While the amount of bloatware has generally shrunken in recent years, you can almost be certain that you'll still find more pre-installed software on carrier-issued phones than on their international or unlocked pendants. The same is true for T-Mobile's REVVLRY phones, available for purchase starting today. A Play Store listing of a "T-Mobile Play" app has surfaced that adds an additional tab on these phone's Google Discover feed sitting next to the leftmost homescreen.
Note the friendly caption in this Play Store screenshot, reminding you that data usage charges may apply for using an app forced on you by your carrier.
Imagine it as a video version of the Discover feed, but not fine-tuned to your preferences at all, since it lacks the personal data Google collects on you. T-Mobile says that "Channel genres including Kids & Family, Breaking News, Sports, Comedy, Lifestyle, and more" and that its recommendations should get better as you use it "based on a recommendation engine." For now, luckily, the software is only pre-installed on REVVLRY phones, but the carrier promises "more devices are coming in the future" — no thanks.
The app seems to be an ingenious way to squeeze out some more revenue from customers. Before each video, you're presented with a skippable video ad, along with more banners showing up among the previews. If you thought that you could at least use this feed to pass the time while you're on the move and connected to T-Mobile's network, think twice: the Play Store listing says "Data usage may apply."
We're not sure how T-Mobile can inject its panel into the Discover feed since the latter is usually a part of the Google app. Whatever the methodology, this might mean we could see other carriers or phone manufacturers adding their own feeds alongside Google's.
In case you'd like to check out this piece of software yourself, we've got you covered. It's available on the Play Store through the widget below, and we've got it on APK Mirror, too.