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Verizon Tests New Bloatware Process on the G3: Installs Apps on Setup, But They can be Fully Uninstalled

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Verizon pinged us this afternoon to point out a new bloatware application installation process they are currently testing with the LG G3. On the G3, users may notice during the activation and setup process that there are apps being installed in the background that will eventually show in the app drawer. These are applications that in the past have come pre-loaded out of the box on Verizon phones, only Verizon doesn’t appear to want to do that anymore.

The downloading of these bloatware apps does not count against your data plan. Verizon also noted that these can be uninstalled just like any other app you would download. 

Here is what they had to say:

Verizon is trialing a new service on the LG G3. Pre-loaded applications will install in the background during the activation and set up process. 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.

Now, we tested the uninstall process of bloatware on our Verizon G3 unit and were unable to uninstall all of the apps that Verizon pre-loaded for us. It could be that only specific pre-loaded apps are capable of being uninstalled, just like has always been the case. It doesn’t look like Verizon’s suite of apps can be removed.

Screenshot_2014-07-24-13-44-11 Screenshot_2014-07-24-13-44-28 Screenshot_2014-07-24-13-45-44 Screenshot_2014-07-24-13-45-56

The timing of this is interesting to us. You may recall the story we ran a couple of weeks ago from a reader who was able to participate in a survey from Verizon about pre-loaded bloatware applications. While the intent of their survey wasn’t revealed, they certainly seemed curious as to what this particular reader (who owned an LG G2) thought about the apps that came pre-installed on his device. Maybe this is part of a new plan?

We have reached out to Verizon with a couple of questions and will update this post as we have more.

  • therealjamesg

    In the UK we get the LG Music app (amongst others).

    An app so broken that it:

    1. Can’t be uninstalled
    2. Can’t see your music library – you know, the one that’s in plain sight in Google’s Music app and currently sits on your memory card.
    3. Is permanently locked to the headphone button. You remember how cool it is when you click your headphone button and it pauses and plays the last active media app? Not on the UK G3. It always launches and plays the LG Music app. Yea, the one that can’t see your music library.

    SMH

  • saradduclos

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  • RustyTechGuy

    Nice gesture from Verizon but a complete uninstall of all bloatware would be awesome. But lets be honest Verizon isn’t the only provider installing bloatware it would so nice to see all of them provide uninstall methods.

  • housry23

    If Verizon actually paves the way for this instead of T-Mobile…..My Mind will be BLOWN!

  • Richard

    I buying my g3 on friday. I’m going to unistall the crap of the the crap ware.

  • Nate Bousfield

    I believe this is how Sprint deals with their bloatware: Everything is downloaded when you set up your phone, except for the Sprint Zone app.

  • Kayonesoft

    Automatically installing them in the background during the setup process is essentially the same as having them come pre-installed. The end result is the same: The bloatware is there once you start using the phone. This is just a power play to make the claim that they’re listening to customer feedback.

  • Mike S

    Has anyone noticed that Sliding Messaging is NOT deleting messages/conversations on the G3? – is this because of the Verizon bloatware locking the messages?

  • Chris VanAnden

    Can anyone explain to me why VZ Nav exists still when we have Google Maps and Waze?

  • Ahku Droid

    Hooray!!!….almost.

    If only we could install the stupid VZW stuff no one uses. Does anyone actually use their crapware that Google already covers like Backup Assistant Plus or VZW Navigator?

  • Ubi2447

    I gotta hand it to Verizon lately. While still Verizon, I’m not seeing them go out of their way to be Dbags recently.

  • master94

    About time VZW. Its my phone why is your whore stamp on it

  • Ben Scammed

    You mentioned that hotels.com is one of the loaded apps? Perhaps Verizon should vet first? My experience shows them to be crooks! Ben

  • Vinnie

    Verizon blows.

  • http://www.pcprocare.com/ Barry Taylor

    Just disable them.. There’s not much in the way of Verizon that I can’t just disable.. Uninstall updates, clear data, force stop and disable..

    My disabled list includes: Amazon App Suite, Amazon Kindle, Amazon MP3, Appstore (Amazon), Audible, Cloud, FamilyBase Companion, Isis Wallet, Message+, My Verizon Mobile, NFL Mobile, Slacker, Verizon Support & Protection, VZ Navigator.

