Google Removing More Of Its Preinstalled Bloatware In Future Android Builds

One of the first things we all do when firing up a new smartphone for the first time is to see which unwanted apps we're allowed to uninstall. It's not just wireless carriers and smartphone manufactures that are guilty of pre-loading their software on our phones, but also Google, which doesn't let phone makers cherry pick its apps. The good news is, Google's trimming the selection of apps that are required.

At this point you might be wondering, "Isn't Android open source and free?" True and true, and any manufacturer or individual can do pretty much anything they please with the platform. That's why some OSes based off of Android look nothing like what you're used to seeing on smartphones, such as Amazon's FireOS and what you saw on the now-defunct Nook tablet that Barnes & Noble used to sell.

Xperia X3

That's all well and good, but if a manufacturer wants to include Google's Gmail app, which itself isn't a part of Android, they must install Google's entire apps suite. It's an all or nothing type of deal, and it's how you end up with certain apps that you may or may not want on your phone.

According to Android Central, Google is reducing the number of apps that phone makers must install in order to have a Google approved version of Android. Google+ is out, which some took as a sign that Google was abandoning its social network. However, that's not the case -- in addition to Google+, phone makers no longer have to install Google Play Games, Google Play Books, and Google Newsstand. These join Google Earth and Google Keep, a pair of apps that previously were also once required but later removed.

If your Android device doesn't come with the above mentioned apps, you can still grab them from Google Play and they'll receive updates as normal. They're just no longer required.

Kudos to Google for cutting back the bloat. Now if only wireless carriers and phone makers would follow Google's lead.