Items tagged with bloatware

Another day, another device vulnerability. It was recently discovered that hackers are able to remotely execute code with admin privileges through a Dell SupportAssist utility vulnerability. It is believed that a “high number” of users could be impacted. American security researcher Bill Demirkapi discovered the vulnerability. The vulnerability affects users who use non-updated versions of the Dell SupportAssist tool. This tool comes pre-installed on Dell devices alongside Windows OS. The hackers use a ARP Spoofing and a DNS Spoofing attack. The attackers lead users to a subdomain of dell.com. Once users have reached the site, the DNS Spoofing attack will return an “incorrect”... Read more...
If you're a Verizon Wireless customer looking to purchase a Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+ in the near future, we've got some bad news for you. America's largest wireless carrier has just signed deal with Samsung that will see Verizon’s Oath subsidiary install bloatware across devices that are Bixby-enabled.  We don't know of many (or rather, any) people that enjoy having their mobile devices preloaded with unnecessary apps, but Verizon sees this as another way to drive revenue from customers that are increasingly turning away from traditional ways to view content. In this case, Samsung devices bought through Verizon Wireless will come preloaded with Yahoo Sports, Oath Newsroom,... Read more...
The last thing that Verizon customers were probably asking for was the addition of yet another app to invade their Android smartphone. But that is just what the nation's #1 wireless carrier is doing with the inclusion of AppFlash, which will gain prominent positioning on the home screens of Verizon smartphones (sans the iPhone, of course). AppFlash, which was developed by Evie, allows you to discover new apps, browse for music, check out movie showings, or search for restaurants in the area. It will also give you listing of frequently used apps, and provides a universal search feature that is able to comb through all of your installed apps. In essence, AppFlash doesn’t appear to be capable of... Read more...
There are clean installations of Windows and then there are OEM "clean" installations of Windows. An oft-recommended tip for anyone upgrading one version of Windows to another (even a new Windows 10 build) is to use the "Reset" feature in the OS to reinstall the entire OS. The problem, though, is that if the computer vendor preloaded Windows with software, or "bloatware", then that reset feature isn't going to help. That doesn't mean, however, that you're out-of-luck with reinstalling a truly fresh Windows 10. Microsoft has publicly released a tool (after being introduced to Insiders over the summer) that will help you get the job done. After downloading the tool at the URL below, Windows will... Read more...
If you’re a cheapskate when it comes to purchasing a new smartphone, Amazon is doing its best to revive the Fire Phone without actually manufacturing its own hardware (which was a disastrous endeavor). The online retail giant has initially partnered with two hardware OEM to subsidize the cost of brand new Android smartphone in exchange for some Amazon-specific “enhancements”. The subsidized pricing comes in the form of a Special Offers-like program that puts ads for Amazon products and services on the device’s lock screen. You can opt to click on the offers to see if they’re to your liking or immediately swipe them away into the digital abyss. However, you can choose how frequently they appear... Read more...
In our opinion, Windows 10 is undeniably the best version of Windows to come out of Redmond, and it's only going to get better with time. We know this because Microsoft's been testing some neat new features in its Windows Insider program, one of the latest of which is a tool designed to give your Windows installation a fresh start. Microsoft said it designed the tool in response to users asking for an easier way to perform a clean installation of Windows. What it does is install clean copy of the most recent version of Windows while removing apps that either came pre-installed on your PC or that you installed after taking possession of the system.Microsoft's testing a new tool for Windows 10... Read more...
It seems as though Google just can't catch a break with foreign governments. In recent months, we've seen the EU pressure the company over supposed favoritism it's showing itself within shopping results, and now, Russia is accusing Google of breaking antitrust laws by bundling its own apps with Android. Oy! In particular, Google was hit with an antimonopoly case here. This comes as a direct result of the company forcing companies that ship devices with Android to include basic Google software. That would include Gmail, Photos, Hangouts, Google+, Chrome, among others. If this all sounds familiar, it could be because Google faced similar issues earlier this year, but managed to escape antitrust... Read more...
Bloatware, Bloatware, Bloatware! We all hate bloatware. And with the exception of a few companies like Apple, Motorola, and Google (with its Nexus devices) there aren’t many ways to avoid factory- or carrier-installed bloatware without rooting a device. One of the biggest offenders in years past has been Samsung, and the company is feeling the heat for its obnoxious behavior from the Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission. The commission’s secretary general, Tao Ailian, fingered not only Samsung, but also Chinese OEM Oppo Electronics for egregious behavior when it comes to pre-installed apps that can’t be removed by the consumer. "The litigation is our latest attempt to safeguard consumers'... Read more...
Lenovo had a rough go of it over the past few weeks. First, news broke that Lenovo had installed Superfish (widely regarded as adware) on some of its notebooks. As public outcry mounted, Lenovo offered a public apology and provided customers with instructions for removing Superfish. But all the negative publicity isn’t Lenovo’s only headache now: someone claiming to be a customer affected by the software has filed a lawsuit against Lenovo in California. And, they’re aiming for class-action status.  The plaintiff in the case is Jessica Bennett, who suspected that her computer had adware on it and discovered Superfish. As we reported earlier, one of the aspects... Read more...
In many smartphone reviews here at HotHardware, we've said we wish carriers would leave bloatware off of the phones or, at the very least, allow users to uninstall the bloatware. It appears Sprint has heard our (and many others') request. The new HTC EVO 3D from Sprint actually lets users uninstall many (but not all) of the programs that come preinstalled on the smartphone. What's even better is that this is not an oversight on the part of Sprint or HTC—it's intentional. In fact, it appears that Sprint intends to allow bloatware to be uninstalled from future Android devices as well. We can only hope this becomes a trend and that other carriers follow suit. In the meantime, unless you have... Read more...
In this episode of Two and a Half Geeks, Dave, Iyaz, and Marco discuss the new Dell Streak 7 Android-based tablet and Seagate’s 2TB Barracuda Green SATA 6G hard drive. We also talk about HotHardware’s open letter to system builders regarding bloatware, in addition to the plethora of announcements from HP’s event where the company unveiled the 9.7” TouchPad Tablet with WebOS 3.0 and the WebOS 2.2-powered Pre 3 and Veer smartphones. Of course, we also plug the current contest as well... Show Notes: 00:44 - Dell Streak 7 Android Tablet Review 03:50 - Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB A SATA 6G Hard Drive 05:37 - An Open Letter To PC Makers: Ditch Bloatware 09:05... Read more...
We're not quite sure what to think of Best Buy's new Software Installer. On one hand, this connected desktop application helps eliminate the unwanted bloatware that generally comes on new PCs, something we've mentioned time and again that we don't appreciate. On the other hand, the electronics retailer's Software Installer is another program that will come pre-installed on your PC or notebook (if you're buying it from Best Buy). One of the somewhat useful features of the Software Installer is that it will manage electronic purchases. In other words, any purchase made through Software Installer will be saved in your account history. This will eliminate the need to save discs or remember key codes.... Read more...
People were up in arms when Sony announced its "Fresh Start" no bloatware option - because Sony wanted to charge $50 for it.Starting on Saturday, Sony's Fresh Start software optimization feature will be free, the company announced.Fresh Start is a Sony feature that lets customers buy certain laptops without so-called "bloatware," trial software that laptop makers often load onto new machines. Sony was asking buyers of the Vaio TZ2000 and Vaio TZ2500 notebooks with the Windows Vista Business OS to pay $49.99 for the removal of the extra software. Those customers already pay an additional $100 to upgrade to Windows Vista Business OS from Windows Vista Home Premium.Ah, there's the rub, that no mainstream... Read more...