Verizon, My New Smartphone Has An Incredible Amount Of Bloatware

Timothy copied Consumerist on his EECB to Verizon. While he likes his new HTC Droid Incredible a lot, he’s deeply disappointed in how many applications the phone shipped to him with. “Effectively, we are paying you for the privilege of having to repeatedly be harassed by your adware,” he writes. Do you agree, or is Timothy overreacting?

Ladies & Gentlemen,

My name is Timothy [redacted] and I have been a Verizon customer for many years. I am also an I.T. Director at a large hospital in the [redacted] area where one of the areas under my purview is our Telecom group where I am responsible for the telecom architecture, hardware and mobile strategies.

The reason I am writing is that I have recently purchased your new Android device, the HTC Incredible, for my personal use as well as for review to determine if it would be a suitable smartphone platform for our enterprise.

On a positive note, I am all but thoroughly thrilled with this device. It accomplishes everything I had expected in this highly anticipated tool, with the exception of the abysmal battery performance.

That is not why I am contacting you, though. What I am writing about is Verizon’s deplorable, and borderline unethical, inclusion of scads of bloatware and adware applications on this device, which in and of itself is a disgusting practice by an OEM, be it smartphones, desktops, laptops or any other related type of device, but made all the more unacceptable by the fact that there is no possible way of removing said applications. Dare I remind you that these devices we purchase from you are our property? To do with as we see fit? We are not renting or otherwise leasing these devices from you.

The worst offender of this lot is the bloatware application called CityID. Yes, I have no doubt whatsoever that Verizon received a sizable payment to include this garbage on OUR devices, but there is next to zero value-add to your customers. By customer, I mean those of us that pay you, each and every month, quite a bit of money to use your services. If you have a customer that does find value in an application of this nature, they could have simply gone and installed it from your Android app store, but it was apparently more financially advantageous to foist it upon us all with no means to remove it, again, from OUR devices. The borderline unethical charge that I lodge against you comes from the fact that this application repeatedly reminds us to sign up for the pay-to-use version. Effectively, we are paying you for the privilege of having to repeatedly be harassed by your adware.

This is the type of action that costs you customers and loyalty as well as corporate business, as I will most certainly not be recommending this platform to our enterprise, nor our individual users. This is also the type of action that forces those who are more technical astute to “root” their devices to remove this type of garbage, thereby voiding their warranties.

I would very much appreciate any feedback you could offer me in regard to when we will be able to remove the bloatware and adware, and when this practice will cease. Until such time, you will see no further business from me, nor from my organization.

Sincerely,

Timothy

Comments

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  1. AI says:

    I have no problem with bullshit apps that companies get paid to put on devices such as laptops and phones, because they subsidize the cost of the device…………as long as I can friggen delete them.

    • nbs2 says:

      But if the apps are subsidizing the cost of the phones, when why does Verizon need an ETF to recover the cost of subsidizing the cost of the phone? Or are they suggesting that the phone needs to be extra-subsidized (thus making this a solution to the high ETF proposal)?

    • duxup says:

      Just because a company finds a way to make a buck doesn’t mean it is passed to you in savings. I remember Dell abruptly pleading to cut back on the bloatware and doing so. The cost of their equipment didn’t go up that I saw.

    • Mr. S says:

      The CityID app isn’t subsidizing the cost of the phone – it’s a Verizon service that has monthly charges.

    • Buckus says:

      I have the HTC Droid Incredible like Timothy, and I can attest that CityID CANNOT be deleted. Let me repeat that: CityID CANNOT be deleted. Apparently you need root access for that. Fortunately, it can be stopped from running, but it starts itself again whenever you make/receive a phone call.

      • SJActress says:

        Advanced Task Killer (free).

        • SinDex says:

          I have ATK and every time you make a call or receive a call it comes back on. I too have an HTC Incredible and wish I could get rid of this program entirely. I am getting a pop up about once a day bugging me to ‘register now!’. I am going to watch my bill carefully after my first month on Verizon with an Android based phone. I have a serious inkling that I was force fed BS by the Customer Service person to make me want the phone more… If that was possible.

      • obits3 says:

        I just had a Verizon store rep tell me that there was no monthy charge. Is she telling me the truth? I am thinking about switching from Sprint to Verizon.

    • lukesdad says:

      As he stated, there is no way (short of rooting the phone) to remove the apps in question. I have an HTC Hero from Sprint and, while I wouldn’t consider it clogged with crap, there are certainly a few pre-installed apps I don’t use or want. There is no “uninstall” option for these apps like there is for apps I install myself.

