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Smartphones: the New Home of Crapware

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the time-to-flush-your-system dept.

Cellphones 308

Barence writes "Smartphones are replacing PCs as the new breeding ground for pre-installed crapware, argues Mike Jennings. The Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro, for example, comes pre-loaded with McAfee security software and other associated apps, four different app stores, and a selection of games and other media management tools. 'And it's not like you can just get rid of this software, either — most of it's there to stay, with hard-coded blocks in place to ensure you don't uninstall any of the tat you don't want,' he adds."

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308 comments

Welcome to the Jungle (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37186972)

We've got fun and games!*

(*walled garden may contain advertising, crapware, traitorware, behavioral tracking, and all around pointless crap)

Not news (5, Insightful)

petteyg359 (1847514) | about 2 years ago | (#37186984)

Even my regular old clamshell has pre-installed non-removable games and applications.

Re:Not news (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 2 years ago | (#37186992)

Even my regular old clamshell has pre-installed non-removable games and applications.

+1 And all the carrier branding stuff that's in there, nothing new.

Re:Not news (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187028)

For the love of all things nerdy mod this guy up.

Re:Not news (2)

MacTO (1161105) | about 2 years ago | (#37187090)

Same here, but I've noticed that the non-removable applications and games on my old phone were buried under menus that I rarely used. On the new phone, well, they're right in my face and a fair number of them are little more than links to websites. Which is much more obnoxious.

Thankfully I can choose to bury that stuff in folders on my current phone, but how long will it be until they remove that capability? (After all, they do it to make money. You can't make money on what users don't see.)

Thankfully the market is still reasonably competitive though, so we can still make the choice to reject those phones. Hopefully enough people are smart enough to do so, so that everyone doesn't have to live with the consequences.

Re:Not news (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#37187354)

Sure, but how much of it was slowing down your phone? How much of it was running in the background?

With an old clamshell, chances are those applications really aren't doing much to slow down your phone. With smartphones though, they are because they all run in the background even if you don't use them.

2 Words (3, Insightful)

clarkn0va (807617) | about 2 years ago | (#37186998)

Cyanogenmod.

Re:2 Words (1)

artor3 (1344997) | about 2 years ago | (#37187106)

If you root your phone at all, you can remove the crap without needing to switch to Cyanogen mod.

Re:2 Words (1)

EvilJoker (192907) | about 2 years ago | (#37187300)

2 more words - voids warranty.

I have had 5 defective Moto Droids (and a bad Droid 3). On my last one, when the warranty expired, I flashed CM7, and it was possibly the GREATEST thing that I've experienced on Android. However, if I had done this earlier, I would've had my many hardware warranty claims denied.

Still using it, even though the WiFi is broken. It's a better experience than most of the crap available now.

It is VERY encouraging that Sprint acknowledges this problem:
http://www.engadget.com/2011/07/19/sprints-fared-adib-we-made-a-conscious-decision-to-scale-back/ [engadget.com]

I just wish that Big Red would realize this too.

Re:2 Words (2)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about 2 years ago | (#37187396)

I have had 5 defective Moto Droids (and a bad Droid 3).

Please say those phones were for a team of people and that's not your personal experience because, if those were all your phones then you might want to look into a different manufacturer... One is a lemon, two is bad luck, three is a pattern, five is you're not paying attention. Heck, that many duds - even across a team of people - I'd be looking for a new manufacturer for my next set of phones...

Re:2 Words (1)

Jonah Hex (651948) | about 2 years ago | (#37187436)

I was told in the Sprint Store after I brought in my dead battery EVO, "your phone has a non-standard ROM installed which is fine, but we can't do any diagnostics on the software, we can only fix the hardware. If you need software support flash back to the Sprint ROM". They got enough of a charge in my battery that the EVO would charge it itself again, thankfully that issue has been fixed since it was a bit scary when it happened.

While I like CM7, I much prefer Synergy GodMode.

HEX

Re:2 Words (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 2 years ago | (#37187644)

If you need software support flash back to the Sprint ROM.

This is what happened with the WP7 mango beta, while the device was running the beta no software support was available, if you wanted software support you had to flash back, hardware issues were covered though.

