Lenovo and Motorola fans, brace yourself for some incoming bloatware. The Chinese OEM, has announced that it has struck a partnership agreement with Microsoft to pre-load some of the Redmond company’s apps on its devices.
While not specifically stating which devices will be impacted, Lenovo says that Microsoft Office, OneDrive and Skype will be pre-installed on some of its devices. This includes Motorola devices as well, as the agreement covers the subsidiary company belonging to Lenovo.
The official announcement says that,
“Lenovo expects to ship millions of these Android-based devices worldwide over the next several years.”
A part of the statement also mentions,
Installing Microsoft apps and services on our devices will bring additional value to consumers around the globe.
The word “Services” suggests it may include Cortana, Microsoft’s digital personal assistant, which if designed to work as good as it does on Windows Phones, needs to be deeply integrated in Android as a system app, for some of the more important features to work.
Including pre-loaded apps is always a bad move, one which even Google needs to learn. Not everyone uses Maps, or Play Books or Play Music, or Newsstand. Many would argue that you can simply disable the apps to solve the problem. What they don’t know, is that the problem with stock apps is, they are stored in the /system partition.
So when you update an app on the Play Store, it does not replace the original app. And the original app still remains in the partition. the updated APK is in the OS’ data partition, which means a lot of wasted storage space.
In a perfect world, a bloat free phone, should include just these apps in my opinion: SMS (Messaging app), Dialer, Playstore, Clock, Alarm, Calendar, Stock Browser (not Chrome). Even an email app is unnecessary, because the Play Store allows the user to download what he/she wants to use.
Even Nexus phones are not truly stock, because they come bundled with a dozen or so Google apps. And this is exactly why people root their devices and remove/freeze apps using Titanium Backup, and even install custom ROMs like Cyanogenmod with bloat-free GAPPs like Pico Open GAPPs.