Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) is testing a service that lets customer uninstall unwanted applications that are pre-installed on devices. However, for now the service only works on one phone: LG Electronics' G3.
Verizon's LG G3
Pre-loaded apps have been common for years on Android smartphones, and users don't have any control over which apps carriers load onto devices they buy. In PC nomenclature, the apps are known as "bloat ware," a term for non-essential software and media files bundled with hardware to boost revenue and introduce users to new services. Often the preloaded Android apps include services like mobile television, location-based search and games.
Now, Verizon is letting customers who have the G3 get rid of them. Customers need to use the built-in Android app manager to delete any unwanted apps, according to PhoneScoop. Removing the apps can free up internal memory on smartphones. Verizon has not said if or when it will extend the service to other devices.
"Pre-loaded applications will install in the background during the activation and set up process," Verizon said in a statement to the blog Droid Life. "Once setup is complete, the applications will appear in the applications folder as though they have been traditionally pre-loaded. However, there IS one key difference; the applications can be completely and entirely uninstalled by the customer via the standard uninstall process. Customers will not incur any data usage or charges for the download and installation of these applications."
According to Droid Life, which tested the feature, users are not able to completely uninstall all of the apps Verizon pre-loaded on the phone. The blog speculated that it appears only specific pre-loaded apps are capable of being uninstalled, and it does not appear as though Verizon's suite of branded apps can be removed.
Sprint, for its part, has long offered its Android users the ability to delete all preloaded app from the carrier's Android devices.
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