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Verizon is Sending Surveys to Customers About Bloatware, Please Answer This Way if Included

verizon bloatware-12

At least one of our readers received a survey from Verizon within the last week that asked over 20 questions related to the pre-installed apps that came with his LG G2. Yes, we are talking about bloatware, but also about Google and other LG-made apps. We aren’t sure how many are receiving this survey (we didn’t get it), though we would recommend that if it shows up in your inbox, you answer exactly like this reader. A message needs to be sent. 

For those new to the term “bloatware,” think of a bloatware app as an app that carriers and manufacturers pre-install on your device ahead of time because they either think it adds to the overall experience/value or are cashing in a large check from the company who created the app. The latter is the likeliest scenario. With bloatware, you often can’t uninstall these apps, so you are left trying to disable them through a process that most wouldn’t care to attempt over and over again. We are even seeing carriers figure out ways to not allow apps to be disabled. So yeah, bloatware is evil. It takes up precious internal storage on our phones, is almost always useless, makes app drawers all sorts of messy, and is something the world would be better off without.

Again, if you receive the survey we just mentioned, which is being put on by American Directions Group and Michaels Opinion Research, Inc., is all about bloatware.

Here are some of the questions, along with the answers we pretty much exactly agree with.

On the number of apps pre-installed on a smartphone.

verizon bloatware-21

On the process required for removing bloatware.

verizon bloatware-8

The specific apps our reader would try immediately to uninstall.

verizon bloatware-20

Reasons why bloatware wouldn’t be used.

verizon_bloatware-9

Finally, categorizing all of the bloatware. Pay close attention to that far right column.

verizon bloatware1

Yep, we feel the same way.

Cheers Christopher!
  • http://Twitter.com/ContestsAccount bigrob60

    Wait, Verizon Tones is still active? Wow!

  • Raven

    So called “bloatware” is annoying and all, but unless it runs in the background and uses resources it doesn’t really bother me. Most of the included apps (at least on Motorola devices) are relatively small. I think some of the biggest bloat problems are with some of the apps that we actually want to use. Clear your Caches and then go into your Apps list and Sort by size. What do you see? First on my list is Chrome 74.97MB and then Google+ 62.16MB. Why are these apps so dang big? They don’t really need to be including a lot of big resources like graphics themselves as they are mainly content viewers. Then 2 other new apps that I am trying out are Sheets 56.03MB and Docs 42.29MB. Why did they make these separate apps and why are they so big when Quickoffice which they were spawned from is only 22.49MB and does the work of both?

  • Tran Nguyen

    Verizon or any Carriers should give the customers freedoom to uninstall some apps ( bloatware) that they don’t want. FCC should rules this suck.

  • pyro74boy .

    I’m all for this because the ONLY THING Bloatware is good for is slowing down my phone and making it so I have less amounts of space on my phone. Bloatware should be outlawed but I know it never will be because this world that we live in is anything but perfect.

  • Nunyur_Biznezz

    Considering Verizon and other carriers get paid a nice chunk of change for pre-installing apps I’m sure you’ll appreciate a higher priced phone that is sans apps. because no carrier is just going to give up free money.

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  • Vanquishgc

    Ironically enough, I found 2 apps there that I actually use regularly. IMDB, because I’m a movie nerd, and Slacker, even though I use Google Play music a lot more. So having those pre-installed is fine for me. It’s shocking how much other crap there is though. Has anyone out there ever used the Amazon app store?? Or Amazon mp3? Or my personal favorite : Verizon tones…. Wow, how in 2014 IS THAT STILL AROUND???

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  • polo

    At least give me an option to uninstall bloatware (this includes some Google apps for me).

  • Jasonics

    Just got my HTC One M8 and the Verizon apps are countless and a pain to disable/uninstall. Does Verizon really need their own messaging app???

