Nexus 6 sold by AT&T does have branding along with minimal yet removable bloatware

Nexus 6 sold by AT&T does have branding along with minimal yet removable bloatware
As we noted the other day, the Google Nexus 6 sold by AT&T does indeed have the well-known AT&T logo resting along the bottom of the back plate of the otherwise elegant phablet.

The next, less ignorable indication this is not a device sourced from Google Play is encountered when you turn the Nexus 6 on. Immediately following the classic Google logo, a bright white splash screen and blue AT&T logo appear with the company’s four tone jingle.

After that, everything returns to normal, but for the seasoned gadget geek, it begs the question, if the branding is more than skin deep did the Nexus 6 get filled to the brim with all sorts of nasty bloatware? Even more concerning, can those apps be removed? The answer to the first questions is no, the Nexus 6 does not come out of the box toting a lot of junk in the trunk.

On the unit we picked up today from a local AT&T outlet in Northern California, there were but two branded apps installed on the device. The first is myAT&T, the company’s customer app for billing and account information. The second one is called AT&T Live, a news and content aggregator powered by Yahoo!. That is all there is in the department of bloat, and for what they are, those two apps are not bad at their respective functions.  Combined, they take up a little more than 21MB of space, but the good news is that if you do not want them on your device, you can remove them with no problems at all. AT&T also confirmed with us that the device is unlocked out of the box as well.

Does that keep this new Google phablet a “purist’s Nexus?” We would have to argue that answer as “no.” The experience of “stock Android” is definitely present, but that little bit of gerry-rigging in the start-up sequence removes a bit of what makes Nexus special.

That said, one might also argue that AT&T could have been a lot more invasive with getting its brand into the device, and even lock some apps down. It looks like these “auto installed” apps may yield to customer will after all. Now, who wants to make wagers on what Verizon will be doing with its offering of the Nexus 6 once it is available?


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11 Comments

1. likemorethan1

Posts: 48; Member since: Aug 22, 2013

3 logos on the back ???

2. VJo003

Posts: 365; Member since: Mar 11, 2012

looks like a billboard!!

3. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

It could be worse. They're removable, so even though it's "bloat", it's not an issue. Most customers install their carrier's account software anyway, to monitor data usage and pay their bill anyway. Too bad the logo on the back isn't as easily removable.

4. galanoth

Posts: 428; Member since: Nov 26, 2011

I'm excited for mine even though I got it from AT&T. AT&T splash screen doesn't bother me and its been reported if you do first boot up without an AT&T SIM inside, the apps do not auto download. Android Police has confirmed that the bootloader is unlockable through fastboot oem unlock.

5. blingblingthing

Posts: 976; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

If it's removable, no worries. It's not like there is 0 function to it. As for the Logo, I like the AT&T logo. Not a big deal if it's there or not

6. tokuzumi

Posts: 1927; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

While the AT&T "bloat" is removable, they will need to test their bloat before updates get pushed to the phone. This is going to cause one of two situations: 1) The Nexus 6 updates get delayed for all versions while bloat is tested, or 2) Nexus 6 is fragmented, with the Play Store versions being updated first, and AT&T/carrier versions being updated whenever the updates are approved by the carrier. I thought Google learned their lesson about carrier branded Nexus devices with the Galaxy Nexus. I guess not.

8. strudelz100

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

This is the main issue. Or they shoehorn in the apps broken or un-tested, sometimes breaking your software. Also MyAT&T is basically a carrier analytics app. Not something I'm gonna accept.

7. strudelz100

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Google still doesn't have the brand power to keep bloatware off their devices.

9. strudelz100

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

I just saw the back. WOW 3 logos. They should pay YOU for carrying that much free advertising around.

10. Omarc07

Posts: 574; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

I actually dont mind the att logo

11. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

Man, do I hate the carrier branding and bloatware. The branding is just ugly, and when I go to best buy to buy a laptop, it doesn't have a best buy logo on it, so why do phones? Especially the notorious Verizon logo. Oddly, my M8 with WP from t-mo doesn't have any carrier crap on it. There is no branding, no logo when I turn it on, and it had one t-mo app (the account management app I deleted). It is terrible when this is unexpected to have these things, but this is how bad the carriers have become.

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