More and more carriers and OEMs are locking down their devices and installing various pieces of bloatware onto our smartphones. Admittedly, bloatware is a rather subjective term and can range from Samsung’s messaging application to Google’s music player application to even actual spyware. Because many of our phones are locked down, it can be difficult to uninstall or even disable some of these pre-installed system applications.
We generally see smartphones set up this way because the OEM or the carrier wants to maintain control of the devices they sell. Sometimes they get paid for each application they pre-install on the smartphones they sell. Then there are times when they can even make more money from the diagnostic and usage data these applications can collect on your phone.
At the end of the day though, carriers and OEMs do this for both additional revenue and control of the platform. Chinese phones are known to have this bloatware to collect data while Samsung’s phones use it for marketing activities and push unnecessary notifications.
But thankfully it looks like that’s about to end.
The European Union is expected to approve a new Digital Service Act, which among other things, aims to give you more control of what apps you have on your phone. This act will force smartphone manufacturers to allow users to uninstall the bloatware that comes pre-installed on the devices. The Digital Services Act will also ensure that OEMs give the option to uninstall bloatware without compromising the functionality of the devices.
Right now some of the apps on our phones can’t be removed unless you flash a different ROM, so we think this is a great initiative from the EU that will surely benefit the end-user. Also, the act targets big companies like Google and Apple making sure that they are using the user data only for advertising purposes and nothing else.
Not certainly for their benefit which will stop big companies from misuse of collected users’ data. Honestly, there are instances in the past where these EU laws sounded dumb. We mean at one point they wanted Google to not install their own Google apps including the play store on Android devices. Since Google is giving away Android for free, Google apps are the only way they can make money off of Android. So it sure was dumb on the EU’s part and thank God it didn’t materialize.
But we support this act of letting the users be able to uninstall bloatware. Now since this is the EU act, this is going to apply to European users but if this gets successful then it should be rolled out to the rest of the world as well. The Digital Services Act is expected to pass by the end of the year.
Stay connected for more updates.