This is not like EE to force software onto a user.. oh hold on a minute.. Anybody remember the horrendous Orange Home Screen which reduced security and functionality available to the user on Symbian phones....
Do you have a Samsung Galaxy S4 on EE? Have you downloaded the Infomedia Free Games Widget? Is it on your phone? If the answer to the first question is “yes” then the answer to the third one is “probably”, regardless of what you said to question two. EE has done it for you. And if you do what it asks when you install it, it …
Sure, but I also remember the great widget for the WM2003 phones used to recreate that same "Orange home screen" that only came on Orange and supported embedding multiple widgets horizontally, rather than just 1 per row. That allowed for artistic users to put together some really creative new "today screens" (home screens). One of my favourites was an OS-X theme with a bar along the bottom with icons that enlarged as they were highlighted.
This is exactly why I prefer iOS to Android. Not because of the underlying OS, not because I couldn't avoid the crapware, I could, but because it was inevitable Android, from an advertising company, would move ever closer to the Windows crapware model of monetisation and that horrible stinking attitude starts to infect every software vendor competing for visibility on the platform, even those who try their best to avoid it. This is Real Networks, "we can see our failure writ large, so lets roger the customer all the time we can get away with it," attitude all over again. This is why after the early success of the PC, the Mac is once again thriving. This is why it's worth paying the Apple Tax twice over; because it's actually like joining a club where everyone in the club reads Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, Nota Bene or Hedonist's Guide, but everyone outside the club has to wade through those crappy free hotel room travel guides to the local city where 3/4 of the content is advertising. Of course you can find the good stuff under the mound of crap, but that mound just keeps on growing until the crap starts dripping off everything around it.
This is not how Android, as the underlying OS works or operates. Just because it was built by an advertising giant doesn't make this sort of thing inherent to the system. There is much lack of understanding here.
The problem comes from the fact that most carrier networks cook their own Android ROMS, with very little to no controlling influence from Google. Ergo, it is the fault of the carrier and their unscrupulous ways that lead to this issue.
If you want to be truly free of this sort of shit, IOS is not the way to go either, as you'll get all the crap from Apple bundled into the device and be forced to use only the services they let you use (until industry groups pressure them to open it up).
The best way to avoid this shit is to either buy a sim-free Nexus device, or grab a custom ROM, such as CyanogenMod, and flash your phone as soon as you get it from whatever carrier contract you bought it on. The flash process has recently been made much easier, thanks to some great community contributions over at Xdadevelopers and CM (among others).
Of course, that isn't a good solution for a lot of people, in which case my only piece of advice would be to avoid anything advertised to you with the word "free" in it.
"If you want to be truly free of this sort of shit, IOS is not the way to go either, as you'll get all the crap from Apple bundled into the device and be forced to use only the services they let you use (until industry groups pressure them to open it up)."
However the thing is all the crap from Apple, isn't crap. Use iMovie. It's great and doesn't have key features disabled to create a marketing ladder so you *have* to upgrade to Final Cut Pro. It is the best product they can make for a non-pro user.
Same for Garage Band, iPhoto and more. Same for pretty much all their software. In Apple world, there is no equivalent of Windows Home and Windows Business and Windows Ultimate, where each is a step on a ladder with a key feature the main group in focus would want disabled. The perfect example being the Microsoft of yester-year where there was a Windows Business version but disk encryption was only available in Windows Ultimate. So hey business users who are the core target market for disk encryption. Get the version of Windows where you are paying for a copy Windows Media centre we know you don't want.
I was careful to avoid implying Google themselves are the source of crap-ware. They aren't.
Nor did I say Android itself is bad. It isn't.