  • yungqb7

    This is one of the several reasons why I rooted my Galaxy S4. Unless it is not a core app (camera, gallery, phone and etc), it should not be pre-installed on my device. If it is pre-installed, I should be able to remove it with ease, not rollback an update or disable the app. Especially verizon messages, get that ish out of here!

  • dizel123

    There’s no need to tell the readers here how to answer, they can all think for themselves…nevermind, most Android users are sheep nowadays and will follow along with whatever they’re told…carry on.

    • alex drum

      cant wait to hear more from you. i’m sure you’re someone who contributes not just criticizes.

      • dizel123

        I’m just a commenter so trying to contribute is pointless. The only people whose contributions matter are the people who write for these sites. If enough writers say something then the sheeple will follow along, but anything else, no matter how factual or how much sense it makes, will never be listened to.

  • MikeSaver

    ALL THAT IMDB HATE THOUGH

  • jimt

    I want it nexus style, thank you. Don’t need no stinking Verizon apps! /s

  • mizkitty

    Amazon shopping cart is not selected in 4th shot but included in final one…so bogus fabrication…

  • renGek

    Why do I the feeling vz is just using this survey as a way of extorting money from app developers to include their app on phones? It’s going to be no surprise at what the responses will be to the survey. Everybody knows it so why even go through this charade unless there is an opportunity to generate revenue off of it.

  • tiev

    Why don’t they just bring back unlimited data. That way I don’t have to circumvent their silly system

  • BDragonD24

    Emergency Alerts is bloatware? I always thought that’s how the phone notifies you of the network wide alerts, assuming you aren’t using a weather app, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, evacuations etc. we were even notified of stuff when we were in Asia.

    • P

      The Emergency Alerts is new to me. After the update to 4.4.2, that was my first time seeing it on my Galaxy Note 2.

  • jim

    doubt it will be sent out to those who have unlimited, rooted etc

  • EC8CH

    Did you buy a Moto X in part to avoid all this crap…. check

  • http://www.facebook.com/aarontrevor Aaron Sentell

    MyVerizon is the only app I want.

    • burkett375

      Not even that one….they started asking for root permissions!!!!

    • http://aQuickBit.com aQuickBit

      I’ve heard good things about their messing app. I’d rather use Hangouts but my friend with the HTC One m8 apparently loves it.

    • Vanquishgc

      No way do I trust that app. Why is there even a need for it when you have not just the stock text app, but Hangouts also, which I happen to think is quite awesome. It’s just more bloatware to take up space. See it’s crap like this that make SD storage a must.

  • el oso borracho

    Except that Message+ is one of the best messaging apps. Shocking to realize, but true. Auto-sync across devices/roms/desktop access, good attachment functions, location services, etc.

  • XvierX

    That caller name ID app is such an eye sore. I always hated seeing it when setting up a new device. Not to mention all the other listed.

  • https://www.heartbleedbug.com/ Intellectua1

    I delete it 26 bloatware apps off my G3 and I still have about six to eight more to get rid of.

  • Big EZ

    You missed 17 bloat apps under the try to uninstall section.

  • Matthew Mascarenas

    How many people does Verizon really think use all that crop? Most of those apps can be installed from the play store! If anybody wants them they can install them..

  • Jeremy Gross

    i use my verizon mobile and imdb. everything else is null

    • Jeff Broders

      Imdb can easily be found in the play store. I don’t recall the last time I’ve had a Verizon app on any device. You’d be surprised how fast they dissappear once you root.

      • RiceCake

        I used that app a few times….now it’s easier to just time in Transformers show times into Google now. Lol

    • cns2007

      +1 on the VZW Mobile app. The only one I’d gladly keep.

  • http://gplus.to/bdbplatano M. Puente

    Personally, I don’t think you selected enough apps for uninstallation.

  • Arian

    Is there a better alternative to NFL Mobile? I kind of rely on those notifications when I don’t check Twitter while sleeping.

    • Blake

      Don’t know about better but there are other options: ESPN, Google Now, recipes in IFTTT, and so on.

