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Cellphones Android Handhelds Software

Protect Your Android Phone By Killing All Its Crapware 201

Posted by timothy
from the easier-said-than-done dept.
jfruh writes "Like Windows, Android has built a dominant market share because any hardware manufacturer can license it — and as they did with Windows, those manufacturers are loading up Android devices with their own proprietary crapware. Although the process is a bit convoluted, you can get this crapware off your phone — and in doing so you'll actually make the device more secure."
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Protect Your Android Phone By Killing All Its Crapware

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  • Hooray (Score:5, Insightful)

    by egr (932620) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @10:41AM (#45355967) Journal
    Some guy found new button in application management settings... good for him! However the summary is misleading, it does not get the crapware off, it just disables the applications.
    • he did give information on how to completely remove them, specifically stating that you needed to "root" your phone (giving a link to how to do it) and then gave a link to an app which allows you to really remove the crapware after having rooted your phone...
      • by egr (932620)
        True that, I guess I missed it because it was just one paragraph at the end. However app disabling still seems to be the main focus of the article.
  • Disable is disabled (Score:5, Informative)

    by Russ1642 (1087959) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @10:46AM (#45356005)

    On my Galaxy S3, which is loaded only with genuine Samsung crapware, disable is disabled on those apps.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Vaakku (698260)
      Uninstall updates on those apps first. Then it will let you disable them.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 07, 2013 @11:06AM (#45356207)

        Just like the article says, which supposedly nobody on slashdot needs to read.

      • by Russ1642 (1087959)

        Nope. Disable is disabled. It will not let you uninstall them without rooting the phone.

        • by Russ1642 (1087959) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @11:11AM (#45356247)

          Correction. A few will let you disable them. Many will not, whether you uninstall updates or not.

          • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

            The ones you can't disable are required for the phone to work. They are kind of like drivers for specific parts of the phone like the proprietary Samsung sharing, or required for operation of the default Samsung launcher (which you can replace with one of your choice from Play).

            If you want rid of all of them just install Cyanogen, but of course you lose access to Samsung specific features.

      • Uninstalling updates enables "Disable" on some apps, but not others, unfortunately (on non-rooted devices). I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and can't disable the Samsung Music app

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Root it and put CyanogenMod [cyanogenmod.org] on it.
      That was the first thing I did with my phone. Also, the Verizon S3 is fully loaded with Verizon Crapware, not just the Samsung crapware.
      • by Greyfox (87712)
        You don't even have to root it. Just put the cyanogenmod image on your flash disk, use Odin to install the appropriate recovery image, boot to that recovery image and install the CM image.

        Buy a copy of mybackup pro or something and you can back up all your apps and data to your flash drive in advance. It doesn't seem to need root to do this.

        It's a bit of a convoluted process if you allow the original image to boot before you boot to the recovery -- it'll reinstall the stock recovery without so much as a

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Can't you compile Android from scratch and install it on your phone?

    • That's samsungs very annoying way of telling you to root it, I suppose. Or buy another phone. You can get titaniumbackup and freeze those programs once you do. I was annoyed by this too on my S2.
    • On my Verizon Galaxy S3 I rooted and installed BoneStock ROM. I chose this over Cyanogenmod, because it is mostly the stock ROM with lots of tweaks. Since it is basically the stock ROM, you don't lose any features and have less chance of bugs. (For example: No losing your camera.) However, it allows you to pick pretty much everything you want to install on the device and re-enables base features disabled by Verizon. (Wifi tethering for example.) I unselected most of the Verizon bloat along with many Samsung

    • Same on my HTC Evo 4G LTE. Some of the Sprint crapware is also undisableable.

      Worse, in my opinion, is the stupid Facebook for HTC Sense app. You can't uninstall it without rooting, and even disabling it won't let you install the stock Facebook app, which means that you perpetually have this stupid notification icon that harasses you to sync Facebook with Sense (so it can update your contacts with all your random Facebook friends).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    But root your phone to remove them. Yeah, because rooting doesn't make the phone inherently more vulnerable.

    Oh and it's nice that he's recommending basic Android 101 stuff (i.e. disable the app) which is presumably meant for a novice. He then recommends rooting to this same group knowing full well that these people shouldn't ever root their phone because it will cause more harm than good. Nice.

    • by egr (932620) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @10:50AM (#45356039) Journal
      It is possible to root the phone, remove the crapware and then remove the root. No need to keep it.
  • Or buy an iPhone (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ukab the Great (87152) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @10:46AM (#45356009)

    As reviled as Apple might be by gearheads about issues like flexibility and not letting samsung et all reap all the rewards for taking none of the risks, Apple stands up to telcos and don't let them put crapware on the phone, and the stuff Apple themselves makes and puts on the phone they actually attempt to make decently. The walled garden keeps the bad people out as much as it keeps the good people in. Stuff like this generates loyalty, folks. It's not just fanboyism.

    • by smash (1351)
      Pretty much. Telco crapware can die in a fire.
    • by Tukz (664339) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @10:53AM (#45356085) Journal

      If I remove the crapware on an Apple iPhone (iOS), it won't work at all.

      Let's see how many Apple fans got a sense of humour.

      • Well, it did get rid of the Android crap ware all right!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        There is a major difference. Most iPhone users don't give a flying fuck about rooting or modding our damn phones. Many of us have enough in our day to day lives with work computers, personal computers, friends and family's computers that the last thing we want to do is fuck around with the computers in our pockets.

        That is major difference I see between iOS users and Android users around here.

        For better, and probably worse, Android is the new Microsoft Windows. iOS is still pretty much the same old Mac in

        • by locopuyo (1433631)
          Bow down. I am superior.
        • There is a major difference. Most iPhone users don't give a flying fuck about rooting or modding our damn phones.

