Recently, we discussed bloatware found on computers. Bloatware includes all of the unnecessarily pre-installed programs that come with your shiny new machine. They take up space and sit there trying to entice you into using them. Over the years, we’ve hardened ourselves to this problem and simply start removing stuff as soon as we hook up our new toy. We shouldn’t have to do this, no. It’s just an annoying fact of life. Sadly, it seems as though many smartphones are now following in their big brother’s footsteps.
The Motorola Droid X and the Samsung Vibrant (both just released today) come with some bloatware apps pre-installed. The problem is, though, that most of them are NOT able to be removed. The Droid X, for instance, sports a Blockbuster video app and a demo for an Electronic Arts game called Need for Speed: Shift. The Blockbuster app includes a store locator and a place where you can download mobile movies from their catalog. You cannot uninstall this app from your phone – you can only remove it from your home screen. The game gives you limited functionality and a nice, big button urging you to buy the full version. This app can be removed, thankfully. Skype is included on the phone and is another permanent fixture. A strange new “feature” called City ID is also included. It gives location information about a phone number on your incoming call screen. It will only work for fifteen days, and then you’ll have to pony up about two bucks per month to use it.
The Vibrant is no less guilty of feeding us bloated apps we don’t need. You’ll find the Avatar movie on your phone, just in case you want to watch it over and over. One cannot help but wonder how much they paid to have that handily included. Another app is a video channel named MobiTV, which is only free for the first month. Third, you’ll find The Sims 3: Collector’s Edition. And last – but likely least – is an OLD version of Amazon’s Kindle app. None of these four applications can be removed from the device.
To me, this is ludicrous. I should have the ability to choose what programs and applications I want on my devices. If you want to pre-load something, so be it. I’m used to that. But you damn well need to give me the ability to get rid of whatever it is I don’t want. Do you agree with me – or not?