Re:2 Words (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187346)

That's only 1 word :)

Apple (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187000)

I'm sure Apple is delighted by the extra customers being sent their way.

Re:Apple (5, Insightful)

Nova Express (100383) | about 2 years ago | (#37187034)

Ditto. Complain all you want about Apple's "Walled Garden," but I bet 95% of consumers would prefer not having that shovelware foisted upon them (especially the crap they can't remove) over the ability to play Ogg Vorbis or install a different operating system on their phone.

Re:Apple (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187174)

What? No, it just means they're stuck with Apple's crap, whatever that may be

Re:Apple (1)

KingMotley (944240) | about 2 years ago | (#37187184)

Such as? I can remove whatever I want.

Re:Apple (2)

cathector (972646) | about 2 years ago | (#37187290)

you can ?
i can't.
eg, stocks, itunes, game center, etc.
it is fairly easy to hide them away in a group labeled "crap" tho.

Re:Apple (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187452)

What about Clock, Camera, Calendar, Notes, Calculator, Compass, Voice Memos, Maps, iPod, iTunes, YouTube, Photos, Stocks, Game Center, Weather, Contacts, Phone, Safari Messages and Mail? Sure, some of those are very useful and probably not worth removing, but others (Game Center, YouTube) are just crap that I would prefer not to have taking up space in my "Junk" folder.

Not to mention that for most of the useful ones, there are better versions available (Digits to replace calculator, Evernote/Onenote to replace notes...) That if you decide to use, you get to put up with the original icons wasting space.

Re:Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187284)

See, Apple doesn't put crap on the things they sell. That is kind of their schtick.

Re:Apple (2)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 years ago | (#37187182)

So that's why people are leaving their Iphone 3GS's for new Android handsets. The fastest selling OS is Android, people are buying it because it's better.

The overwhelming majority of PC user's couldn't care less about "crapware" but are finding each revision of Itunes worse then the last and are relishing the chance to be rid of it. The critical difference is that they aren't forced to jump through hoops by the crapware to do basic things.

Re:Apple (1)

mkraft (200694) | about 2 years ago | (#37187250)

The only reason Android is the fastest selling [i]phone[/i] OS (if you count tablets iOS is still on top), is because there are more manufacturers of Android phones than iPhones. As for people switching from the iPhone 3GS to Android, from what I've read there are just as many people switching from Android to the iPhone 4. People with AT&T are switching to Android and people with Verizon are switching to the iPhone (grass is always greener I guess).

Then there's this:
http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/survey-over-half-of-phone-buyers-already-want-iphone-5-984013 [techradar.com]

Re:Apple (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about 2 years ago | (#37187384)

The only reason Android is the fastest selling [i]phone[/i] OS (if you count tablets iOS is still on top), is because there are more manufacturers of Android phones than iPhones.

You have it backwards. The only reason there are more manufacturers is because there is more demand. They wouldn't be able to support making that many phones if they were not being bought.

Re:Apple (2)

EvilJoker (192907) | about 2 years ago | (#37187404)

if you count tablets iOS is still on top

Are you sure about this? According to this [gartner.com] there will be about 90 million iOS devices sold in 2011, and about 180 million Androids. Even if we assume those numbers are strictly for phones, that leaves a gap of 90 million devices.

According to this [bloomberg.com] , Apple's selling fewer than 30 million iPads per year. And that doesn't even account for any of the popular Android tablets out there, such as the Xoom, the Eee Transformer, and the Nook Color.

Yes, iOS rules in tablet space. But it does not bridge the gap in phone space.

Re:Apple (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about 2 years ago | (#37187410)

So that's why people are leaving their Iphone 3GS's for new Android handsets. The fastest selling OS is Android...

And the single most popular smartphone is the iPhone 4. The second most popular smartphone? The iPhone 3GS.

Sorry - you were trying to make a point. Silly of me to inject facts into your discussion.

Re:Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187700)

And the single most popular smartphone is the iPhone 4. The second most popular smartphone? The iPhone 3GS.

Sorry - you were trying to make a point. Silly of me to inject facts into your discussion.

Because on iOS you have no choice in hardware...duh! If the iphone4 wasn't the most popular phone then iOS wouldn't be even on the smartphone radar in competition terms.

