Bloatware

Do you use an app to clean up the digital flotsam and jetsam on your phone?  I do and it’s constantly telling me I have files I don’t need or use.  I have 16 gig of storage on my device and quite a bit of that storage is taken up by software I didn’t install – it came with the phone.  I can’t remove it either, not without gaining root access to the device which might cause other issues.  Call it bloatware, crapware or whatever.  It’s unwanted and some of it runs in the background, eating up battery life.  There is some here from the device manufacturer and even more from the carrier.  It is a constant annoyance.

This issue is only going to become a bigger problem as newer devices do not have expandable storage.  In addition to the built-in device storage I have an SD card inserted to give myself another 16 gig of storage.  Without this, my phone would be full.  Yes, I know how to use cloud storage to keep my device clean but you can’t run apps from the cloud nor do apps cache data there.  More importantly, when consumers buy a product which is advertised to have 16 gig of storage (or 32, 64 or whatever) there is a reasonable expectation that the product will have about that amount available.  Both Apple and Microsoft have been sued for promoting devices with far less storage available than advertised, and in their cases it was actually just the operating system that was taking up space.

Why do I bring this up?  I don’t like the vision of the world in which you don’t own or control the goods you buy, and the company who made it has embedded everything possible to give them access to your information.  That seems to be the attitude of the manufacturers and carriers.  Yes I know about unlocked phones (they still have crapware) and how to disable (but not remove) this stuff, but it seems to me that the negligible revenues taken in by adding some of this bloat are negated by consumer disdain.  Put aside the potential data vulnerabilities – and fallout – each of these apps pose.  They are annoying at best and harmful at worst and there is no reason for them.

Ask yourself this – is my business doing anything similar?  Am I trying to make an easy buck while annoying my customers?  Think about how people feel about their wireless carriers as you do.  Is that how you want your customers to feel about you?

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