    • http://www.pcprocare.com/ Barry Taylor

      I just went through my apps a bit more.. “My Info Zone, Verizon Location Agent, Caller Name ID, Verizon Login, ” can also be disabled as well..

      The cool thing about disabling these is that when Verizon releases software updates, you *MIGHT* be able to do an in place update, or just reenable them, do the update, then disable. I never complete the Verizon Setup Wizard, I skip it.

    • Chris

      Uninstalling is so much better. As it’s gone from the device completely. Disabling it is nice but it’s still taking up space on the phone.

      • PoisonApple31

        These apps do not take up much space at all.

        • Chris

          I still rather get rid of them all together. It’s my phone. If I don’t want an app on it then I have the right to get rid of it. Regardless if it’s using very late space

      • HarvesterX

        They take space on your /system partition which on these new phones have MORE than enough a free space floaring around and unless you’re rooted it’s not like you’ll be storing anything in /system to begin with.

        Granted, reducing the size of the data used in /system theoretically could speed read/write times a little but again nothing is ever really often read or written to /system. That’s the point.

        Now if you are rooted you can go in and toss your music or as much as can fit into /system/media/Music for example to lessen the load off /data/media…but in the end disabling a system app vs uninstalling it is just a placebo thing.

        After saying all that I agree with you though lol. ..I’d much rather root and completely to move the app and it’s garbage from /data…oh yeah if you disable and app remove all corresponding junk from /data/… as well as well as /sscard/Android/data or whether game obb’s are stored and other hefty files.

  • downtownjeff

    I can’t get rid of Slacker Radio, NFL Mobile, Isis Wallet, Message+, Calendar (Not Google’s), and VZW’s crap.

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

      Isis was the first thing to go on my AT&T G3, the rep even tried to convince me I’d get free smoothies or something for a year for just using the app. Yea I’m cool, don’t want free smoothies and don’t want Isis. Google Wallet or nothing!!!!

      • KleenDroid

        By signing in to Isis wallet i got $25 free to use on anything. Was worth it.

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

          They can keep that too. I’m cool.

        • nosedive94

          They wouldn’t take my Wells Fargo Visa card, so I had to set up Chase Serve or whatever it’s called, and it never worked… *sigh* I just want to seem like I’m from the future and confuse cashiers…

  • Droid Ronin

    I’m a bit wary of “Customers will not incur any data usage or charges for the download and installation of these applications.”

    Sounds like Verizon is stepping on the toes of net neutrality.

    • Defenestratus

      *facepalm*

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

      Wait….what?

    • Guest

      ..

  • Brian Winning Jr.

    I like this direction, hopefully they take this approach with all phones.

  • ROR1997

    Yeah I noticed clash of the clans downloading and I immediately stopped it. I can’t uninstall any of those stupid amazon apps either. And imdb (the website) doesn’t work, it wants you to use that crappy app. Stupid bloatware.

  • SpiderDice

    Bloatware is still bloatware. Just stop doing this carriers.

  • rfranken

    You can disable any of those that you can’t uninstall. Way better than it used to be where rooting was the only option.

  • rocky v

    How about all of this Amazon crap. 30gb for Amazon music , get out of here

    • PoisonApple31

      What? I see 29.89MB for the Amazon Music app on my G3. That is nothing.

  • Ryan O’Neill

    I wonder if this was Verizon’s doing, or if LG had a part in “convincing” them do use this new method. Either way, it’s a huge improvement for consumers.

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

      Well being that Verizon sent out a survey a couple days ago asking about Bloatware I’m sure it’s just Verizon. LG doesn’t have pull like that.

  • WalkerNA

    Why would you ever want to uninstall Clash of Clans????

    • BobButtons

      Pay2Win games FTL

      • T4rd

        Still fun to play if you’re not impatient and there’s no ads/popups in the game whatsoever (like other freemium games). I’ve been playing it since it launched on Android last October and haven’t spent a cent on it. I’m a maxed out TH8 right now too.

        • Kevin

          i’ve only spent what i’ve earned in google opinion rewards hah.

