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Verizon bloat found on Galaxy Nexus

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Verizon bloat found on Galaxy Nexus
The day that we've all been dreading has come, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is not quite the pure Android experience we hoped it would be. Verizon bloatware has been found on the device. The icons for the bloatware were found in the new intro video that Google released showing the new Ice Cream Sandwich homescreen, app drawer and widgets.

Verizon bloat found on Galaxy Nexus
Admittedly, it is only two apps that have been found at this point: My Verizon Mobile and VZ Backup Assistant, but even those two are likely to draw some rage from users. Of course, the My Verizon Mobile app seems like a perfectly reasonable piece of bloat to have, because having quick access to your Verizon account is definitely handy. On the other hand, the VZ Backup Assistant is absolutely unnecessary since Google automatically syncs your contacts for you. 

Still, this should be a good test for the new app removal tool that Google built into Android 4.0. Since it's only two apps that we've seen, that may be a pretty quick removal process to get back to a plain vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich. Or, if you prefer the nuclear option, we're sure the fastboot unlock, root and remove option will be pretty easy on the Nexus. 

source: Google

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posted on 18 Nov 2011, 11:27 17

1. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)

First. Wow, two apps. What a lot of bloat that is.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 11:45 8

8. Synack (Posts: 677; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)

Yeah, 2 apps that people will actually use to their advantage. Not everyone uses Google to store their contacts and you can check all kinds of good info on your account with My Verizon.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 12:25 7

22. MikeG77 (Posts: 402; Member since: 24 Nov 2008)

Yes you are correct 2 apps is nothing to be whining about especially when they are apps that can benefit a Verizon customer. Im just wondering if were going to see Verizon adding additional applications to the Nexus....if they do thats fine as long as we can remove the applications from the device.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 13:04 7

31. nak1017 (Posts: 328; Member since: 08 Jan 2010)

Agreed, as bloatware goes, that's lean

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 13:42 1

36. cybervlad81 (Posts: 89; Member since: 04 Apr 2011)

Two apps that we know of... I agree that the apps can be useful to people, but I can go to the market and DL Verizon Mobile if I want it ,even on my custom rom. Back up assistant I couldn't find on my custom rom but I just exported from Verizon site and imported to my g-mail account, so I don't care about it anymore either,,, but I can see it being pre-loaded as it will come up in the initial set up to quickly add your contacts if you haven't moved them to Gmail yet. All in all, I just hope that's all, or whatever they do put on there is removable.

posted on 19 Nov 2011, 00:18 2

55. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

Miz... are you actually not jumping on the opportunity to complain about bloat on an Android device?

*checks outside to see if it\'s raining parallel universe drops*

Nope. Okay.

I agree, actually. The two apps are not surprising, and actually, if someone were to get the Nexus and eventually decide to switch to a non Android phone (but stay with Verizon) Backup Assistant is perfectly reasonable to have on the device.

Also, the My Verizon app keeps track of your data usage and you can put the widget on your homescreen.

Both apps are very useful, and I think Google has enough clout at this point that if they don\'t want VZ to put bloat on the Nexus, VZ will probably comply.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 11:32 5

2. baldilocks (Posts: 743; Member since: 14 Dec 2008)

People are getting carried away..... :shakes my head:

The pure Google experience is boring anyway.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 11:33 11

3. tbacba (Posts: 98; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

"... the horror, the horror.."

