn't appear to offer a discount on the plan for bringing your own phone.

    • Re:Buy better (Score:5, Informative)

      by Miamicanes (730264) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:39PM (#32992772)

      > Guess that'll teach ya to buy GSM only and direct from the manufacturer.

      And have no 3G data service in a shockingly large part of America that isn't even particularly rural (the parts where you might have 3G service if you were to go stand on the roof of your house and orient the phone *exactly* the right way, but can forget about indoor service -- even next to a window. It's a particularly feast-or-famine problem with T-mobile. Due to their spectrum issues, there are quite a few places where the next step down from HSDPA/HSPA+ is GPRS (no EDGE).

      For the most part, if you have Sprint or Verizon, you're going to get at least ISDN-speed 1xRTT data just about anywhere in the country that's within a mile of the nearest paved road, and have decently reliable 3G EVDO service just about everywhere you're likely to care about unless you're a park ranger.

      • by Andy Dodd (701)

        Similarly, AT&T has 3G coverage in a lot of areas where T-Mobile phones won't even work at all. (Their cross-roaming agreement seems to not be particularly effective.)

        Also, in nearly all areas, when not in an AT&T 3G area, you drop to EDGE and not bare GPRS.

        As to bloatware - this isn't a new problem. Windows Mobile does it too. RIM seems to be able to keep stricter control over the Blackberry, probably partly because they develop both the hardware and the OS and due to their tendency to be more "

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dunkelfalke (91624)

          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.

      • I've had a G1 with T-Mobile for a year now in Houston, Tx. I've not once had a real issue with 3G. Hell, on a drive from Houston to Dallas or Austin I can tether the thing to my laptop and stream Grooveshark with barely missing a beat, and that is a bit of a rural area between here and there.
        • > Hell, on a drive from Houston to Dallas or Austin I can tether the thing to my laptop and stream Grooveshark
          > with barely missing a beat, and that is a bit of a rural area between here and there.

          T-Mobile, like Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, and everyone else, deploys coverage in rural areas first to highway corridors between their "real" coverage areas. It's a lot cheaper to throw a tower every couple of miles next to a major interstate along the "Texas Tee" than it is to keep building those towers furt

      • by kindbud (90044)

        For the most part, if you have Sprint or Verizon, you're going to get at least ISDN-speed 1xRTT data just about anywhere in the country that's within a mile of the nearest paved road, and have decently reliable 3G EVDO service just about everywhere you're likely to care about unless you're a park ranger.

        One of the best (Verizon) EVDO signals I have ever seen was while moored in Isthmus cove at Catalina Island, 26 miles off the coast of Los Angeles: Speedtest result [speedtest.net]

  • Shovelware (Score:5, Informative)

    by MrEricSir (398214) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:33PM (#32992644) Homepage

    I always thought pre-installed crap was called "shovelware." As in, it's shoveled on there not for functionality's sake, but so some programmer can get a bonus.

    • Re:Synonyms (Score:5, Funny)

      by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:39PM (#32992790) Journal

      Shovelware, Bloatware, Crapware, pre-installed software, Windows Vista,

      they're all interchangable really.

      • Re:Synonyms (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:15PM (#32993406)

        Bloatware used to refer to software that at one time actually was useful. Then they start adding more and more features that also makes the software slower, more buggy, less reliable, etc. Basically it was another way of saying that it's software affected by feeping creaturism [wikipedia.org].

        Vista is bloatware.

        The shovelware, crapware, spyware, malware, etc. are what can come with it when you buy it as part of an OEM package.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by frosty_tsm (933163)

      I always thought pre-installed crap was called "shovelware." As in, it's shoveled on there not for functionality's sake, but so some programmer can get a bonus.

      Shovelware can also include bad software in general. They shovel it out the door, so to speak.

    • You're right, and the terminology difference matters to some people (like me). Bloatware would be the shopping list app I saw that was over 6MB on the Android Market. 6MB for a shopping list app huh? Try 600KB and I might bite.

    • Re:Shovelware (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gorzek (647352) <gorzek@Nospam.gmail.com> on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:04PM (#32993218) Homepage Journal

      I'd call it "bundleware," which is relatively precise without being a loaded term.

      I always thought of "shovelware" as being what you get when you buy a 10-pack of games, and only two or three of them are good--the rest are garbage, just shovelware to fill out the package.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by sourcerror (1718066)

        Shovelware comes from ET for Atari 2600. The cartridges were manufactured in high number because Atari thought that the movie tie-in would translate to high sales, however the game was very poor so it sold poorly. They actually buried millions of cartridges in a landfill in Mexico. [wikipedia.org] It's said to trigger the video game crisis of 1983.