        • BobButtons

          Must have not given enough time. Granted haters will hate, but from the countless reviews panning down their Play Store listing it seems to be a pretty common complaint that you just get continuously demolished over and over when you start and essentially need to pay something to get over that hurdle into playability-land. Might have been different earlier on before too many people climbed up the ranks.

          • T4rd

            If people figured out to put their town halls outside early on, you can keep a shield pretty much any time you’re offline, which helps a lot with saving resources. Personally, I didn’t have much of an issue with constantly being overrun after doing this. But of course, there will always be people with maxed high level bases come along and ruin you if they’re in your trophy level and you have a lot of resources saved up.

        • mustbepbs

          That game is most definitely Pay2Win. The people who spend money on gems will always be better than you and progress faster than you and recuperate quicker than you. That’s the definition of Pay2Win.

          • T4rd

            Sorry, I disagree. There’s no “winning” that game. You win and lose attacks, but if you’re smart in how you lay out your base and how you attack, it’s not hard to advance easily. You can pay to advance faster, but most higher level players need to stay in the higher leagues to earn the loot they need for more upgrades and resources to keep attacking. Thus they won’t be matched with lower level players outside of their league/trophy range.

            I have friends in my clan that have spent over $100 in gems in that game as well and aren’t any more advanced than I am and play just as much because they don’t have very efficient attack strategies for looting other bases.

          • mustbepbs

            That’s not the point. The point is, if you spend money on the game, you will progress faster, and Clash is all about progression. That’s Pay2Win. There’s no argument.

          • T4rd

            Well you’re completely entitled to you’re wrong opinion. ;-)

            I’ve already said why it’s wrong and you completely ignored it, so you’re right, there is no argument.

  • inklenotrump

    it’d be nice if the ‘hey lets trick old people and kids into using our crappy apps and inadvertently signing up for fee generating crap for us’ type apps would no longer come on phone.. nexus 4 lyfeeeeeee

  • T4rd

    Clash of Clans and Hotels.com come pre-loaded on Verizon phones now..? Why did you take screen shots of those apps being uninstalled?

    • jnt

      Yeah – new to the G3… but uninstallable!@#!!

      • Rodeojones000

        Not if you’re rooted!

        • jnt

          you can’t uninstall it if you’re rooted? :P

          • Rodeojones000

            Sorry. Guess I missed what you meant. Hopped up on painkillers due to a broken leg. Carry on.

          • La2da

            Who wants to take me to the hospital?!?

    • PoisonApple31

      Those were the first two I set my eyes on. I got so excited when I was able to uninstall them, and then back to the same old disable garbage! :(

      • T4rd

        But Clash of Clans is actually awesome! =p

        • PoisonApple31

          I wasn’t paying attention! I’ll have to try it out.

  • jnt

    They likely should’ve said “pre-loaded non-Verizon applications”. But as Kevin said, definitely a step in the right direction.

    edit: even that’s probably too specific as there are non-Verizon applications that can’t be uninstalled… ok so maybe it’s a baby step with apps they’ve never preloaded on any devices before?? (Hotels and CoC) :/

  • SamBoy

    I won’t be happy until we can uninstall them all without rooting nobody wants to use vzmaps or any of that crap they bundle we’ll I use the my version app all the time but that’s it

    • PoisonApple31

      Verizon messaging as the default, wtf is with that?

      • jnt

        You mean you don’t use that?? I believe they’ve done that on all 3 flagships this year – M8, S5, and now G3…

        • PoisonApple31

          I previously had the Note 3 before the G3. I am almost more annoyed by that messaging app then the rest of the bloatware.

          • jnt

            Yeah I know what you mean, they thrust it at you. Once Android had the option to set a default messaging app “built in”, so to speak (i.e. in the settings), I think Verizon must’ve thought, “now’s our chance, throw that in there as default first!”

      • Alex Niehaus

        I got my m8 on Monday and as soon as I took possession I went to send a text and saw it was the Verizon messaging app. I was like WTF is this? Took me three looks through the app drawer to find the stock one and I had to disable the vzw one so it would stop asking which I wanted to set as default.

      • stang6790

        I’m not one for the bloatware apps either, but I actually like the messaging app better than the stock one. The stock messaging will not show a popup and even once the screen is turned on it still just says “Message from: so and so” until you unlock the phone. The Verizon one you can have it show a popup and reply from it also. I do agree that you should be able to remove any app though.