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 11:34 9

4. LewsTherin006 (Posts: 140; Member since: 18 Nov 2011)

these apps actually help out the people that need it. Its not that bad. its better than some random demo of a game.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 11:37 4

5. jdrevolution (Posts: 87; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)

Two apps is not horrible considering the amount of bloatware they normallly put on phones. On my current vzw phone I have at least 10-15.
I can't wait for ICS to start spreading to phones so I can turn them off. I'm not confident enough to try a root haha

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 11:38 8

6. clevername (Posts: 1436; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)

Don't be too hasty Michael. I wouldn't call the backup assistant completely useless. For returning android users, hell even ios or wp7 users yes its pointless. But for people who have not owned a smartphone, and the even fewer who don't have their info deeply integrated with google, this is the best way to go from say a regular flip or even a blackberry to the nexus and take all ur contacts. But for the most part, you are correct, "the VZ Backup Assistant is absolutely unnecessary"

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 12:28

23. MikeG77 (Posts: 402; Member since: 24 Nov 2008)

The silly thing is that if you go into the People/Contacts app on a lot of the new phones it has a selection for BA so having an icon is a waste.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 11:41 12

7. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

michael, the backup assistant is far from useless if you are a first time android user. theyve been using that service for years on all phones, so if your coming from say an Envy to the nexus (or any other android device), your contacts are already synced. And for many that did the transition already to a G-phone of some sort, the BA would still be the primary source of phone number backing up, as gmail doesnt normally pull phone numbers from other lists than "phone".

Its livable. As long as we dont see bing or vznav, i think its forgivable. :)

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 13:41 2

35. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

I was thinking that VZ Backup would be a handy way to move contacts from say, a BB to a RAZR.... Of course, I haven't had a BB in a while, so I couldn't test out my theory. But, if my theory is correct, VZ Backup would be a compelling value proposition for BB owners looking to jump ship.

posted on 19 Nov 2011, 07:46

58. roldefol (Posts: 4242; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)

I'll certainly appreciate having Backup Assistant pre-loaded. I've used it to migrate from my old Rogue and my replacement Rogue, and then to my Alias 2 due to the muting of Rogue #2. Even if I just use it and delete it, I won't complain.

On the other hand, my Rogue troubles (broken Bluetooth, broken speaker) make me hesitant about another Samsung device. But the Ice Cream... I needs the Ice Cream!

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 11:46 5

9. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

Evil corporate!

Lucky we have the disable apps feature :D

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 11:48 5

10. BarneyDroid (Posts: 35; Member since: 01 Sep 2011)

My Bionic came with 17 BS apps that are pointless! One of the two that are on the Nexus I consistantly use to moniter usage... I can deal with this

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 11:53 4

11. harvardale (Posts: 46; Member since: 22 Jul 2011)

Both of these apps can be installed from the Android Market by any Android Verizon user. All they did was pre-load these on the phones. Nothing outrageous.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 12:02 4

12. Glorfindale (Posts: 17; Member since: 16 Jul 2010)

While I agree that these two apps are the least area of concern, I do see how this could be upsetting, because of the principle of the matter. A Nexus model is supposed to have a purely unmodified software in any way by anyone, short of the Dev team for the actual Icecream Sandwich software. It\'s like bying a Droid brandname phone and finding Bing on it. There is just a certain expectation and branding that comes with the name of the phone.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 12:05 2

13. Paden (Posts: 262; Member since: 07 Jul 2011)

Exactly what I was going to say.

For example, the iPhone doesn't have Backup Assistant or My Verizon standard, but I downloaded both on my phone by choice.

They are useful apps, so: Meh.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 12:08 2

14. bubba78 (Posts: 57; Member since: 23 May 2011)

Is it me or does Michael H. seem to be hating on this phone A LOT? Seems like every article in which he writes about the Gnex is negative.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 12:17 3

17. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)

I think he's more mad at Verizon for not releasing it yet...

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 12:22 2

20. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

I don't see it like that, He is just demanding the best there could be from The nexus, if you where to hear me talking about Motorola like crazy you wont believe I actually like blur, I see things that are wrong with nexus and gives his personal opinion on how it could be better. not "Hating on it" I think the nexus is an awesome device, so far Reviews have backed up that statement and it could be the best selling Nexus Ever.

Now lets see his lately complains

-Don't try to rush it to compete with apple: worried about a buggy device half cooked he gives arguments if why ICS should be let its time to be the best Update ever, and so far this went well

-Give us a date: they announced it some promotion and release date would help sales and make this phone more mainstream.