    • grumpyfuzz

      It’s simple – it shouldn’t be installed by default. Not everyone uses it, and since you do, you could just install it from the play store.

  • Brian Lippman

    The Moto X on Verizon has the ‘Demo Mode’ app that i’m assuming is to set it for display in stores. 1. Why does this ship on retail devices? and 2. Why is it not possible to uninstall or at least disable it? There’s just no point to stuff like that being permanently on devices. Baffling. Otherwise I’m surprised at the amount of Verizon bloatware you can disable, although it would be nice to get rid of it, which is pretty much all of it except for their “backup assistant,” which I hope to god no one actually uses.

    • John

      Demo mode. Wow. Are you the only one or is this on every Verzon moto X? If so that’s hilarious.

      • Ryan O’Neill

        I have a Demo Mode app on my Moto Razr HD too. So it might not just be the Moto X

      • Brian Lippman

        It’s not a “visible” app in the app drawer, I saw it in the “All Apps” part of the settings when I was disabling Verizon’s crap.

    • Morlok8k

      backup assistant is only useful from upgrading from a basic phone to a smartphone.

      • Brian Lippman

        Yea, I just wish they would let me disable it so the services aren’t starting up all the time.

        • flosserelli

          There are plenty of apps that offer this capability (if you are rooted)

          • Brian Lippman

            I root my Nexus devices, but the way to root the Moto X, particularly the carrier versions, seems so convoluted and seems to have a higher chance of you breaking the phone that i don’t think it’s worth it. Besides, root gets broken with every OTA, so when one comes there are a bunch of steps to unroot and restore it to settings that will allow the OTA to flash that I just lose even more interest in trying to do it.

      • Vanquishgc

        And even then it only work half the damn time. Thank God for Android and backup through Gmail….

    • MJ

      You must have got a “Demo” phone because my Verizon Moto X has no “Demo Mode” app.

      • Travis Walls

        Same here…

      • Brian Lippman

        It’s not in the app drawer, but when I was going through the “All Apps” list in the settings, disabling all the Verizon apps, I noticed it. I can’t do anything with it, but it’s just odd that they put that in retail devices and then “whitelist” it from being disabled. They could have at least hid it in a Verizon app or something.

        • MJ

          Yup I see it, so I stand corrected. I forgot about the “All Apps” in the settings. Still I don’t think it’s a big deal. Probably easier to just put it on all phones then deal with Demo only phones.

    • beng8686

      If you use anyCut, there’s a demo mode hidden.

    • Daingus

      My wife has a demo mode. It’s seldom used when I’m in town.

    • joser116

      GS4 on T-Mobile too.

    • http://aQuickBit.com aQuickBit

      I use backup assistant along with my Google account :X
      Like having a backup of a backup if you will.

    • Bunklung

      I purchased a Moto X on eBay that had the demo mode permanently on. There was no way to remove the app or stop it from perpetually relaunching. The phone ran 4.4 but would never update or even show an available update to 4.4.2. It was clearly running some sort of custom 4.4 firmware. Anyhow, I was able to downgrade the software to 4.2 post camera fix. Demo mode went away and the phone automatically updated to 4.4.2. The kicker? I went to Moto’s site and it let me unlock the bootloader! So anyone with a Verizon Moto X that is a dmo phone might have the same options as me. Mind you, this is a 16G Moto X on Verizon that now behaves just like a Dev edition.

  • ROR1997

    Next survey: how many people in your life know where your phone is from, should we stop putting five different logos on it

    • Alan Paone

      We’re nowhere near the point of Peak Logo. The next note will finally break into double digit logos and we’ll all celebrate

      • ROR1997

        Verizon branding on the SPen, 3 on the back, 1 on the home button, the powerbutton has “VZW” on it, photos automatically have Verizon watermarks, oh and the speaker has a verizon logo painted into it

        • Alan Paone

          The m8 prime will whisperer “Verizon wireless” in you and your friends’ ear before and after every call in a voice that is trying too hard to sound sexy

          • ROR1997

            your heartbeat monitor will say very loudly “Brought to you by Verizon Wireless” then gives you your results.