Re:Apple (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | about 2 years ago | (#37187450)

So that's why people are leaving their Iphone 3GS's for new Android handsets. The fastest selling OS is Android, people are buying it because it's better.

People are buying it because it's cheaper and the iPhone is not available on their carrier. If people were *leaving* the 3GS for Android, the iPhone wouldn't be gaining market share and the 3GS wouldn't still be the second best selling phone in the U.S.

If you really think that people are clamoring for the low-end Android phones because they think it's better, I've got a bridge......

Re:Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187222)

Or just go an android manufacturer that doesn't do this. The beauty of choice.

Re:Apple (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#37187350)

Fine, they can go off in Apple's walled garden.

I won't stop complaining, because I don't want such a restrictive approach to impact my ability to use my computers (of any form factor) the way I want to- and Apple's moves are making that highly likely.

Really? (1)

mevets (322601) | about 2 years ago | (#37187422)

Is that the only reason you won't stop complaining?

Since you can root your android phone, (or iPhone, if you prefer a better experience), run whatever on your computers and stuff, you really have nothing to complain about.

Yet, here we are.

Re:Really? (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#37187578)

Well if I had an Android phone it would be rooted, but I won't buy into the iPhone precisely because Apple makes so many decisions for you.

Since you can root your android phone, (or iPhone, if you prefer a better experience), run whatever on your computers and stuff, you really have nothing to complain about.

Well, since Jobs is all about the "post-PC" era where PCs are high priced things few people have and instead most people use locked down devices like iPhones and iPads, I'm free to be critical.

Re:Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187380)

Well, once you boil it all down to the bone, it's just a matter of dealing with a different pile of crap. A good example is Apple's iTunes. The OS X version can occasionally be messy but is usually a non-issue, but the Windows version can fuck itself up because someone sneezed. And since Apple has opted to tie backup/restore functionality and other maintenance issues to their buggy, bloated iTunes application, sure it's easy to be snooty about crapware in Android but iPhones aren't free of their own issues.

Lowering the bar... (1)

mevets (322601) | about 2 years ago | (#37187500)

I thought "fuck itself up because someone sneezed" was integral to the Windows experience.

Apple could have stuffed an 'iTunes inside a VMWARE virtual mac' so people wouldn't have to suffer with the Windows experience.

Since they have a better experience to offer, why would they want to step above the fray?

Re:Apple (0)

LordLucless (582312) | about 2 years ago | (#37187416)

This has nothing to do with the "walled garden" app-distribution model. It's perfectly feasible for Apple to do the same - they just don't because they have half a brain. The same way my Google Nexus S didn't have crapware pre-loaded on it - because Google cares about the reputation of their device.

Re:Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187448)

I'm sure Apple is delighted by the extra customers being sent their way.

Just one more reason to try to do away with the cell phone

I like options (0)

whiteboy86 (1930018) | about 2 years ago | (#37187018)

4 appstores to have is better then 1 restricted appstore, and secondly some well known firewall is probably better then no firewall at all.

Re:I like options (1)

redherring728 (1927764) | about 2 years ago | (#37187032)

I think you missed the point. The problem is not the existence of them, or even really the fact that they're pre-installed, but the fact that you cannot remove them.

Re:I like options (1)

whiteboy86 (1930018) | about 2 years ago | (#37187178)

Android is an open system, you can remove any app on the system you want, it is just not so obvious for beginners.

Re:I like options (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187312)

Tried it on the droid3? Still locked. No root. It's pretty much the iconic Android phone (people talk about droids and iphones) and it's locked tighter than a duck's ass. Android is open. The versions of Android foisted off on consumers may or may not be open, depending on version, vendor, and ease of exploitation. There's no way of rooting the Droid 3 yet, and I have an inkling it won't be opened up until Moto makes it happen.

Yes, I can install a different launcher, or otherwise obscure the crapware, but it's there for the duration. No way of removing it without root.

Root isn't guaranteed, so even if it is technically "open," that doesn't mean much.

Re:I like options (1)

PyroMosh (287149) | about 2 years ago | (#37187424)

It's not even just that. It's that it's not removable and it's crap nobody wants.