-No bloat on Nexus: Nexus is a pure ICS experience that gets quick updates. anything that lessens the experience (delays updates or such) should not be welcomed,

what others you have in mind?

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 12:35 1

27. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2703; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Check back later. I'm working on coalescing my thoughts on the Nexus. I will say that I'm conflicted about the device, but definitely not hating.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 13:31 5

33. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

its you. Im pretty sure its going to be his next phone. He, like many of us are very leary of VZW's bloatware practices. The nexus has always been a google controlled bloatware free device. I think i get where he is coming from by making an article out of it, since it does kind of throw a little dirt on the Nexus name.. but these are apps that a lot of verizon customers actually need, especially the backup assistant app. As long as we dont see the usual bloatware and control suspects on the phone though, its a small compromise that actually helps users.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 12:10 2

15. Bethistopheles (Posts: 25; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)

The headline angered me far more than the content of the article.

As others have stated, backup assistant will be useful for those of us migrating from a "dumbphone" to the Nexus. I also have no qualms with being able to access my account information from my phone, so.....


posted on 18 Nov 2011, 12:10 2

16. tluv00 (Posts: 134; Member since: 18 Oct 2007)

Rage? Seriously? From two apps that 1) a lot of people use and 2) have productive value behind them. Being that data is not unlimited for everyone being able to check that as well as the number of minutes and texts use can help people save a lot of money. As for VZW backup what is wrong with having another means of backing up contacts and other information on your phone?

Your headline is overkill, you take your time getting to the "Admittedly, it is only two apps that have been found at this point" explanation and overall you basically try to turn a non-story into a "down with Android and Verizon and the Galaxy Nexus" campaign. It must be a slow news day in Nerdville.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 12:23 1

21. tluv00 (Posts: 134; Member since: 18 Oct 2007)

Oh and in the Android Market My Verizon has 85k+ installs at 3.5 of 5 stars. Backup Assistant only has 1,600 and 3 stars but still. There is much MUCH worse bloatware out there. Just ask TMobile GS2/Amaze owners (I happen to be a G2S owner but I rooted and flashed Eagle's Blood so I am good).

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 12:18 2

18. uncskeet (Posts: 30; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)

Those are thee exact 2 I put on my iPhone.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 12:21 2

19. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

Bloatware sucks. If its only these two apps its not so bad, but this is a bad precedent.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 12:33

26. MikeG77 (Posts: 402; Member since: 24 Nov 2008)

nah its bad because it defeats the purpose of the Nexus. Google experience devices should not having ANY bloatware unless we the consumer choose to download it. I wish Samsung would have the stones to tell Verizon "yes you can carry the device and have software pre downloaded but it has to be immediately removeable by the consumer". I think thats a reasonable request to be made by Samsung to Verizon.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 13:29 1

32. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

Trust me I hate bloat ware. One of the reasons I love my iPhone. Steve Jobs stood up for the consumer.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 13:45

37. MikeG77 (Posts: 402; Member since: 24 Nov 2008)

Im not sure i would say that Steve stood up for the consumer. I think Steve was more of a control freak but thats what made him great. He basically stepped up and said "its my way or the highway and if you don't like it tough luck" and Verizon decided it was worth the concessions.

I think other manufacturers need to make the same demands of Verizon. Verizon may have the best service but if you don't have the devices people want it won't matter one bit.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 14:08 2

38. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

True for the longest time verzon's smartphone line up sucked. This year though I'd say it's the best out there. They have the 4S and 4 along with droid razor and nexus that have LTE.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 14:19

39. MikeG77 (Posts: 402; Member since: 24 Nov 2008)

Yeh i'm torn between the Rezound, Razr and Nexus for different reasons. I will agree though that this is the best the line up Verizon has ever had and hopefully they can keep the momentum going.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 14:58

41. Paden (Posts: 262; Member since: 07 Jul 2011)

Personally, I love the screen and speed of the Rezound. $100 ear buds are always a plus too.

