Forget PCs. The Real Bloatware Problem Is on Android

by Volker Weber

Bloatware is a bigger headache on Android phones than it is on PCs for multiple reasons, says Irfan Asrar, a researcher with mobile security company Appthority. “Not only is it harder to remove (every time you do a factory reset it will come back), but it’s costing you resources such as data usage and battery drainage as well as pushing the boundaries on privacy,” he said in an email to WIRED.

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It's a problem on both PCs AND Android.

Stephen Bailey, 2015-03-04 10:17

But the difference is: you can install a plain Version of Windows on your PC.

Roland Dressler, 2015-03-04 11:02


Volker Weber, 2015-03-04 11:04

You can also install a plain version of android and even avoid the Google bloat.
This is the reason why I consult this,, before buying an android device

Markus Müller, 2015-03-04 13:43

Its why (although in the PC world I am definitely not a Microsoft fan), I love my Lumia 925. No bloatware at all on it. And the Lumias offer excellent value for money compared to Android and Apple devices.

John Keys, 2015-03-04 14:05

@Markus - I'm curious... How are Android updates handled with Cyanogenmod? Will I still be able to use the Google Play Store?

I wish that every time I looked into Cyanogenmod, I didn't leave feeling like an idiot for not understanding where to begin...

Ray Bilyk, 2015-03-04 14:35

Ray, don't.

Volker Weber, 2015-03-04 15:25

Hi Volker,
I disagree. While Cyanogen can be a horrible, hacky mess, on the right hardware (mostly Samsung devices and the HTC One) it has become very, very simple, stable and clean.
See here:

PlayStore, and only Play Store, not all the other Google Spam (Play Games, Play Kiosk, Play Books etc) is easily available.

The important caveat is the hardware, I wouldn't want to deal with unstable, unofficial ports to any random hardware.

Markus Müller, 2015-03-04 17:33

Since you insist, I give you a few reasons.

1. You don't know which hardware Ray is using.
2. You don't know that Ray is on an American carrier.
3. You don't know that he is in IT and must set an example.
4. You may or may not know that Samsung destroys the Knox container when you break the boot chain. Forever. No going back.

Ask questions before you advise.

Volker Weber, 2015-03-04 17:49

Which is why I'm glad I asked here... Thank you again Volker! Saved from a bad weekend project once again!

Ray Bilyk, 2015-03-04 19:21

Agreed! For example, I'd love to remove Google Books, Games, Movies & TV, Music, and Newstand from my MotoX, but I can't. How "open" is that?

Alan Lepofsky, 2015-03-04 21:08

The idea behind "the simplicity of mobile" is that you get a device in working condition, and don't need to worry about installing and drivers and compatibility.... When you start checking compatibility lists, hack your phone and install custom OS images, it just becomes a much smaller PC.

Max Nierbauer, 2015-03-04 23:39

On a custom Android ROM it doesn't stop there. Once you got a custom ROM you'll keep searching for the right one, which on the other hand can be fun and a nice pastime, but not on your primary phone.

Kai Schmalenbach, 2015-03-05 01:19

I find it interesting that no one complains about this in the Apple world.
I find ITunes, the apple keychain and iCloud as annoying as any other "service" either the carrier, the hardware manufacturer or the OS wants me to use.

Patrick Bohr, 2015-03-05 11:20

I find it interesting that no one complains about this in the Apple world.

You're kidding right? There are plenty of complaints out there about iTunes and the wider Apple ecosystem -- especially on Windows.

Ben Poole, 2015-03-05 13:54

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