Tag Archives: Android (operating system)


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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Filed under Huh?, Reality checks

The Information Booth

I was meeting someone at Grand Central Terminal last week (and for you non-NY‘ers, Grand Central Station is a subway stop; GCT is the commuter train station).  We agreed to meet “at the clock” which everyone knows is the clock atop the information booth in the middle of the building.

The Seth Thomas Clock Company-manufactured clo...

Image via Wikipedia

I was a few minutes early and as I was waiting, I overheard the person in the information booth as she dealt with the line of folks needing help.  What struck me wasn’t the speed with which she answered the questions (how the heck do you keep track of all those bus routes in your head?).  Instead, I was impressed with something else, something that is the yet as unfound grail in digital, but one which Siri and other voice interfaces may be on the way to finding.

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Filed under digital media, Thinking Aloud


I have an Android phone and I have quite a few apps on it.  If you use apps on a smart phone, inevitably you get prompted that there are updates available.  Sometimes, these updates provide real functionality changes or fix a bug.  A lot of the time, I’m finding that the changes are very minor – a color change, the screen layout – and the update is more annoying than necessary.  It reminded me of a post I wrote way back in 2008 on the subject of leaving well enough alone and I want to touch on that again.  Given some of what’s been going on in the tech world of late, I think it bears repeating. Continue reading

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Filed under Helpful Hints, Thinking Aloud