Actually my point, though I put it unsubtly because stories like this piss me off so much, is actually quite subtle. Google have created an environment where Joe user is going to end up fucked by crap-ware. And by handing over so much power to the carriers, and by the very fact there are SO MANY Joe users, they are generating an ecosystem that I fear is going to be MS Windows V2, but in mobile. What happens is it becomes standard practice for software vendors to seek to screw their customers. This Register story *is an example of what I am referring to*
In Windows it was most evident when you installed software and the installer would try to distract you from the fact the "f*ck-my-computer-with-adware-and-stuff-that-fulfils-our-business-interest-and-has-nothing-to-do-with-your-needs-but-will-slow-your-PC-to-a-crawl,-oh-and-install-an-IE-toolbar-programmed-by-an-8-year-old" checkbox was selected.
My fear is when Crap-ware becomes a viable strategy amongst Joe Public, STANDARDS ARE LOWERED. And you find you are constantly having deal with software that does 95% of what you want and need but then in the final 5% says, "but for the 95% you want, you have to take my dick in your arse". However you refuse, obviously, but then they say "OK so in that case you can't have my software. The next thing you find you have compromised and you are using software where the vendor has a finger in your arse instead. Next you are spending your entire day walking round using software where the vendor has a finger in your arse, and it feels like a win!
Come to think of it, isn't that exactly what people are accepting from Google and their attitude to your privacy. HEY DON'T DISS THEM, THEY'RE COOL, THEY COULD DEMAND A DICK IN MY ARSE BUT I'M AN EXPERT NEGOTIATOR AND I'VE COMPROMISED.
>"This is exactly why I prefer iOS to Android.... I could, but because it was inevitable Android, from an advertising company, would move ever closer to the Windows crapware model of monetisation and that horrible stinking attitude starts to infect every software vendor competing for visibility on the platform"
Obviously didn't pay too close attention to the stuff Steve Jobs was announcing that would enable Apple to embed similar revenue generating features in iOS...
I gave you an upvote, not because I agree with you (I don't, I can't STAND $FruitCo) but the rant was well written, amusing, and you made the reasons for your choice of OS clear. They don't sway ME, but ... yeah, 'the mound keeps on growing until the crap starts dripping off everything around it' is a keeper of a line
iOS..... Stocks? Newsstand? Can you remove those? Until recently you couldn't even hide the latter in a folder. Can you remove their awful Maps? It's easy to point out flaws in something you dislike but you should take a closer look at your preference as well. Each platform has limits and restrictions. The price you pay for getting a subsidised* handset is potentially being stuck with their crap. If you're savvy enough to install a custom ROM they may appeal to you.
*I use the term 'subsidised' loosely because unless you're paying £35+ a month they want pretty much full price for the phone. For sake of argument I'm only talking about when you go through the networks direct and not when you use a network reseller.
Samsung are also bad at this. Each time I updated my 1st gen unlocked Galaxy Note I ended up with a large number of unwanted apps getting installed too - and all of them German since this is where it was imported from so I couldn't even use them if I wanted to.
In any case EE and Samsung deserve each other...
Hilarious. My sides are splitting. What a funny man you are. 200,000 three months ago. Perhaps you think there are fewer apps now?
It's one of MS's requirements - any app on WP must be able to be uninstalled with a simple long-press+select Uninstall. Even their own apps.
> Mm. It's a shame they're all rubbish though, isn't it?
Absolutely. They are, without exception, trash. Absolute rubbish. The entire 200,000 of them are without merit and utterly useless as opposed to the literally billions upon billions of Android and iOS apps, all of which are unsurpassed in beauty, utility and sheer power to improve your quality of life.
You utter cock.
hehe, touched a raw nerve there did I?
Get back to me when the file explorer app can actually explore the file system, or the eBay app can actually relist an item, define a new postage type, or let you scroll to the end of your description in edit mode. How about when the tide tables app actually has details of more than just a handful of surfing beaches, or there's a decent web browser, or a free putty type client that actually supports use of the CTRL key, or when the app in question doesn't pop up with a little message saying "We try reely hard to make nice app. Love you longtime, plz rate us in the Windows stor".
