Bloatware Face-Off

April 2, 2013

I recently purchased a Nexus 4, fresh from Google Play. I was so happy to have a phone with just stock Android, free of all that crap Verizon Wireless preloaded on my previous Android phones. More importantly, free of crap that is annoyingly set as a system application so that I can never remove it without rooting the phone. Or so I thought. Some of that crap was actually from Google. And upon switching from Froyo to ICS/JB, I found new crap from Google. So here I’m going to document all the applications I don’t need and don’t want, from both phones. Let’s see how it stacks up.

Some caveats: I do use and like GMail, GCal, GMaps, and GDocs. So even though those applications are also uninstallable, I’m not counting them as bloatware. I don’t use Google Play for anything except apps, so something like Google Music or Books will count. Is this arbitrary? Yes. Do I care? No. (To be fair, I consider the Newsstand app on my iPad to be bloatware too. I’m not just hating on Google here. Although iBooks is uninstallable, so +1 for Apple there.)

The Incumbent

In this corner, a subsidized and locked HTC Incredible 2, purchased from Verizon Wireless. Running Android 2.3.4 (Froyo) with the HTC Sense 2.1 skin. Applications in the Apps list I don’t want:

The Challenger

In the other corner, an unsubsidized and unlocked LG Nexus 4, purchased directly from Google Play. Running Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean). Applications in the Apps list I don’t want:

The Verdict

Let’s add that up:

So, less than half as much unwanted bloatware. But still not quite the lean and clean platform I was hoping for.