Smartphones are powerful tools
, capable of keeping you connected to the world,
Less is More! 7+ Devices & Tools Your Smartphone Can Replace
Less is More! 7+ Devices & Tools Your Smartphone Can Replace Phones have gone through an incredible evolution over the past few years. Besides serving as mobile phone and a tiny window into the world wide web, the modern smartphone accommodates a multitude of tools. The...
controlling home gadgets
, and so much more. Unfortunately, your phone doesn’t have much function without a carrier to back it.
4 Ways Your Smartphone Will Drive Smart Home Technologies
4 Ways Your Smartphone Will Drive Smart Home Technologies Smart home technology is still very much a niche interest; but that could soon change because of the humble smartphone you have in your pocket. Here’s why.
Big phone carriers like Verizon and AT&T are consistently hated among users, and it’s not hard to see why.
Carriers make smartphones a lot worse
by adding bloatware, throttling your data, and all sorts of other nonsense.
How Your Carrier Can Make Your Smartphone Dumb & What You Can Do
How Your Carrier Can Make Your Smartphone Dumb & What You Can Do Looking for contacts on my wife’s Android phone this morning, I was astonished at how slow the process had become. After eventually creaking through the menu for the details I needed, I switched the device...
recently revealed its plans to introduce a new form of annoyance onto its Android phones. Let’s take a look at this “brandware” and what it means for Android users. What Is Brandware?
If you know about Android phones (
or Windows PCs
), you’ve probably heard of bloatware. A colloquial name for any unwanted software, bloatware on Android usually refers to pre-installed apps that a user doesn’t want, but can’t remove. This is common from manufacturers like Samsung and HTC, but it also comes from carriers like Sprint or AT&T. Google’s
How to Easily Remove Bloatware From Windows 10
How to Easily Remove Bloatware From Windows 10 Windows 10 comes with several pre-installed apps that take up space on your device and aren't easy to remove. Sounds like bloatware, doesn't it? We show you how to remove these apps.
pure Android Nexus phones
Get the Stock Android Experience on Any Phone Without Root
Get the Stock Android Experience on Any Phone Without Root A lot of Android devices have very customized interfaces, but you can get a stock Android look without even rooting your device!
and the new Pixel
) generally don’t suffer from the bloatware problem.
Google Pixel XL Review and Giveaway
Google Pixel XL Review and Giveaway Google's first branded device delivers one of the best devices in the Android ecosystem: the $770 Pixel XL. The XL launched with similar specs as the $500 Nexus 6P, but is it worth $770?
Bloatware apps are usually either useless, such as Samsung
stock apps that duplicate built-in Android functionality
, or annoying, such as apps full of advertisements or other low-quality junk.
Replace Samsung Apps With These Better Alternatives
Replace Samsung Apps With These Better Alternatives Whether you have a Samsung device and want to avoid the built-in apps, or you just want some of those cool Samsung features, these are apps you should check out.
Brandware, on the other hand, refers to an app specifically designed to promote a company. With brandware, Verizon plans to load up your brand-new phone with apps from the likes of Burger King, Coca-Cola, and Taco Bell. Of course, the companies will pay Verizon a fee to include their apps on phones, making the carrier even more money in the process.
fast-food apps like these are pretty useful
, it’s off-putting to have them installed for you on a new device.
The 10 Best Fast Food Restaurant Apps for Android
The 10 Best Fast Food Restaurant Apps for Android Looking for the best fast food restaurant apps? We've found the best Android apps for ordering food and earning rewards.
The reason that bloatware is such a pain is because manufacturers install it to the system partition of the device. This space is reserved for
system apps like the Google Keyboard
and Phone app, so they can’t be uninstalled by the user unless
What Is the Best Alternative Keyboard for Android?
What Is the Best Alternative Keyboard for Android? We take a look at some of the best keyboards in the Play Store and put them to the test.
you root your device
. If bloatware is installed on your system partition, the best you can hope for is disabling it.
The Complete Guide to Rooting Your Android Phone or Tablet
The Complete Guide to Rooting Your Android Phone or Tablet So, you want to root your Android device? Here's everything you need to know.
responded to this trend by creating a new partition for vendors in newer versions of Android. This allows vendors to pre-install brandware apps, or download them from Google Play when the device is set up, on a separate partition. However, this new space allows the user to remove apps they don’t want. While we wish bloatware didn’t exist at all, this is a better solution because it at least gives the user some control.
For brandware, this could also signify a waste of time for the brands. If the McDonald’s app is installed on your new phone and you don’t want it, you’re going to remove it. This means that McDonald’s has wasted the money it paid to Verizon to put that app on your phone. However, it also
boosts the download numbers for the app on Google Play
, making it look more popular than it is.
Why You Shouldn't Trust App Ratings on Google Play
Why You Shouldn't Trust App Ratings on Google Play You need a new camera app; you open Google Play and find 50. Naturally, you install the highest-rated one. Guess what? You just got tricked.
Removing Brandware and Bloatware
If brandware strikes, it isn’t too much of a pain to remove. You can
uninstall it just like any other Android app
How To Remove Unwanted Apps From Your Android Device
How To Remove Unwanted Apps From Your Android Device Are there some Android apps on your device that you really want to delete, but can't? Check out these options for getting rid of them.
The process may differ slightly
depending on your version of Android
. Open the
Android Skins Explained: How Do Hardware Makers Change Stock Android?
Android Skins Explained: How Do Hardware Makers Change Stock Android? Hardware makers like to take Android and morph it into something that is entirely their own, but is this a good or a bad thing? Take a look and compare these different Android skins.