  2. Rachacha says:

    Not having an Android phone, do these applications “bug” you to upgrade only when you launch the particular application, or do they do so when you are randomply on the phone or surging the web?

  3. KyleOrton says:

    Agree. Verizon is terrible about this but ATT isn’t much better. The unlocked version of the phone is almost always much better.

    In the case of the unlocked E71 vs the ATT E71x, they also removed features including something as standard as the ability to dial by contact name from the home screen.

    • jpmoney says:

      Unfortunately this is the SOP for Verizon. For years their “Bluetooth enabled” phones have not allowed you to do file transfers or several other standard Bluetooth operations.

      AT&T is pretty bad, but nothing compared to Verizon when it comes to the phones. If you use Verizon’s network, pay a little extra for an unlocked phone.

    • sp00nix says:

      I bought my E71 outright, got all the features including 2 cameras.

    • dragonvpm says:

      I will say that the iPhone doesn’t seem to come with any significant bloatware. The only things I can think of that I have very little use for are the youtube app and the stocks app and those can easily be hidden away in last page on the menu.

      Compare that to Verizon that charges you to access the GPS information on your phone and which cripples bluetooth so you can only use it with a headset. By contrast my iPhone can connect to my truck’s stereo and stream music via bluetooth as well as do file transfers to my in addition to allowing standard and stereo bluetooth headsets.

      Verizon’s habit of screwing with the phones they sell in order to nickel and dime you to death was a big reason why I ditched them and went with AT&T a couple of years ago. Neither company is absolutely perfect, but at least I’m not constantly frustrated with my phone the way I was with Verizon.

      • uh_huh_yeah says:

        I don’t know what phone you were trying to use or when, but every phone I’ve had (or recommended) for well over 4 years has had the A2DP bluetooth profile willing and able to connect to capable stereos, including the one in my car. Verizon does charge you to use VZ Navigator (as far as I’m aware, every provider that offers their own nav service charges you), but with smartphones that have other GPS apps for them, they don’t charge now, if they ever did. You’re either out-of-date or ill-informed.

  4. ThunderRoad says:

    Probably a little over-the-top, but I’d call it a legitimate gripe.

  5. mpaquette says:

    Jeez, overreact much?

    What’s the big deal, if you don’t want the app, remove it and move on.

  6. [MG]LooseCannon says:

    OP needs to return it and select a new carrier.

    • grumpskeez says:

      I was actually just getting ready to purchase this phone. Looks like I’m going to have to shop for alternatives now. -1 Verizon.

    • BurtReynolds says:

      Stories like this make me hope Sprint has 4G in the DC Metro area by next December when my VZW contract is up. I am sick of dealing with phones with Verizon’s “enhancements” like crapware, limited BT, and (in the case of my phone for the first 9 months) a locked GPS chip. Either that or maybe T-Mobile will have something worth buying and 4G.

  7. SerenityDan says:

    I have to wonder about the “Can’t delete it” part. My friend just got a Samsung Moment with Android from Sprint with Bloatware but deleted it fine. Does he maybe just not know how to delete apps on Android? I’m guessing it’s using Android 2.0 or 2.1 so maybe deleting works differently on the new versions.

    • BooBee says:

      Agree about deletion comment. I’d have to imagine there must be a way to remove the program. Particulary the program he mentions, CityID, which I had pre-loaded on my VZ phone and I removed with no problem.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Your friends phone is from Sprint. This is from Verizon. Verizon is known to replace the standard OS with one configured by them. As such, they can stop you from deleting things.

      • ryan89 says:

        Verizon does this a lot with dumbphones, but they leave smartphones alone for the most part. Android is intact on the Incredible, HTC added their own Sense UI which is sweet, and there a few apps VZW added for your “convenience”.

        • magus_melchior says:

          The only smartphone that runs stock Android on Verizon is the Motorola Droid, if memory serves.

          Verizon shouldn’t pre-install apps that are impossible for regular users to uninstall. Imagine if HP or Dell did that on their PCs (okay, pre-installed Symantec products I’ll grant you…).

    • 12-inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

      I have a Motorola Droid from Verizon. There are a number of applications that I cannot delete that came pre-loaded on the phone (basic things such as calculator, Google Voice, News and Weather, Youtube). This is pretty standard for cell phone companies. The iPhone is the same way.

      I don’t see how it is continuously bugging him though. On the Droid, everything sits in the app drawer and nothing is used unless you open it. It’s not stuck on your home screen (see the iPhone).

      There is a way he can delete the app though, and that is through rooting the phone (may void the warranty).

