Nov 01 AT 3:17 PM Nick Gray 23 Comments

Android 5.0 Lollipop may make bloatware a thing of the past


Buying a phone from service providers is one of the things we dread the most. If you want a good deal on a new Android phone, you usually have to sign a two-year contract. But the issues don’t stop there; carrier-branded phones never get software updates as fast as unlocked phones do, and they are always weighed down with additional software that no one really cares about. We wouldn’t complain much about bloatware if service providers only included the apps you need to manage your account or check your visual voicemail, but most phones have anywhere from 5 to 20 additional apps (most of which are available through Google Play) pre-installed into the system partition, making it impossible to uninstall them.

Android has made it possible to hide these apps on the device, but a new Android 5.0 Lollipop feature may change the way service providers install apps on their phones. In an interview with Ars Technica, Dave Burke and Gabe Cohen, Android VPs of engineering and product management, described a new way service providers would be able to bundle their apps on Android devices. 

Burke: So the idea is as part of setup, Verizon might have some apps that you want like an app that tells you how much you used that month in terms of charges. There’s legitimate use cases where you want apps, but you also want those apps to be treated like any other app. What happens now is when you’ve got a Verizon SIM in the device, it actually installs Verizon apps as part of the setup flow, and then you can remove them if you want as part of the Play Infrastructure. And Verizon can update it.

Cohen: They’re not on the system partition.

Ars: Oh ok, so you can remove them?

Cohen: Yes.

We’re not sure when this new feature would be implemented or if it’ll be mandatory. We’re excited that Google has come up with a solution that should make service providers and consumers happy. However, there does appear to be a downside: if you own an unlocked device with no bloatware, sticking a T-Mobile or Verizon SIM into the phone would automatically install all the apps that the service provider thinks you should have. Yes, you will have the option to uninstall them, but the end user still has to go through a few extra steps to have a clear device.

Source: Ars Technica

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • fatspirit

    I don’t understand. Persistent bloatware – bad. Removable but preinstalled – bad. Why so serious?

    • Richard Yarrell

      Nice Idea but it won’t work. Google is pushing there weight and the carriers will push back they are not afraid of Google. After all it’s the carriers who made GOOGLE trash Android Silver. I think GOOGLE needs to stay in their area of responsibility things would be much better that way.

      • snowbdr89

        Nobody asked you’re worthless opinion ya big dummy.

      • Semproxion

        Care to support your claim regarding the carrier’s forcing Google to abandon the Silver project or is it just another one of your factless uneducated fanboy ranting.

        The irony is that Samsung are the worst for bloatware!

        • snowbdr89

          The big dummy dick yarrell can’t back up anything that hole in his face spouts out!

  • GenoBandino

    How complicated are the “few extra steps to have a clear device”? I mean, Can a novice do it? Can an intermediate do it? Do you have to be an expert to do it? On as scale of 1 (beginner) to 10 (expert)?

  • Melanie G

    Thats why people buy iphones, it just works without bloatware. I have an iphone 6.

    • Nick Gray

      I don’t think anyone has ever said “man, I really love android, but I’m switching OS and going with an iPhone because I just can’t live with these 9 extra apps installed on my phone.”

      • Ty

        Actually that’s one of the biggest reasons I switched to Windows Phone. WP comes with some bloatware apps, but Microsoft makes carriers keep them all uninstallable. I’m looking back into android for my next phone, but I really want to find a way to have a clean android phone and carries make this extra difficult. Sorry but verizons dirty fingers all over my phone just pisses me off.

  • renyo

    I installed a tmo sim on my nexus 5 and previously on the sensation… But no… Tmo bloat did not install…

    • kenneth warnershook

      There not talking nexus phones they are saying other phones then nexus phones such as the galaxy s5 note 4 htc one m7/m8

      • kenneth warnershook

        And it pertains to android 5.0 Lollipop

  • jlp

    “if you own an unlocked device with no bloatware, sticking a T-Mobile or Verizon SIM into the phone would automatically install all the apps that the service provider thinks you should have”

    They can adda configuraion option (disabled by default) to avoid that.

    • Nick Gray

      They can add anything they want, but if this is Google’s was of moving bloatware off of phones, the configuration will most likely be enables by default to get carrier buy-in.

    • kenneth warnershook

      I highly doubt google would allow the config to be added

  • aranea

    Shouldn’t it ask you if you want to install those apps when you stick in a new SIM?

    • droidweb

      ^^^ This. Sounds like that’s opening a security vulnerability. What’s to stop someone from using a modified SIM card to install whatever malware they want into a device?

  • Bolino

    Thinkaboudit…. If you don’t take da apps, yaGadda gota goto. .Google PLAY!… see, ya gonna get apps anywayhow, cause ya likem.. ya sol gonna boat da phony phone, Best ting. Buy the packet from tmobile or Verizon, and just grit your Toes, and grin a lot. Dis way ya gonna learn all aboudit, anysohoway, see, ya gonna do it any way, enjoy, rollthe dice, twice as nice, Live n, learn. . Okay pally. . Pjbo.

    • Vincent dagen

      I’m sorry but that was the most difficult thing o have ever had to read. Who taught you how to put words together? My 5 year old speaks and writes better than that.

      • Kim

        Lol you need to check your spelling also.

    • Chad D.

      I lost a few brain cells reading your ghetto type… Thanks

  • Harish Kumar

    Know about what android lollipop (5.0) has to offer. 10 features of the new android you must know about

  • Emma

    That’s a big sigh of relief because these bloatware create a great mess in the battery life of an Android phone as they continuously run in the background and drained out battery at much faster rate. To overcome this issue from my end I recently purchased a Muti USB Charger from Amazon that can charge up to 6 Android or iOS based devices in less than two hours with its unique auto detection feature.