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South Korean Court Rules That Phone Bloatware Must Be Deletable

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the get-off-my-phone dept.

Cellphones 138

_0x783czar writes "Starting this April, South Korea will require all phone vendors to allow pre-installed bloatware to be uninstalled. That's right, they will be able to get rid of all that pesky software without having to root their phones. According to press release by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, 'The move aims to rectify an abnormal practice that causes inconvenience to smartphone users and causes unfair competition among industry players.' They hope this will also increase the users' data storage and battery life. From the article: 'Under the new guidelines, telcos are required to make most of their pre-installed apps deletable except for four necessary items related to Wi-Fi connectivity, near-field communication (NFC), the customer service center and the app store.' It'd be nice if similar legislation were passed in the U.S. and elsewhere."

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South Korean Government: (5, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | about 8 months ago | (#46060243)

Good on anti-trust enforcement.
Pretty damn stupid on fan-death enforcement.

Re:South Korean Government: (1)

Servaas (1050156) | about 8 months ago | (#46060359)

How are they at imposing Hollywood's will? And how is the weather there? Might make a nice place to move too.

Re:South Korean Government: (2)

rk (6314) | about 8 months ago | (#46060567)

Not sure where Hollywood enters this, unless you're getting there via the wrong definition of fan.

I pretty sure this [wikipedia.org] is what the GP is referring to.

Re:South Korean Government: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46062123)

I think he was referring to the MPAA and the ability to levy a million dollar fine for downloading 1 movie.

Re:South Korean Government: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46060919)

Not unless you like their *long* mandatory military service...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription_in_South_Korea

Re:South Korean Government: (3, Interesting)

Onuma (947856) | about 8 months ago | (#46061413)

Koreans are widely very tolerant, if not accepting, of their mandatory national (not necessarily military) service.

All of the soldiers I worked with over there had been amazingly professional, courteous, and capable. While I don't necessarily agree with compulsory service, they are allowed to defer it for some time in order to finish college, etc. At least it's a little bit flexible.

South Korea is Nice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46061957)

Seoul is pretty large, and you will get super high speed internet. If you can work there, do it! Many America companies.

Re:South Korean Government: (1)

stud9920 (236753) | about 8 months ago | (#46060457)

Good on anti-trust enforcement..

Then how come they HAVE to run Windows only software in order to do e-gov and e-banking related stuff?

Re:South Korean Government: (3, Informative)

DickBreath (207180) | about 8 months ago | (#46060497)

Because IE 6 only runs on Windows.

Re:South Korean Government: (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46061365)

Let me rephrase: Then how come they HAVE to run IE 6 in order to do e-gov and e-banking related stuff?

Re:South Korean Government: (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 8 months ago | (#46062247)

Let me rephrase: Then how come they HAVE to run IE 6 in order to do e-gov and e-banking related stuff?

Because a mandatory authentication module uses ActiveX - probably something to do with their national ID card or something.

Re:South Korean Government: (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 8 months ago | (#46062465)

Because the government decreed ActiveX as the standard for banking and other government-related things back in the 90's.

It kinda made sense back then, IE 6 and ActiveX was actually superior to Netscape and Java plug-in (or whatever it was).

The problem is that as time went by, the world moved on, but S.Korea was stuck because everybody was already using ActiveX and they had invested huge amounts of time and money into it. This demonstrates the problem with doing things by government decree. In the US, banks were free to use whatever they damn wanted for their online banking. S.Korea banks had to use ActiveX period.

Re:South Korean Government: (1)

jrumney (197329) | about 9 months ago | (#46063003)

It kinda made sense back then, IE 6 and ActiveX was actually superior to Netscape and Java plug-in (or whatever it was).

It was superior to the 40-bit export quality encryption that US-based suppliers were allowed to include in their browsers (the US relaxed its export laws before the ActiveX controls gained widespread deployment, but with the momentum of a government project and the factor of national pride in having a homegrown encryption standard, they couldn't put the brakes on). But they could just as well have bundled it as an extension to SSL rather than a separate ActiveX plugin.

what have they learned? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46060269)

This onslaught on civil liberties and the freedom to choose is tantamount to the oppression in North Korea! Any government mandate at all makes me a slave of the State. This life-crushing ban must be overturned. Immediately.

