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Old May 13th, 2014, 10:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default KitKat 4.4.2 release... fact and fiction

Perhaps it's time that someone played, "Devils Advocate", in case anyone out there is getting worried about all the negative posts regarding Android 4.4.2, KitKat.

So, lets see if we can separate fact from fiction...

1. The worldwide release of KitKat, covering all 28 models of Galaxy S4, both International and minority variants, carrier branded and unbranded, has gone remarkably smoothly when compared to all the fuss there was surrounding the release of Android 4.3, Jelly Bean. Regular readers of this forum will remember the countless posts relating to this and, whilst it's hard to put a figure on it, I would guess the problems were at least five fold against those for the KitKat update. These problems with Android 4.3 were mainly from the heavily carrier branded U.S. and other variants and in particular from 2 of those... AT&T and Verizon, both of whom chose to bypass Samsung and do their own releases of their versions of Android 4.3 with disastrous results, initially. Considering that the 6 U.S. carrier branded variants only make up 3% of the total number of releases worldwide, there was a disproportionate amount of problem threads devoted to these particular firmwares.

2. Thankfully, it seems that lessons have been learned from that last release and we are not seeing anything like the problems with Android 4.4.2 that occurred with 4.3 above and beyond those that are normally experienced in an update, see, here. In fact, I even commented on how smoothly the Verizon launch had gone this time round. Forget all the scaremongering that was bandied about the 4.4.2 release and SD cards. This was a much needed security measure brought in to ensure that the removable storage was as secure as the phone's storage and was designed to prevent virus and malware attacks on your phone and information. Any problems caused by this were mainly down to lazy developers who had not updated their third party apps in spite of plenty of warning.

3. It should be remembered that out of the 200 or so firmware releases for the Galaxy S4 globally, around half will be for unbranded handsets and the majority of the rest will only have light carrier branding in the form of boot animations or the odd app or two. This means that these phones will either be running on Samsung's version of KitKat or very close to it and will have been approved and released through Samsung. Other, heavily carrier branded models, can have a plethora of the carrier's own apps woven into the Android/Samsung O.S. including, contacts, Wi-Fi, email, dial pads, social hubs, messaging services, browsers, navigation, maps and the list goes on. No wonder then that we see problems with some of these models when they have been modified to such an extent. Also, no wonder, that some users complain of heavy battery drains and sluggish response and bloatware.

4. We should not therefore, confuse the stock Google Android KitKat firmware that is running on Nexus and Google Editions devices which, from personal experience, is very slick and fast with tons of RAM and CPU to spare on the S4, with the stock Samsung, unbranded, version of KitKat which is tailored to the specific hardware of the S4, such as camera, RAM, CPU, screen, and includes the usual Samsung add-ons such as Air Gesture, Smart Stay, Samsung apps, etc; which are carefully integrated by Samsung and do not impact with overall performance that much since they are designed to compliment the resources available. The same can be said for the lightly carrier branded firmwares which have apps that can usually be disabled. We then have the heavily carrier branded variants that can have all sorts of apps, sometimes as many as a dozen or more, added as well as changes to the Android and Samsung O.S. These modifications can, and do, create problems of their own and lead to numerous posts that simply blame Android KitKat or Samsung KitKat, unjustly, when in fact it is, as is so often seen on these forums, the heavily branded carrier variants that are most complained about.

5. The above is why Android are introducing their, "Silver", range in future. Phones that are awarded the, "Silver", accolade will have to meet Android's criteria for software and add-on's as they appear to be sick of getting the blame for something that isn't their fault. This, some say, is aimed primarily at Samsung and may impact on even their stock, unbranded, firmware releases, let alone the heavily carrier branded versions that some networks insist on and modify themselves. This does not mean that Samsung or carrier bloatware will cease to exist. It just means that they will not be awarded the title of, "Silver", edition and users can choose, where possible, to go for the handsets that meet Android's seal of approval. Already, in South Korea... home of Samsung, all unremovable bloatware has been banned from the country's smartphones since the beginning of the year in an attempt to enhance and improve the user experience.

6. So, next time you see a post that states something like... "KitKat ruined my phone!", or, "KitKat is rubbish", or, "Android sucks", look more closely, do they mean Android's version of KitKat or Samsung's version of Android's KitKat or their carrier's version of Samsung's version of Android's KitKat?

