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Bloatware: What is it?

Bloatware: What is it?

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.  »

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Google is going to fix email with Inbox

Google is going to fix email with Inbox

Google announced Inbox on October 22nd. In its essence, Inbox tires to make your life easier by organizing your emails better and lumping them into groups of similar items – very similar to what Gmail does currently with primary, social, promotional and updates categories. The difference is that Inbox manages to make look really good – you can thank the new Material Design for that. Inbox has got plenty of Material Design going for it. As with a lot of new Google services, Inbox is invite only for now – good luck trying to hunt one down. It is available as an app for Android and iOS and as an extension for the Chrome browser, which means there is no real web version at the moment. The first thing you notice about Inbox is how good it looks. It really looks amazing, thanks to Material Design, and animations are nice and crisp. Functionality is changed, “archive” is now “done”. You just swipe one way to be “done” with the email (which... »

Google Play Newstand gets Android L’s Material Design

Google Play Newstand gets Android L’s Material Design

Google has been pushing its new Material Design language to its existing apps over the past few months since Android L was announced in June. Android L is said to be the biggest upgrade to Android since it came out in 2007. Android L brings a whole new design language called Material and the Google Play store was the first Google App to get the updated style followed by Google Plus, Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Chrome. The newest member of the family to join them is the Google Play Newstand app – the online magazine app now displays bigger images, smoother transitions, allows users to explore deeper into topics and the app should run faster overall as well. Google states that “Today’s redesign brings a new magazine reading experience on your phone. In the past, print magazines have been hard to read on a small screen, zooming in and out to skim an article. But now you’ll see a list of articles from the magazine that you can toggle through and easily rea... »

Android L will encrypt your data by default

Android L will encrypt your data by default

Data encryption on Android has been offered for the most part since 2011. It was an option in the settings menu that let you lock down your data so that thieves or law enforcement would not be able to get to any of your files. That option will now become the default setting on all phones running Android L. Google’s statement read “For over three years Android has offered encryption, and keys are not stored off of the device, so they cannot be shared with law enforcement. As part of our next Android release, encryption will be enabled by default out of the box, so you won’t even have to think about turning it on.” The announcement comes just one day after Apple revealed that users who are running iOS8 are protected by the users passcodes that Apple themselves cannot bypass. Apple came under heavy criticism recently when several private, nude images of celebrities were phished out of Apple iCloud accounts. Apple CEO, Tim Cook, has since been very vocal about consu... »

Sprint now wants you to pay $5 per month for bloatware

Sprint now wants you to pay $5 per month for bloatware

Sprint has just upped the bloatware game by announcing its own Sprint App Store. While competition is great for a the duopoly that is the app store market. At the moment, if you want an app you either go to the Google Play Store on your Android device, or the AppStore on your iOS device (windows has its own App store too by the way). While its great of Sprint to offer something else to its customers – they execution might be just a bit off. While the Google Play Store and AppStore are free to install and use – with plenty of free apps – Sprint wants to charge customers $5 per month to use its Sprint App Pass. Sprint says that this App Pass will give its customers unlimited access to a certain number of apps for the duration that they pay the subscription fees. It is rumored that it will be around 200 apps and will include free and paid apps. The alternative is to stick to the Google Play Store and keep doing business as usual. The numbers do not make sense in the long... »

Verizon Lets LG G3 users remove bloatware

Verizon Lets LG G3 users remove bloatware

Verizon is trailing a new program that lets you remove bloatware from their devices. The trial is only available for the LG G3 at the moment and there is no official word if it will come to other Verizon devices yet, but we are guessing that if it was well received, it will be made available on other devices as well. Currently, there are a bunch of apps that cannot be uninstalled from your Verizon device. These apps will be “preloaded” during the setup process and customers can then choose to uninstall any app they do not wish to keep. However, there are some Verizon apps that cannot be uninstalled – only disabled, which is still a step in the right direction toward the goal of being bloatware free. The full statement from Verizon is below: Verizon is trialing a new service on the LG G3. Pre-loaded applications will install in the background during the activation and set up process. Once setup is complete, the applications will appear in the applications folder as tho... »

How to convert your GSM HTC One M8 into a Google Play Edition

How to convert your GSM HTC One M8 into a Google Play Edition

The HTC One M8 is a great phone, even with HTC’s Sense 6 – some would even argue that it is better and, offers more than Vanilla Android that comes with a Nexus device, but, there is also a vast majority of people who will disagree and would love a pure Android experience with the M8. However, at nearly $700 a piece, not everyone can justify spending that amount on a phone. Not when you can upgrade to the same phone for $99 down with your regular carrier. For those of you who want the Nexus experience on your GSM M8, the guys over at XDA have put together a tutorial to make it as seamless as possible. Head over to the original thread to see how you can have the GPE experience on your HTC One M8.   »