Re:what have they learned? (2)

Immerman (2627577) | about 8 months ago | (#46060733)

Really, don't they know that freedom is only important for corporations? Everybody knows that any time the interests of private citizens and corporations diverge, the proper role of a democratic government is to promote the interests of the corporations from which all good things flow. Here in the US we know how to do Democracy properly, the rest of the world should learn from our example.

Well that settles it (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46060389)

The South Koreans are officially light years ahead of the US in terms of internet connectivity and smartphones.

Re:Well that settles it (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 8 months ago | (#46060459)

But can you speak Korean?

Nonsense. (0)

InlawBiker (1124825) | about 8 months ago | (#46060535)

Phone companies make more money with bloatware.
More money means more taxes paid.*
More taxes is good for the people!
Bloatware is good for the people.

* (Nevermind those off-shore tax shelter front companies and campaign contributions.)

Re:Nonsense. (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 8 months ago | (#46060739)

Wait, how do they make more money with bloatware?
Everybody ignores the bloatware, installs the apps they want, disables the paid bloatware ones.

They waste money with bloatware, piss off users, slow down their updates, and cause people to hack their phones.

Dear South Korea: Can we borrow your judges?

Re:Nonsense. (1)

zacherynuk (2782105) | about 8 months ago | (#46060855)

^ this in droves.

The OEM computer market suffers the same blight but at least we can re-image or uninstall. The issue is with phones if we re-image we can no longer have updates, which on an android platform (especially) is silly.

You can tell I'm a n00b - I replied instead of modding up.

Re:Nonsense. (1)

KPU (118762) | about 8 months ago | (#46061043)

cause people to hack their phones

So there is some positive?

Re:Nonsense. (1)

icebike (68054) | about 8 months ago | (#46061113)

Well, in many cases, they simultaneously hack their warranty.

Re:Nonsense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46061201)

They make money by selling advertising space on the phone. For example my Sprint phones used to come with NASCAR bloat that I'm sure NASCAR paid a pretty penny for. There was also a navigation app I couldn't uninstall that I'm sure they got paid to put on there. Eating up your phone's local storage, memory, processor time, etc. is going to lead you to want to upgrade your phone sooner rather than later. How does it *not* make money for them?

Re: Nonsense. (1)

Scowler (667000) | about 9 months ago | (#46062881)

Most of the non-technical smartphone owners I know (iOS or Android, doesn't matter) are incapable of doing any of the things you mentioned. They have no idea what bloatware means, nor do they have any understanding of the pros/cons of it. For the most part, they are even afraid of those settings menus provided by the OS. You really think the telcos are not profiting from added software layers to these customers? Really?

Re:Nonsense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46062605)

Phone companies make more money with bloatware.

Fine. Let them make bloatware deals. Let people pay them to include their apps on the phones. Just let me delete them. I don't care how good your trip planning app is, or if you have the best fitness tracking app around, or anything about your NFL... whatever that app does. I don't want to use it, probably never will, and on the off chance that I do, the reviews on the app store du jour are more important than the convenience of already being on my phone when it comes to that decision.

If I'm lucky I have the option to hide it, but that is the best I get. Let me delete them; phone co still gets the kickbacks, I have the satisfaction of getting the crap I don't use off the phone, and the app developer gets better press for me being aware of their app without being associated with my irrational frustration at being forced into shit I don't need. Not the biggest problem with American cell phone carriers, but it would be a step in the right direction if it ever happened here.

Abnormal? (2)

Akratist (1080775) | about 8 months ago | (#46060401)

Not sure I'd consider bloatware to be "abnormal." Seems pretty ubiquitous in recent years. Deviant, warped, evil, insidious all work, though.

Re:Abnormal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46060583)

Recent years?

Its been prevalent since the 90s and with HDs and OS preinstalled started shipping as standard.

Re:Abnormal? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 8 months ago | (#46061143)

But it was removable.

"if similar legislation were passed in the U.S." (3, Insightful)

bob_super (3391281) | about 8 months ago | (#46060409)

Keep dreaming.
Bloating phones with money-making unstable privacy-invading tracking crapware is their first amendment right, and we are required to be glad for it, because it saves us the hassle of ordering our unlocked phones online.

Re:"if similar legislation were passed in the U.S. (3, Interesting)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 8 months ago | (#46061687)

Keep dreaming.
Bloating phones with money-making unstable privacy-invading tracking crapware is their first amendment right, and we are required to be glad for it, because it saves us the hassle of ordering our unlocked phones online.