7. OK... I'm not saying that 4.4.2 is perfect, otherwise there would not be an upcoming release of 4.4.3, but it is getting there and is certainly an improvement, IMHO, on JellyBean, 4.3 in terms of speed, performance and battery for most of the 200 or so firmwares worldwide.


See, also...

http://androidforums.com/samsung-galaxy-s4/831667-international-i9505-kitkat-releases.html

http://androidforums.com/samsung-galaxy-s4/830920-international-i9500-kitkat-releases.html

http://androidforums.com/samsung-galaxy-s4/847133-international-i9506-kitkat-releases.html

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Old May 13th, 2014, 10:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It seems to me that large percentage of 4.4.2-related problems seem to be largely focused on carrier-specific handsets, mostly outside of Europe

Although GB -> JB was a huge update in terms of both behind the scenes, and front-end user-experience, JB -> KK wasn't that much so in terms of UI, apart from the cosmetic update to the status bar (TW only) and a few other UI tweaks here and there, and as such, I've not found any real issues whatsoever with KK.
I've been running Dan's GE ROM pretty much since he first released it about 5 months ago, and its been totally rock-solid for me. I've never stuck to a single ROM in all my Android years as much as this ROM.
I would think (fingers crossed) that the upcoming 4.4.3 update won't be too much of an issue with regards to updating neither, with it focusing largely on bug-fixes to 4.4.2 (there are one or two, such as LED not working on missed calls, media->lockscreen not always updating track id, charging not working when device off, to name but a few minor niggles) but most issues have been addressed by custom kernels/3rd party apps etc.

Hopefully most of these niggles will get ironed out with 4.4.3, only time will tell.
I know this thread is about 4.4.2, but as 4.4.3 is still KK, here is the Official 4.4.3 changelog
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Old May 13th, 2014, 11:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Can I put your post as a link in the Note 3 forum with a sub heading "Why Some Networks (Carriers) are truly awful - applies to all Android phones that aren't Nexus devices".

Running KK 4.4.2 the first Vodafone variant, rooted, debloated (I wanted some of the Vodafone stuff), with Philz recovery and Wanam + xposed. All deliciously smooth, quick and with no problems. And yet people are still moaning about Kit Kat did this, Kit Kat did that. It's your (usually) US, silly variant with carrier controlled and messed with firmware. Blame Verizon, AT&T et al not Samsung or Google! (there said it).
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Old May 13th, 2014, 12:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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In fairness dynomot, I am not only blaming the 5 U.S. carrier branded variants covering 8 carriers, (I don't include the AT&T, Google Edition phone, obviously), as I am given to understand that some Canadian carriers are not shy when it comes to adding, "bloatware". It is also perhaps no coincidence that neither of these countries have unbranded, non carrier, models available to compete with, unlike most of the rest of the world.
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Old May 15th, 2014, 03:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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That was a pretty bad attempt at Devil's Advocate.

Google adds Bloatware, Samsung adds Bloatware, carrier add Bloatware.

Oh, wait... Just cause it's an "Android Phone" you think it's okay for Google to load up 10+ apps on a device when they can save us the space (and the resources cause some of them have been known to be buggy at times, and some of them run all the time in the background even after force closing them) and just have their own prominent "Apps by Google" space in their own App Store instead? That's what Apple does, and that's what OEMs do on Windows Phone (Microsoft has guidelines regarding how many apps an OEM or Carrier can pre-load on a phone, and they have to be completely Uninstallable by the user).

The reason why Playing Devil's Advocate always fails when talking about these things is because people almost always give a special pass (blind eye) to the entities they are more comfortable with while blaming those they dislike.

The carriers are not doing anything that Google and the OEMs aren't doing. They're, literally, all just as guilty. Google even uses its Play Store Access Guidelines to force OEMs/Carriers to preload their applications (all of them) onto the phones.

Do you realize how much space the whole suite of Google Apps take up after you boot up, sign in, and update them (which is what most people do... cause they aren't combing through "All Apps" looking for cruft to disable).