Safari isn't removable on iPhone. IE isn't removable on Windows Mobile. But nobody complains about those because they are intrinsically useful, and even if you don't like them, it's just because you prefer an alternative to the default.

Re:I like options (1)

Salvo (8037) | about 2 years ago | (#37187334)

It depends on the quality and efficiency of the "Firewall", especially on a Portable Device. Even well known Security Software may be inappropriate in certain situations.

If the Software can't detect new threats (out-of-date definitions, no dynamic threat control) it is pointless having.
If the Software is constantly running in the background, consuming CPU cycles, RAM, network bandwidth and Battery, it is less than useless; it is a liability.

Software solutions that get bundled with an OS in return for some financial kickback to the device manufacturer (Crapware) have no incentive to add value to the UX, so are generally detrimental to the UX.
I'm not saying that McAfee's software solutions are Crapware, but it is likely that Sony-Ericsson did receive a financial incentive to include their product.

Solution: go Apple (5, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | about 2 years ago | (#37187020)

Whether computer, tablet, or phone, Apple don't do this. It's *one* of the reasons I like them.

Simon.

(haters in 3,... 2,... 1,...)

Re:Solution: go Apple (1)

The Good Reverend (84440) | about 2 years ago | (#37187100)

Not only that, they COULD do it, and people would still buy their stuff/defend them. But they choose not to - I love that.

Re:Solution: go Apple (1, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#37187130)

ITunes? AppStore? Apple has preloaded marketing-oriented apps; they're just all Apple's.

Re:Solution: go Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187132)

Neither do google for that matter.

Re:Solution: go Apple (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187144)

Whether computer, tablet, or phone, Apple don't do this. It's *one* of the reasons I like them.

Yeah, Apple's not a solution. iOS 5 is bundling a Twitter app with it, which is bloatware I don't need. Likewise for some of the other crap that comes with it like the stock ticker I'd never use or the horrible weather app that I'd replace with a third party app... except that "duplicates functionality" so by Apple's rules there shouldn't be any. (But there are, so, yay consistency.)

On the Mac side, there's iLife which gets bundled with new Macs whether you want it or not.

(haters in 3,... 2,... 1,...)

I'd rather be a "hater" than a blind fanboi suckered by Apple's marketing into overpaying for crap hardware.

Wrong on Twitter, two ways (4, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#37187234)

iOS 5 is bundling a Twitter app with it

Totally wrong. They are NOT bundling a twitter app.

What they are doing is in fact the opposite of bad. They are adding twitter posting as a system library, that applications can bundle in but do not have to use.

The reason why it's the opposite of bad is that Twitter is requiring the odious OAuth authentication protocol, which requires a number of stages to authenticate. Since iOS includes Twitter access as part of the core, it does all the Oauth stuff behind the scenes and all you have to do is enter a username and password.

That means that any apps that also post to twitter (which is quite a lot of apps these days) will have much simpler sign-in processes for the user to make use of twitter, basically none if you've logged in once anywhere else already (and before you get freaked out about background tweets going out know that the user has to confirm a tweet should go out before it is posted).

On the Mac side, there's iLife which gets bundled with new Macs whether you want it or not.

Which you can also simply drag to the trash?

It's not crapware I'd say if it's actually useful though!

I'd rather be a "hater" than a blind fanboi suckered by Apple's marketing into overpaying for crap hardware.

Funny, I'd rather spend my time using a computer than configuring it, paying about the same for the privileged. But whatever floats your boat.

It's also rather funny you call Apple users "blind" when it's you who apparently can't see with clarity what that are doing.

Re:Wrong on Twitter, two ways (1)

MacTO (1161105) | about 2 years ago | (#37187298)

My last Mac came pre-installed with a demo of iWork. The one before that came pre-installed with a demo of Microsoft Office.

Then there's the stuff that a lot of people find useful but I just don't want. Some of which is quite easy to remove (e.g. iLife) and some of which is difficult or impossible to remove (e.g. iTunes). And don't get Apple wrong: iTunes isn't bundled as a wonderful media player. It is bundled to sell you more stuff (which is why most crapware exists).

Re:Wrong on Twitter, two ways (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#37187356)

some of which is difficult or impossible to remove (e.g. iTunes).

If you really wanted to, you could simply drag iTunes into the trash like any other app. Why do you think it's difficult or impossible to remove?