      • D0GG says:

        What do you mean “see the iPhone”? You can move the apps that are stuck on the phone to the furthest back app screen, if you so choose. There is no reason that you need to have them on the homescreen.

      • waffle iron says:

        I did just that. It was nice to get rid of Verizion’s Visual Voicemail (I use Google Voice), Corporate Calendar (loves to load in the background to wait for me to never ever use it) and a couple others.

        A lot of people with rooted phones remove any app that can be downloaded from the app Market, because it doesn’t make sense to waste space with both the current and previous versions of Google Maps, Facebook, etc.

    • c_c says:

      I have a Hero from Sprint – it was loaded w/ some Sprint software (nothing w/ a monthly charge though) – NFL, NASCAR, Sprint TV, Sprint Navigation… along w/ native Android and HTC apps you can’t delete them w/o rooting the phone. Luckily rooting the Hero is quite easy!

      • celeb8 says:

        If you think Sprint Navigation has no monthly charge, check your bill next month. I already knew better, but my wife didn’t and insisted the salesperson had told her it was a free service.

        $10/month after that first month

    • chefboyardee says:

      There are apps in the android market that can counter it from ever running, too. Specifically, Startup Auditor: if you notice an app that runs in the background even though you didn’t open it, not even once – you can tell Startup Auditor to not run said app/service on phone boot, *and* to keep it from ever opening. Might be worth a shot until the Incredible is rooted and you can delete the app.

    • rgetter says:

      I have a Samsung Moment from Sprint as well. If deleting the bloatware is “no big deal” for you, then great, but that’s only true if “no big deal” includes rooting the phone, remounting the system partition read/write, and deleting the bloatware from the /system/app directory.

      At least two of the bloatware apps start up when the phone boots. One of those will restart itself if every time it’s killed by a task manager.

      They don’t cause the problems that the OP is having, but they do clutter up the application list, and the ones that start at boot time are a slight drain on resources.

      The ones that don’t start up at boot time aren’t a problem. They don’t take up any RAM, and they don’t use any of the flash space allocated for user apps.

  8. TC50327 says:

    AMEN!

    I had to hack my LG vu from at&t to remove the stupid demos that were locked at the top of the menus.

    If ending the subsidy is what it takes, give me that. I’d rather pay full price that be saddled with bloatware.

    Also you didn’t redact his last name on his signature. Editing Fail.

    • D0GG says:

      Obviously you wouldn’t choose to purchase the phone without the subsidizing of the cost, because you didn’t.

      You can purchase nearly any phone unlocked and tied to no particular carrier.

      Problem is, the non subsidized cost is usually 5-10Xs the cost when you get it from a carrier. (i.e. when they offer an iPhone that is not carrier locked it sells for $589 for the refurb 3G model (I think buy.com has it for sale now)… that is roughly 10x the subsidized cost from AT&T.

  9. photoguy622 says:

    First Verizon likes to cripple phones and use their own lousy menu system, now that are adding useless software?

    • Mr. S says:

      FYI: they don’t cripple their smartphones anymore, nor do they continue to foist the same menu system on everyone.

      • RDSwords says:

        They do tack on things that you can’t seem to delete. I have a Motorola Droid, and I think there are a few programs that I don’t want but can’t delete (like Visual Voicemail).

        • anarkie says:

          Yea…I happly have the Droid Eris. It wasn’t Verizon-ized at all. Best of all, I now have it fully rooted and overclocked. But then again, I’m willing to put in more time and effort to have the phone exactly how I want it. I know many people that want the iPhone mentality “just works” (The way Apple tells you it must work.)

          • Buckus says:

            Why would you overclock a phone? Wouldn’t that worsen battery life?

          • dohtem says:

            You are downloading someone’s cooked roms, what time and effort? The 10 minutes it takes to install it?

  10. Polish Engineer says:

    Having apps on your phone upon boot up shouldn’t be a huge deal. Being unable to delete them is totally different story.

    On a side note, his name is redacted up top but not in the sig.

  11. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Verizon has always done this and/or variations of this. I owned a Motorola E815. It was a great phone and one of the last that Verizon sold with most of the original software/OS/GUI intact. Aside from them disabling many features like file transfers as well taking all the games out, it was a great phone. After that, in order to reduce the cost of training techs, they started installing their own OS/GUI on all their phones. This was a horrible OS that didn’t have the standard features previous older gen phones had. They also stopped you from loading ringtones onto your phone through the SD slots they couldn’t glue shut, so you had to do a run around, like messaging yourself a ringtone from the SD card, which would then allow you to save it, because it thought it was sent to you by verizon.

