Buying new toys used to be fun. That was back when turning it on for the first time and setting it up wasn’t a total frustration because you had to uninstall nag-, ad-, scare- and spyware.
Yesterday I bought an Acer Iconia B1-730HD. I will post an alphabetical list with apps I deactivated (for the time being, until I had the time to root it and get rid of them for good) and reasons why I deactivated them.
39 apps, he said, is a truck load of garbage …
Adware. Tries to constantly notify me of the latest weather forecast changes. Has a notification of the weather right now which can be as easily seen by looking out the window. If I wanted to get rid of ads, I could “upgrade”. No, thanks.
- Acer Store
Frankly, I didn’t even open this one. Probably a way for Acer to partially track people’s usage of their devices by compiling a list of apps installed from their store.
- Acer App Manager
A system service that (I didn’t try it) probably overrides the security question popping up with custom app stores.
- Acer Cloud
The device comes with 8GB of storage space, about 4GB are allocated to the android system, 1GB is occupied by this pile of useless apps the device came with, which leaves you with about 2.7GB of useable space. Acer offers 16GB cloud storage for a year to calm you down your disc is held hostage by them. And they have a nice profile of your habits by seeing what you put in their cloud.
Adware, and not a very good filemanager.
An amazon company, advertising in your face to buy audio books.
A (mainly) hotel reservation website. If I wanted to get a room online, I’ll either use my phone or my laptop, but not my WiFi-only tablet. This seems to only be a bookmark, that wants to be in your face every time you open the app drawer.
Like I don’t have enough bookmarks cluttering the bookmarks I’d like to have…
It’s a WiFi-Only tablet, guys!
Nobody seems to have a clue what this is, it doesn’t even come up in a google search.
This actually wasn’t a system app, so I could just uninstall it. I am sure someone at Acer made a mistake leaving the owner of their table a choice to get rid of eBay.
There isn’t even a demo video. No idea what this should be.
- (Acer) Docs
Documents within the acer cloud. These android devices nowadays come with apps that are put on there by the department of redundancy department – since Google is trying to lure you into their cloud (Google Drive). Sometimes there are three apps doing the same thing – an adware version by some vendor trying to sell their pro version of the app, the version of the manufacturer of the device and the Google version that comes with Android due to the license agreement.
Cloud notes. I take my notes with fountain pen and paper, and I definetely don’t want my random thoughts to end up at a cloud service that is not 100% under my control. Keywords: the fappening, Apple cloud celebrity hack, Snowden, … the list goes on.
- (Acer) External Files
On opening, this app wants to connect to the Acer cloud. I don’t know what it’s supposed to do, and I am not going to find out.
- (Acer) Foto
On opening this app wants to connect to the Acer cloud. I guess it is going to upload my snapshots to Acer for quality control.
I don’t really have a use case for Gmail on my tablet, but I guess, normally, it would stay.
- Google Korean keyboard
Does this really needs to be a system app?
- Google Play Books
Google trying to market their Idea of eBooks and keeping track of my reading habits. I don’t want to give google an insight into my political beliefs and cultural interests.
- Google Play Games
Google trying to keep track of what games I play and how much, with whom and notifying me of new rip-off DLCs (downloadable content)
- Google Play Kiosk
Google making something like a “online newspaper” out of there news-spiders scrapings. I have enough news services trying to get my attention, I don’t need another one. Plus: tell me what you read and I tell you who you are. No thanks.
- Google Play Movies
Google marketing some overpriced movie rights (watch one: ~ 3.99€, buy a movie ~14.99€). Without the original sound track, that means you only get german lip-syncs that make you think you’re watching “amazing discoveries shopping” in german.
- Google Play Music
Google helping you telling them what music you’re listening to. They already know your political views, now they’re acquiring your taste.
- Google Search
Part of Google now (that scans your mail, calendar, contacts for appointments, packages, times and places) and trying to get random touches of the device to push you to their homepage. Probably also the thing that is listening in if you might want to do the awkward “Ok Google” and then start babbling random things into a microphone.
I did join Google+ way back when it was introduced. It stayed a bit silent but didn’t bother me so much. The first time it annoyed me was when Google started the automatic upload of pictures taken with your android device without asking. For some reason, I don’t like my pictures being uploaded to “the cloud” (see Apple cloud celebrity hack, did I mention that before). It went on when it started recommending people I talked to in the past to my circles. In my face, people I didn’t want to see or think about. It is a bit annoying if you are on your Google+ welcome screen while your wife is watching over your shoulder and Google+ comes up with a free slide show of all your ex girl friends.
Googles SMS/ Videochat/ Talk behemoth that suffers from being a constant nag. On my phone, Google wants me to run a 20+MB app to read my text messages (when the standard SMS app is just fine), and it throws peoples Google+ profile pictures in my face that I haven’t been talking to for years. You cannot delete those hangout contacts, you can only “hide” them.
Google: A stalker’s first choice.
An eBook-Library for kids. I didn’t even open it fully and it already showed prices for eBooks I was supposed to buy. Another adware.
- Google calendar
Google helping you telling them with whom you want to meet where and when.
- Google contacts
Google helping you telling them who you know and who knows you.
- McAfee Security
Yay! Virus safety snake oil got mobile!
- (Acer) Music
Acer competing with google how many cloud apps they could cram onto “your” device.
Adware – read office files on your device. Trial version for 90 days. Bye bye!
Does anyone still use skype?
Adware that is trying to catch you with “free games” – which you can play after closing a full screen advertisments. If you pay something like 0.99€ an hour even without ads!
- Top HD Games
Just a link to a website that looks awful and wants to sell games.
- TuneIn Radio
Adware “online radio” app. One of these days I should start a count of “internet radio” capable devices in this household. The number is certainly higher than the number of beers I could drink in a night.
- Google Translator
Thanks, I translate the old way. And most of the times, I don’t need translation, I think my english is fine.
- (Acer) Video
Somebody at Acer decided to look which cloud apps Google provides and then make an even worse Acer version.
Yet another eZine app, wanting to sell me rainbow press magazines for 1.5 times the price than the paper version. Er… no.