          • Alan Paone

            GPS directions will default to stopping at the nearest verizon store no matter where else you are going

          • ROR1997

            Your voicemail will say “The person you are trying to reach is a very smart human, as he has Verizon services.” and then it will hang up if you don’t have Verizon.

          • Alan Paone

            instagram photos will be automatically modified so the garnishes and sauces spell out VERIZON

        • Brian Lippman

          Why not make the power button a V, the volume up button a Z and the volume down button a W. That way you can actually FEEL the branding.

    • DJ SPY

      There’s only 1 Verizon logo on my Droid Maxx and 1 on my Moto X.

    • Vanquishgc

      I spot only one on my M8, and it’s on the back. HTC made sure there was no room on the front for both theirs and Verizon’s thanks to the boomsound speakers. Thanks HTC!

  • Alan Paone

    I think it’s really good and cool that you can’t disable all the setup and help apps. It’s important and I think the off chance that I’ll ever want to use them again absolutely trumps anyone’s desire for a relatively clean app drawer.

    • Blake

      I hope you’re being sarcastic.

      • Alan Paone

        Nobody says that things are “good and cool”, pal. I’m into minimalism almost as much as I’m into sarcasm.

  • http://www.twitter.com/cltnwd Colton

    speaking of bloatware, here is a nice xda thread of a lot of the apps that are safe to remove/freeze:

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2797600

  • http://www.twitter.com/cltnwd Colton

    the backgrounds on the apps you choose….why…why would there be grass (?) backgrounds….WHY

    • stang6790

      Camouflage, they’re hoping you won’t be able to see them.

      • http://www.twitter.com/cltnwd Colton

        Verizon is smarter than I thought…good call….

  • Defenestratus

    Oh damn. If Verizon actually listens to this survey I’ll die of shock.

  • buckley101

    Good to see this, although I hope they’re not just acting like they care and then do nothing about it

  • Anon2222

    Here’s a tip, Verizon may be bringing back a loyalty program in a bid to get people to stay with them. Lowered prices are not on the table however. This is in response to T-Mobile. Verizon is not liking the feedback that T-Mobile is receiving on the free music streams.

    • http://www.itechtriad.com Ben Schoon

      Care to elaborate on that a bit?

      • Anon2222

        They had a focus group. T-Mobile was brought up. They wanted opinions on them and then their uncarrier moves. They asked what can Verizon can do to keep as customers. They shot down lowering prices instead saying what if Verizon offered more for their current prices. They brought up a loyalty/rewards program. Asked what people wanted in it.

        • Brian Lippman

          I’d join any Verizon loyalty program if it allowed me to get a Nexus (or whatever the Google devices will be in the future) or at least made Verizon stay the hell away from the software update process. O, what a fantasy world.

          • Vanquishgc

            If carriers stayed away from the update process to double check for bugs and such, we’d have iOS 6 and 7 like issues running rampant. That’s what happens when there’s no middleman. You need that extra testing to catch something someone else perhaps missed. Yeah you gotta wait longer, but the odds of there being bugs are much fewer.

          • Daistaar

            What issues are you referring to in iOS 6 and 7?

          • Vanquishgc

            Oh man, where do I begin? I’ve seen everything from blown up icons, severe battery drain, and straight up brick in of phones. About 15 different ones. iOS 7 has been the worst.

          • Daistaar

            Hmmm…. Good to know. I haven’t seen the blown up icons or much bricking, but I’ve seen the battery drain and issues with the random iCloud passwords appearing, especially when users are trying to back up or restore iCloud backups. Thanks for the heads up! I’ll have my help desk keep an eye out assuming they haven’t run into these.