You know, I've read the Constitution and all Amendments several times, and I still can't find the clause that actually gives rights of any kind to businesses.

From what I can tell, the Constitution only mentions 3 entities: Federal government, State government, and the People. Of course, corporations did exist back then (the collusion between the East India Tea Company and the British crown was a large part of the colonists rationale for revolting, after all), so it's not like it was an oversight.

So... what's up with all this talk about business rights? Businesses don't have rights.

Re:"if similar legislation were passed in the U.S. (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 8 months ago | (#46062045)

You know, I've read the Constitution and all Amendments several times, and I still can't find the clause that actually gives rights of any kind to businesses.

From what I can tell, the Constitution only mentions 3 entities: Federal government, State government, and the People. Of course, corporations did exist back then (the collusion between the East India Tea Company and the British crown was a large part of the colonists rationale for revolting, after all), so it's not like it was an oversight.

So... what's up with all this talk about business rights? Businesses don't have rights.

Note further that the word "rights" applies to only one of the three entities you mention - the people.

Governments, both State and Federal have "powers", but they don't have "rights".

Re:"if similar legislation were passed in the U.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46062687)

BUT BUT, corporations are people too!!!

Re:"if similar legislation were passed in the U.S. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46063039)

Amen. The other dirty little secret of American history that they don't want you to know is that corporations in the past were subject to a LOT more limitations than they are today. They could only exist for a set period of time, for instance. They could not own other corporations. They were formed for one purpose and one purpose only. If they were found to be not acting in the public interest they could be forcibly dissolved.

So when "conservatives" (the usual corporate apologists) tell you that they want to stick to the original intent of the Founders, you might want to point out to them all the parts of what that means that they choose to ignore. This country wasn't perfect when it was founded, and not everybody was as free as the American Exceptionalism crowd would like you to believe, but back then at least some people actually were free, as opposed to everybody living with the illusion of freedom that we have today.

Wouldn't that be nice (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46060475)

You mean I could delete the Satellite & PVR apps for the satellite TV and PVR I don't have?

That makes too much sense, such a law will never pass here. Not that we should even need such a law.

I bet they'd just bundle it all into one massive buggy bloatware "customer service app"

Re:Wouldn't that be nice (2)

Krojack (575051) | about 8 months ago | (#46060609)

Don't forget that crap game consuming a gig of space that you will never play.

Here's an idea (3, Interesting)

DickBreath (207180) | about 8 months ago | (#46060557)

Motivate the carriers to remove the bloatware. They can keep it if they want. Don't force them. Let the free market decide.

The first bloatware app on the phone reduces your monthly phone cost (pre-tax) by 50%.
Each additional bloatware app on the phone reduces your bill by 50% of what is left. So 2nd app further reduces bill by 25% of original bill.
The idea being that each app cuts your bill in half. Just keep cutting in half.

Now they can game the system and raise prices to sky high levels, you say.

Ah, but that makes them look awfully anti-competitive next to their competitor's phone that has, say, one fewer bloatware app on it.

Put that rule in place, let the carriers figure it out, and I bet the bloatware problem will disappear quickly.

Re:Here's an idea (2)

Krojack (575051) | about 8 months ago | (#46060671)

They will just say the app is required for the full user experience thus not classifying it as bloatware. What the end user calls bloatware the device manufacture or carrier calls a system tool.

Re:Here's an idea (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 8 months ago | (#46060933)

Exactly. It's really hard to define bloatware. My phone came with Facebook. Many people wouldn't consider that bloatware, but actually an essential piece of the phone. What about things like the SMS software. Technically it's just an app, and I could replace it with something else, but most users would probably be quite annoyed if they were browsing the "bloatware" they could delete, and accidentally removed the SMS capabilities of their phone.

Re:Here's an idea (1)

anagama (611277) | about 8 months ago | (#46061289)

There is no reason to make everyone in the world suffer because someone deletes an app after confirming they want to delete an app. Even so, if an app can be deleted, it can be installed, and with something like facebook, where all the info is on FB's servers, what exactly would be lost by accidental deletion? Nothing. Just reinstall.

Ultimately, it's pretty easy to draw a line. Everything after "telephone" is an extra. Even SMS, though it could just arguably be included as not bloatware -- many people do use SMS, but it is not universal and not an essential characteristic of a telephone. I wouldn't gripe too much if SMS was considered not bloat, but I wouldn't have any problem having it labeled it bloat either because it is not actually a telephone function.