        • devonhwindham

          just before I looked at the receipt ov $8130 , I
          didn’t believe that my sister woz like actualy bringing in money part-time from
          there pretty old laptop. . there aunts neighbour has been doing this 4 only
          about 22 months and at present repayed the mortgage on their appartment and
          bought themselves a Chrysler . see here C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

          • J. Dubya G.

            Why would they buy a friggin Chrysler? I everyone knows spammers drive Jags…

    • James

      Exactly. Every bloatware app must die.

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

    This makes me moist

    • James

      If this tiny half step in the right direction makes you moist, you should grab a towel and go prepaid T-Mobile.

      • BobButtons

        If you live within the 6.2% of the country with decent coverage.

        • James

          A common misconception. People love to knock T-Mobile’s coverage without ever trying it. I’ve traveled all over since switching, and see little difference from Verizon. Although I agree, it’s not for everybody.

          But there are tons of other prepaid options out there that won’t gouge you like Verizon. The money you save will easily make up for buying an unsubsidized device with no carrier bloatware.

          • BobButtons

            I, on the otherhand, have tried it. Check out the map where I live (smack dab between Madison & Milwaukee, but feel free to look at the whole state) and you’ll see nothing but light & dark purple aka 2G & Service Partner. I gave them about 25 of the 30 days I was allowed and was roaming more often than not without going out in the middle of nowhere. Indoors anywhere was out of the question. T-Mobile definitely has its place and I’m sure it’s excellent for those who live in or near a big city and don’t travel much. More power to those who switch.. but as I said before, it looks like a T-Mobile rep sneezed on a map and decided the wet spots were the only places worthy of a decent connection.

          • James

            I hear you. Like I said, it’s not for everybody. But I’m actually from the Green Bay area originally. T-Mobile used to have nothing there. When I travel back now, however, service is great, probably in part because its still new enough not to be congested. I also haven’t had any more trouble indoors than I did with Verizon, especially since LTE negates CDMA’s advantage there.

            I’d encourage you to look at other prepaid options. I held on to my Verizon for a long time because I wanted to have the “best” coverage. But with the money I save now, and the device selection, and the freedom of no contracts, I don’t regret switching at all.

          • BobButtons

            Main reasons I’m still on Verizon besides coverage are unlimited data (which they’re eating away at by now including ‘Network Optimization’) and the fact that I pay $40 a month from being an add-on to my parents’ account. If they cripple my data enough to make it not worth it I’ll probably switch carriers, if nothing else to have access to devices Verizon doesn’t carry.

          • John Smith

            AT&T GoPhone. $60/Month. BYONexus.

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

            [[insert thumbs up emoji here]]

          • https://plus.google.com/115026857817243306399/posts Khaf

            I switched from Verizon to T-Mobile for a year and Im back. T-Mobile had phone freedom less shady practices and decent coverage in Columbus Ohio. The bad thing is I travel to allot of states (driving) and T-Mobile Is horrible while doing it. Even in good coverage the call quality isnt as good as Verizon. I had too many dropped calls and zones where calls couldnt be made or data was slower than edge. Since coming back to Verizon everything is good again. Im mad I have to give up unlimited data better price and phone freedom. On the other hand I paid 200 dollars combined for an M8 and G3 wich is ok because we will have them a while and if not its cool. Verizon Edge is actually nice and the deal on our account has us paying 10 a month for the phone so really in the long run im paying 340 for the G3 and 340 for the M8. This doesnt include The discount I get because of where my wife works. Honestly with device payment plan Tmobile ends up being more. I didnt really think about it until now Its actually cheaper on Verizon for us. I know its not the same for everyone else. After Having T-mobile to Verizon to T-Mobile to Verizon I dont think Ill be going back.

          • No Mo-T-Mo

            I used it for 6 years, it sucks horribly unless you never leave the populated area you are in.

            If you yravel and depend on a cell phone while traveling, T-Mo is not the carrier you want, even sprint has better coverage.

      • Reginald Spence II

        Up-voted for your hilarious comment. LOL

  • Kevin

    a step in the right direction