    Besides that, not only were they silkscreening their names on products, they began molding the cases with their name. They also made it near, if not impossible, to remove any Verizon banners from your home screen. Do they think we will forget who our wireless company is?

    • 12-inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

      This was common practice for Verizon, with the new smartphones they don’t do much to it. My Droid has one physical thing that says Verizon (battery door). As far as I can tell, nothing has been altered specifically for Verizon either…

      • magus_melchior says:

        I count 2 Verizon logos: One on the battery door as you mentioned, one near the microphone.

    • lim says:

      I’ve found acetone, WD-40(tm c etc) or Goo Gone(tm c etc) will usually take most silkscreening off, and a blade and some sandpaper works for molding.

      I got nothing for you on the screen, though.

      And yes, I do have too much time on my hands.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        The molding is actually an impression, so it would require bondo, sanding, painting, etc… too much work. IIRC, sugar works on silkscreens as well.

    • Papercutninja says:

      I had the e815 too. I was infuriated that i had to actually hack the phone in order to make it my own. the phone had such potential.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        IIRC, my only complaint with the Motorola was the contact list, and that it required a different entry for each number. But the Motorola OS was great. It had predictive text, which is different than t9, and more akin to what the iPhone/iPod Touch does, which was awesome and sooooo much easier to text. It also was a tank, but sadly my GZ’one is tougher, but nowhere near as full of pure power and great design as the e815.

  12. Mr. S says:

    I own the exact same phone as the person who wrote the letter. It’s a marvelous device, and methinks he sent it a little too early based on his comment about the battery life. But that’s not the point of the letter…

    I would hardly describe the device as coming with “Scads” of bloatware. Yes, CityID is bad and cannot be uninstalled. But, aside from Visual Voicemail, what other software that came preinstalled on the device could be considered bloatware? The PDF Viewer? The office document suite?

    Either way, the sender needs to take a chill pill. He can (and should) complain about not being able to remove certain applications, but the tone of the letter is far out of line.

    • t0ph says:

      On a side note, how do you like the phone…my gf is upgradable now and she is torn between the Droid and this phone.

      • Mr. S says:

        It’s great. I’m coming from a BlackBerry and finally know what it’s like to have a real smartphone. It’s got a few downsides, as with any device, but it’s something I’d recommend to anyone.

        If she wants a Droid, though, I’d recommend having her hold off for a few months – new devices should be announced at the end of the summer, including a possible Droid successor. No point getting locked into a two year contract with a device that’s nearing EOL…

    • wingnut says:

      I agree about the tone – it is completely unnecessary.

      Smartphones are a lot like PC’s in many vendors eyes – they will get just as much traffic (if not more than) as your desktop or laptop. It’s just the nature of the beast. However, there is truly no easy way to delete those applications from our devices unless we hack into them. Android phones are rooted for this very reason. WiMo phones have custom ROMS flashed to them for this very reason. I was amazed (appalled as well) at how much faster my devices could run on modified (or leaked) software. I know people that are still rocking 3 year-old HTC Vogue’s because they run WiMo 6.5 flawlessly. If I didn’t live out of Google Apps and embrace open source, I would still have an Omnia.

      If the OP is that concerned about being able to remove the app, return the phone. Get a device like the Moto Droid or Droid Eris that has been successfully rooted and use that as their personal device. However, purchase it out of contract – don’t waste your two-year upgrade on something that will be outdated in another year. With a rooted device those apps can be removed, depending on dependencies, or a custom rom can be flashed onto the device with those options removed. While I wouldn’t recommend this for an enterprise, individual users would benefit from this.

      • hattrick says:

        I totally disagree about the tone.

        He’s denying a company his business. You shouldn’t sugarcoat a thing like that.

        It matters that he’s angry! He’s so angry he’s denying them his business, so they need to know he’s angry. And he’s even going one step further: laying out exactly what’s made him so angry! He’s doing Verizon a favor with this letter. They don’t have to guess as to why he’s not a customer. With this letter, they know these specific features of these programs (pre-loading, inability to remove, constant upgrade-to-pay demands) make him angry and mistrustful of Verizon and unwilling to be a customer for this phone.

        I think it’s a great letter. And I happen to agree with it, except on one point: these practices are not “borderline unethical” they ARE unethical. And somebody should figure out if they’re illegal, and if they’re not, they should make them illegal.

  13. SizroSpunkmire says:

    Tmthy h. Hs lst nm ws rdctd n th ntr bt nt t th nd f th lttr? ll.