Email, web browsing, playing games, watching movies, texting/chatting -- those are all PC applications ported to phones and thus are not essential parts of a phone. They may be desirable or not to different people, in which case by all means, those people should feel free to download and install them.

Re: Here's an idea (1)

Scowler (667000) | about 9 months ago | (#46062979)

A lot of non-technical people expect a "smartphone" to be able to do a list of tasks as soon as they take it out of packaging, and would find downloading a bunch of "basics" from the App Store quite an annoyance, if they even manage to do it at all. Why is it better to annoy 80% of users who are non-technical just to satisfy the egotistical demands of a few technical purists?

Re:Here's an idea (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 8 months ago | (#46062121)

This is why American can't have nice phones. You are obsessed with the legal language. In other countries a judge will just look at some crapware app and tell the carrier to remove it because any reasonable person would consider it bloatware.

That is the legal test for many things by the way: what a "reasonable" person would think, with "reasonable" determined by jury.

Re:Here's an idea (0)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 8 months ago | (#46061703)

"Also, I hate Samsung, so have the government enact a million-dollar tariff on every Samsung phone and then let the free market decide. Power to the people!"

—Stal- uh, Joe the Libertarian.

Re:Here's an idea (1)

Solandri (704621) | about 8 months ago | (#46062637)

You have the right idea, but your numbers make no economical sense. Installing a bloatware app does not make the carrier 50% of your monthly service fee. It will be difficult to justify that if a carrier sues.

Instead, institute a common-sense rule. If the phone's owner does not have complete control of the phone and his monthly fee does not decrease when his contract is up, the phone is not truly his and he doesn't really own it. The carrier is still considered to be leasing it to the customer, and is liable for any warranty/repair costs. Much like when you lease an apartment, the landlord has to pay to repair anything that breaks down from regular use. Do this and the carriers will be tripping over themselves to be the first to unlock your phone, delete any uninstallable bloatware, and reduce your monthly service fee to remove the "phone subsidy" the moment you're out of contract.

It must be nice. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46060579)

It must be nice living in a free civilized country - free from some corporate tyranny.

We corporately oppressed people here in the US have to shut up and take it.

Don't do business with evil corporation, Mr. Libertarian?

Well, now. Wouldn't that be great! See, ALL of the ISPs have control of the market and unless I want to get on the waiting list at my local library to use the Internet computers, I'm a bit screwed. I wonder how a potential employer would feel if I responded to an email days later telling them I just got their email and is the job still open?

So, I bend over and take it! With my 1.5 mbps down and 0.29mbps up here in Metro Atlanta via AT&fuckmeT (that is THE Fastest DSL in my area. No really. Stop laughing. It is.). BUT I can get faster if I sign their stick-me-in-the-ass contract and get their UVerse ripp-me-a-new-asshole service with their shit TV! for just a $100 per month! Introductory-they-will-fuck-me-later rate.

Phone service - localized legislated monopoly. Cell? They're all dicks and it's an oligopoly.

I don't have cable because I can live without their tyranny.

Car dealerships - another localized legislated oligopoly.

If you really think we live in a free country here in the US, you have been been brainwashed too much.

See, the Bill of Rights ONLY applies to Government. Corporations, being people, and having almost unlimited resources compared to the rest of us, rule.

Son of a bitch! The pinko crazies have been telling us this for decades and I was blinded by the corporate propaganda.

Re:It must be nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46060677)

So, I bend over and take it! With my 1.5 mbps down and 0.29mbps up here in Metro Atlanta via AT&fuckmeT (that is THE Fastest DSL in my area. No really. Stop laughing. It is.).

That would have been pretty nice connection in Nordic countries.

10 years ago.

Re:It must be nice. (3, Informative)

Shinobi (19308) | about 8 months ago | (#46060849)

No, it wouldn't have been...

In 2004, I had 24Mbit/s down/1.5Mbit/s up ADSL2 here in Sweden. GOOD connections were fiber/ethernet already, thanks to Bredbandsbolaget and a couple of others, as well as some municipal networks.

Re:It must be nice. (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | about 8 months ago | (#46061185)

S. Korea, Japan and the US are the 3 countries that are mostly owned by big corporations. Sorry to rain on your rant.

Re:It must be nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46061623)

S. Korea, Japan and the US are the 3 countries that are mostly owned by big corporations. Sorry to rain on your rant.

Well now ... let's ask what's different, shall we?

