Google's Pixel Phones Aren't Bogged Down with Verizon Apps

Google Pixel Hands On AH 15

Earlier this week, the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL were announced. These devices, which supersede the Nexus line, appear set up to tackle the iPhone thanks to their premium quality, superb cameras and powerful hardware. As part of the reveal, Google explained that a limited number of carriers would be stocking the Pixel – for America, it would be Verizon Wireless and for the United Kingdom, it would be EE. The device is also available for sale via the Google Play Store, where it is compatible with every network in that country. Google have also included Project Fi compatability too, meaning a customer could very realistically have an all-Google set up if he or she were to use their carrier.

However, writing again about the Google and Verizon Wireless deal, in the past this has meant that customers buying a device through Verizon have received a number of alternative applications installed on the handset together with the stock Google devices. In the case of the Verizon, Samsung, Google Galaxy Nexus, the deal with the carrier meant that the smartphone would receive software updates much later than the unlocked GSM Google Galaxy Nexus. It remains to be seen if the tie in with Verizon Wireless has any effect on the schedule of software releases, but what we can already determine from the Verizon website is the number of pre-loaded Verizon applications on the device. Here, the news is better than many were expecting: the device comes with a number of Google applications as expected, including the usual suspects of the Google Calendar, Messenger, Contacts, Camera, Drive, Maps, Play Music, Gmail, Photos, the Google Play Store, YouTube, Chrome and Google Movies & TV, among others.

The majority of these applications are supported by the Google Play Store (and naturally this is included on the device) and some may be uninstalled, but most can be disabled. However, the Verizon website notes that there are no pre-loaded Verizon apps, that is, those which may not be uninstalled (but perhaps could be disabled). Instead, Verizon are including a number of applications designated as “Preloaded Play Store Apps,” which means that these too are supported by Google’s Play Store infrastructure. This means that they are updated using Google’s system and could, conceivably, be uninstalled should the customer not want them on the device. The list of applications includes My Verizon, Go90, VZ Messages, Allo, Duo, Android Pay, Docs and Keep. Some of these applications are either Google applications or have the exact same name – Allo, Duo, Android Pay, Docs and Keep. This leave just three Verizon applications – My Verizon for monitoring your account, Go90 the video application and VZ Messages, which allows desktop SMS messaging among other features. On Reddit, the original posted commented that his HTC 10 contained many more pre-installed applications. This is great news for Nexus customers considering the Verizon handset and it retains the relatively clean software set up of the Nexus device but of course with the Pixel device.