What Is AppFlash on Android and Do You Need It?

What Is Appflash On Android And Do You Need It

Device carriers and manufacturers have never quite understood users – we don’t like or need bloatware. Yet, Verizon decided all Android users needed AppFlash on their devices. It quietly appeared on existing devices in 2017. Since then, it’s come pre-installed. All users want to know one thing – what is AppFlash and is it really useful?

What Is AppFlash?

According to Verizon, AppFlash is a content discovery service. It’s designed to be an all-in-one app for finding everything you need to make life easier. From recommending apps and restaurants to movies and getting rides, all you have to do is ask. On the surface, it doesn’t really sound that bad. After all, Google works similarly when you’re signed in, and sometimes, even when you’re not signed in.

What Is Appflash On Android And Do You Need It Safe

One good feature is that the app is designed to automatically stream any content you need without having to download another app to do so if you need a specific app to view or stream content on AppFlash.

It comes pre-installed on Verizon’s Android devices. However, it won’t look like a traditional app. Instead, it works as a type of left homescreen. If it’s enabled, all you have to do is swipe left from your homescreen to view it. And yes, it takes the entire screen.

Is It Safe?

What Is Appflash On Android And Do You Need It What

The answer is yes and no. Much like any app that provides personalized recommendations on your phone, AppFlash collects user data as you use your device. This includes your location data, even when you’re not using the app. It’s not really any better or worse than other popular apps that track your app usage, location, and preferences.

According to Verizon, “In newer versions of the app, when you choose to enable location, it will be collected even when the app is not in use.” If this leaves you feeling less than safe, you’re not alone. However, many apps that ask for location permission do the same thing, especially search engine and social media apps.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation originally called AppFlash spyware. The EFF recommends users read the privacy policy before enabling the app. Even if it’s not spyware, it’s definitely bloatware if you don’t want it. But, it’s one of the many bloatware apps that you can’t uninstall easily, though there are a few ways to possibly remove it completely.

The app is actually available to download from the Google Play Store. As you can see, users aren’t exactly thrilled with it, giving it just 3.6 stars.

How to Enable and Disable AppFlash?

What irked users originally is the app downloaded, installed, and enabled without users’ permission. Users were asked to quickly agree to the privacy policy just to see what was on their phones. Now it’s disabled by default on newer devices.

You can enable or disable it yourself at any time via your device’s settings. The exact steps may vary slightly based on your Android device and system.

Go to “Settings -> Display.”

What Is Appflash On Android And Do You Need It Display

Tap “Home screen.”

What Is Appflash On Android And Do You Need It Home

Choose “Left Home screen.”

What Is Appflash On Android And Do You Need It Left

Tap AppFlash to enable it. If you want to disable it, select another left home screen option or select None. Tap OK to save your changes.

What Is Appflash On Android And Do You Need It None

If you installed AppFlash yourself, you’ll have the option to uninstall it like any other Android app. When it’s pre-installed, it may not even be listed in your available apps. If it is, the only option is to disable it.

Should you keep it? The choice is up to you. You can try it out to see if it’s useful to you. Just read the privacy policy and check the permissions in the Google Play Store to see if you’re okay with everything first. Remember, you can disable it at any time or even stop it from running in the background.

Image credit: Mike Mozart

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Crystal Crowder Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

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