You do need it around to work with any iOS devices, that is true... but that's a different matter than claiming it's integrated into the system at a level you cannot remove.

Re:Wrong on Twitter, two ways (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | about 2 years ago | (#37187488)

Except that won't actually work. Trust me on this, because I had to reinstall iTunes under Mac OS X 10.6 just to get my iPhone to sync with it again.

The process starts by dragging iTunes into the trash. But you're not done yet [apple.com] !

Next, delete /System/Library/AppleMobileService.kext and /Library/Receipts/AppleMobileDeviceSupport.pkg.

Reboot. Empty the trash to remove iTunes, and reboot again (according to Apple, I suspect this reboot is unnecessary, but what do I know).

That finally removes iTunes, and has your Mac back to a state where you can reinstall iTunes and possibly get it to work again.

Yep, Mac OS X sure is easy compared to Windows.

Re:Wrong on Twitter, two ways (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#37187724)

Oh wow, two passes at the trash! How horrific!

I taken it you've never had to go registry key hunting in Windows or had to search for DLL's placed all over the Windows directory...

Re:Wrong on Twitter, two ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187406)

Can I remove it since I don't use twitter posting at all?

If not, then it's not "the opposite of bad"; at best, it's "a necessary evil" -- and that's only if you buy the line that shared libraries and daemons can't exist as installable packages, lest people crap up their systems with evil libraries and daemons. (There's another option, of course, having a system repository of Apple-controlled shared packages, and letting AppStore packages depend on those, but not on other AppStore packages -- but AFAIK Apple doesn't do that. No fucking idea why...)

Re:Solution: go Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187324)

You're just a blind hater. I have a 3rd party weather app, and multiple stock market apps. And there is no "twitter app" in iOS 5.

Re:Solution: go Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187180)

What the crap do you propose Bonjour is, then? Oh, and Safari whenever you install iTunes? Oh, and iTunes itself?

Re:Solution: go Apple (1)

Trufagus (1803250) | about 2 years ago | (#37187186)

Solution: go Nexus

Get the best of both worlds: no crapware, no jail.

(But I must add, I haven't encountered any crapware on non-Nexus Android's here in Canada. The problem seems to vary by carrier and country.)

Re:Solution: go Apple (1)

robbyb20 (651479) | about 2 years ago | (#37187372)

Not to mention a voided warranty for phone.... When will people realize that Android ISNT OPEN! its locked down once a manufacturer gets their hands on it. By unlocking the phone, they make it same like they are appealing to the masses but they arent. Open your eyes!

Re:Solution: go Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187202)

Actually, Nike+iPod.

Free and open (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187022)

I'm happy with my N900, it runs true Linux, i.e. it allows me to install/remove any app I want, right out of the box, without the need to execute some 3rd party binaries to "jailbreak". But as we all know - most people love to be pulled through the mud (as long as they are made to believe they are being pulled through liquid gold by the hand that pulls them).

Re:Free and open (-1, Troll)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#37187046)

What jailbreaking? The device mentioned in the summary is an Android device. What does Apple have to do with this?

Re:Free and open (0)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#37187116)

Wow, some loser must be bored to be modding me down as troll for something that isn't even remotely trolling. If you want to be so lame go ahead, I have plenty of reserve karma.

Twydroid (1)

awshidahak (1282256) | about 2 years ago | (#37187026)

Mine came with twydroid which is completely useless cause twitter doesn't support it (not to mention that I rarely touch my twitter anyway) and I couldn't remove it until I rooted it and installed a special app to remove it.

Verizon FTL (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187036)

My Droid 3 just showed up today... with 28 pre-installed crapware apps. I've so far only found a way to remove 2 of them.

Re:Verizon FTL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187262)

How much did you pay for the phone? And how much of it is subsidized by Verizon via the crapware?
When I buy emachines, they're infested with junk. Last time I bought a thinkpad, only 3-5 system utils by IBM (smartdisk equivalent). Not that useful to me, but not exactly an ad/ bloatware either.

Re:Verizon FTL (1)

CBob (722532) | about 2 years ago | (#37187428)

Welcome to Verizon.

Foistware/crapware & crippled phones have been standard practice there for years.