Could it be better government regulation, Hmmmmm????

Libertarians -0 ; Statists +1

Move (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46061457)

1.5 mbps down and 0.29mbps [...] is THE Fastest DSL in my area

You could always get a different area, as sglewis100 [slashdot.org] , Anonymous Coward [slashdot.org] , and another Anonymous Coward [slashdot.org] recommend.

This Is Not Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46060619)

I hate bloat ware as much as anyone. But, this sets a precedent, at least in South Korea, that basically says I can't ship a fixed firmware, it has to be modifiable. What distinguished a "bloatware" app from the dialer app? If I'm forced to make the dialer app deletable, how do I handle the inevitable flood of support issues form retards deleting their dialer?

This ruling is not good.

This is great! (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 8 months ago | (#46060867)

'Cause now all somebody has to do is claim iOS is bloatware and Apple has to let them put Android on their iPhone (or FirefoxOS on their Samsung or whatever -- relative merits of platforms is not the point of this post).

Backdoor anti-DRM/anti-locked-firmware law for the win!

Re:This Is Not Good (1)

anagama (611277) | about 8 months ago | (#46061115)

Are you kidding? We're talking a cell phone. It has one primary function, which is to be a phone. I don't think anyone would think of the dialer app as bloatware, but even if it was deletable, it could also be installable.

Things not a primary function of a telephone that I can't delete:

Facebook -- fuck off and die already.
Dropbox -- like I'd actually use this for backups?
Gmail/hangouts/etc. etc. -- don't want it don't care.
Polaris Office -- like I really want to write/edit docs on my freakin telephone?
Slacker -- some stupid radio thing that randomly turns itself on. My car has a radio and my ipod connects fine. At least with Pandora, I get a choice to install it or not. This forced install of Slacker DECREASES the chance I'd ever use it.
Twitter -- FFS!
Flickr -- Ditto.
Friend Stream -- I don't even know what this is, but from the name, I'm sure it isn't anything I want on my phone.
Telenav -- my garmin is much more convenient and doesn't report my every move.

NONE of those things are phone functions. Making them deletable is totally good, right, proper ... half tongue-in-cheek, I'd say that there should be substantial criminal penalties associated with making them undeletable. I paid for my phone up front -- $550 pre-tax. There should be enough profit in that price point to leave out the crapware.

Re: This Is Not Good (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46061515)

Cell phone?

I consider my Galaxy 3 a handheld computer with the ability to make phone calls.

Re:This Is Not Good (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 8 months ago | (#46061825)

Why not make it all deletable?

It's my damn device, if I want to go all scorched-earth on it and delete a bunch of shit it needs to function, that should be my right as the property owner.

Re: This Is Not Good (1)

Scowler (667000) | about 9 months ago | (#46063059)

There is a market for people like you... It's called "dumb phones". As for smartphones, I think the telcos should focus on making typical users happy, and not go to extreme lengths just to satisfy a few Slashdot purists over an inane issue like this one.

Go to the app store and type in dialers (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46061513)

how do I handle the inevitable flood of support issues form retards deleting their dialer?

"Go to the app store and type in dialer." Or "Go to the app store and tap downloaded apps, dialer, reinstall." Problem solved.

Re:Go to the app store and type in dialers (0)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 8 months ago | (#46061851)

how do I handle the inevitable flood of support issues form retards deleting their dialer?

"Go to the app store and type in dialer." Or "Go to the app store and tap downloaded apps, dialer, reinstall." Problem solved.

I can beat that:

"Google it, dumbfuck."

Re:Go to the app store and type in dialers (1)

almitydave (2452422) | about 8 months ago | (#46062865)

how do I handle the inevitable flood of support issues form retards deleting their dialer?

"Go to the app store and type in dialer." Or "Go to the app store and tap downloaded apps, dialer, reinstall." Problem solved.

"App store? I don't see that anywhere, maybe it got deleted..."

I just might buy another Samsung phone then! (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 8 months ago | (#46060627)

One of my problems with Samsung phones is the software on them. I like them otherwise. I like them with custom firmware better. The manufacturer and carrier bloatware soaks performance and resources which could be used by the user. But I suspect it will only apply to S.Korean phones and not those sold through carriers in the US.