Settings app and scroll down to Apps. Find the app you want to remove; you may have to scroll left or right to find the All column if it was pre-installed. Tap the app’s name when you find it.
On the resulting screen, you can hopefully tap
Uninstall to remove it. If you don’t see that option, or if it’s greyed out, the app is likely on the system partition. You can tap Disable to keep the app from running. This won’t uninstall it, so it still takes up space on your device, but it won’t waste resources in the background, either.
If you’d like a more advanced method, have a look at
our guide to removing bloatware without rooting
. We’ve also discussed
How to Remove Bloatware on Android Without Rooting
How to Remove Bloatware on Android Without Rooting Did your phone come with a bunch of crappy apps pre-installed? Let us show you how to get rid of them the easy way.
ways to remove bloatware if you don’t mind rooting your phone
What You Need to Know About Removing Android Bloatware
What You Need to Know About Removing Android Bloatware Lots of phones come with annoying pre-installed software, but you can remove it. Here's how.
Avoid Carrier Phones
In the future, a great way to avoid this ridiculousness is to stop buying your phone from a carrier. When you buy an HTC phone from Verizon, you have to deal with not only HTC’s bloatware, but Verizon’s as well. Thankfully,
buying an unlocked phone not only saves you money
but headaches as well.
Never Buy a Phone From Your Carrier! Buy Unlocked Phones and Save Hundreds
Never Buy a Phone From Your Carrier! Buy Unlocked Phones and Save Hundreds Unlocked phones can cost a fortune, but the savings more than make up for it. You can save thousands by not signing a contract. We've got six phones that come contract free!
One great way to do this is
joining an MVNO
No Longer Tied to a Cellular Contract? 10 Reasons You Should Switch To An MVNO
No Longer Tied to a Cellular Contract? 10 Reasons You Should Switch To An MVNO Are you out of contract with your cellular provider? Rather than upgrading your phone, and signing a new contract, consider switching to a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO. You can save hundreds, even thousands,...
such as Republic Wireless
. These carriers charge lower prices than the big names, and
The 10 Cheapest Mobile Phone Plans in the US Right Now [Cheat Sheet Included]
The 10 Cheapest Mobile Phone Plans in the US Right Now [Cheat Sheet Included] There are plenty of cheap mobile phone plans available if you know where to look.
use the same networks to deliver services
. Aside from software specific to their services, they rarely load up phones with junk like the big carriers. If you want to use a Nexus or Pixel phone,
What Is an MVNO and How Does It Save Money on Your Cellular Bill? [MakeUseOf Explains]
What Is an MVNO and How Does It Save Money on Your Cellular Bill? [MakeUseOf Explains] In the US and Canada, we're taught that we need to sign contracts because cell phones and cellular service are so pricey. That's a bald-faced lie.
we’re big fans of Google’s Project Fi
: it’s an excellent way to get a bloat-free phone for a great price.
Is Project Fi Worth It? 7 Things to Know Before You Switch
Is Project Fi Worth It? 7 Things to Know Before You Switch Google's Project Fi is a low-cost but powerful mobile plan. Here's what you need to know if you're thinking of switching to Project Fi.
Even if you want to still use Verizon’s service, you don’t have to purchase your phone through them. As long as the device is compatible with its network, you can buy a phone unlocked directly from HTC, Samsung, or even Amazon. Then, take it to Verizon and ask them to activate it. This avoids the brandware and bloatware while still providing service to your phone.
Why Doesn’t This Happen on iPhone?
It’s a shame that Verizon abuses one of the greatest strengths of Android:
. Apple’s iOS is locked down, so carriers can’t customize it like they do with Android. Whether you buy an iPhone from Verizon or Apple, it’s going to have the same apps installed on it. You might be drawn to Android if you don’t fancy staying in Apple’s walled garden, but that’s where the carriers step in.
Is Android Really Open Source? And Does It Even Matter?
Is Android Really Open Source? And Does It Even Matter? Here we explore whether or not Android is really open source. After all, it is based on Linux!
Verizon or AT&T can take advantage of Android’s easy customization
just as easily as you can
. It’s not a problem to add a few apps here and there into their standard image so that everyone gets to deal with bloatware. Android experts can always
The Best Tweaks You Can Make To Your Android Without Rooting
The Best Tweaks You Can Make To Your Android Without Rooting Customizing your Android device isn't only for the tech savvy. Learn how to get the most out of your unrooted Android phone or tablet!
install a custom ROM
and get rid of this, but the average person
How to Install a Custom ROM on Your Android Device
How to Install a Custom ROM on Your Android Device Ready to revitalize your Android phone or tablet? Installing a custom ROM is the best way to do that -- powering it up with even better performance and features.
doesn’t want or need to do that
4 Security Reasons Why You Should Never Root Your Android
4 Security Reasons Why You Should Never Root Your Android Rooting Android -- like jailbreaking iPhone -- brings with it some great function benefits. But there's a down side: what risks do you face by rooting your Android device?
Brandware Is Annoying, But You Can Avoid It
So, we’ve seen Verizon’s newest plan to annoy its customers, and how you can remove brandware or avoid it altogether. Since Android is so popular and Verizon is such a huge seller, it makes sense that they’d want to make some extra money by doing this. However, it’s a blight on Android’s name, and hopefully they cut it out before long.
Need a new Android phone? Take a look at our
best Android smartphones of 2016
What's the Best Android Smartphone in 2016?
What's the Best Android Smartphone in 2016? Buying an iPhone is simple -- if you want the best device, you buy the newest one. If you want a cheaper one, you buy one that's a year or two old.
Have you seen brandware or had to deal with bloatware? Let us know what you think about this down in the comments!