HTC is getting rid of their stock Android web browser on November 30

HTC is getting rid of their stock Android web browser on November 30
If you've ever owned an Android phone that wasn't under the Nexus name, then you're familiar with the tendency that OEMs have to pre-load their handsets with stock versions of apps that are already covered by Google. Samsung, LG, ASUS, and other companies are notorious for adding their own clock, calculator, calendar, gallery, Internet browser, and other apps that Google already has solutions for. This creates for a lot of unnecessary bloat on your phone or tablet that you simply cannot git rid of, but late next month, it looks like HTC is taking a step forward to break this trend.

For the past year or two, HTC has done a pretty commendable job at limiting the amount of unnecessary applications that they pre-install on their Android smartphones. On the HTC 10, for example, Google Photos and Google Play Music were used as the default gallery and music player apps - not stock HTC ones that would simply duplicate the functionality of Google's own versions. News broke today that on November 30, HTC would be taking the ax to yet another stock app of theirs. This time around, it's HTC's stock web browser that will be getting the plug pulled on it.


Replacing the stock browser on all future HTC handsets will be Google Chrome, and this is a move that we really are quite pleased to see. The latest updated to HTC's browser will allow you to transfer any bookmarks you've made on it to another browser of your choice, but come November 30, the app will be removed from the Play Store and will no longer receive any future updates. A number of users have already taken to the Play Store to sound their irritation at HTC for choosing to discontinue their web browser, but as we've seen from HTC and a number of other OEMs, trashing these stock apps and moving to Google-made ones seems to be the way of the future.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you prefer stock OEM apps or ones that are made by Google?

source: HTC via Android and Me

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24 Comments

1. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

Basically HTC phones will be nexus phones with extra useful features without bloatware and heavy skins. Something Samsung and LG seem to fail to realise is a huge plus.

7. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

It's funny putting a positive spin on HTCs attempt at trimming down their expenses because they're slowly dying.

10. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

Chrome is better than any browser made by any mobile OEM in the android world.

11. Fona13A unregistered

Hell no it isn't. More like it runs your phone hot while pretty much no other browser does this, Firefox and Opera smash Chrome's pathetic resource hogging crap. Thanks for becoming the new Apple with your stance on browsers, Google.

21. Tanujtiwari

Posts: 84; Member since: Mar 18, 2015

PHONEARENA! Show them your new browser test! I've been waiting for it for a loooong year!

22. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I use Firefox on my laptop as it has better battery life than Chrome Firefox is so slow on Android Even with uBlock, stock Chrome is still way faster on my Nexus 5 I use one of those Qualcomm optimised Chromium browsers It has most of Chrome's features (just a couple versions behind), and has built-in ad blocker

2. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2150; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

And this is news...lol

3. Harambe unregistered

This is really sad to see. Manufacturers should put optimized browsers with their phones since Chrome on Android is really bad at Javascript performance. As far as I know, Samsung is the only Android manufacturer who does that with their stock browser. If you can't make your optimized browser, a themed wrapper around snapdragon browser would work too.

9. yoghibawono

Posts: 240; Member since: May 04, 2016

Xiaomi browser does well too. You can check it on gsmarena. Feature rich and pretty damn stable.

12. Harambe unregistered

Feature rich and stable means nothing. I want a hardware accelerated browser which performs better than google chrome. And I want proof that it performs better.

4. jove39

Posts: 2145; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Removing bloat is good news.

5. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Giving free money to Google. Sod off, OEM needs to create their own services "This creates for a lot of unnecessary bloat on your phone or tablet that you simply cannot git rid of" I agree that it' should be removable, but why should OEMs use Google apps as default if it means more marketshare and profits for Google for free?

6. Arthurhkt

Posts: 723; Member since: Apr 19, 2012

Actually for me, it's kinda sad where Android had lost it uniqueness. I mean, Google shouldn't force every OEM to pre-installed their browser, music player or gallery/photo apps on their phones. I really loved some of those so called "bloatware" browser or music player, it actually better than Google counterpart. It just sad that most of these OEM had no choice but to abandon their own apps just because they were force to installed the Google apps and their apps will become the "bloatware".

8. Harambe unregistered

Google apps are the bloatware. They are the most featureless, battery sucking, ugly apps on android phones and google literally slaps them to your face. The only good google app is the google search app.

14. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Mostly agree, I've disabled many of google's apps that came with my OnePlus One and kept the non-google variants (e.g. the Cyanogen Calendar instead of google calendar) or found something else on the Play Store (e.g. Power Amp instead of Play Music). However, in conjunction with the Google search app, I use YouTube, Maps, Translate, and Google+ (saddly, it's much better way of following and responding to YouTube conversations than the YouTube app itself, otherwise would have disabled it).

20. LanjaKodaka

Posts: 219; Member since: Sep 27, 2016

Well, Google play music uses less battery compared to HTC music app while listening to music.

13. BobLawblaw unregistered

Samsung's stock browser with an ad block add on is great on my s7 edge. Really quick and fluid, especially on this site..

16. sebbellic01

Posts: 305; Member since: May 03, 2016

Samsung Internet is much better than Google Chrome

15. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Another step on their way to being a Google company. Sorry, I just can't get enough of that rumor.

17. IronTech

Posts: 153; Member since: May 27, 2016

LG has done this before HTC. (a G5 owner)

18. egyptian3030

Posts: 30; Member since: Nov 21, 2015

I agree on reducing bloatware apps and to have the power to choose between installing Google or OEM Apps which is suitable for me as some OEM made better Apps than Google

19. LanjaKodaka

Posts: 219; Member since: Sep 27, 2016

That browser was crap anyway. But compared to other OEM browsers it was pretty good.

23. tokuzumi

Posts: 1873; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

Finally. These skinned browsers are usually lacking in features, and do the bookmarks get saved somewhere, so if you change phones later you can just pick up where you left off?

24. liviaemily_6

Posts: 25; Member since: Aug 15, 2016

In all seriousness, who used the stock browser anyway? Most people install a decent browser like Boat Browser, Dolphin or Firefox. Chrome and other OEM browsers don't support Flash and lack a lot of good features so why one would use them is beyond me.

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