Bloatware wasn’t invented with the Android phone, but Android phone manufacturers and cell phone carriers have really taken advantage of it. Bloatware is all of the extra software applications that come pre-installed on your Android (in addition to vanilla Android)–it can include any kind of application but some of the most notable examples are carrier apps and/or trial apps that you have to pay for after a certain time to keep using it. At best these apps can simply be taking up space on your phone, or at worst it can be running in the background without your knowledge and drain your battery. »
Bloatware: What is it?
We recent wrote about the rumored Android Silver program for flagship Android devices. In a welcome move, Google has now announced a similar program for low-mid tier Android phones at its annual Google I/O event in San Francisco. It will follow a model much like the Nexus devices where the software updates will come directly from the Mountain View company. Android One allows Google to set cost-effective hardware standards for OEM’s to manufacture. The software will come directly from Google and this, combined with the hardware standards, will benefit the consumer. The main benefits being that you will no longer have bloatware on your phone from OEM’s and that Android will be able to keep a uniform look and feel among a host of different devices. These devices would probably be in similar ilk to the Moto G and the Moto E. The Android One program is aimed mainly at emerging markets and Google is initially teaming with Indian manufactures Karbonn, Spice and Micromax. Its not l... »
Its fair to say that Google Play Editions are a popular device choice, not just for Android purists, but for a lot of user who do not want to deal with manufacture skins and carrier bloatware, AND still want a premium device with the best specs on the market. Hence all the more puzzling when you consider that the Galaxy S5 has been out for a few months now, with no sign of a Google Play Edition model. It was Samsung that kicked off the whole Google Play Edition (GPE) trend with the Galaxy S4 and was swiftly followed by the HTC One. HTC continued its GPE trend support when it announced the HTC One M8 GPE (which is available in the Google Play Store). It may be a sign of things to come from Samsung – who have already moved to Tizen OS on their smartwatches (although they did release their Gear Live watch running the new Android Wear OS). Samsung’s focus has always been on its own services, from its TouchWiz Android skin, to its S-services (most of which are not as good... »
Predecting your next moves seem to be where a lot of new Android launchers are heading. Nokia has just joined that foray and launched its own Android launcher called Z Launcher. This is all very interesting since Microsoft, who have their own mobile OS, just bought Nokia. The Z Launcher has a very minimalist feel to it and does not support widgets for now. Its in limited beta for now and you can sign up here to test it out (it only supports a handful of devices at the moment). It “predicts” what you will use at a particular time/situation and will have the apps float on the home screen. Nokia have released a short intro video that you can watch below. »
Google’s Nexus program has been very successful over the past few years, to say the least. The Nexus program gives you a flagship phone at a decent price, but most of all, it comes with Vanilla Android, without any manufacture or carrier add-on software. They are also the first devices to get updates directly from Google. A lot of manufacturers have their own version of Android running on their phones, which results in delayed updates since they have to re-skin and test every new updated released from the Mountain View company. It has recently been reported that Google will replace its Nexus program with a new one called “Android Silver”. However, unlike the Nexus program, which had Google working directly with a single manufacture for a Nexus device, Android Silver is more along the lines of a set of hardware and software standards set by Google. Any manufacturer can take part in the program, as long as their devices meet the standards set by Google, it will be consi... »
We’ve all had that dreaded feeling when you look at your phone and you see a little pop-up telling you that you only have 10% battery remaining. You don’t have a charger in sight and still have another 4 hours to push through before you can get your hands on a charger. Here are some tips, tricks and strategies that will help you improve the battery life on your device. 1. See what is draining your battery Go to Settings > Battery on your device to see an organized list of what apps/services are using the most battery life. 2. Turn OFF unnecessary settings and signals. LTE, WiFi and GPS are great things, but you probably do not need all of them to be on ALL THE TIME. Location based apps are constantly refreshing in the background and will drain your battery quickly, even when you are not using your phone. You can use the settings panel to turn off these signals when you don’t need them 3. Turn OFF automatic brightness It’s great that your phone senses ambient ... »
In the early days of the Android platform, smartphones like the G1 were painfully slow and clunky. Handsets struggled to open apps, freezes were expected, and crashes were regular occurrences. Fast forward to 2014, and Android is an entirely different story.Google’s code has enjoyed years of optimizations and processors and other components have improved dramatically. Even most low-end and mid-range Android phones run smoothly in most normal situations now. Sometimes, however, things slow down. It can be incredibly frustrating — even more so than it was back in Android’s early days, because back then it was the norm. Now, users expect a more fluid experience and when they don’t get it, it’s frustrating. But thanks to Android’s open nature, there are often simple little tweaks that can be made in order to speed things up. Though it is easily one of the best mobile browsers out there, Chrome for Android can sometimes be a source of aggravation for Android users. Particularly when many ta... »