AH Bloatware-2

AH Primetime: Mobile Carriers, Please Stop Including So Much Bloatware

August 27, 2014 - Written By Kristijan Lucic

There is one word that basically everyone hates when mentioned in terms of a mobile device, that word is bloatware. Most of you are completely familiar with this term and know what it represents, for those of you who are not, let me explain. Bloatware is basically an additional software which is installed inside of your device by an OEM or a carrier. It is important to differentiate (useful) features and bloatware in terms of software though. The first word symbolizes something useful and quite frankly something you want to have inside of your phone, the other however, not so much. If you didn’t have experience with smartphone bloatware the chances are you know someone who did, whether we’re talking carrier bloatware or OEM bloatware.

Why do people hate bloatware that much? Well, because it’s useless and it only takes up precious storage space in your phone and sometimes even RAM, depending on the application. There are OEMs which make kind of heavy OS skins for their smartphones, like Samsung for example. They tend to include a lot of their software which you won’t use nor want on your smartphone and yet you can’t remove it unless you root your device, that’s something we’ll talk about on some other occasion. Same thing applies to certain network providers or carriers if you wish, who tend to put all kinds of useless services in the devices they sell. This doesn’t have to be a problem though, as long as they let you remove it, but it many cases the software is completely baked in and non-removable. This is actually one of the reasons I’m an Android purist, in other words I like to use Nexus devices which offer pure Android experience without any OEM or carrier software installed.

I bet many of you would argue that bloatware doesn’t really influence anything when it comes to today’s beastly specced phones, I’d disagree with that. Why would you gave up on some storage, RAM or processor power for something you won’t even use? Your phone will age better without it as well. Besides, if we take into consideration that they do the same with low-mid range devices which are not as powerful, that’s a completely different story. If you buy a phone which, for example, has only 4 or 8GB of internal storage and a bunch of mobile carrier bloatware on there, you have a real problem on your hands. This is especially applicable if you don’t have a MicroSD slot / card to work with, but even in those cases it can be a problem considering you can move only certain types of apps to external storage. We all know how huge today’s apps are, they really do take up a lot of space.

Luckily in my country mobile carriers are not as heavy when it comes to bloatware, they tend to put a few of their apps on there which you can remove in most cases. This is not the case in some other countries though, a few carriers in the US are rather heavy when it comes to bloatware, not to mention carriers in South Korea where Samsung and LG are from. I don’t know if you’ve seen or handled a phone which comes from Korea and is not meant to be used in non-Asian markets, but those things are loaded with useless stuff. As for my closing thoughts, a message to all bloat-heavy carriers, please stop including so much bloatware on mobile devices or at least let us remove it.