The trouble about so-called bloatware on Android phones has been around for a long time – although recently one had heard less and less about such pre-installed applications. Now Max Weinbach has shared a few screenshots on Twitter that show that OnePlus is using this practice in its newly introduced devices. In a report, the online magazine Android Police explains why this should be viewed critically. “The OxygenOS bloatware in question comes from what is arguably the seediest company of them all – Facebook,” says Android Police: “This is alarming when you consider that there is absolutely no clarity about the type of information that is exchanged with Facebook.”
It also appears that the bloatware can be found in all regions where OnePlus phones with OxygenOS are shipped – pretty much everywhere except China. The problem with this is that you can uninstall the individual apps, but not the background services. However, after initial findings, the services can be deactivated without any further restrictions.
No updates for older devices
According to the Android Police, the only good news is that there is (so far) no update for older smartphones like the OnePlus 7T, which subsequently reloads the bloatware with an update. When asked, OnePlus confirms, according to Android Police, that these Facebook applications and services will continue to be preinstalled on devices sold in Europe, India and North America. However, owners of the affected devices are understandably upset about it.
Data protection problem
The group made it clear last year that Facebook in particular relies on this system. Facebook makes no secret of it and confirmed that there are corresponding agreements with several smartphone manufacturers. However, this can quickly become problematic – because when you buy it, nobody tells you whether or which bloatware is on the device, whether it can be uninstalled, and which rights are granted for the apps by default.