  14. scoopie77 says:

    Dude’s got a point.

  15. t0ph says:

    I agree, I hate the Nascar & NFL apps on my phone, but there are patches to remove them

  16. duxup says:

    Verizon is nice enough to push software that I do not want to my blackberry from time to time. Even better is when it fills the application memory on my phone and causes it the phone to hang up, miss calls, and applications like the alarm clock to fail.

    • Mr. S says:

      IIRC from my crackberry days, those are just icons/launchers to download the application, not the application itself.

      You can remove them by deleting the relevant service books, or by removing any .cod file via DM.

      • duxup says:

        You can remove them. But they’re not always just shortcuts these days. Several apps they’ve chosen to add to my phone were the full blown app taking up space.

  17. Xyjar says:

    I like how the last name is redacted in the top, but not the bottom of the article.

  18. nuke3ae says:

    I have an incredible and cityid is so annoying. it would be so much better if I could delete it.

    Verizon does this with blackberries too so it isn’t just isolated to this phone.

  19. LMacConn says:

    I got a Droid Incredible yesterday, and I think during setup I was given an option of using CityID, and chose “no”, because I didn’t know what it was. I haven’t heard from that program since, but may not have used the phone enough to trigger the adware.

    So far my biggest problem is that the weather program has determined my current location as Providence (Rhode Island?) and that seems to be impossible to change. All the other programs/applications get my correct location regardless of whether using nearby WiFi or GPS to determine it.

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      did you try selecting “my location” and having it run again to determine it?
      you can also add a place. and Edit to delete places.

  20. outkastz says:

    RDCTN FL

  21. sirwired says:

    The guy has a valid point, but such a hostile and aggressive letter is guaranteed to receive nothing more than a form letter response. Polite, to-the-point, letters might actually be forwarded on to somebody who cares. Letters full of “unethical”, “bloatware”, “garbage”, “harassed”, etc.

    Speaking blunt “truth to power” may be cathartic and a lot of fun, but it rarely gets results.

    • sirwired says:

      Heh… left a sentence incomplete there. I meant: Letters full of “unethical”, “bloatware”, “garbage”, “harassed”, etc. get circular filed because nobody is going to forward a rambling rant to their boss for real action.

  22. danielem1 says:

    My verizon blackberry now has an NFL app, and a Bing app that I cannot delete, which were added on two separate occasions during a reboot I did because it freezes a lot. So yes, I am pissed too.

  23. Ophelia says:

    I am with you. I just checked my Blackberry Storm – I dump all of the apps that are pushed to my phone that I am not interested in and cannot delete into a folder. I see 9 right now:

    VCast
    VzwTones
    My Verizon
    Bing
    Visual Voice Mail
    Skype
    NFL Mobile
    Backup Assisstant
    YouTube

    • Mr. S says:

      Like I mentioned elsewhere, those are just launchers to download and install the program. You can hide them or delete the relevant service books.

    • ames says:

      I do not understand why YouTube is considered essential. I hardly ever go there, certainly not enough that I *need* it on my phone.

  24. BuddhaLite says:

    I call bull on his story. He’s an IT director for a large hospital but comes here with his gripes? I’m no where close to a director but even I know that we have corporate liaisons for the four major carriers. Two if you’re going to be evaluating phones to see if you want to use them in your environment the vendor will give you the phone for free.

    • D0GG says:

      +1

      You are 100% correct on that one. Most carriers will attempt to alter phone settings and data for a larger corporate client.

      I am guessing this is a PET hospital with a total of, like, 5 phones for staff.

    • Akala says:

      Yes, good point. He should call his corporate liaison to…get a corporate policy changed?!?
      Corporate liaisons exist for one reason, to sell more phones, not address concerns of this level.

      Hmm, and you aren’t a Director? Go figure.

      • BuddhaLite says:

        Wow! You totally missed the boat on that one. The point is that if he has a corporate account he should address those issues them them. Based on your comments it’s pretty clear you have zero clue what you’re talking about.

        • Akala says:

          That is a heck of a deal that AT&T and Verizon gives your organization 30k free phones…with service.
          What’s that you say? You don’t get the service for free?!? You mean…someone was involved with “selling” that service? Maybe someone like, I don’t know, your corporate rep?

          But yes, you are correct, I have no idea what I’m talking about, I bow to your clearly advanced intellect and experience.

      • BuddhaLite says:

        Wow! You totally missed the boat on that one. The point is that if he has a corporate account he should address those issues them them. Based on your comments it’s pretty clear you have zero clue what you’re talking about. My company has 30k Blackberries in use just in the US with most people on AT&T and Verizon and we get all our phones for free so there goes your arguement about selling more phones goes down the drain.

