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Android Co-Founder Says Carriers Should Add More Bloat To Their Phones

Eric McBride
19

 

Bloatware...love it or hate it, it’s there, and unless you’re a root user, you’re going to have to put up with it. It’s no secret that OEMs skin Android devices to stick out from the competition, so it’s no surprise seeing carrier bloatware installed on devices when purchasing from your local Verizon or Vodafone store. The issue I have with bloatware is that it’s proven to slow down your phone by hogging your memory, which makes me honestly wonder why Android co-founder Rich Miner recently said that carriers should add even more bloat to their Android devices.

Now mind you, Rich probably doesn’t use or advocate the word “bloatware” that often, but that’s essentially what carrier/OEM apps are. I can tell you that after removing the bloatware from my Note 2, that it freed A LOT more of my memory, resulting in a faster and even smoother experience. Rich doesn’t seem to address that issue, and had the following to say about carrier apps (aka bloatware):

“There’s a big opportunity that they seem to have left on the table”, and added that “I’m a little curious as to why” carriers haven’t done even more to customize the Android devices they sell.

Rich...please don’t encourage this. If anything, encourage carriers to firstly optimize the bloat apps they install in a way that doesn’t hit performance so hard. I don’t know about you guys, but until they get that issue sorted, I certainly don’t want to see anymore bloatware on my phone (which is why I buy unlocked devices 95% of the time).

How would that even work actually? I mean, it sounds to me as if Rich is encouraging carriers to add their own skins instead of just apps. But how would those play with OEM skins? Are you saying that for the, Galaxy S3 for example, that carriers should build yet another skin on top of the already existing Touchwiz skin?

Seriously? I mean, doesn't that kind of go against what ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt had to say about skins?

What do you guys think? Are you a fan of carrier/OEM skins? Would you like to see more skins/bloatware on your device, or is it enough already?

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

 

Comments

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  • Dvoraak Nov 9, 2012 Link

    A carrier skin on Android phones would be the quickest way to get me to buy an iPhone 5.

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  • Eric McBride Nov 9, 2012 Link

    Hahahhahshah!

    Agreed! :-)

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  • Gio A. Nov 9, 2012 Link

    The only things carriers should be doing is making sure that their hardware is the newest and most up to date so that i can get the best experience possible on any phone on their network. And not messing around with the software on my phone and giving me a phone with les performance and ultimately making me wait longer for updates. leave the software to the OEMS and Google.

    Work on hardware not software.

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  • Eric McBride Nov 9, 2012 Link

    I wholeheartedly agree Gio.

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  • Martyn Butler Nov 9, 2012 Link

    I have no issue with bloat or skins - they can be wonderful additions and provide a sound reason for making a purchase decision HTC sense in its latest incarnation being an example of the best of them.

    HOWEVER all skins and carrier apps should have an opt-out with a Skins option switch - I just see no reason why they have to be baked in and irremovable.

    NEXUS WTG

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  • Matthew Bell Nov 9, 2012 Link

    Well this is exactly why I only buy the nexus lines. Maybe that's the tactic they're going for....fed up of 'bloatware'? Go Nexus!

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  • Gio A. Nov 9, 2012 Link

    @martyn- I completly like your idea. Let the user decide if he or she would want to use the provided skin or bloatware. If you decide you don't wan't it you would simply be able to choose when you first setup your phone to not instal it. Or maybe even choose what you want and what you don't want. And if later on you decide you do want it you could probably download it from your carriers website or maybe even Google play.

    This would probably make the android experience a lot more enjoyable.If this is even possible it would be an amazing feature for the next android update.

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  • Dvoraak Nov 9, 2012 Link

    I doubt they'll ever offer the choice with a skinned model. Bloatware is about money. They're not going to give you the equivalent of ad-blocker when the potential income made or lost is their's.