The colors on the RAZR are too saturated. And Motorola\'s cameras aren\'t all that great.

A removable battery is always a plus for Android devices.

But, I guess we are getting off-topic here. Hahaha

posted on 19 Nov 2011, 19:00 1

60. sgogeta4 (Posts: 394; Member since: 02 Feb 2011)

Too bad the Beats by Dre is still crap. You're paying for the marketing more than the sound quality.

posted on 19 Nov 2011, 00:24 1

56. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

I wouldn\'t call either of these bloat. Verizon isn\'t throwing either on the phone to make money from third party deals, nor is it trying to showcase the phone, which is what bloat\'s purpose usually is. If VZ Nav is on there, I would call that bloat.

However, the two apps are very useful; one eases cross platform contact syncing (especially if you are getting the phone from a third party dealer and don\'t want to pay for a data transfer) and the other provides a widget which helps you keep track of your data usage, almost in real time.

Also, there\'s been a shift in the approach to bloatware this year, like with what we saw on the Razr. Most apps preinstalled on the phone from third parties other than Google are either able to be uninstalled or hidden from the \"all apps\" list. Even on my Atrix I was able to uninstall every piece of bloat I didn\'t want. Boom, gone from my phone. Banished without a trace.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 12:31 2

24. netizen (Posts: 55; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)

Although these are just two small apps, it violates the Nexus Dev phone Definition.

If Verizon does another nexus phone, they will certainly feel they can add more bloatware since they had a little on the Galaxy Nexus.

I am sure you can see where this is heading......

Leave it to Verizon to be the first to violate the sanctity of a Nexus device.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 12:32

25. jimmybond (Posts: 5; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

Really PH & Michael H?! Your source is Google, and not the "tip" I sent you this morning saying I saw it FIRST on the pocketnow.com website?


If it were not for other sites with actual research and journalism, this site would be blank.

- Jimmybond

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 12:36

28. jimmybond (Posts: 5; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

and/or via droid-life.com


posted on 18 Nov 2011, 13:36

34. tluv00 (Posts: 134; Member since: 18 Oct 2007)

Are you looking for credit for forwarding a link from another site to this one? If so then I appreciate your ability to cut and paste. Bravo you Cherub of Galaxy Nexus Justice. Bravo.

Sarcasm BTW.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 16:08

47. jimmybond (Posts: 5; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

How is what I did any different than what PH does in their posts? Am I the first one who uses the "ability to cut and paste" links when making a point, and backing it up with reference, in my comments?

Your b/s sarcasm is not needed, BTW.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 14:51

40. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

Slammers troll account?

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 16:11

48. jimmybond (Posts: 5; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

Would you please clarify your (rhetorical) question?

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 12:44 1

29. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

i still have to have Backup Assistant because even though i can back up my apps with Google services now most of my contacts have been backed up with Backup Assistant for years and like you said My Verizon Mobile is fine too.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 12:58 1

30. SPcamert (Posts: 56; Member since: 06 Feb 2010)

Backup assistant is necessary because most people aren't smart enough to figure out how to export stuff from it into Gmail. Having it on the phone keeps them from whining that they can't get their contacts without bringing the phone to a store.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 15:39 1

42. roscuthiii (Posts: 2217; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)

I wasn't too concerned with these apps until I saw this post over at phandroid.com:

"So many people miss the point. Defining those two apps as bloatware or not is not the issue. What they represent is what concerns me. If you download the AOSP from the GIT servers and compile it, you will not have these two applications. Those two applications as has been confirmed on XDA (http://forum.xda-developers.co... are installed in the system folder. The only way they got into the system folder is if a modified version of what's out there for the AOSP on the GIT servers was compiled to include those two applications. Now on to my real concern...this *requires* that all new versions of android be filtered through VERIZON which means that all of us would be "Nexus" owners will not be able to receive android updates directly from Google. Is this a concern for everyone, obviously not judging by the wide variety of responses. Does it concern and upset me, Yes! I will hold of on any judgments unit the phone is officially announced and then subsequently released, but if my concerns become a reality, I will definitely switch to a GSM provider and will be purchasing a true Nexus phone from over the pond. I chose to not support this move by Verizon AND Google." - Kirk Spencer

