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.
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?
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 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?
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.”
Tap “Home screen.”
Choose “Left Home screen.”
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.
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.
Image credit: Mike Mozart