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  • Gio A. Nov 9, 2012 Link

    Yes it's true it always boils down to money. But atleast if you had the choice it would be great. Speeking for myself here, I usualy never use the carriers bloatware but stil their on my phone and they take up space and use my memory. So I would probably remove them if possible. And maybe there are people that do use it (not likely). Wouldn't it be stupid to have it on the phone and not use it. The carrier isn't making money and I'm stuck with their bloatware that i'm never going to use. Its a lose lose situation. If you had the chooice of choosing for it if you are going to use it or not choosing for it if your not going to use it. The carriers would be making money from the people who wanted it and are going to use it and the people who didn't want it would be happy they don't have it. Win win.

    But hey thats just my opinion.

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  • Randy Walsh Nov 9, 2012 Link

    That's why I love my Galaxy Nexus.

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  • Dvoraak Nov 9, 2012 Link

    @Gio - I agree with you and bloatware is universally loathed. Verizon is closing down their app store and it's going to really mess with people who have paid apps from them. Another good case against bloat.

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  • Anna F. Nov 9, 2012 Link

    I never buy phones from carriers so i never had any problems with carrier bloatware :) I do hate Samsung's TouchWiz skin though. But I use Apex launcher to fix that. At some point I'll root my phone and get rid of all of this.

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  • Larry JJ Jenkins Nov 9, 2012 Link

    I really dislike bloatware. That's why I believe in rooted devices.

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  • Gio A. Nov 9, 2012 Link

    I also don't buy carrier phones but I have bought unlocked verizon phones in the past and they also came with the bloatware. they are just annoying and usualy give you something that the phone already had but just with the carriers name on it and they usualy aren't any better. Sow you would be stuck with 2 applications that do exactly the same thing just the phones one would be better.

    Once again I'm going to say carriers should stick to hardware and leave the software to google and OEMS.

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    DaBartonator Nov 10, 2012 Link

    If they add more bloatware it will just be more stuff to uninstall once I root the device! I also think if carriers are worried about software they need to work on putting out updates!!

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  • Kenny Schachat Nov 17, 2012 Link

    Re: the UI's and skins (e.g Sense & Touch Wiz), I think one of the biggest problems is that while the stock Android UI has been functional, it's rather plain and not easy or intuitive to learn for the inexperienced, first time smartphone user. Too many features are hard to discover, etc.

    IMO, Google should commit serious resources to the goal of developing a UI for Android that sets new standards for ease of use, discovery and UI aesthetics. IMO, if Android's stock UI was innovative, compelling and newsworthy enough to become a must-have feature, then users would pressure the carriers to deliver the phones without changing it.

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  • Anna F. Nov 19, 2012 Link

    @Kenny I totally agree with you. I recently rooted my phone and flashed CM9 (based on stock ICS) and it's not as intuitive as I had though it'd be. I can definitely figure it out but most of the people I know wouldn't be able to. Google has perfected the aesthetics but they need to work on ease of use and UI functionality.

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  • Kenny Schachat Nov 20, 2012 Link

    @AnnaF: I also recently rooted my HTC EVO 4G LTE (a very underrated phone, IMO) and flashed a CM10 ROM w/ JB 4.1 and it too has the same issues: it's a UI that I would only recommend to experienced Android users/enthusiasts.

    Although this is of course my own very subjective opinion, I find Google's Android UI aesthetics to be just too far on the side of stark and boring. I'm not at all advocating for gaudy faux wood or other silly stuff but ICS and JB are dark and gloomy. And whose idea was it to move to thin, empty, line drawings for icons and just everything, else, LOL! Even Gmail has changed to very thin, non-standard scroll bars - why?

    A low point in UI and functionality is the phone dialer app in JB. It's uses annoying drop down menus, long press only works in one situation to bring up unfamiliar cut/copy/paste icons at the bottom of the screen (huh?) and the number pad has a huge overabundance of wasted white space or more accurately, dark blue space, with aqua lettering. By comparison, the HTC Sense 4 dialer is light years easier to use, more attractive and more feature complete. I have no doubt that Google could really innovate in the UI, if they can wake up to it's importance.

    UI issues aside though: JB is a very nice step forward. The so called "Butter" tweaks to touch responsiveness are nice, though it's still not up to Apple's standards in that area. The overall performance is not only faster but more balanced throughout the UI.

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