Are Pre-Installed Apps on Your Phone Junk or Useful?

Everyone who uses a mobile device – whether it be a phone, tablet, or something else – knows the frustration of buying a new device only to find it already holding several non-essential apps that can’t be deleted. Are pre-installed non-essential apps on your phone junk or useful?

We are not referring to those essential apps such as Dialer, Message, etc., but those apps that nobody uses and yet can’t be uninstalled. This is all coming into question even more this week with the announcement that Microsoft has entered into a partnership with the Chinese company Xiaomi. Microsoft is selling about 1,500 of its patents to them in exchange for them adding Office and Skype to the phones and tablets that they sell. Of course this means even more pre-installed apps on the Xiamoi devices that run on Android.

And Apple device users know the pain of this as well. iPhones and iPads ship with several pre-installed apps. While many of them are integral to the use of the device such as Messages, App Store, and Photos, not everyone is interested in the Stocks app or the Tips app. Many users resort to pushing them off to an unused screen.

So how should mobile device companies look at pre-installed apps? Should they be able to include them in deals so that even more of them can turn up on devices? Should as many as possible be included on devices since there is someone out there who will find them useful? Or should mobile device companies try to limit their inclusion as much as possible?

Image Credit: Ash Kyd via Flickr

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.


  1. Doesn’t really matter terribly much to me if there is bloatware… I usually root my device and/or install a custom ROM anyways.

  2. I had a lot of respect for Xiaomi, since my friends who live in the Philippines say their hardware and quality is top notch. But if they’re partnering with MS?….a company KNOWN for “bloat-ware”?….then I’m going to have to switch off to the Meizu folks or even the OnePlus people. I don’t have time to fight with a mobile device. If i cannot remove what’s on there when I purchase it, then I will buy elsewhere. This has been the problem with the manufacturers here in the states for years. You’b buy an AT&T phone, or Sprint….Verizon…Android….etc. And you’d get a slew of apps you don’t need….didn’t ask for…..or will ever use. Then if you start to save pics, vids, and the like you slowly lose space on your device, and can’t remove non-essential apps to make room. I guess that’s what they call “big business”…and also why I will stick to buying devices that come with OS’es that are truly customizable…(SailFish….CyanogenMod….Tizen etc) Blame it on moves just like this one. A giant corporation teams up with a manufacturer, and whatever pros you could find with that manufacturer, become cons once the partnering company starts adding in their own secret recipe. Ok…enough of my ranting…I’ll stop! LoL!

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