One of the reasons why people might be tempted by Google Play Editions of a device, or the Nexus line, is because these models come without non-Google pre-loaded applications, games and services. Both smartphone (and tablet) manufacturers and carriers are guilty of loading up devices with all manner of third party applications and in some cases, these can duplicate the stock Android applications. To a point, one can ask what this matters, especially as since Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, users are able to disable applications and so hide them from the operating system. However, there are some very good reasons why customers don’t want pre-loaded applications on their devices. These include that, quite often, the application embedded into the ROM is an old version of the application and needs updating. This means that the original, built-in version takes up space and the updated version too. Another reason – and a very good one at that – is that customers do not always want the duplicated application or game, will never use it, but are sometimes forced to look at the icon unless they shunt it onto the final page in the launcher. The issue becomes more prominent in those devices with a relatively small amount of internal storage, as each application and subsequent update takes some of this space. Before too long, an 8 GB device such as the Vodafone Smart prime 6, which comes with 8 GB of memory, is running low on storage.
In China, Samsung Electronics has been sued by a committee designed to protect consumer rights, because it is claimed Samsung blocked customers from deleting pre-installed applications from their devices. Although the case has yet to be completed, Samsung has preempted any decision by rolling out a patch to incited handsets to allow customers to delete the applications. Samsung said this on the matter: “Chinese consumers using Samsung’s Galaxy phones can now delete applications that were pre-installed because Samsung Electronics plans to provide software patches so things get done from next month.” The released patch includes the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and later smartphones and phablets, including the Galaxy S6 family. However, in the case of the Note range, a number of the pre-installed applications are required for use by the Note to: Samsung said that there are forty four pre-installed applications on the Note 3 and twenty four are required. The patches to allow the deletion of pre-loaded applications are available from the company’s after sales centres.
Meanwhile, the consumer rights committee has stated that it is not going to drop the lawsuit against Samsung just yet. “If Samsung fails to meet its own promise, then the legal tussle will be continued and expanded” it said on the matter. Furthermore, for Samsung customers outside of China, Samsung appears to have no such plans to allow pre-installed applications to be deleted.