I bought a Galaxy S4 unbranded and SIM free and returned it after 5 weeks because it did my head in. I never felt like I was in control. The last straw was getting a notification from FlipBoard at 3am inviting me to finish setting it up and share stuff with my friends. I spent hours trying to get permissions and settings right only to find them constantly shifting in the background as apps or updates changed things. It drove me bonkers. It felt like the phone belonged to Samsung and I was a low-privileged user being allowed to use it. If I ever go Android again it certainly will not be some Samsung bastardised thing, hopefully stock Android is far less painful.
Well the article isn't clear on this specific point. Is it just EE supplied and branded phones or any phone on EE? The impression I got was both, although with unbranded phones, it was the user who initiated download of the 'Free Games' app...
> Pronounced: Spam
I had the misfortune to be dragged into an Asda "coffee" shop (coffee in inverted commas as they seem to use the same coffee grounds for a week, and this was a Friday) but was mildly consoled at the prospect of a wifi connection. When you try to connect they claim that it is a "legal requirement" for you to put your mobile number in, with which they will then send a key, and legalese about what they can then do with eth number. Apart from the dubious law they just invented, they further collect another spamming mechanism.
ASsociated DAiries? No, just bull.
The store manager gets real-time buying figures on his tablet from the tills.
The "aisle linger time" metric (presumed to be predictive of some sort of latent shopping intent) is limited to a certain class of customers only, namely the one who buys EE phone contracts and top-spec smartphones. But maybe that's good because that's means it's the segment that's open to having other useless crap flogged to them as well.
In my experience "Aisle Linger Time" is more commonly related to 3 main causes:
"So, what did I came in here for again??"*
"damn! where have those idiots moved that product that has always, previously been on this exact shelf??"
"unbelievable! I've been staring right at the item I wanted for the last 5 minutes, how is it possible I'm only seeing it now??"
*double damn if it was something the wife asked for
First there were "Loyalty cards", now you phone will be beeping bargains at you. Personally I don't have any loyalty cards and it is costs me a penny in every pound it's worth it to receive just a little bit less marketing/sales garbage in the mail, or email, or text messages. As for EE installing garbage on yer phone, it's no different to most of the garbage the manufacturers add to Android. Me? MotoG. Nice simple plain old KitKat. :-)
I have been getting these cards by giving a false name and address for 20 years now. I have never had a problem because if it.
(I am told that there are certain places that require identification such as a driver's license in order to get their card but I have never run across such a place.)
Exactly, I don't understand why this app is different from any of the other un-removable crapware that comes with every phone.
Anyone with an S4 should think yourself lucky you don't have a Sony Xperia mini pro. Mine became unusable because the on-board storage is 100% full of manatory updates to un-removable applications.
"Lingering by the nappies? How about a special offer on formula milk?"
I often linger near the nappies but would never need formula milk because I have no kids. I would be in that isle to buy baby wipes for the gf. She uses them for various non-baby related purposes including makeup removal. This is the same logic that causes Google to show me adverts for hotels in the place where I have booked my summer holiday, but since it's already booked I have no reason to click on those adverts.
How accurate is this wifi tracking? Isles in supermarkets are pretty close together, are they sure I'm in the nappies isle in my local Asda and not the unrelated isle next to it? How about at the end of the isle next to the magazines & newspapers?
As usual this is tech we as consumers have never asked for, have no need for and don't want. It probably won't even do the thing it is supposed to do very well most of the time.
> One of the reasons I stopped shopping at Tescos. They really are the worst offenders for this.
Ermm... They all do it. It's been a textbook technique for at least 15 years (I can recall my local grocer's employees discussing it back then).
Anyway, my technique is to walk into the shop and grab random stuff until my hands are full. Saves me from trying to remember where things are, and still keeps me fed most days. If not, there's always the pub. :-/
>it is illegal to advertise or promote baby milk
>The mind boggles.
It's pretty straightforward and is a product of Nestlé's ongoing evil whereby they try to convince women that they should buy their "healthy" formula instead of "disgusting" breast milk which is, er, free.
Sadly these regulations do not apply in Africa where Nestlé still convince millions of mothers every year to waste their miniscule income on Nestlé products rather than use the (healthier, free) alternative.