    • Programmer? Not even, it doesn't take a programmer to install software. It's the PHB types that ask for software to be installed, they get money from Norton, etc. for installing trial and demo software, with an expectation that enough users will buy it to pay for the preload.

  • 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 MrEricSir (398214) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:36PM (#32992716) Homepage

      Of course it's "open," you just have to jailbreak it first!

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

          by Zorkon (121860) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:12PM (#32993354) Homepage

          If I could mod this up 10000x, I would.

          I love me some open Linux-y goodness, but Android isn't open. Not in the same way the Ubuntu or a desktop OS is. That's not Google's fault, it's the fault of the phone manufacturers. But the end result is the same - if you want full control over your "open" Android phone, you have to circumvent the restrictions the manufacturer has placed on it - *just* like you have to with an iPhone.

          So, given that little tidbit, I'd rather get an iPhone. At least Apple has an idea of how to design quality user interfaces. Android suffers from Linux-UI-itis.

          (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)

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by ballwall (629887)

            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 ryanov (193048)
            Sounds like Palm is the real open platform then. No rooting really required. You have to turn developer mode on initially, but there's no possible bricking of the phone or any of that... and with the developer package and that mode on, you're root. Anyone can do it. And as far as I know, Palm is not trying to change that.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by bnenning (58349)

            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 l

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

              by mchappee (22897) * on Thursday July 22, 2010 @03:08PM (#32994234)

              >You can develop and distribute apps without begging for permission

              The Apple app store has a 96% approval rate and 98% of those are available within a week. No begging required. And for that you get distribution, exposure, hosting and the lion's share of the money.

              > while Apple considers you to be a criminal if you jailbreak

              From the iOS Jailbreak Wiki: "Jailbreaking, according to Apple, voids Apple's warranty on the device, although this is quickly remedied by restoring the device in iTunes." Can you please site your references?

              Haters gotta hate, I guess.
              MC

          • 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:4, Interesting)

            by SilentMobius (10171) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @05:53PM (#32996704)

            Android 2.2 has tethering built in so, you can:

            1) wait for 2.2
            2) buy "Pdanet" from the market
            3) Root your device and void your warranty
            4) Write an app yourself

            On the iphone you can

            1) Jailbreak your phone remembering apple claims this is illegal

            _That_ is why android is more open.

            Now _within_ the Andoid ecosystem there are more and less open phones (it's worse for you poor sods in the US, but that because telco's pay their way out of needed regulation)
            If you got a Nexus1 then rooting is available with google supported tools (you still void your software warranty though) if you get HTC branded phone it's harder and Moto are really pissy about that sort of thing.

            A friend of mine said it best:
            "The iPhone encourages you to be a consumer
            Android encourages you to be a creator"

        • The important different is that the replacement ROMs can be constructed 99.999% from source.

        • talking about how open Android phones are

          They're confused. Some android phones are open, some are not.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by cacba (1831766)

      Im giving away free chocolate bars!

      Did I mention they are at the bottom of the ocean?

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

      by AndrewNeo (979708) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:49PM (#32992964) Homepage

      This is something a lot of people get confused. ("If it's open, why do you have to root it?")

      What it is, is the AOSP [android.com] (Android Open Source Project) is completely open. The source code to the Android tree is right here [kernel.org]. You can do whatever you want with your own build of Android, nobody is stopping you. When it comes to phones, this is where the "openness" ends, other than the manufacturers having to contribute changes back to the source (which they do). However, the build of Android you buy on your phone certainly does not have to be open. The telcos usually want the bootloaders locked so you can't run an "unapproved" build of Android, and the provided builds of Android may include this crap, or even go as far as AT&T does and disable loading applications from anywhere but the Marketplace.

      If you want to avoid the sort of problem like this shovelware/bloatware, make sure to get a phone running stock Android, like the Droid or the Nexus One (for example) that hasn't had the OS itself modified by the manufacturer (like with HTC Sense or Motoblur) or by the carrier (like with the EVO).

    • by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:04PM (#32993222)

      It's open, just not to you. But doesn't feel so much better to be fucked over by a corporation that uses Open Source software ?

    • Another reason I am happy I bought an N900. I can uninstall anything, including OOPS! programs that make my phone work.

      Seriously however, to uninstall the important stuff you have to drop to a shell and know what you're doing. Or half know what you are doing...

    • by Fnkmaster (89084)

      It is. You can download and compile the source as much as you want. It's all right there. Google has made it 100% open.

