Call me a cynic, but when I fork out more money on a smartphone than I did for my first car, I don't really feel like I should be stuck with twenty or more bloatware apps pre-loaded onto my phone that I cant get rid of. Considering the ridiculous amount of space and system resources these apps take up, I think I deserve the ability to delete them. Trust me, if I actually wanted them I'd download them from the Play Store. That's what it's for, after all: a place to get the apps you actually want.
I'd like to know exactly how much money is made by the manufacturers and carriers by bloatware, because it had better be loads and loads and loads. Otherwise I say we take a flamethrower to our app drawers and send strongly worded complaint emails every day until every Customer Feedback Officer has quit their jobs in frustration and the OEMs are forced to reconsider their position. I mean, seriously, would you buy a BluRay with commercials in it? An album full of ads? I can live with ads in free services like Spotify or free-to-air TV, but in a device I've forked over an arm and a leg for? Nuh uh.
So why do we put up with this situation? Many of us choose Nexus devices simply because we are free from all but the most essential apps (that are still forced down our throats by Google). Of course, we can root our phones and remove bloatware to cut back on the background processes but we still can't free up that partitioned space they just vacated. And why should we be forced to void our warranty to get rids of apps we don't want, don't use and don't need?
What we need is an anti-Play Store, like a dark matter version of Google Play that we can stick all of our most hated apps in to see them crushed like so much matter in a black hole. If only we could name and shame carriers and manufacturers into treating us better, but the problem is they're all just as guilty as one another. I love that LG allow us the possibility of removing some pre-loaded apps on the LG G3 and that some other manufacturers are at least dropping the amount of bloatware a bit, but it's still not enough. Why should we have any apps we don't want on a device we paid good money for?
If bloatware is an absolute necessity - because, let's face it, it's unlikely to go anywhere soon - why not have an app suggestion manager in the initial setup procedure for each smartphone? Perhaps an awards system for those that choose to install that junk? Anyone in their right mind can opt out and only install the apps they actually want but others with a more obedient spirit could at least get something for taking one for the team. What should those rewards be? Discounts on services? Free accessories? Shorter upgrade timelines? Surely we deserve something.
If we absolutely must be stuck with bloatware, how about giving us some choices? Like letting users choose from three different bloatware packs on setup? Perhaps an ''office pack,'' ''gamers pack'' or ''entertainment pack'' so we can at least get a slight chance of getting apps we might care to open at least once? I realize that, like app developers putting ads in their free apps, there's probably decent enough reasons for the inclusion of at least some bloat. But when it's taking up that much space and system resources it gets beyond a joke. And yet we continue to take it.
I'm always amazed at how forgiving smartphone consumers are: from crappy official updates that brick your phone to poor service, failure to admit responsibility when things go wrong, excessive bloatware, system hungry skins and the forcing of awful services on you that you don't want or need. And yet the same customers that love to fire up in internet forums instantly get wooed the next time the marketing cult professes the next greatest thing. I'm as guilty as anyone for falling for the latest gadgets but I at least know that I shouldn't and try to make wise (ahem, Nexus!) choices.
In one way I respect Google's approach to Android Wear and Android One as it pertains to manufacturers: our way or the highway. At least I like and use the apps Google gives me: YouTube, Maps, Gmail and so on. But at the same time I don't like having everything laid out for me either. I love Android because it lets me customize things exactly how I like them; the more things are predetermined for me the more claustrophobic I become. We just need to remind ourselves that they need us more than we need them: look at how many three year old phones are still chugging along fine! Heck, I still have an old Nokia I could revive. Did anyone ever want to remove Snake? So grab your poison pen and let your manufacturer know what you want and what you won't put up with anymore! It's time we set the record straight.
What's your biggest pet peeve on smartphones? What responsibility do you think OEMs should have to customers?