          • Vanquishgc

            Well it seems that phones that shipped with iOS 7 already installed, I. E. the 5C and 5S are fine. No issues that I’ve seen. It’s been 4’s, 4s’s, and 5’s that were updated to iOS 7 that develop the bugs. So if you own a 5c or 5s, you’re good for now, at least until iOS 8 comes out anyway lol

          • Daistaar

            I don’t even want to think of iOS8 right now. That beta is being such a pain for me. Now i have to recertify all of our wireless profiles, update our MDM, our SCEP certs and so many other things. Not to mention it’s not liking our Enterprise WPA2 which was perfect on iOS7. “My expensive new iPhones with the latest software are only letting me use our unlimited 4GLTE network and not our 10GB Wifi” LOL #firstworlproblems LOL

          • Colts5609

            It seems like every phone on Verizon is a “carrier exclusive” Verizon gets their own locked down version of most popular phones. But, they will not allow an unlocked phone on their network, therefore offering very little freedom of choice. That is why I switched to T-mobile. I’ll take the network hit (even though I only experience poor network when I am not near the city) if it means lower bills and greater freedom of choice.

            Hmmm, should I get an unlocked Nexus phone from the Google Play store or should I buy a OnePlus One, words a Verizon customer will never utter.

  • Zoloft_User
    • wagner

      bohemian rhapsody

      • David Mann

        I never noticed this connection until now. GENIUS

  • Xavier_NYC

    All they have to do is read any tech blog and find out how much people really hate bloatware.. No one uses any of them and they run in the background and kill battery..

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/PhilHamlin Phil Hamlin

    “Please describe how you feel about Verizon branding being placed directly on device home buttons.”

    • Guest

      *sobbing*

      • VerizonMEH

        My Name is Inigo Montoya, You Killed Unlimited Data Plans, Prepare Too Die

  • Dragonetti Surprise

    For some reason, I believe Verizon will use this affirm that people at least NOTICE its apps. Then try to justify keeping bloatware based solely on that.

    • Cael

      Verizon is starting to listen to its customers. Slowly but surely.

      • Jeremy Gentry

        that’s the dream

        • Justin Foster

          a dream **

      • Rick O’Shea

        If Verizon was actually starting to listen to their customers, they would significantly lower their prices and significantly improve their network. (Just because VZW has the most coverage in the US, it doesn’t mean you get their signal everywhere – Still lots of room for improvement.)

        Are either of those happening?

        ’nuff said.

        • http://aQuickBit.com aQuickBit

          They’d rather just up their network to XLTE so you can burn thru your data faster :(

          • Guest

            You’re complaining because they are rolling out with XLTE?? I would consider that imporving their network to the majority of their users…

        • Vanquishgc

          In fairness, compare the cost of 4 lines, all Smartphones, say 3 years ago, to 4 smartphones on today’s plans. Especially if you had a higher minute plan with unlimited text, those plans were ridiculous. Trust me, the rates, while perhaps not optimal, are leagues better than they once were.

          • Akex

            I use over 60 gigs of data on Verizon per month on one line. The second line uses 20 gigs of data per month. The third line uses 4 gigs of data per month. We also have unlimited friends and family calling on the plan. We use about 2400 minutes on friends and family calling, with a total talk minutes of about 5000 per month talk time. We have unlimited text. Text messages we use are in the tens of thousands. I’m on an old plan with unlimited data with 3 phone lines. what would my cost be today? I pay $201.86 on my old plan. Your statement is not totally accurate.

          • Jarred Sutherland

            I think you need to admit that you are the .1% of people that use this kind of data. For just about everyone else (me included), I can EASILY stick below 10GB per month on 6 lines.

          • Vanquishgc

            I think you might need to get out of the house a little man lol. Seriously though you’re the. 05% that uses that kind of…. Anything. I’m almost impressed. Really, the average user that utilizes WiFi at least part of the time, uses between 1.2 to 1.5 gb of data a month. The most I’ve hit was about 4, and that was because I was out of state with no WiFi access. Anyway, switching over 4 lines plus a tablet to the share everything plan saved my family about $40 a month. And I’ve saved many of my customers on average of $25 doing the same. So, that being said, my statement is very accurate for the vast majority of people.

