Friday, February 17, 2012

More Bloatware From Verizon

I woke up earlier this week to my Droid Bionic indicating that an over-the-air (OTA) update was ready for installation. I was hoping that this would be the much anticipated update to Android Version 4.01 (ice-cream sandwich). Alas, my hopes were dashed when I discovered that it was merely a ROM update. I went ahead and installed it anyway. I wish I hadn't.

For some reason, Verizon has decided to include a number of bloatware applications in this latest update. This crap includes MOG music player, Slingbox, a Videos app, and Emergency Alerts. I understand that the Emergency Alerts app is a fulfillment of the FCC's Commercial Mobile Telephone Alerts (CMAS) mandate to allow for national/regional/local alerts covering everything from tornadoes to terrorist attacks. However, there's little reason behind the installation of the rest of the bloat that came via the OTA. Well, I'm sure that Verizon got a nice paycheck to include those programs. The question is: Where's my cut?

I don't really mind having to deal with bloatware when I initially buy a phone. I realize that companies pay Verizon to include it and it lowers the price of the phone. However, once I purchase the phone, it's mine and Verizon should not be allowed to permanently install additional programs without my informed consent, especially when those programs are little more than advertisements for paid services (I'm looking at YOU, Slingbox and MOG).

In the cosmic scheme of things, this is little more than an annoyance. Even though I can't uninstall the apps, I can just hide them away in a folder so that I don't have to see them. They don't even affect battery life or performance, so I can just pretend they're not there. Still, when Verizon pulls this kind of corporate bullshittery, it's yet another example of their poor customer service. It's my phone. I should have final say over what apps are allowed on it. Verizon wants to take that choice away from me. If ever there were an argument for rooting this is it.

Me, I'm going to root my Droid Bionic. Just to give Verizon the middle finger.

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