> And it's for that reason I try my best to boycott Nestlé products.
Me too, though it's not easy. AND they buy up all the best English sweets and make them so sweet they become essentially inedible, the fuckers. Can't even stomach a KitKat anymore.
Seriously, you look around these boards and see all the "MS/Google/Apple/Oracle are eeeeeeevil" stuff but Nestlé are genuinely evil. They malnourish babies for money. Nobody else even gets close.
Not even SAP.
Delete as per ridiculous fanboy allegiance
>> And it's for that reason I try my best to boycott Nestlé products.
We've been trying too, for about 15 years. One benefit, dropping the disgusting Branston Pickle from the family shopping list and found no reason to reinstate it when Nestlé sold it to someone else.
If they could just offload KitKat and Yorkie to someone who makes real chocolate, I'd be happy.
"t's pretty straightforward and is a product of Nestlé's ongoing evil whereby they try to convince women that they should buy their "healthy" formula instead of "disgusting" breast milk which is, er, free."
I think this was the brainchild of former Nestle executive "deadly" Ernest Saunders, the only man ever to recover from (apparently) Alzheimer's disease, shortly after he was acquitted of all insider dealing charges at Guiness.
A truly remarkable medical feat.
Hence the switch to advertising "follow-on milk".
"A new statement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) released on 17th July (2013), states that follow-up formula is not necessary, is unsuitable as a replacement for breastmilk after 6 months and is covered by World Health Assembly marketing requirements."
"The baby feeding industry invented follow-up formulas for marketing purposes and falsely argues that these are not covered by the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent relevant World Health Assembly resolutions."
"A number of studies strongly suggest a direct correlation between marketing strategies for follow-up formulae, and perception and subsequent use of these products as breastmilk substitutes. In many instances, the packaging, branding and labelling of follow-up formula closely resembles that of infant formula. This leads to confusion as to the purpose of the product, i.e. a perception that follow-up formula is a breastmilk substitute."
“Even though follow-up formula is not necessary, and is unsuitable when used as a breastmilk replacement, it is marketed in a way that may cause confusion and have a negative impact on breastfeeding.... while follow-up formula may not be explicitly promoted as a breastmilk substitute....packaging, branding and labelling may induce mothers to use follow-up formula in the first six months of life and/or to stop breastfeeding after this period.
"If follow-up formula is marketed or otherwise represented to be suitable, with or without modification, for use as a partial or total replacement for breastmilk, it is covered by the Code. In addition, where follow-up formula is otherwise represented in a manner which results in such product being perceived or used as a partial or total replacement for breastmilk, such product also falls within the scope of the Code."
The whole industry is evil, not just Nestle.
Except that is exactly the advice I have been given by EE in order to transfer the phone number from one phone (still in contract with them) to a new phone (also with EE) that my wife bought me for my birthday. Apparently, it is "not possible" (ie - there is no UK law forcing them to do it), and the only way I can achive this is to get a pay-as-you-go SIM (from someone like Vodafone), transfer the number to that, and then transfer it back to EE (to my new phone).
It's a %&$*ing joke.
Not just EE..you cannot port a number within the network on Vodafone either (and possibly all the networks?) computer says 'No!' (to stop people who are current customers becoming NEW customers for NEW Customer Deals without upgrading....so I am informed) .
Aha! At last that answers my curiosity as to why they'd recently started offering free wifi. Personally I couldn't see why anyone would take the time to stop and sign up, when surely they'd just want to get their shopping done and then head home (likely to their own wifi)? Slurping customer info and sales metrics now fills in that gap in my understanding, and ensures I most definitely won't be using it anytime soon.
It's all the teens and pre-teens being dragged round the shops by their parents that they want to sign up. That's who wanders round a supermarket with a device with wifi on the whole time. So they can keep up with the latest on tumblr, and continuously message all their friends about how bored they are at being dragged round the shops.
Reminds me of the last Orange branded Android phone I had - it had an Orange Maps app, Orange Games and I think Orange Store - all needless, useless and unable to be removed without arsing about. Left space for about 3 user installable apps - less if you installed Facebook, which (at the time, as far as I know), doesn't let you move it to the SD card.