Re:I just might buy another Samsung phone then! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46060903)

Apple are just as bad with unwanted crap, as is Nokia, as is LG, and now factor in the carrier shovelware too. Get the picture?

Re:I just might buy another Samsung phone then! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46060991)

I happen to agree. I love my Galaxy S IV, but the fucker came pre-loaded with so much shit from Verizon that I don't want, need, or use. Not just Verizon shit, Samsung loaded a bunch of crap I don't care about, too. If I could get rid of this shit I might *actually* be able to download a fucking movie to watch for once.

Re:I just might buy another Samsung phone then! (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 8 months ago | (#46061845)

its called "CynogenMod"..and i'd highly recommend it.

it's easy to root/decrapify your phone nowadays...people who don't are foolish.

esp. slashdotters...

Re:I just might buy another Samsung phone then! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46060993)

Who cares about this shithole u.s.?

Slashdot is a U.S. site (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46061529)

Dice Holdings, parent of Slashdot Media, is a U.S. company, for one thing.

Samsung Devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46060637)

I don't know how all of this works but I know my Samsung Note II has to have certain features on the phone because of laws in South Korea, where the phone is made. If this works the same way, then I'm guessing all Samsung devices at least will have to follow this rule or else get into making different devices for different markets.

GPE (3, Insightful)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#46060639)

My last few phones have all been Google Play Editions, and I can't be happier.

I'd toyed with Cyanogenmod, but there's a breakeven point between the time I spend dicking with a phone to unlock and reflash it - then deal with any of the incompatibilities that come up (especially with things like NFC and cameras, as previous loading/updating Google apps), and just getting an unlocked phone for what I'd have paid my carrier for it after they sneak the actual cost into my bill.

Most people will never know. They're going to have a crazy launcher, and tons of bloat, and locked tethering, and who knows what the hell else shoehorned into their phone because AT&T-MobRision made a deal with ESPN.

Re:GPE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46061001)

If only Google would release the moto X in google play edition I'd buy it in a second. I don't understand what the delay is, as they are the same company.

Re:GPE (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#46061139)

I went HTC last round, the wife wants to go S4, and the kid got himself a MotoG under the Christmas tree.

...but yes, it'd be nice to get more of their own offerings than just the G released in GPEs.

Re:GPE (1)

JLennox (942693) | about 8 months ago | (#46061279)

On my Google Play Nexus 4 I can either update Google Wallet, which wants new permissions, or I can sit there with the update notice forever, but I can't uninstall it.

Google Currents, Google+, Google Wallet, Google Drive, Google Hangouts, Keep, Movie Studio, News & Weather, Photos, Gallery, Play Movies & TV, Play Music, Play Newsstand, Play Store, Quickoffice, Voice Search, Calendar, Clock, Downloads

Really, it's just Google branded bloatware. Using a custom shell I hid ~75% of the applications inside the launcher because I can't uninstall them, and I don't use them, ever.

"Uninstall updates" and then "Disable" (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46061565)

On a nonrooted device, you can "Uninstall updates" and then "Disable" for many of those applications.

Re:"Uninstall updates" and then "Disable" (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 9 months ago | (#46062911)

The only thing Disable doesn't do that Uninstall does is leave data on the filesystem. It's out of sight, out of mind.

... Yes I'm looking at you Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46060655)

INCLUDING Stock ... Yes even Safari, Mail ... Or Maps ...

This is the reason why we have the App Store, so we can download back EVERY FSCKING APP OTHER THAN THE APP STORE ITSELF!

I would keep these 4 locked:
- Settings
- App Store
- Phone
- Messages

The End.

Re:... Yes I'm looking at you Apple (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#46060941)

There are people that would argue that a internet browser is just as important and integral on a modern smartphone as messaging.

I suppose it's a matter of perspective. I do a dozen searches of the web for every text message I get/send, but I'm not a teenager -- I just have the attention span of one.

Re:... Yes I'm looking at you Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46061237)

(O Thread P here):

I debated putting Messages and Phone there. But then, it would be a hard sell to have features from the carrier without being able to use them. I'd believe the AT&T of the world would be really annoyed at having their features removed. Not only are they unable to put bloatware on iOS, but users could actually remove their plans features from their phone. Otherwise, I wouldn't mind be able to remove them, as long as the end user is warned multiple times what he's about to do means he might be paying for a service he won't have access. That could actually be helpful when you have an old SIMless iPhone lying around, that you're using for other features.

