Nobody likes ads. But as the online world has matured, people have come to understand that certain ads are necessary to fund their favorite sites that are free to access (hello). And while it's one thing to see ads on a website, but quite another matter when they start showing up in your phone's built-in apps. That's just what's happening for a number of users with Samsung phones in the US and other regions across the globe.
This story was originally published and last updated .
When setting up a phone for someone who's not especially tech-savvy (or simply doesn't care to learn about their phone), Android offers a nice amount of flexibility in terms of what you do or don't have to do. But just because the flexibility is there doesn't mean there aren't a few highly advisable, if technically totally optional, steps you can take to make that phone (and potentially the person using it) a lot less annoying. Here are 10 things we think will make any beginner's experience on an Android smartphone less frustrating, both for them and the person tasked with setting them up.
Mozilla has several flavors of its Firefox browser for Android, with 'Firefox Lite' serving as the main choice for Indonesia and other Asian countries. Despite its name, the Lite browser has become more and more bloated over the past few months, and now there's a travel feature that isn't very helpful.
The TCL Plex was announced late last year at IFA, marking the company's first self-named foray into the world of smartphones, following its success under a host of other brand names. Expectations were high, and the phone's mid-range specs sounded impressive on paper, but it looks like TCL couldn't resist the urge to drag the experience down just a little bit. As part of its brand new Android 10 update, the phone picked up a bit of bloatware in the form of a likely-unwanted game.
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.
With its display covering almost the entire front surface, the Galaxy S10's design aims at being simple and clutter-free. Samsung's software, on the other hand, isn't necessarily popular for being sleek, as it noticeably changes Android's classic look and feel. The company has further customized its interface with the recent release of One UI, which looks nice, albeit different from the OS' standard appearance. Galaxy devices also come with extra apps, which are often useless and end up taking additional space. The latest flagships will be no exception as they'll come preloaded with McAfee's anti-malware bloatware.
The Snapchat app is still a dumpster fire, but now it's a dumpster fire that can look up products on Amazon. While work continues on the revamped Android application, Snapchat has decided to add Amazon searching to the camera screen. Because that's totally what users want, right?
The KEYone is available as an unlocked phone, and that's probably how most BlackBerry fans will buy it. However, there's a Sprint version, too. Owners of the Sprint version recently reported an aggravating battle with bloatware, which was constantly reinstalling itself on the phone. Sprint has now confirmed this is a bug, and it'll be fixed soon.
Carrier bloatware is always annoying, but Sprint just upped the ante. Sprint is currently the only US carrier selling the KEYone, the latest BlackBerry-branded device manufactured by TCL. Owners of the Sprint KEYone are reporting a huge amount of apps being automatically installed, and they can't be disabled or removed.
Verizon is known for bundling large amounts of pre-installed applications with little value, hence the term 'bloatware.' Unfortunately, it seems like the Verizon-sold Google Pixel phones are no exception.
According to a page on Verizon's website, the Pixel includes eight "Preloaded Play Store Apps," besides the usual Google-made apps bundled with most Android devices. The included apps from Verizon are My Verizon, Go90, and VZ Messages. There are other Google apps pre-loaded outside of the usual bundle as well, including Allo, Duo, Android Pay, Docs, and Keep.
Unfortunately, Verizon does not make it clear if their bloatware applications are uninstallable or not.