          True

          iOS is still pretty much the same old Mac in terms of user base.

          Very, very false.

    • by swb (14022)

      And although you can't remove the stock Apple apps, some are optional like Remote (for AppleTV) and they don't do something dumb like locking the apps to a specific screen or location. I have an app folder with a bunch of seldom used Apple apps on the last app screen.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@NOspaM.world3.net> on Thursday November 07, 2013 @02:26PM (#45358663) Homepage

        More importantly you can't replace Apple apps. No replacement home screens, keyboards, browser engines (all browsers are just crippled Safari wrappers), SMS messengers, personal assistants (Siri), text to speech voices, one touch dialers, market places or anything else that Apple considers to be duplicating functionality. I want the ability to duplicate functionality with something better or more suited to my needs.

        At least on Android you can always just hide the crapware away, disable it in the app manager and replace it with something from Play.

        • by Darinbob (1142669)

          Most of the "crapware" seems to be either replacement apps or the like from the vendor or phone company, or commonly used stuff. Ie, HTC Sense is crapware to some people but vital to others (though it's mostly subsumed since Android updated to have similar features). Or AT&T wants to tie together it's messaging and tv and other stuff, which is no better or worse than Google doing the same, or Apple doing the same, or whatever, but still easily disabled. Then there's the REAL crapware, like automatica

    • by metrix007 (200091)

      I'd be OK with an iPhone much as I hate Apple and the lack of flexibility and the control they exert over a device I own.

      Except...the features.

      There are too many features that Android has that generally make me more productive, that iPhones lack.

      Apple fanbois tend to dismiss widgets and homescreens and the ability to organize apps intelligently....but really, at just a small sampling, all those features makes me more productive, allow me to use my phone more efficiently and ultimately frees up more of my ti

  • by metrix007 (200091) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @10:53AM (#45356079)

    Stock Android. Nothing disabled, I can tether my phone at no charge, no crapware...

    Other phones may be faster, but not enough to justify the headache of crapware.

    It's the same reason I stick with Asus for laptops. Well built machines with minimal crapwear that are pretty easy to open up if you need to.

    • Personally, I get a sort of satisfaction out of rooting my phone when samsung or whoever clearly doesn't want me to. Same with jailbreaking. After installing cyanogenmod on my samsung, and after jailbreaking, I really didn't do much with either. If I wasn't flipping the bird to someone telling me how to use my stuff, it became a lot more boring.

      It's nerdy and ineffective, I know.
  • by Infiniti2000 (1720222) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @10:55AM (#45356103)
    I bet there isn't as much crapware on the phone as there is on that fucking IT World website.
  • "Like Windows, Android has built a dominant market share because any hardware manufacturer can license it."

    If that is the only reason that Android has for having a dominant market share, any old phone manufacturer can load it with crapware and sell it to the gullible?

    Nothing like competing on merit is there.

  • by rodrigoandrade (713371) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @11:19AM (#45356309)
    Seriously?????

    What's next? A story about the great wonders of alternate current?

    (including Edison vs Tesla flame wars, to boot)
    • by freeze128 (544774)
      I had no idea there was an ALTERNATE current. I've just been using the default current that comes with my voltage.
  • Android is licensed under the Apache Software License, Version 2.0* and GNU GPL Version 2.0 (the Kernel), for everyone and for free. The license is telling you: here is the code, do what ever you like. To compare that with the restricted Windows EULA or license that you have to buy for at least 3$ per phone** is very deceptive.

    * Android Open Source Project License [android.com]
    ** Windows Phone licensing cost revealed by ZTE: $23 – $30 [geek.com]

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      Google Experience - which is now the only way to get the current releases of things like the messages app - does have a licencing fee.

    • I assume you are talking about this in the summary:

      Like Windows, Android has built a dominant market share because any hardware manufacturer can license it — and as they did with Windows, those manufacturers are loading up Android devices with their own proprietary crapware.

      I don't think the cost of the license is relative in this instance. The point the author was trying to make is that the handset manufacturers are allowed to make changes to the OS that makes their crapware uninstallable just like

  • by Maltheus (248271) on Thursday November 07, 2013 @11:53AM (#45356707)

    ...there is only cyanogenmod. What is this crapware you speak of?

    • by PReDiToR (687141)
      Looking through my S2 with 10.2 nightly on it:
      Live wallpapers
      CM Account
      Daydreams
      cLock
      CM Wallpapers
      DSP Manager
      Dev tools
      Face Unlock
      Photo Screensaver


      Some of these programs I use daily yet to others they may be considered crapware.

      I enjoy being a regular user of CM. I have it on several devices and try to foist it on other people. This post was just to answer your obviously humorous question, which didn't pass as far over my head as you may suspect.
  • For this reason and this reason alone is why I will never use a stock-carrier and manufactorer bloated ROM on a Android phone. My Galaxy S4 from AT&T had SO MUCH junk bundled. Even the default Dialer/Contacts app was replaced with this AT&T junk that forced and bugged you to make a account to backup your contacts to AT&T that would cause a 15-20 second lag whenever I opened the contacts app. Add to it the number of bundled AT&T apps and Google Apps that are bundled that I could not remove (O
    • by mlts (1038732) *

      I will use the stock ROM to check that all the phone's features (camera, bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc.) work. Then, the phone gets loaded with a new ROM, either CM, or if not, I'll see about a "stock" ROM sans the junk. Usually I go through a few ROMs as people get used to the device and write nifty stuff.

  • I got my phone from my provider (Sony Xperia something or other, if it matters), and it has garbage in my apps that doesn't even show up in the setup list.
  • Not so much an issue with stock Android phones, and that's all I plan to ever own, unless I root a phone.

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