Even Nexus devices come with their share of bloatware. While you’d expect to use apps like Drive, Gmail, Maps, YouTube and Chrome, most people could probably do without Google Play Games, Google Play Books, and even Google+, which continues to fade into obscurity. (If you use these, well, you’re probably in the minority.)
All Android devices come with a number of Google apps pre-installed—Google’s rules, not an OEMs—which means you’ll always get things like Play Games whether you want it or not. It’s like the iPhone coming with Stocks or Tips; the apps are just there and there’s nothing you can do about it.
It makes sense from a business standpoint. These companies want you to see—and use!—their services, so of course they’ll require OEMs to preinstall these apps. But it sucks from a consumer perspective, leaving folks (and companies) with no real choice. It’s either Google’s way or the highway.
Luckily the search giant has realized some apps are better left to choice, and has decided to make its preset list a little smaller. Going forward, Google Play Games, Google Play Books, Google+ and Google Newsstand are no longer required as part of Google’s applications package. They’ll still be available in the Play Store, of course, but they’re there only when you want them.
Your Android phone—especially if it’s through a carrier—will probably still come with its fair share of bloat. But at least Google is doing its part to minimize what has become a real annoyance. Now only if Apple would stop pre-installing its devices with Tips, iBooks, Compass, Stocks, Game Center—and on and on.