dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
   
spc
story category
Shockingly, Nobody Uses Samsung's Annoying Smartphone Bloatware
by Karl Bode 08:44AM Thursday Apr 24 2014
A new study by Strategy Analytics indicates that nobody uses the bevy of bloatware that companies like Samsung include on their handsets. While Samsung recently patted itself on the back for having 100 million users for ChatOn (Samsung's messaging app), Strategy Analytics notes that US users spent around six seconds on average in the app. The firm strongly suggests that those actually using Samsung applications may only be doing so by accident.

"Based on AppOptix March 2014 US panel data on 250-plus Galaxy S3 and S4 users , the total time spent across key Samsung Apps on its flagship devices - Galaxy S3 and S4 – came just under 7 minutes," notes the company. The firm goes on to point out that the same Galaxy user spent 149 minutes using three Google applications.

Hopefully somebody can do a similar study on the assorted bloatware companies like Verizon insist on including on their devices. Verizon's entire assault on bootloaders is predominately focused on ensuring they can continue to load devices with their own applications and services; it would be curious to see just how beneficial these practices are for Verizon's bottom line.

view:
topics flat nest 
page: 1 · 2 · next
pawpaw

join:2004-05-05
Greenville, SC

I have a Galaxy S, AT&T

I have spent a considerable amount of time on the Samsung apps, mostly trying to uninstall or disable them. They are bloated, worthless battery-depleting garbage. Now I have a visceral aversion to the Samsung brand, although the hardware is probably good. I say probably, because the software foisted on the phone make it impossible to know for sure.

Looking forward to the Cyanogenmod phone (no personal connection).

ptrowski
Got Helix?
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:5

Re: I have a Galaxy S, AT&T

I go in and disable them. It's a pain but solves the problem.

robbyglack

@comcast.net

really ??

wow. i thought myself and everyone i know were the only ones who liked picking our apps from the play store selection. i thought everyone else used the 'crap/bloat' that comes with the phone.

just kidding. people like selection. also people have friends/associates who use other brands of phones and other carriers. we like neutral apps that work on any phone/any carrier.
snarf7

join:2013-08-31

Re: really ??

I went with HTC one m8 while less it still has bloat. Next device will be a nexus

Tomek
Premium
join:2002-01-30
Valley Stream, NY

Dejavu of PCs

Do you remember when you bought new shiny PC, the first thing you had to do was to re-install windows to make sure all of that bloatware is gone?

Problem with cellphones that they take full control of software and it is not that easy
--
Semper Fi

knewman

join:2010-10-21

Re: Dejavu of PCs

I would argue that reinstalling Windows on a PC 10 years ago is about the same difficulty level as reinstalling Android on an average smartphone today.

Tomek
Premium
join:2002-01-30
Valley Stream, NY

Re: Dejavu of PCs

My point was that you simply cannot do that, even controlling startup tasks is a job on its own
--
Semper Fi
wkm001

join:2009-12-14

Typo?

"...indicates that nobody installs the bevy of bloatware that companies like Samsung include on their handsets."

Why would you need to install software that is already included?

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:43

Re: Typo?

Whoops, thanks. Fixed.
tkdslr

join:2004-04-24
Pompano Beach, FL
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US

Besides the basics.. I use only a couple of the built in apps.

on My Samsung phone..

Telenav GPS does a fine job displacing my need for a separate automotive Navi system.

I use the photo Gallery, Camera and Memo feature..
Sometimes I schedule something using the calender app.
T-mobile basic account features still used..

And naturally I've used google play store which has allowed me to download a dozen useful apps for free.

One key thing.. Once I download an app, and I like it, shutoff the updates.. all of them..
You would be surprised how many apps turn into dog shit after an update.
So don't do it..

Rooting the phone is a given. Titanium backup is most useful at getting rid of the spyware, and other apps which detract from the phone's abilities..

carpetshark3
Premium
join:2004-02-12
Idledale, CO
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Re: Besides the basics.. I use only a couple of the built in apps.

You and me both. Rooted phone to get rid of bloat, and whatever Google crap I could.
Only use Play. I read updates before doing any. If the update fixes a bug, I may install it. A good launcher gets rid of the Google search bar on the screen. I use Boat browser, which allows Duck Duck Go as the default, and have installed links to Startpage and Ixquick.

Also waiting for a CM phone. I had CM on a Nexus S. Nexus 4 rooted, but can't find a ROM I like.

Also TMO customer. TMO pretty good about the strange phones I've had. I've bought unlocked EU phones from Amazon, and they've all worked. I'm not a heavy data user, so using Edge didn't bother me.
pawpaw

join:2004-05-05
Greenville, SC
Rooting is a given. Unfortunately mine is a corporate-issue, and I am not allowed to root it. The company pays for my plan, though, so I cannot complain too much.

Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA
This reminds me that I need to look up how to root my boys' Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7" tablets. They are running low on space (they love getting new apps but hate uninstalling old ones) and deleting some bloatware could help. (Complication might be that one tablet is WiFi only and one can connect to Verizon's cell network - though we don't have it hooked up to that.)
--
-Jason Levine

jseymour

join:2009-12-11
Waterford, MI

Averse To Samsung & It's Bloatware

After having been burned by Samsung's clipboard crash bug, I did some research. That research revealed that had not been the first time Samsung had pushed buggy Android software out the door. Nor the first time they'd been inexcusably slow to acknowledge it. (When they've acknowledged it.) Nor the first time they'd been inexcusably slow to fix the problem. I also found out that, of all the makers of tech gear, Samsung has perhaps the worst reputation for customer service.

Consequently: When I went looking for smartphones for my wife and I: Samsung was not even in consideration. Nor will they be for future acquisitions.

We have Samsung tablets, but they're running CyanogenMod. That's the only condition under which I'd have a Samsung tablet or smartphone: If I could replace Samsung's buggy, bloaty, security-vulnerabilty-ridden crapware with something else.

Good hardware. Terrible code.

Jim
elister

join:2006-07-17
Seattle, WA

Notepad

I have an S4 and tried to use their S Memo app (note pad app) and its amazing how competitor apps like AK Notepad are faster at loading and taking notes.

With my old HTC phone, at least I had a few apps I actually used and when installing a custom ROM, lost all those sense apps and had to pay a few $ to replace the functionality of those missing apps.

Packeteers
Premium
join:2005-06-18
Forest Hills, NY
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

bloatware scams you into phone upgrades

i have a 2yo smartphone which suits me fine. but at&t pumps so much bloatware on it that it keeps locking up with near full memory and pending updates. i basically have to get a new phone just to keep up with at&t's bloatware demands - it's ridiculous. anyway, i'm trying to get it unlocked and re-rooted, but that's yet another major headache at&t creates for it's phone users even post contract term...
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

As much as I hate manufacturer bloatware...

...I hate carrier bloatware even more. I have no desire to use NFL Mobile, Verizon Tones, VZ Navigator, or Verizon Accessories (yes, an app to buy overpriced accessories from Verizon, when a Web site would work just fine), but if I did, I'm quite competent to download them from the Play Store. But I could even maybe accept the fact that they're preinstalled if they were uninstallable like regular apps, but NO, they're baked in, so the only way to get rid of them is to root.

Have the carriers even deigned to explain or defend this practice? I'm sure, if they were honest, they'd say they simply don't care what customers think, but I'd love to hear their bullshit responses.
itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA

Re: As much as I hate manufacturer bloatware...

quote:
Have the carriers even deigned to explain or defend this practice? I'm sure, if they were honest, they'd say they simply don't care what customers think, but I'd love to hear their bullshit responses.
In the case of some of them - money. I'm sure the NFL pays something for placement. And the others get the less technically savvy.

But I agree they should be 100% removable at all times.
NefCanuck

join:2007-06-26
Mississauga, ON
Reviews:
·voip.ms

1 recommendation

said by ISurfTooMuch:

...I hate carrier bloatware even more. I have no desire to use NFL Mobile, Verizon Tones, VZ Navigator, or Verizon Accessories (yes, an app to buy overpriced accessories from Verizon, when a Web site would work just fine), but if I did, I'm quite competent to download them from the Play Store. But I could even maybe accept the fact that they're preinstalled if they were uninstallable like regular apps, but NO, they're baked in, so the only way to get rid of them is to root.

Have the carriers even deigned to explain or defend this practice? I'm sure, if they were honest, they'd say they simply don't care what customers think, but I'd love to hear their bullshit responses.

Oh I'm sure that top on the list of "bovine excrement" excuses is the classic:

"We include our software to enhance the user experience on our network"

Notice what's missing from that statement above? Anything relating to the actual *users* wants or needs.

As evil as Apple is (and I say that owning an iPhone & an iPad) they don't even *let* the carriers install their bullshit half baked code on to their products, so an iPhone from Carrier A will act exactly the same as an iPhone from Carrier B.

Sure Apple's code ain't perfect but at least it ain't as bad as the carriers "best efforts" which aren't even consistent from phone to phone on their *own* networks, NVM the crap that carriers do to the exact same phone on their own networks

NefCanuck
ISurfTooMuch

join:2007-04-23
Tuscaloosa, AL

Re: As much as I hate manufacturer bloatware...

Absolutely agree!

I think it's time for Google to put a stop to all this by mandating that anything that manufacturers and carriers install on top of Android be 100% uninstallable without rooting. Make that a condition for the continued use of Android. At this point, Android has a big enough market share that the manufacturers and carriers will just have to suck it up and live with these requirements.