Ended up flogging it after I unlocked it, which is when I switched to WP8 and have never looked back.
That's probably because the App for looking back, BackCheck, hasn't been released for Windows Phone yet, and in all likelihood never will ;-)
I wouldn't be too self-congratulatory though, as MS hasn't proven itself to be above similar shenanigans. Remember their patent for pushing ads on the Windows OS?
If WinPho ever becomes successful, you can count on similar 'deals' being pushed to you.
Had precisely the same issue with a couple of Orange (ptui) phones a while back. Nice phones made perfectly horrible by the marketing droids at orange deciding I'd love the fruits of their latest wet dreams.
Both phones roundly unlocked, rooted and re-loaded with some nice generic, non-bloated ROMS.
Both phones were surprisingly good after that.
Says a lot about what Orange really think of their customers.
It would also suggest that the rash of Orange ads featuring hapless marketing types are based on their own consultants.
Not to mention the Samsung account thingy. I had to sign up but have never wanted to use it. It spammed me with suggestions for a while but seems to have stopped. It still periodically requires me to sign in though. It's all just cack and junk but presumably someone uses them otherwise why would Samsung bother?
www.cyanogenmod.com is the place to go.
Just flashed my S3. No more crapware, runs 3x faster. Result.
Surprisingly easy too, I had a few niggles getting the right USB driver on my Windows 8 machine to install it, but their forums sorted me out. Certainly a process I'd guess any Reg reader would be capable of.
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"The technology appeals to the retail sector on the basis that it helps manage queues..."
Can't have reached my local ASDA, where the approach to managing queues is a loud woman in a green tabard waving a large foam pointing finger on a stick, while shouting at the customers to "move down please" whenever there's a free checkout.
buying an orange monte carlo phone, it came with some TrafficTV app pre-installed. Every month they'd charge me £5 subscription for it, each month I'd call up and tell them to reverse the charge (and they would) because I hadn't used it. Then the next month I'd get another bill because the bastard thing was on my phone.
After a few months of this I gave up and put cyanogen mod on my phone. Fixed the TrafficTV issue, would have been easier to fix if I could have unintalled the bastard thing.
Orange have filled their phone with shitware? I shall file that right next to my report on ursine defecation habits.
Of far more interest has anyone written a script for the ASDA signup page to let you spam the shit out of a range of phone numbers with activation codes? I cant be the only one whose mind went there first.
I bought a SIM free Motorola Moto G, but even that had too much going on out the box for me. Even opting out of all the Motorola "Customer Care" stats it was still sending data back to Motorola. Same with Google Apps. Google Play services is in almost constant communication with the mother ship.
Phones like the Sammy S3 and S4 come with hundreds of apps pre-loaded which start on boot, send all sorts of data back to servers.
Only solution for my Moto G was root, remove ALL of Google, and Motorola apps. Downside is I have to side load apps. But then I use only a couple of key apps its no big hassle. I try to use a browser instead of hundreds of apps.
Now got myself a "Black Phone" for £130 :-)
The tills being automatically staffed according to demand, fed by a neat little device you carried everywhere that coincidently fed you discounts was exactly the sort of utopian stuff James Burke and the Tomorrows World crew used to feed us wide eyed and impressionable youth, week in and week out, in the 70's/80's. Depressing that so much of that optimism has been so comprehensively trashed by the pervasive greed of the ad-pedlars and the swivel eyed chimps of GCHQ and the NSA for so little actual gain.
For want of a (considerably) better metaphor, its like the scene in Dads army when they're on manoeuvres, and end up sheltering, hungry, in a place that apparently has a vending machine - only to find the chocolate bars etc are wax display models. OK, or something.
We're fucked if anyone actually invented teleportation; the marketing types would do some dodgy deal to allow your brain to be rearranged in transit - you'd arrive with no desire for privacy, a belief that 'free' actually was, and a delusion that advertising was content.
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