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Undo the Bloatware Holding Your Phone Hostage

by Leslie Poston | September 16, 2010September 16, 2010 7:58 am PDT

One of the best things about being a Verizon customer: I get service everywhere I’ve been since I switched from T-Mobile to Sprint to AT&T and now to Verizon. One of the worst? Their insistence on mucking about with the phones they sell*. Add in HTC’s tendency to add a bunch of “partner software” (read: bloatware) to your phone, and for this Mac lover who just wants good cell service is can sometimes feels like I bought a pre-loaded, bloated PC.

WARNING: Always do a full Android backup before making changes to your phone!! We are not responsible for your phone going kaput if you don’t do this removal carefully!!

To remove the bloatware, you’ll need to do a couple of things. In case the bold print wasn’t enough warning, doing these things will void your warranty and may break your phone. Be careful, and don’t blame us if you try this and brick yourself. The first thing you need to do: root your phone if you want to uninstall any of the system apps. You can do this with Titanium Backup. You also will have to root your phone to install a custom ROM. The second thing you need to do is grab either Universal Androot (works on most Android phones) or Unrevoked (for HTC phones). Note: Universal Androot may work on your HTC as well.

List of bloatware on the HTC Android phones (This list includes carrier specific apps and widgets where known, mostly for Sprint. I’m looking for the Verizon file names for bloatware like Blockbuster and CityID, etc. now and will come back and update as I find them):

androidThese should be safe to remove, although you should note that removing the TTS services will make your voice commands and Voice to Dial and Voice to Search stop working:

browser.apk – this will remove your bookmarks from the HTC Bookmarks widget
Bluetooth.apk – only remove if you don’t use Bluetooth
mail.apk – you have no need for this if you use Gmail
amazonmp3.apk – self explanatory
appsharing.apk – you have no need for this if you don’t share apps
calculator.apk – this one is handy, but not necessary if you can do simple math in your head
Calendar.apk – this one I actually use all the time, being busy, but it does count as bloatware
CalendarProvider.apk – this one is a calendar sync
CarHomeGoogle.apk – this is what helps your phone find your hands free talk set up in your car so you may want to keep it
CarHomeLauncher.apk – this one works with the one above
CertInstaller.apk – web certificat installer, uninstalling may make some web sites not work on your phone, but won’t hurt the phone
ChromeToPhone.apk – self explanatory
DeskClock.apk – this app let’s you turn off notification and use your phone as a desk clock and alarm
Development.apk – this is a development app
com.htc.FMRadioWidget.apk – I am continually puzzled as to who wants FM Radio on their phone when we have Grooveshark
com.htc.NewsReaderWidget.apk – self explanatory
com.htc.StockWidget.apk – self explanatory
com.htc.TwitterWidget.apk – horrible way to use Twitter on your phone. Seesmic for Android is much better.
com.htc.rosiewidget.tipcalculator.apk – if you keep the calculator app, or can do math, why you’d need a tip calculator is beyond me
DCSStock.apk – this is part of the Stocks widget
DCSImpl.apk – I’m not sure what this does
DCSUtility.apk – I’m not sure what this does
Flashlight.apk – this is the flashlight app
Flickr.apk – this is the Flickr app that syncs photos
Gallery.apk – this shows your photo and video gallery
Gallery3D.apk – this shows your 3D photo gallery
Geniewidget.apk – this is Google’s news widget
GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk – this is Google quick search
htcbookmarkwidget.apk – self explanatory
HtcCalculatorWidget.apk – self explanatory
HtcCarPanel.apk – self explanatory
HtcFootprints.apk – this is HTC’s “connect the dots” application to auto save locations of photos, etc so you can retrace your steps back to a place or moment
HtcFootprintsWidget.apk – works with above
HtcLocationPicker.apk – you need this to get weather updates
HtcLocationService.apk – same as above
htcmailwidgets.apk – you don’t need this if you use Gmail
HTC Location.apk – you need this to get weather updates
HTCMobileGuide.apk – I’m not sure why you’d need your mobile phone guide on the phone, if the phone breaks and you need to reference it, how would you get there?
htcsmswidgets.apk – this is HTC’s text message widget
HtcPhotoWidget.apk – self explanatory
HtcProfilesWidget.apk – this lets you quickly toggle your ringtone to vibrate or silent
HtcRingtoneTrimmer.apk – self explanatory
HtcRingtoneWidget.apk – self explanatory
HTCSetupWizard.apk – self explanatory
HtcSoundRecorder.apk – this records phone calls and sounds
HtcStreamPlayer.apk – this is a streaming media player
HtcTwitter.apk – HTC’s terrible Twitter app
HTMLViewer.apk – this is a PDF viewer
LatinIME.apk – for users with different input methods like Swipe
LatinIMEtutorial.apk – tutorial for above
MagicSmokeWallpapers.apk – this is the battery killing but cool live wallpaper from HTC
Maps.apk – since I have a TomTom in the car, I have no need for the maps and nav stuff like this
Music.apk – this is a music/video player you won’t need if you prefer a different app for this
Mode10Wallpapers.apk – this is Google’s live wallpapers
NewsReader.apk – self explanatory
PicoTts.apk – this text to speech app is one component of how voice commands work
QuickLookup.apk – self explanatory
Quickoffice.apk – self explanatory
Rss.apk – self explanatory
SocialNetworkProvider.apk – self explanatory, not needed if you use specific apps
Sprint_NASCAR.apk – self explanatory
Sprint_Navigation.apk – self explanatory
Sprint_NFL.apk – self explanatory
Sprint_Promotion.apk – this is needed to dial Sprint using *2
Sprint_Qik.apk – self explanatory
Sprint_TV.apk – self explanatory
Sprint_VVM.apk – this is not needed if you use Google Voice
SprintTVWidget.apk – self explanatory
Stock.apk – self explanatory
Street.apk – self explanatory
teeter.apk – this is a game
TelephonyProvider.apk – self explanatory
TtsService.apk – this is more text to speech
VisualizationWallpapers.apk – self explanatory
VoiceDialer.apk – self explanatory
VoiceSearch.apk – self explanatory
VpnServices.apk – this is a virtual private network app
WidgetDownloadManager.apk – self explanatory
WifiRouter.apk – this is Sprint’s stock hotspot app
Clicker.apk – this calibrates the stock keyboard
DebugTool.apk – self explanatory
FieldTest.apk – self explanatory
FieldTrial.apk
– self explanatory

Consider these NOT safe to remove, for various reasons. Either what they do is unknown, or people on various boards have reported unusual issues upon removal:

HtcIQAgent.apk
IQRD.apk
DefaultContainerService.apk
DMPortRead.apk
DmService.apk
FilePicker.apk
FutureDialService.apk
friendstream.apk

EPST.apk
Vendor.apk
PCSII.apk
Contacts.apk
ContactsProvider.apk
DefaultContainerService.apk
DownloadProvider.apk
DrmProvider.apk
MediaProvider.apk
Phone.apk
Settings.apk
SettingsProvider.apk
TelephonyProvider.apk
camera.apk

Rooting your phone, removing bloatware – these aren’t tasks for the faint of heart, or the novice. If you have trouble knowing if your computer is plugged in but you want to do this process, get some help!

*Note: this is why I’m happy VZW doesn’t have the iPhone. It wouldn’t be the same iPhone if it was on Verizon, people.

I would not have been able to compile this list without visiting the many excellent Android forums and chat rooms out there, where this kind of quality information is often generated. Thanks guys!



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