          • Guest

            Unless you are on an old Alltel plan, then that price you just said is NOT possible. On the only other calling plan that is unlim t&t other than More Everything is the Nationwide Unlimited plan, and that is $259.93 BEFORE taxes, insurance, extra features etc. That is counting unlim data for all lines at $29.99/ea. There isn’t an employee discount short of mine that will take that unlim plan down that low where you claim your bill is at.

            Source: I work for the company.

        • Dan DeMarco

          They have been lowering the prices pretty dramatically. Just because they aren’t publishing it on their website or haven’t decided to go the way John Legere has gone by creating this huge campaign doesn’t mean they aren’t making the appropriate strides.

        • Synacks

          Verizon matched AT&T with their recent price drop, which was spurred by T-Mobile. So they are at least attempting to stay in the game. Also when you have the Edge plan with 10gb or more (like my family does) then each Edge smartphone costs $25 less per month than what it’s charged, which currently I’m being charged $25.50 for my Galaxy S5. That’s not a bad deal either.

          • Rick O’Shea

            I currently have 3 lines (two smart + one dumb phone), with unlimited data. I pay a little under $160/month for the 3 lines. For $160/month, we are paying too darned much. People are accepting the status quo.

            If I went to a comparable “Share Everything” plan that got us the same data amount we currently use each month (about 6GB), our bill would significantly increase to just shy of $200/month.

            To me, that is ridiculously expensive. $200/month for phone & data service? I get faster speeds and just as good phone service from my ISP for under $60/month. Why do I have to pay 3x as much?

            When I’m saying that Verizon isn’t being competitive on their price, it’s because T-Mobile and Sprint are more competitive. I can get 6GB of unthrottled data/phone service for a little over $110/month.

            T-Mobile & Sprint don’t have the coverage of Verizon yet. But, Verizon isn’t building up their coverage like they used to. Increasing their speeds with X-LTE? Who really cares? I’d much rather see Verizon increase their coverage so I don’t see my signal disappear to nothing every day when I get near my work.

            Just because some of you may be paying less now than you were before, doesn’t mean that Verizon is being competitive on price. The US has ridiculously high cellular prices. I just did a quick check on a unlimited talk + unlimited text + 5GB of 4G data in the UK from O2, and their price is around $43USD/month. A UK T-Mobile 1000 minute + unlimited text + 3GB of data is $30USD/month.

            That’s what I would call competitive.

          • Synacks

            4 smartphones on AT&T and Verizon will cost you $160 a month so I don’t really think you’re getting a deal with T-Mobile if you’re paying $110 for all of that (on top of T-Mobiles not so great network). It’s not an awful network (its faster in some places) but it pales in comparison to ATT and VZW. Verizon’s most recent debut of XLTE just made their network even more valuable. I’m not saying that any of this is a good deal for customers, I’m just comparing those 2 networks current offerings to what you pay.

      • straight talk jigga

        I still wont come back

    • Bob

      Mind. Blown.

      • benmlockhart

        My Uncle
        Riley got an almost new red GMC Canyon just by some parttime working online
        with a laptop. visit their website C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • Daniel Lewis

    Uh. So you don’t want the Play Store and all the Google apps preinstalled?

    EDIT: God I hate bad form design. Nevermind.

    • http://tommydaniel.com Tommy Thompson

      None of the Google Apps were checked…

    • Jon D

      itsa the amazon app store lol

    • tylerc23

      What??

    • buckley101

      The play store box along with all google apps aren’t checked…
      -_________________-

    • pluto

      It’s not bad form design…

      • TalonDesigns

        Check boxes normally go underneath the item that you are selecting.

        Yes. Bad form design.