  25. DanKelley98 says:

    My issue wouldn’t be with the bloatware itself, but the inability to remove it once I OWN (let me repeat: “OWN”) the phone….

    • Akala says:

      Agreed.

      i think if people would have bothered to read the OP’s letter, they would realize that is exactly what is being stated.

      Heck, I personally don’t care what the heck they load on the dumb thing, as long as we have the ability to remove whatever we want.

  26. JakeChance says:

    Hear, hear! The whole point of Android (over the inferior iPhone) is OPENNESS. We should (without root) be able to do whatever we want on OUR phones. Uninstalling the trash that comes with it should be paramount. It’d be excellent if OEMs didn’t shovel the crapware onto our devices but being pragmatic I at minimum demand to be able to remove it.

  27. InimicalMime says:

    Tmthy Bn, y sy?
    Y gys nd bttr… rm… rdctr?
    P.S. ‘m mkng tht wrd.

    Bt… gr. Fr ppl tht wr prvsly n th fnc btwn Drd nd Phn, ths s xctly th knd f crp w DN’T wnt t s. ppl s bd ngh bt thr BS hddn n pps t crsh yr jlbrk… bt t wld sm Drd s jst bt s bd.

  28. tinyhands says:

    The consumer marketplace majority has demanded that their mobile devices provide every conceivable access, so providers are going to find every conceivable way to exploit that. Computer manufacturers put bloatware on laptops and desktops all the way back to the dial-up era and have only recently begun cutting back. If it took them 20+ years to do it, expect to see this crap on your phones well into the 2030s.

    In contrast, my 5 year-old, non-smart phone doesn’t have any bloatware on it. Go figure.

  29. ames says:

    I was all “just delete it, whiney man”, but – he can’t. I’m not overly fond of the letter’s style (I skimmed, so I missed the bit where he couldn’t delete it), but the gripe is totally legit. I’m fine with bundled programs, as long as I can get them off of my phone.

  30. chiieddy says:

    It’s not that hard to uninstall the applications on an Android phone.

  31. Firesoul1 says:

    I have an LG Dare since October of 08. its the most perfect phone ive ever owned. there is too much hype surrounding smartphones. Every new smartphone that comes out i compare to my Dare in every aspect from online reviews and data sheets, i don’t find any incentive to upgrade. smartphones gives verizon an excuse to push that 29.99 data package. i would consider an upgrade if verizon just think about the consumer instead of lining their pockets. some changes would be for the consumer to disable any features they choose i.e not recieve texts, disable internet access using verizons network). 2) offer custom family share minutes i.e 1000 share minutes for 3 users = 333mins each line. 3) no bloatware of any kind on all phones, let me choose what apps and how many i want on my phone.

  32. Christopher says:

    The reason he only cites City ID is because it’s the ONLY ‘bloatware’ on the device. So, arguably, it’s not only the worst, but also the best, lol.

    So, overreacting? Yes. But I will admit, CityID is a bit annoying.

    Unless you want to count visual voicemail, but that’s been seemlessly integrated into the standard messaging app so it’s completely unobtrusive for non-VVM subscribers.

  33. tundey says:

    I enthusiastically agree with Mark. Having bloatware foisted upon you is bad enough, having to deal with nags from said bloatware is utterly deplorable.

  34. golfinglenn says:

    I have had the Incredible for 5 days now and what original letter points out is true. ANY app that came with the phone cannot be deleted. Here is a partial list: Facebook, Friend Stream, Flicker, City ID, twitter.

    The City ID will continually pop up and ask you if you want to subscribe if you try the free trial period of 10 days.

  35. esone1ll says:

    This guy is obviously over-reacting. He didn’t cite any evidence besides CityID, and the app can probably be completely ignored. Can it be deleted? If not, so what? Just ignore it. Not a big deal.

  36. Winfield says:

    I agree. I bought an Incredible two days ago, and I’ve been nagged by CityID several times.

    I’ve downloaded an uninstaller app to try to uninstall it and it doesn’t work on anything that originally came with the phone (a la CityID).

  37. beepbeep says:

    I had planned on buying the Incredible until I was told that I needed to a) drop my family plan b) buy a $30 per month unlimited data plan rather than the $10 per month unlimited data plan I have, then buy a new data plan for each person in my family. So my $100 phone is gonna cost me between $200 and $400 more a year. Sprint unlimited everything for $69 per month is sounding better all the time.

