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South Koreans must be allowed to delete Android bloatware

Unless it's going to brick the phone, it must be deletable
Fri Jan 24 2014, 15:05
Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom display

MOBILE PHONE USERS will soon have the option to get rid of bloatware.

That is, if they are in South Korea. ZDnet has reported that new regulations coming into force in South Korea this April will mean that mobile phone makers and carriers must ensure that any software not vital to running the phone can optionally be deleted by the user.

At present, preloaded apps are kept on the system partition, which is only accessible by obtaining root access to the phone. The act of rooting a device almost invariably breaks the warranty before you've even started trying to remove any apps.

In addition, any updates to preloaded apps are stored separately so the original versions remain available in case of a reset. This however means that your phone's memory can soon get clogged with updates of apps that you didn't even want in the first place.

Proprietary apps from the carrier, Google Apps and Game Demos will now be deletable in response to what the Korean Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning called "an abnormal practice that causes inconvenience to smartphone users and causes unfair competition among industry players". UK mobile operators, take note.

Although the ruling only applies to South Korea, it might prove easier for manufacturers to roll out this change universally, and if not, the smartphone hacking community will almost certainly post these "bloatware free" system images for users to flash to their devices. µ


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