For your example, however, by having the ability to remove Safari, it means someone can actually install Chrome and its offsite rendered web site, and not have Safari dangling in a Junk folder somewhere. Not that I care, I do use Safari, I do use Stock, but I believe not all users want that.

I'd draw the the line at Settings and App Store, that said :)

Re:... Yes I'm looking at you Apple (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about 8 months ago | (#46061567)

This law says the apps have to be deletable, not that you are not allowed to put them on in the first place. No harm in putting the Apple maps app on there for example, if you can delete it and replace it with the Google Maps one or whichever other one you prefer.

Re:... Yes I'm looking at you Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46061899)

(O Thread P again)

Yep, and that's what we are saying. Ability to remove these pesky useless apps.

I love Apple putting their apps in the first place. I hate I have to keep mandatory dead weights on my phone because Apple thought it's core.

What?! (4, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | about 8 months ago | (#46060663)

Separate Internet Explorer from Windows?! That's impossible!

Re:What?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46060817)

But how else would you download other internet engines

CD, SD, USB, and FTP (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46061591)

CD, SD, USB, and FTP still work to get a competing web browser's installer onto a PC.

Re:CD, SD, USB, and FTP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46061777)

but how would you download them to install them on other devices... ;)

Re:CD, SD, USB, and FTP (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 8 months ago | (#46061875)

CD, SD, USB, and FTP still work to get a competing web browser's installer onto a PC.

I downloaded a copy of Firefox once using FTP, and I have to admit, there's a certain, perverse joy in doing a trivial thing in a slightly-less-than-trivial manner.

DPRK (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46060759)

And yet again another restriction issued on businesses by the South Koreans, where the North has no such restriction.

I think it is a great idea (1)

ravenswood1000 (543817) | about 8 months ago | (#46060785)

This way I could get rid of all the stuff on my Android that Google wants me to have but will never use.

Re:I think it is a great idea (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#46061007)

For most people, there isn't too much on a GPE phone that you can't delete that you wouldn't want if you wanted an Android phone to begin with.

I suppose you might not want Chrome, or even the Play Store for that matter, but there's not much on a GPE device that qualifies as bloat.

Nobody ever complained that Windows included CALC.EXE

Re:I think it is a great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46061155)

Google is not a teleco. If you read the article literally it does not apply to them (I don't know what the Korean press release or law actually says).

Make the app-store deletable (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46060815)

If there's one thing that really sucks about Android it's that you practically have to have a Google account unless you are willing to restrict the apps that are available to you to a few hundred. Even most free (as in beer) apps can't be downloaded from the authors' web pages. Competition among app-stores is dearly needed.

Re:Make the app-store deletable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46061005)

I have to call BS on this.

I have a ** NEXUS 5 ** and don't have a google account, and have no restrictions whatsoever (unless not using google play is considered a restriction - I consider it a feature).

F-Droid [f-droid.org] is your friend.

Re:Make the app-store deletable (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#46061017)

What part of a Google account is required to install an .apk file?

Re:Make the app-store deletable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46061511)

The getting the .apk file part practically requires a Google account, unless you're willing to do without most apps, even free ones. Sure, you can try downloading the apk from some scraper web site if you don't care about avoiding malware. You can't however download most apks from the authors' web sites, because they simply don't offer them through anything but the Google app store. Like the other AC, I use an Android phone without Google account, so it is possible, but it limits the choice of apps unnecessarily and drastically. Yes, I know about and use F-Droid. It's like a communist grocery store compared to a US mall.

Apps that you can't get as an APK (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46061617)

The fact that a lot of publishers of Android applications refuse to make their .apk files available from their own web sites, instead requiring users to obtain them through Google Play or Amazon Appstore.

Uninstall windows from Nokia Lumia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46060937)

So I will be able to uninstall pesky windows from Nokia Lumia?

loat-ware (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 8 months ago | (#46061159)

I am convinced the purpose of unkillable bloatware is more than just extra promotional money -- it's designed, in conjunction woth limited RAM, to cause browsers to be killed off when you switch to another app, like messages or phone, so that when you switch back the page must be re-downloaded (curious it isn't cached locally when the browser isn't running), thus aiding in using up your data cap that much faster.

