Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Bloatware

WARNING – Nerdy non boating post

I get rather annoyed when you purchase a device such as a mobile phone, tablet or pc which is full of “Bloatware”.    Bloatware is defined as:

software whose usefulness is reduced because of the excessive disk space and memory it requires.

or

unwanted software included on a new computer or mobile device by the manufacturer.

Several months ago I removed all the bloatware from our new laptop.  It took me a couple of hours, but that was actually easy compared with the task of removing the bloatware from the new Samsung Galaxy S4 phone.  Much of today and part of yesterday was spent stripping out all the un-necessary “crud” (unwanted applications) that filled the phone storage space and slowing it down.

Whilst Samsung would tell you they pre-install these applications for your benefit, I’m convinced they actually get paid by these third party application providers to install them on every new phone.  They also make them very difficult (but not impossible) to remove.  Our phone came with 16GB of total storage.  However more than half had already been used by these unwanted applications when it was taken from the box.  After several hours I’ve reduced the number of non essential applications from 286 to 56.  The used storage space is now just over 3GB.  Google was my friend, but you do need to be careful as it contains a large amount of conflicting advice. 

I didn’t remove this bloatware to recover the storage space, but rather to reduce the risk of inadvertently giving away personal information.  Many of these applications want my location, my email address, mobile phone number, ability to track me, waist size, inside leg measurement.  Well maybe not the last two!  Having harvested this information they sell it to people who want to bombard me with fantastic offers.  Frankly I want the phone to make phone calls, and send the odd text message.  Google maps helps me move around cities and the camera is good for the odd photo.  But I’ve never taken a “selfie”!  I use the alarm clock and the calculator. Even do the odd bit of surfing the web.  I don’t need Samsung Hub, Samsung Wallet, Google play, Google+, BBC News, The Weather, A health monitoring program, voice recognition, etc, etc.

The only good thing I can say about the entire process is it filled in a miserable wet day. 

4 comments :

Halfie said...

Another good thing, surely, is the sense of satisfaction you gained having "beaten" the system.

Marilyn McDonald said...

I know it would spoil the fun of deconstruction, but couldn't you just buy a phone that only texts, calls, photographs and will show you google maps? Cheers, M

Tom and Jan said...

Not one that can tether and is 4G Marilyn.

Tom and Jan said...

Nothing like a challenge Halfie! :-)