One of the biggest problems Android has is that vendors are obsessed with the concept of somehow “adding value” to their devices. Instead of just shipping Android as it was meant to be used, Samsung, HTC, and the other phone makers insist on stuffing their devices full of “unique” applications that make the Android experience infinitely more confusing and irritating.
Case in point: Samsung’s Voice Command application, pictured above. This one’s a classic – it is very easy to launch by mistake, because it starts when you double-press the Home button. It speaks when it starts, with the most annoying computer voice. And it is impossible to uninstall by default.
See? No uninstall button, and the Disable button is… disabled. Brilliant, right? So, how do you get rid of annoyances like this?
Well, the first thing you should know is that to fix this sort of thing, your phone should be rooted. We’ve shown you how to root your phone before, and it’s a painless procedure. Being able to disable annoying system apps is just one of the numerous benefits of rooting your phone – so go ahead and do that right now, if your phone still isn’t rooted. Once that’s done, proceed to the next section.
Freezing System Apps With Titanium Backup
Titanium Backup is a brilliant application – I think it just might be the most useful app on my phone. While I’ve shown you before how to use it to back up your phone, Titanium Backup can do much more. Its Pro key costs $6, and those are probably the best six bucks you will ever spend on your phone.
One of the Pro version’s best features is freezing applications. That means Titanium Backup won’t completely remove the offending app, but simply hides it and disables it. Don’t get me wrong. Titanium can also completely uninstall system apps, but freezing them is safer. A frozen app will never run, but if your phone starts acting strange because that application was actually system-critical, you can easily defrost the app and it would instantly be available again.
So, how do you freeze an app? Assuming you have Titanium Backup Pro, you first need to switch to the Backup/Restore tab and find the app you need:
This is a very long list, and scrolling through it might get tedious. So let’s filter it, by tapping the right part of the header which says “Click to edit filters”:
The Voice Command app is particularly annoying because it’s not easy to find out its name. It launches itself randomly (when you try to get to the home screen and double-tap the home button by mistake), and the caption displayed in the app is “Voice talk” which is not the app’s name (and makes no sense in English, either). But I did know it’s a Samsung app, so I filtered by all names containing Samsung, as you can see above.
The resulting list looks like this:
Lots and lots of apps, but one seemed promising – voice command, the very last entry. How do I make sure that this is indeed the app I want to freeze? Single-tap it to enter its options screen:
And tap the “Run app” button. The horrible color scheme on my device renders this button as black-on-black, but it’s the button immediately to the left of the app caption, marked with an arrow above. Tap it, and see what happens:
Score! We have now confirmed that this is indeed the offending app. Let’s go back to Titanium Backup (just tap the Back button on your device), and get rid of the Voice Command app once and for all by tapping the button that says “Freeze!”, encircled below:
Since freezing is not a permanent operation, Titanium Backup won’t even ask for confirmation – it will just go ahead and freeze the app. Note that you can also uninstall it (via the “Un-install!” button), but I would strongly suggest freezing the app rather than uninstalling it – you never know what might break.
And That’s It!
The system app that was annoying the heck out of you is now gone from sight, and will never ever come back to haunt you again. Simple stuff, really, but things like this make the Android experience much more enjoyable.
Do you have a different way to remove annoying crapware bundled with your phone? If so, share in the comments!