      Of course, if you want a truly open phone, that you can have root access to and that you can unlock the bootloader on (i.e. to flash your own ROMs) you'll either need to use a procedure that's not authorized by the manufacturer, or you'll need to get a Google Developer Phone (i.e. Nexus One). Or find a manufacturer that supports truly open hardware (good luck with that).

      Unless you use s

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:34PM (#32992664) Journal
    Crapware is stuff that is installed by the device manufacturer, usually in exchange for money (although in Android's case possibly so Google can get advertising money later), which is not required by the user and consumes resources. Bloatware is software that does something useful, but does so in a very inefficient way, typically including a large number of superfluous features. They are not the same thing.
    • What if the software is something that does something useful, but you don't use it, in a very inefficient way (Like some of the HP Printer Features that start on startup, regardless if you have a printer set up or not).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:34PM (#32992674)

    Economists:

    Is this an issue that the free market should settle (i.e. If you don't want bloatware, research your phone and reward another company with your funds)?
    Is this an issue that regulation should settle (something about property rights? selling what some would call a defective product? fraud?)

    Discuss.

    • by Haffner (1349071)
      I'll bite.

      Uneducated Peons:

      I favor regulation, because as the percentage of sheep in the American public rises, marketing budgets, and therefore, corporations, control an increasing percentage of mindshare. This in turn lets them tell you that filling 3GB of your 4GB phone with software that can't be uninstalled is saving you time finding and researching programs (they already offer you the best ones). Also, they offer the best value for your money, because all those free apps that do the same thing in 1

  • Root the phone and remove that garbage.

  • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mapkinase (958129)

      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.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      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.

      He didn't want his company to look like the asshole when phones with his logo are full of shite. For all their faults HTC usually includes little more nonsense than a slightly goofy, somewhat inefficient but typically pretty interface and some matching apps (to run the camera and such) to go with it. You can usually disable their interface pretty easily.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rm999 (775449)

      I'd love to hear his explanation of why Apple doesn't resort to such measures but somehow makes billions of dollars a year. I realize that catching up to the market leader is tough, but shouldn't that encourage companies to give their customers a BETTER product/price, not worse?

      • by Coren22 (1625475)

        Market leader?

        HTC 18 Billion in April
        http://www.worldtech24.com/phones/htc-sales-hit-record-figures-april-reports-reuters [worldtech24.com]

        Apple 10 Billion in a quarter

        http://www.muniwireless.com/2009/01/22/apple-defies-financial-crisis-quarterly-sales-surpass-10-billion/ [muniwireless.com]

        Try again on who is leading the market, because it sure does not appear to be Apple.

        • From your own link [worldtech24.com]

          The record figure for a single month was reported as T$18 billion which is roughly $570 million for the month of April

          $0.57B is waaay less than $10B/3...

          If you *really* want to see how Apple is blowing away the competition, look here [businessinsider.com] for a graph of Apple profit vs the combination of {RIM, Motorola, Nokia, HTC, Sony Ericsson}... Now Samsung and LG aren't part of the group Apple is compared against on the graph, but when you're making huge amounts more *profit* (not revenue as you quote

      • by donny77 (891484) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:38PM (#32993754)
        Well, this is part of why I laugh when people complain about AT&T iPhone exclusivity. Apple went to Verizon first. Verizon said you'll install our crapware and Jobs said no and went to AT&T. I bet teh biggest reason there is no Verizon or Sprint iPhone right now, is crapware. Jobs will not let them install it.
        • 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.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by donny77 (891484)

            It was most certainly not "purely" on revenue. There were many demands Apple had. They ALL played a part in the decision. Remember, Verizon was a very different company back then. Everything was locked tight on Verizon phones. I believe no, or maybe one Palm, Verizon phone had Wifi enabled. Verizon has changed a lot since the iPhone and a big part of that is trying to keep customers from jumping to AT&T.

            Apple's Demands

            • Phone not available to carrier until after launch
            • Apple retains control over OS updat
    • by jwinster (1620555)
      Incidentally this is exactly the reason that Android was able to take off. Cell phone manufacturers and wireless companies wanted to be able to put their own applications on your smartphone (similar to the way they behave with their feature phones), and they wanted something cheaper than paying for windows mobile licenses. Android filled both those requirements by being free, and they can install their own crapware to try and get you to continue to add to your monthly bill by paying for their services. R
  • Every phone I've ever had (except my G1) has had bloatware on it, if it could run custom apps. My razor had some demo games. My Sony had some demo games. And no, you couldn't delete them.

    The G1 is an exception only because Android was so new at the time is my assumption.

