Tech News

Google Limits Android Bloatware, Spotify Says Sorry… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 24-08-2015

Google lessens bloatware, Spotify apologizes over privacy policy, your Android lock pattern sucks, your iPhone camera may be a dud, play Pac-Man 256, and a journalist meets his online troll.


Google Cuts Down on Android Bloatware

All Android handsets sold from now on should have less bloatware on them than the current crop. This is, according to Android Central, due to Google relaxing its rules regarding apps that all manufacturers must permanently install on Android phones 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. Read More .

For the average Android user this means not having to put up with the likes of Google+, Google Newsstand, Google Play Games, and Google Play Books on their handset as standard. And with a limited number of ways of removing these unwanted apps 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. Read More the device and therefore wresting control back from Google and co.

The vast majority of people hate bloatware with a passion How To Remove Bloatware & Avoid It On New Laptops Tired of software you never wanted consuming your laptop's resources? Your computer isn't free ad space. Here's how to get rid of bloatware. Read More , whatever device it’s on. It takes up storage space, makes you feel less in control of a device for which you have paid good money, and leads to endless updates for software and apps you have never used in your life.

Unfortunately, while this should lessen the number of pointless Google apps being forced on all Android users, it doesn’t prevent manufacturers from filling phones with their own crap, or crap they have been paid to install as standard. So, it’s an improvement, but not a solution.


Spotify Says Sorry for New Privacy Policy

Last week saw Spotify roll out a new privacy policy Amazon Kills Flash, Spotify Starts Stalking You... [Tech News Digest] Amazon fires Flash, Spotify wants your data, test drive a new phone, HBO Now on Amazon Fire TV, Giphy Cam makes GIFs easier, and strangers play a real-life FPS on Chatroulette. Read More which gives the company more scope to spy on you and your activity. And with no choice but to accept the changes, many users of the music streaming service were none too happy with the changes.

However, facing the risk of users deserting Spotify for Apple Music Getting Started With Apple Music — What You Need to Know After the purchase of Beats last year, Apple has finally unleashed its streaming music service upon the world. Read More , the company was quick to issue an apology. Unfortunately, the policy remains in place, with CEO Daniel Ek merely apologizing for the way in which the changes were communicated.

Ek said, “We should have done a better job in communicating what these policies mean and how any information you choose to share will – and will not – be used.” He then went onto explain that the company will “ask for your express permission before accessing any of this data,” and then only use it to help “customize your Spotify experience”.


Is this good enough? Let us know your thoughts in this week’s MakeUseOf Poll, which is all about privacy policies and how much attention we pay to them.

Android Lock Patterns Are Easy to Guess

This really shouldn’t come as any great surprise, but it turns out that most Android users use lock patterns that are far too easy to predict. At least according to a new study from Marte Løge, a graduate from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Her study looked at 4,000 user-generated lock patterns, and found some remarkable similarities in the choices many of us make. For example, 77 percent of participants started from a corner, with 44 percent starting from the top left. In addition to this, 10 percent of people’s lock patterns formed a letter, such as N or O, giving crackers a head-start when trying to crack the code.


The study includes some advice for creating harder-to-crack lock patterns Improve Your Android Lock Screen Security With These 5 Tips You're perhaps reading this thinking "hah, no thanks MakeUseOf, my Android is secured with a lock screen pattern – my phone is impregnable!" Read More , which we hope to discuss in more depth in a future article.

Apple Admits iPhone 6 Plus Camera Fault

Apple has admitted that some iPhone 6 Plus cameras are faulty, with “a small percentage” suffering from a faulty component that affects image quality. Affected handsets were sold between September 2014 and January 2015.

If you are unhappy with the quality of images your iPhone 6 Plus shoots, you can check to see if you’re eligible for a replacement by using the tool on Apple’s website. If your serial number matches those affected, you should be able to take your iPhone 6 Plus to an Apple Store for a straight swap.

Pac-Man 256 Lands on Android & iOS

Pac-Man 256, which was first announced in May 2015 Android Factory Resets Fail, Amazon Handmade Attacks Etsy, & More... [Tech News Digest] Android resets don't delete data, Amazon Handmade targets Etsy, Instagram emails Highlights, Spaces expands Google Chrome, Pac-Man embraces his past, and Mario Kart: Fury Road makes Max mad. Read More , is now available on Android and on iOS. The game is an endless runner which turns a glitch from the original game into a villain. The original Pac-Man was notorious for being impossible to complete, with players guaranteed to get stuck on Level 256.


Pac-Man 256 is free to download, but, as with almost every mobile game these days, includes in-app purchases No Hidden Cost: 7 Free-To-Play Games That Are Actually Free Mobile gaming has a problem. You download a game, you start playing, but you hit a paywall. These games don't have that problem at all. Read More . Our advice is to play it for as long as you can do without paying a dime, and then delete it when you get bored/tempted to spend a few dollars.

What Happens When You Meet a Troll?

And finally, what happens when you meet one of the people regularly trolling you online 5 Most Effective Ways To Deal With Arrogant Internet Trolls The Internet is without doubt a great invention. Unfortunately, no one so far has been able to develop and anti-troll device that will help to make it a more civilized place. You might have come... Read More ? British journalist and political activist Owen Jones recently found out. Jones is unapologetically left-wing, and highly opinionated, but that surely doesn’t excuse such vicious attacks.

The very sweary, NSFW video offers an interesting insight into what drives people to be obnoxious to each other online Here's What Happens When You Confront An Internet Troll Face To Face When you're just typing words into a machine, it's easy to forget that there are real people reading those words. Unless those people get in touch. Read More . And the troll admits he wouldn’t dare say the same things to Jones when he’s sat opposite him in a pub. Which, to my mind, makes him a coward.

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

How annoying do you find mobile bloatware? Does Spotify need to do more than say sorry? Do you use a lock pattern to keep your Android secure? Is your iPhone camera faulty? Will you be playing Pac-Man 256?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Image Credits: Davidsancar via Flickr

Related topics: Android Customization, iPhone 6 Plus, Mobile Gaming, Spotify, Trolls.

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  1. Anonymous
    August 30, 2015 at 8:13 am

    why should journalist Owen Jones' left wing views be held "unapologetically"? I dont go around apologising for mine

  2. Anonymous
    August 24, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    When I run into a troll I usually have to answer some questions so I can cross the bridge and if I get them wrong he'll eat me. Seeing as I'm still here I guess I haven't been wrong.

  3. Anonymous
    August 24, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    While it's cool that Google themselves is going to allow a person to delete the Google apps. But I actually use almost everything Google sends pre-installed (with the exception of Play Movies). What I want to see gone is all the crap the carrier and manufacturers add. I have a GS5 ( I love Samsung and TW) but I have no need whatsoever for their app set: ChatOn, Samsung App Market, Milk, all of that is pretty useless to me since it's wholly redundant. Then the carriers add all of their nonsense (in my case TMo) that I have never once purposefully opened once in the history of having an Android device. That is the stuff I want to see gone.
    I read this article thinking that I was actually going to get to make my device bloat free without rooting but sadly that is not the case.