  38. jdmba says:

    Yikes, 79 comments already will make this one useless, but …

    I just got my Incredible and other than the battery (as the OP noted), I am thrilled.

    The people are hard at work developing an ability to root the phone, and for custom ROMs so sit tight and pretty soon you will have a smoking 1GHZ 780P smartphone with less bloatware.

    As for the battery, I will get the Seidio 3100mah as soon as they release it.

  39. cnega says:

    In a few months we’ll see the huge customer backlash of IAds for the new IPhone. That’ll be 10x as annoying and you will have no choice but to obey Apple.

  40. theblackdog says:

    I’m reading about this CityID, and folks who have had to deal with it on their Blackberries before say that after the 15 day trial, the nagger will show an option to tell it to never nag you again. It’s annoying, but wait the 15 days out and then tell it to go away.

    Also, they say not to use the app that both kills it and clears the data because it resets the trial and then the nagger won’t go away (but I guess you could use it for free until they update to close that loophole)

  41. skapig says:

    Verizon has a history of designing its software to push whatever services it wishes to sell is quite willing to sacrifice usability. They haven’t been terribly interested in allowing you to customize your phone in ways that undermine any services that they want to tack on.

  42. endless says:

    Very lame about CityID… any other programs on there?

    I wonder if the evo 4g will suffer this fate

  43. cashxx says:

    I agree with bloatware on devices especially PC’s. Shouldn’t have to take it out of the box and reformat it load a fresh OS on it in order to get rid of all the junk. You can just go and uninstall, but I feel safer just reinstalling a fresh OS.

    But I have an HTC Incredible and I didn’t think it was loaded with a bunch of bloatware. I was happy to not see any Verizon apps on it. You can go to the Market and they have a tab for Verizon and install them yourself, but as for the phone itself I didn’t think it was loaded with bloatware. I thought it came with a bunch of nice apps, maybe a few but they aren’t a nuisance.

  44. RvLeshrac says:

    This has been mentioned several times, and I’m going to do it again, because some people seem to be incapable of reading:

    1) You need Root to delete these apps. There is no Root hack available for the Incredible.
    2) You need Root to delete these apps. There is no Root hack available for the Incredible.
    3) You need Root to delete these apps. There is no Root hack available for the Incredible.
    4) You need Root to delete these apps. There is no Root hack available for the Incredible.
    5) You need Root to delete these apps. There is no Root hack available for the Incredible.
    6) You need Root to delete these apps. There is no Root hack available for the Incredible.
    7) You need Root to delete these apps. There is no Root hack available for the Incredible.
    8) You need Root to delete these apps. There is no Root hack available for the Incredible.
    9) You need Root to delete these apps. There is no Root hack available for the Incredible.
    10) You need Root to delete these apps. There is no Root hack available for the Incredible.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      I nearly forgot:

      11) The HTC Droid Incredible is a HTC Droid Incredible.
      a) The HTC Droid Incredible is not a Blackberry.
      b) The HTC Droid Incredible is not a Samsung.
      c) The HTC Droid Incredible is not an iPhone.
      d) The HTC Droid Incredible is not a Nokia.
      e) The HTC Droid Incredible is not a Motorola Droid.
      f) The HTC Droid Incredible is not a Different HTC Phone.

    • theblackdog says:

      There is no root hack….yet!

  45. Ayanami says:

    WOAH WOAH WOAH WOAH, slow down. City ID is the only bloatware on this device. Everything else is a part of sense UI. The headline is misleading and the OP needs to learn the definition of bloatware.

    • Akala says:

      The only one? Odd.
      You’re definition of:

      The Live wallpapers that can’t be removed?
      The pre-installed, and inferior, Facebook app that can’t be removed?
      Google Talk services that can’t be removed?
      The Gmail apps that can’t be removed?
      The YouTube app that can’t be removed?
      The Stocks app that can’t be removed?
      Two versions (android and HTC) of mail, calendar, contacts that can’t be removed? And before you have an aneurysm, yes I realize that the HTC versions are part of Sense.
      The FM Radio app that can’t be removed?
      The Flickr app that can’t be removed?
      The Twitter app that can’t be removed?
      The Visual Voicemail, that charges you a monthly rate if you want to use it, that can’t be removed?

      I don’t know what your definition of bloatware is, but mine is anything other than the operating system and other necessary applications, that I personally did not install, is bloatware.

      I don’t even have a problem with some of these apps, what I have a problem with is Verizon telling me what I can and cannot install on the device that I purchased and own.