    The news here isn't that Android phones have bloatware... It's that they were previously unlike the other phones in this respect, and now they aren't. Not a real Big surprise. It's not like it even takes up phone memory... They're in

  • by AmazinglySmooth (1668735) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:38PM (#32992754)
    I had to reimage my father's PC, a 2005 Dell, using the built-in system restore feature. Now he has AOL and Norton that is seriously out of date!!! This stuff never dies. It took another 30 minutes for me to remove all the crap and put on newer versions of other crap.
    • They need this kind of program [pcdecrapifier.com] for phones.

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

      by Anonymous Coward
      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.
  • Custom ROMs (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nukem996 (624036) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:39PM (#32992786)
    Even custom ROMs suffer from this a bit. Whatever the author of the ROM thinks is a good application your stuck with. The only way I've been able to get a slim down ROM from my Droid is by downloading a ROM and customizing it myself.
    • by jonnythan (79727)

      Or you can just delete the apps you don't want. A heck of a lot easier than cooking your own ROM.

      • by mlts (1038732) *

        If you are not careful and try that on a rooted Motorola CLIQ, you will end up with a lovely bootloop until you restore from a nandroid backup or reflash.

      • by nukem996 (624036)
        Well thats what I do. I take a custom ROM and delete the things I don't want.
    • by kidgenius (704962)
      Or you find a ROM that tries to provide a Stock feel. The Cyanogen roms are fairly famous for this. It's as close to stock as you can get. No special themes, no extra apps, just a rooted ROM with extra goodies. As soon as you turn it on, the only difference you would notice is a few extra settings that you can play with, and the ability to install whatever kernel and apps you want.
  • Google's open approach here would have been ideal, if only they had marketed the Nexus One better. I would totally have bought a Nexus Two, but now they're out of the game. Too bad. I hope HTC tries a direct to consumer model at some point too.

    We're all going to suffer awhile longer before this crapware problem gets resolved.

  • 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 C_Kode (102755) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:00PM (#32993160) Journal

    This applies to most phones sold by carriers. Prior to purchasing my Nexus One I had a Blackberry (and the one before it) Both had lots of T-Mobile crap on them that I never used. The good thing about Blackberry though is it allowed me to "hide" any apps I didn't want to see.

    I suppose in Android I just wouldn't put them on any of my multiple desktops and just leave them in the main app list. (if thats possible on those phones)

  • Security problems (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Eponymous Coward (6097) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:10PM (#32993328)

    My problem with this is security. Every single one of those pre-installed applications have bugs in them that could be exploited by malware. For me, that's what makes it so irritating. An app, that I don't want, is taking up space, and makes my data less secure.

    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.

  • Nothing new (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bm_luethke (253362)

    Very few phones do not work this way and as a number of Apple people say about the closed store geeks get worked up over - few real users are going to care (and in this case I think it is true, in the case of Apple regular people *are* aware of how closed the app store is and are starting to see apps for the Androids that they will never get because of it).

    If you do not want them on your desktop simply press and hold the icon until it "locks" to your finger and drag it to the trash can. It will still be in

  • Annoying. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MaWeiTao (908546) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:42PM (#32993800)

    I've been considering getting a smartphone recently and one of the things that turned me off from Android phones was all the reports of bloatware. And some carriers, like AT&T, don't even allow the user to delete that crap. The HTC Aria, for example, is stuck with 4 or 5 different AT&T navigation applications, in addition to the one provided by Google. People have managed to hack the phone and are providing clean installs. Years ago I might have done that, but nowadays I don't have the time or patience to deal with that sort of thing.

    This kind of crap automatically leaves me seriously considering an iPhone. Why in the hell is a company like Apple more successful in keeping bloatware off their phones? Why are Google and Microsoft incapable of demanding their products be free of this stuff? It's in their best interests.

    I want something designed well, that just works without and doesn't require me screwing around with the device to get it just right. And this is coming from someone who used to spend a lot of time obsessing over getting icons and tools set up just right. I've designed my own themes for Windows and even found an application that let me create unique themes for my old Sony Ericsson. I like some level of customization but if things are design properly the need for it is diminished.

    It's bad enough having to go through and delete junk that's installing only to try to convince me to waste my money. It's offensive that I can't even remove that crap from the phone.

    For now I'm not getting any smartphone. I'll wait to see how things play out. A regular old phone does the job just fine and I'm in front of a computer all day anyway/

  • I know! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:48PM (#32993902)
    My friend got an iPhones, and it had some stupid application for making phone calls! Phone calls! How 20th century! Who the heck does that anymore? Sheesh, I tells ya, sheesh!

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra

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