Cache size on mobile vs. desktop (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46061645)

I run Xubuntu (GNU/Linux) on a laptop with 1 GB of RAM and Android 4.4 on a tablet with 1 GB of RAM. I too have noticed that web browsers for Android tend to cache less than web browsers for GNU/Linux. Perhaps this is because the built-in NAND flash memory is much smaller than a PC hard drive and limited in erase cycles. A 1 GB cache is a lot more noticeable on an 8 GB phone or tablet than on even a 160 GB netbook.

About time (1)

bobjr94 (1120555) | about 8 months ago | (#46061209)

Hopefully the US follows them one day. Ive had to root several tmobile phone just to get rid of all their junk Ive never used once I started running low on phone storage. One app would pop up after 7 days saying my phone had been on along time and I should reboot it soon, pretty useless. After the 5 tmobile apps I got rid of google plus, hangouts, drive smart, evernote, lookout security, a few streaming music services and a bunch more.

Yeah? So? (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about 8 months ago | (#46061493)

What do you want? Competitive mobile phone companies that are allowed to innovate in order to bring enhanced value to their customers, or some dirty socialist government regulation? The phone companies know what's best for us. Who are we to decide what programs and features belong on our phones?

This wouldn't affect me.. (1)

XaXXon (202882) | about 8 months ago | (#46061557)

I buy Apple and Google devices - so no bloatware anywhere to be found.

Sure, I'd love to remove a few of the Apple apps.. but you toss them in a folder and forget they were ever there. They're small.

Wait... (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 8 months ago | (#46061647)

are you saying "Super Bubble Pop 2" _isn't_ a systems application?

+1 for South Korea! (1)

arfonrg (81735) | about 8 months ago | (#46061763)

what the subject said.

I already see a flaw (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about 8 months ago | (#46062509)

'Under the new guidelines, telcos are required to make most of their pre-installed apps deletable except for four necessary items related to Wi-Fi connectivity, near-field communication (NFC), the customer service center and the app store.' It'd be nice if similar legislation were passed in the U.S. and elsewhere."

They could just make one monolithic wifi+nfc+customer service+app store+bloatshit app that now satisfies the requirement that it is necessary to run the phone, and still doesn't give people what they actually want.

I don't usually support laws to handle this sort of thing. But if you are going to make a law, a better one would be that your phone must come with the option to run a stock android OS.

Posting AC because of my job... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46062973)

I'm a Sr. Systems Engineer for one of the top handset OEMs, ergo I must post this as AC...
The OEM bloatware is one thing, the corporation that I work for is going to start phasing it out in 2014 because they've finally come to the conclusion that they will never make enough money from secondary app/music stores and other OEM add-ons to even break even on the costs of maintaining the requisite backend systems. I don't know about other OEMs, but as with the market finally being saturated and margins heading into the era of being continuously squeezed going forward, I would not be surprised to see other OEMs heading in that same direction...

That being said, do not look for the U.S. carriers to follow suit. With the possible exception of T-Mobile now, they are being run/managed by a cartel of utter morons.
You wonder why it takes so long to get Android OS updates? Often there are "custom" carrier requirements that have to be met/tested, but the long pole in the tent is always the 3rd party bloatware providers of which the vast majority are of very questionable quality/reliability are always behind the 8-ball updating their apps, doubly so when OS updates change APIs their apps use.
You ask why Telenav/rebranded Telenav/other navigation app is pre-loaded on the phone? It's because the program mgrs. that control 3rd party bloatware are convinced that their customer base is so stupid that they will pay an MRC for a navigation app that is very inferior to Google Maps, although usage rates are minimal/never rise above some miniascule percentage that might accidently fire the app from the icon to see what it is. Many of other bloatware apps never rise above a 1-2% usage rate, but even that is based on what is usually a one time use.
People above have complained about Dropbox/Lookout and other software being preloaded; while these are competent apps that may be useful to some, they get preloaded because they don't charge the carrier's anything to pre-install and give them some cut for any user that actually buys the app/signs up for an MRC/pays for the service. The carrier doesn't give a rat's ass because it doesn't cost them anything, they might make a buck and they don't care if they use up the storage memory YOU paid for.
If you don't like it, root the handset and un-install what you don't want, or load a custom ROM that is bloatware free. With CyanogenMod or the latest tools available from XDA-Developers it's not any more difficult that following the instructions that come with Ikea furniture, maybe easier...
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