      Is there anyone responding to this story that can honestly tell me that if they bought a new computer, they would be perfectly fine with the vendor preinstalling it with software that they could never remove? In my mind, there is no difference what so ever.

  46. swilli11 says:

    Well, you agreed to this when you accepted Verizon’s Customer Agreement. Whether or not you like the software, you were advised of this before you started your service with the company. “Please be aware that we may change your wireless device’s software, applications or programming remotely, without notice.” Your opinion is valid, but don’t act so outraged about something spelled out in clear language to you ahead of time.

  47. jcota says:

    Sadly most companies do that crap of adding their shitty bloatware. The sad part about this phone is that it is an android phone which is 100% customizable but you can’t remove verizon’s shitty expensive apps. Wait until a custom rom is released by cyanogenmod that fixes this crap and adds other useful features. but shame on you greedy verizon. reason why i currently have at&t is your shitty apps and the fact that you cripple the phones with your fucking verizon ui and no bluetooth file transfer. but that is another story.

  48. Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

    Yet another unsatisfied WCIA Ticketmaster voter.

  49. b612markt says:

    I’m very glad to have read this article. I was going to spring for the Incredible to replace my ancient MotoDroid, but maybe I’ll hang on to my Droid until a non-bloatware machine makes its way to big red.

  50. doobiewondersmoke says:

    My favorite thing on my Verizon bill is the section that cost me an extra $8 every month. Verizon explains that this due to government taxes on Verizon NOT the customer but Verizon passes it on to me so that I can pay their fee. So Verizon makes another BIG sum of money for the bloatware, and passes this on to the consumer all in the name of profit. It’s not wrong to make money, but they (& others) blatantly steal from customers who keep their company afloat and the cash cow fat & sassy. At least their honest about telling me that I’m paying their government charge, that’s one thing going for the a$$holes

  51. ChuckBales says:

    I’ve had my Incredible for over a week now, I just counted up about 10-15 pre-loaded apps that can’t be removed (without rooting). Some I’ve found useful, such as the Google Maps and built-in ringtone editor, but there’s also Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr apps that I’ll never use.

    Had I not seen CityID and the like in my app list, I would never have known they were there. I’ve never opened them and they’ve never popped up or otherwise prompted me for anything,

  52. VicMatson says:

    Not getting it! Menu/Settings/Applications/Manage applications/ and select the offending app and hit uninstall. Did this guy graduate from grade school?

    • ChuckBales says:

      Maybe you should actually try this on a pre-loaded app. There is no Uninstall button.

    • Akala says:

      I would assume that graduating from grade school would require that one has the ability to read basic English? You, though, would prove that to not be the case, else you would have read in the OP’s post that the apps in question are not able to be uninstalled. Actually, unless mistaken, that was the utter entire point of the letter.

  53. AntiNorm says:

    Yet another example of a totally unwarranted EECB. So you don’t like the bloatware. Fair enough, but complaining about bloatware does *not* warrant an EECB. By sending that, you have diminished their effectiveness and accomplished nothing in the process.

  54. EagleFalconn says:

    I’ve got a Motorola Droid. Tons of bloatware there, too, and no way to remove it.

  55. LazerBoy says:

    Honestly, the Droid Incredible has a lot less bloatware than most devices I’ve used. It doesn’t even come with any of the Verizon stuff, you can choose to download it from the market. In fact, I think there was a review on cnet where they complimented the phone on the fact that it didn’t have any bloat ware. I think Tim is over reacting. I’ve used my droid since it’s release and I’ve never been bothered by cityID or any other app.

  56. pot_roast says:

    And people STILL drool over the thought of a “Verizon iPhone?”

    Yeah, have fun with that one….

  57. Weekilter says:

    If you’ve bought a phone you should have every right to specify what you *don’t* want on your device that you bought. A company that forces you to be subjected to adware or bloatware that you didn’t ask for and can’t delete is reprehensible.

  58. Tuxedo Jack says:

    I’ve got a VZW Touch Pro 2 myself. When I got it, it was utter crap – Verizon bloatware everywhere, A-GPS chip crippled and locked down, no Internet Sharing app (for tethering), and no JetCet Printing like my Sprint TP2 came with.

    It took about 45 minutes (and a bootloader replacement plus new ROM – MightyROM for the win) to SIM-unlock my phone, remove all the VZW junk with a new ROM, _and_ unlock the GPS chip so Google Maps could use it.

    Verizon, seriously. WHY? We pay you through the nose (or at least my boss does) for phones that work and do enterprise-level connectivity. We don’t want consumer-grade adware on something that costs us $200 in the first place ($500 unlocked).