AT&T (1)

utkonos (2104836) | about 2 years ago | (#37187048)

You mean you don't use AT&T family map every day? And you would rather use Google maps' navigation function rather than AT&T Navigator? But it's a pay service. It must be better. What is wrong with you?

Don't Trust Any App You Didn't Write (4, Funny)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | about 2 years ago | (#37187056)

I have never understood the appeal of mindless games like Angry Birds. The common app phone is such a wasted instrument. How much more it could really be. I will only use apps on my Android phone that I myself wrote.

Re:Don't Trust Any App You Didn't Write (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187076)

Likewise, all my friends and I will only use apps that curmudgeon99 wrote.

Re:Don't Trust Any App You Didn't Write (4, Funny)

clarkn0va (807617) | about 2 years ago | (#37187166)

That's cool if you're into microcode trojans. Personally I can't stomach the thought, which is why I do all my own rare earth mining and built a clean room into the basement.

Re:Don't Trust Any App You Didn't Write (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187176)

However, people do *pay money* for them. Yes, app stores are full of crap apps and mindless simple games that make c64 games look sophisticated in every department except gfx+sfx, but if you do happen to make it big by being ever so slightly less shit (and advertising...), you currently make millions - literally - for crap that takes literally about a month to develop, tops.

Until the buyers show a little more discernment, then the situation is not going to change. I just hope to make a six figure sum with my crap apps before the market crashes, then I can afford a decent house, put some money aside, and work part time.

Re:Don't Trust Any App You Didn't Write (1)

PyroMosh (287149) | about 2 years ago | (#37187230)

Can you point me at the browser you wrote? And the SMS client? I hope you wrote a good GPS navigation application.

I have a litany of other apps that I use day to day, but I'll start with the basics where I assume your use overlaps mine.

Re:Don't Trust Any App You Didn't Write (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#37187244)

I will only use apps on my Android phone that I myself wrote.

I have never understood the appeal of mindless games like Angry Birds.

Somehow I think those two are related.

Re:Don't Trust Any App You Didn't Write (1)

dudpixel (1429789) | about 2 years ago | (#37187352)

My 2 year old understands the appeal of Angry Birds. In fact there are very few other games she can play...but she picked up Angry Birds pretty quick.

You sound like someone who wouldn't be happy with an app UNLESS you yourself wrote it - so go you.

yes yes yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187060)

Smartphones suck. They force you to run applications you don't want. They completely block you from doing what you want with your own hardware (unless you break their protections, EULAs, and possibly the law.) The PC revolution (led by Microsoft - if you're old you might remember when they were the underdog) is over. MS was the first company to realize the benefit of giving users (some) control over their hardware. Remember that anyone? Now we're headed back to the dark ages, when the hardware manufacturers tell you exactly what you can and can't do with the computer that you paid for. And oh how so ironic - many if not most of these devices are running Linux.

If you don't understand why the distinction between GPL2, GPL3, and the Affero GPL matter, then you are living under a rock (or maybe you are just plain stupid).

Android - Ti Backup (1)

ProfM (91314) | about 2 years ago | (#37187070)

Titanium Backup seems to remove that crapware. Of course you have to root your phone.

buy unlocked phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187168)

Am I missing something here? Unlocked smartphones are $500-$600. If you can get the same phones for free or $150, odds are it's being subsidized by the cell company somehow (ads, "free-trial" apps, bookmarks, etc).

I bought my samsung vibrant for $150 and then rooted and got rid of crapware. My friend bought it unlocked for $499 with no crapware. There's a low-end smartphone for free (2-year contract) that's loaded with junk.

Pick your poison. It's like complaining facebook doesn't protect your privacy, all the while it's a service you use it for "free."

So don't buy a shitty phone then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187170)

There are plenty of options which don't have bloatware. The Nexus S, for example, is crap-free.

Tit for Tat? (1)

The Yuckinator (898499) | about 2 years ago | (#37187198)

What is Tat? Where do I get it and how do I exchange it for the other one?

Re:Tit for Tat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187276)

What is Tat? Where do I get it and how do I exchange it for the other one?

