South Korea Says Smartphone Users Must Be Allowed To Remove Android Bloatware


The South Korean government has ruled that smartphone users must be allowed to remove Android bloatware pre-installed by carriers and handset makers.

Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning (MISP) said that these apps are an “inconvenience” to smartphone users, and it has given the likes of Samsung and LG until April to make changes to their software before the new rules are implemented.

Under the new rules, users will be given the power to completely remove applications that come pre-installed on their smartphone. MISP won’t force them to make apps related to Wi-Fi, user settings, NFC, or app stores removable — but everything else will become optional.

The move will put almost 60 apps from the country’s three biggest providers at risk, Engadget’s Matt Brian reports, plus more than half of the apps pre-installed by manufacturers like Samsung and LG. Even apps pre-installed by Google with its stock Android OS — such as Gmail and Hangouts — could be affected by the changes.

The move is unlikely to stop carriers and manufacturers from pre-installing their own apps, but users will be able to choose which ones they want to keep and which wants they want to delete, freeing up space on their devices that they wouldn’t have been able to take advantage of before.

Would you like to see the same rule making its way to other countries?