Preloaded apps are slowing down new Android smartphones

Chances are, you just bought a new Android smartphone which already has many preloaded apps that you may not use. Here is how to get rid of the clutter


User can uninstall them by long pressing the app icon and dragging it to the top of the home page in UIs with no app drawer such as Xiaomi’s MIUI, Huawei’s Emotion UI or Oppo’s Colour OS. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint.
User can uninstall them by long pressing the app icon and dragging it to the top of the home page in UIs with no app drawer such as Xiaomi’s MIUI, Huawei’s Emotion UI or Oppo’s Colour OS. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint.

Google allows phone makers to make cosmetic changes to the Android user interface (UI) so they can differentiate their phones from that of their rivals. These changes give proprietary UIs a distinct character, but in many cases it also increases the clutter as phone makers tend to install apps and then sell you the phone. In most cases, you may not need any of those apps, yet they run in the background eating up system resources and hurting battery life. Irrespective of how powerful your new phone might be on paper, a lot of that potential is being wasted by this unnecessity.

If you have recently bought a phone with a custom UI, but do not require all the apps that come with it, you can put them away in many ways.

Get rid of it permanently

If a phone has an Amazon Kindle app, for example, the user gets free ebooks worth a certain amount. If it is a Yupp TV app, then the user gets free access to premium video content for a fixed period of time. But many of us don’t need these limited time goodies. The good news is that you can uninstall many of these apps if you don’t require them.

User can uninstall them by long pressing the app icon and dragging it to the top of the home page in UIs with no app drawer such as Xiaomi’s MIUI, Huawei’s Emotion UI or Oppo’s Colour OS. In case of HTC’s Sense UI, Samsung’s TouchWiz, or Google’s Pixel Launcher, one can use the same drag and drop process in the app drawer.

In case you want to clear all the app data before hitting the uninstall button, go to Settings->Apps->tap on the app-> Clear Data. This frees up saved files in the phone.

The temporary solution

Unfortunately, not all third party apps can be uninstalled with the same ease. Many phonemakers treat these apps as permanent fixtures on the phone on account of some deal with the app developers. For example, in Micromax smartphones you can’t uninstall the Gaana app and in Samsung phone’s one can’t remove SwiftKey permanently.

In this case, one can block the app in phone’s Settings->Apps->Block apps and finally disable them. This will not put away the apps completely, but will prevent them from running background processes or downloading updates. This will prevent wastage of mobile data and battery.

The other way around

At times blocking an app may affect with the working of other apps. While this may not apply for a third party app, disabling a Google app can make other Google apps unstable due to the close link between them.

This is where the option to hide apps can come in handy. With this the app will continue to occupy space on the phone, but user can’t see it anymore in the app drawer or home screen. However, this feature is not available in all Android smartphones. HTC, LG, Asus and InFocus are some of the leading phone makers which offer the option to users.

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