Android Crapware

Mike Jennings, writing at PC Pro:

Not so with smartphones. On Friday, I eased the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro from its box, turned it on, and was greeted with a message urging me to set up McAfee WaveSecure before I’d even set up the phone with my Google account.

Delving into the app drawer revealed more unwanted software, with a host of apps neatly summarising Android’s perennial fragmentation issues: alongside the official Market, the Xperia Mini Pro comes loaded with four different app stores. There’s also other McAfee apps installed as well as a Popcap Games trial and a selection of media management tools.

Jennings says “smartphones”, and he compares their crapware situation to that of “laptops”, but he’s really only talking about one type of smartphone (Android), and one type of laptop (Windows).

The funny thing is, Microsoft learned from Windows being open to this sort of nickel-and-diming from hardware makers — to my knowledge at least, Windows Phone 7 devices don’t have crapware. Just Android.

Update: Several readers emailed to say that some Windows Phone phones (ugh) do come with pre-installed crapware. We just don’t hear much about it because they aren’t selling many of them — and, notably, on Windows Phone these third-party apps are user delete-able.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011