If his fears turn out to be founded, then yeah... I'm definitely against this bloatware.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 15:56

43. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

i'm sure Verizon and Google will take steps BEFORE Jellybean gets announced to make sure the GN gets normally prompt Nexus updates and if the Jellybean Nexus comes to Verizon which i'm sure it will it'll no doubt get Backup Assistant and My Verizon included during the process of getting it ready for announcement so it would just be a matter of compiling the build and getting it sent out to the GN.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 15:59 2

45. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

its not the compiling part, its the part about a nexus being 100% controlled by google and without carrier influence. If VZW does indeed somehow gain an upperhand with the way these apps are placed in the phone, then its not a nexus at all and should just be called the droid prime. A nexus is a phone free from carrier restraints. It is a showcase of android's latest n greatest software at all times, and is a direct answer to apple's control set up.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 19:03

50. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

i really don't think it's as big a deal as you guys are making it. i'm sure Google will still be responsible for pushing the updates. all Verizon has to do is make sure Google is pushing the updates with the apps which are pretty much needed so whatever. remember it's a partnership and this is still a Nexus and all a Nexus is a Pure Google experience device and that's what you're getting just look past your Nexus pride and you'll see that it's really okay.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 15:58 1

44. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

hmm.. if thats true, that is indeed worrysome. Then it wouldnt just be a few apps, it would be tied into the system and, thus have some control by verizon.

lets hope that is not the case, because then pitchforks would need to be raised!

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 16:00

46. JasonLegend00 (Posts: 31; Member since: 06 Nov 2009)

So cause of two apps its not a great experience, really!?! Epic fail phonearena.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 16:34

49. SoopaManLuv (Posts: 24; Member since: 11 Aug 2011)

So...if u can uninstall it shouldn't b that big a problem. But it does take away from the "true google" experience. And if its only 2 now, how many on tha next phone? Although we r all jumping 2 conclusions, my question is; is Verizon that dumb that they would ruin the experience for consumers or is google that soft that they won't put there foot down and keep Verizon from screwing things up? Jus saying...

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 19:06

51. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

how is My Verizon and Backup Assistant ruining the experience?

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 20:21

52. warlockz (Posts: 156; Member since: 10 Oct 2011)

I don't mind those two apps as long as they don't add anything else. The only thing vwz is doing wrong is not giving a release date on this phone. But I could understand why they holding it back. They are giving the new moto and htc phone time to sell and get as many people past the return the phone back mark. If that's not the case I will believe it to feel better about the delay lol

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 21:37

53. readingthissh1t (Posts: 303; Member since: 20 Jul 2011)

woah woah woah ive been hearing some rumours around here sayin that because g-nex (aka my next) has 2 vzw apps, its full on bloatware and that will interfere with those vip ota's.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 23:43

54. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

Root the phone and your problems are solved.

posted on 19 Nov 2011, 00:38

57. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 3108; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)

I could care less about 2 apps I have seen some phones have 20+ uninstallable apps on the phone and this is nothing. So its not going to make me lose any sleep over having those 2 apps on my nexus.

posted on 19 Nov 2011, 09:00

59. vijaysivakula (Posts: 224; Member since: 17 Aug 2011)

I think we are all missing the idea behind bloatware. Bloatware or operator apps would be a problem if they hog the system / data / processor / memory. And that is how i remember they used to be, almost like what we would find on a Dell or HP computer.

And i dont think anyone would use their android phone without installing any apps. You can install 500 apps but dont want two useful apps from the operator? The idea is ridiculous.

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