XANAVirus
Premium
join:2012-03-03
Lavalette, WV
Reviews:
·Callcentric

I completely agree.

I didn't even have my then-new GS4 for 5 minutes after I'd bought it in-store and took it home before I had completely rooted and then flashed it to run CyanogenMod.

I took one 30-second look at the apps included on the default firmware, and then backed them up (though now I no longer have that backup).

The only thing I'm missing is visual voicemail, but I hardly ever got any voicemails anyways so it's not so much a concern.

Apparently, I'll also be missing out on Sprint Spark since it requires an update to the default firmware.

One thing I've noticed is the phone has been so much more responsive, even on power-saving settings.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

iPhone bloatware

iPhones come with very little bloatware, but you can't delete it. The ones I don't use are the stocks and a couple others. The compass is useful though. I don't like the weather app, there are better weather apps out ther (I use TWC Max).

I do download some carrier software like the my Verizon app to monitor my data usage.
--
Stop the Comcast-Time Warner merger, I'd rather Time Warner buy out Comcast.

SrsBsns

join:2001-08-30
Oklahoma City, OK

One word... Nexus

This is one of the reasons I stick with Google Nexus phones. They have no bloatware or overlay, so the experience is how its meant to be. Nexus phones always get the newest updates first.

carpetshark3
Premium
join:2004-02-12
Idledale, CO
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Re: One word... Nexus

Yeah - They come with Google Bloatware. I'm not joining +, using Now or whatever it's called just because it's on the phone. I'm using the Nexus just for the reference apps which you can't get on a dumb phone. They can SELL me the OS extra and let me pick and choose.

bmccoy

join:2013-03-18
Port Orchard, WA

Re: One word... Nexus

You can easily go and disable stock apps in Android.

RyanThaDude
Indiana's No. 1 Zero

join:2004-01-24
Walkerton, IN
Reviews:
·Mediacom
Unless you're on VZW, where they'll probably never carry another Nexus device. The last Nexus device was the Galaxy Nexus back in 2011(?). There's been plenty of newer devices and none of them are VZW-capable. My guess is that Google demanded the phones remain as they are w/o carrier bloat and restrictions, and VZW passed. Only reason VZW carriers the iPhone since it's a very popular device, whereas the Nexus, not so much.
snarf7

join:2013-08-31

first thing I do

Is disable all bloatware
djoropallo

join:2003-10-20
Maple Shade, NJ

Root and remove

First thing I did is check the list of bloatware that can be removed safely and uninstalled using Titanium. Otherwise I have enjoyed the S3 with a custom ROM for 2 years now.

Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT

Just use a third party ROM

I'm still sporting a Samsung Note II (SGH-i317). Except the latest update to 4.3 was quite disappointing, so I threw on DN3. Makes a huge difference, especially with the AGNi Kernel.

I do use the S-Pen, and find it quite useful.

Probitas

@teksavvy.com

and you wonder why

the industry doesn't want any regulation. What happened when Microsoft got accused of automatically installing all those apps for users, that ended up keeping competitors software from even being tested by prospective users?

RyanThaDude
Indiana's No. 1 Zero

join:2004-01-24
Walkerton, IN
Reviews:
·Mediacom

Some manufaturers and carriers are making even more difficult...

... to root and install 3rd-party firmwares such as Cyanogenmod. Samsung Galaxy devices have Knox embedded which, when tripped, flags the device as modified, and therefore the warranty void. Verizon Wireless further makes the device locked down by encrypting and locking the bootloaders, making the install of 3rd-party firmwares nearly impossible.

On VZW, the New Galaxy S5 still cannot be rooted, so removing the bloat is impossible. You can still disable it, but it's still taking up space.

Mr Guy

@charter.com

Re: Some manufaturers and carriers are making even more difficult...

would you buy a GS5 without bloat for $100 more?

Mr Guy

@charter.com

well companies could remove bloatware

but since they make revenue on that and removing them reduces revenue enjoy paying $100 or more extra for a smartphone. No such thing as a free lunch people.
pawpaw

join:2004-05-05
Greenville, SC

Re: well companies could remove bloatware

Do they really make $100 on the bloatware? I doubt it is that much. Have they made the calculation that whatever they make is worth the collateral brand damage? Is seems that only Apple has done so, and look where that got them. Oh, wait...
Emiya

join:2006-03-30
Southington, OH

Viva la ROMs

I have a Note 3 and love it. Of course it's rooted and running a custom ROM with all that junk stripped out. I'm about to start working on my 4.4.2 rom, now that I have a good OEM stock rom to start with.

HappyJoe

@comcast.net

And people wonder why the iPhone is still selling well.