Exchanging it usually involves paying for booze and movies you have no desire to see.

smartphones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187204)

Like Windows Phone XP 7 Home Phone Edition? Possibly, but so far nobody has used one. iPhone? Mmm, nope. Meego? WebOS? (just kidding!).

I guess they mean Android. Just another advantage of being Open (tm).

lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187232)

And the Microsoft fanbois still try to say those awful windows phones will catch on eventually! Don't hold your breath. Oh wait, you're still holding your breath waiting for Zune to take over...haha.

I opt for freedom. (1)

Olmy's Jart (156233) | about 2 years ago | (#37187270)

Right. This is why you root your phone. It's to de-crappify it. You take that crap off. I love Cyanogen Mod! Shouts to Cyanogen and congrats on the new job!

Vendors of phones and network providers refuse to accept the very concept that you own your bloody phone and have a right to do with it what you want. It's the Bell system from the '60's and earlier (pre AT&T divestiture) all over again. They get to tell you what you can do with your property and you will smile and you will like it.

Apple is even worse. They will dictate your entire experience and, if they are not happy with an applications which does not meet their agenda, politically or socially, they will cut them off. They take dictatorship and crapware to a whole new realm of reality. Oh well...

I opt for freedom.

Several of the vendors have gotten on the clue train. HTC is there. Samsung hired Cyanogen and is opening THEIR bootroms. Motorola (soon to be Google, maybe) fought it but threw in the towel and announced they would unlock their boot roms. They ARE getting it. The VENDORS are getting it. The carriers are NOT as yet. The clue train has not arrived for them. We need to teach them and we need to teach them a painful lesson. If it costs them money to kept their hands on our short and curlies, eventually they will get a clue and release their grip. AT&T sucks. They want to extend their control as much for the money as to dominate you and dictate to you where you have no option. That's mind control. That's corporate 1984. That's what we call a "monopoly" and that's what has to be prevented.

ITMT... It is established law that you have a right to root your phones (DMCA exemption as determined by the library of congress...)

So? (1)

PCM2 (4486) | about 2 years ago | (#37187274)

My phone came with some crapware too, and I can't remove it... but so what? The Kindle App? The Amazon.com shopping app? Some weird subscription GPS app that doesn't work as well as Google Apps? If I can't remove them, why wouldn't I just get over it and ignore them? It's not like they pop up when I don't want them to, like Norton Antivirus on a new PC. They just sit there. So what?

Common defect (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#37187338)

This is the problem when the device vendor makes a fatal mistake in judging who their customer is.

Almost all cases like this they assume that some 3rd party, whether some junk software maker like McAfee or in the case of phones, the carriers, is the customer instead of the end user. So instead of getting a good, clean product (and paying what it actually costs) you get a subsidized version full of garbage.

This is one reason I refuse to buy devices on contract, and why I build my own PC. Perhaps if the handset vendors decided to push back against the carriers' bullshit, we might not have this issue.

Re:Common defect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37187530)

This is one reason I refuse to buy devices on contract, and why I build my own PC. Perhaps if the handset vendors decided to push back against the carriers' bullshit, we might not have this issue.

Unfortunately, most american cell phone users want a cheap/free phone, unless they are dying for an iPhone. I don't remember the last time I spoke
with someone who was paying anything close to list for a cellphone.. All the crackberry users I know, their company buys the phone. 95% of the android users I know got their phones for less than $100 on a contract renewal.

Given this situation, it is the Carriers that keep the handset makers in business not the enduser. Heck .. I wouldn't pay $135 for an unlocked version of my current claimshell ..

Pre Installed? (2)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about 2 years ago | (#37187340)

Ha! Verizon actually ADDED crapware to my DroidX with a software update that did nothing but force install the demo for some football game that could not be removed.

Now I use CyanogenMod.

Physical Buttons (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about 2 years ago | (#37187362)

I've seen commercials for phones that even come with "Crap-Buttons" now. Actual hardware that launches facebook. That's some serious faith that facebook is going to survive Google+

But Android is Open... (0)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 2 years ago | (#37187408)

How do handset makers get away with closing it when Android is supposed to be "open"?

Re:But Android is Open... (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#37187584)

Because Google didn't bother ensuring that it was open for you. They hyped up the "open" aspect to draw in developers who were otherwise interested in mobile Linux.

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