Samsung didn't put the Camera Bug in Android that many of their users had to suffer through. Nor did Samsung didn't develop and leave the Credential Unlock Bug that Google left in Android for YEARS, forcing people who forgot their pattern lock to factory reset their phones cause the device wouldn't let them use their Google Credentials to Log back into the device (existed from at least 1.5 Donut all the way to 2.3.x or 4.0.x, IIRC).

All parties are at fault. Even nexus users have been burnt by FW updates at time. They are not immune. The Nexus 5 gets worse battery life than heavily skinned and Carrier-touched Android devices with similar battery sizes despite being a stock device.
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Old May 15th, 2014, 04:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, I have a Verizon S4 and got kitkat about a week ago via ota. I've had no problems, but then I don't mess with my phone. All of my contacts, calendars, photos, and other data synced, even the data stored on my external card, perfectly.
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Old May 15th, 2014, 05:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi AnonGuy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonGuy View Post
That was a pretty bad attempt at Devil's Advocate.
Sorry to hear that you think that. Others disagree.

Quote:
Google adds Bloatware, Samsung adds Bloatware, carrier add Bloatware.
I never said that they didn't.

Quote:
Oh, wait... Just cause it's an "Android Phone" you think it's okay for Google to load up 10+ apps on a device when they can save us the space
I wonder how many customers would buy a smartphone that did not have Google Apps, (GApps), installed as it contains, amongst other things...

Google Play Store
Google Talk
Google Sync (for adding and synchronizing Google accounts)
Google Backup Transport
Car Home
Gmail
Google Maps
YouTube
Google Search
Google Voice Search
Google Music
Google Docs

Quote:
The reason why Playing Devil's Advocate always fails when talking about these things is because people almost always give a special pass (blind eye) to the entities they are more comfortable with while blaming those they dislike.
How strange that you should get that idea from my post! I do not dislike a particular carrier/s and am not, "blaming", anyone. Merely stating the facts as they are.

Quote:
The carriers are not doing anything that Google and the OEMs aren't doing. They're, literally, all just as guilty. Google even uses its Play Store Access Guidelines to force OEMs/Carriers to preload their applications (all of them) onto the phones.
As I said before, how many customers would buy a smartphone that did not have the Google Apps package or are you suggesting that each carrier adds their own versions, or not, of the above items and how long would that take each carrier to release their firmware and could it be guaranteed to perform as well as, or better than, Google Apps I wonder.

Quote:
Do you realize how much space the whole suite of Google Apps take up after you boot up, sign in, and update them (which is what most people do... cause they aren't combing through "All Apps" looking for cruft to disable).
Yes, I do realise how much space that Google Apps uses. As well as the space that Samsung's version of KitKat adds, as mentioned in item #4 of post #1, as it appears on the majority of the 200 or so firmwares worldwide and Samsung tailor these to the phone's capabilities. For a lot of users, this is the reason they choose a Samsung phone in the first place. Feeling as you obviously do, it makes me wonder why you would then choose a phone that has yet more, "bloatware", loaded on to it by the carrier instead of choosing an unbranded version of the same model.

Quote:
Samsung didn't put the Camera Bug in Android that many of their users had to suffer through.
No, "Samsung didn't put the Camera Bug in Android", but they mitigated it by using their own version of the camera firmware. Google have also released an updated version of their camera in the Play Store, here.

Quote:
Nor did Samsung didn't develop and leave the Credential Unlock Bug that Google left in Android for YEARS, forcing people who forgot their pattern lock to factory reset their phones cause the device wouldn't let them use their Google Credentials to Log back into the device (existed from at least 1.5 Donut all the way to 2.3.x or 4.0.x, IIRC).
Name me one smartphone firmware that is 100% perfect?

However, Google and Samsung both have an excellent track record for putting out regular firmware updates for bug fixes as shown in #1.0 of KitKat "bugfix" updates rolling out. Whether a particular carrier invests the time, effort and money into passing these on is up to them, as per #1.3 of the thread.

Quote:
All parties are at fault. Even nexus users have been burnt by FW updates at time. They are not immune. The Nexus 5 gets worse battery life than heavily skinned and Carrier-touched Android devices with similar battery sizes despite being a stock device.
Nexus devices run pure Android and sometimes even Google can get it wrong which is why we are seeing the Android 4.4.3 update about to be released. Luckily there are people like Samsung who can correct some of these faults before they release their firmwares.

To obtain a device that does not have Google Apps or manufacturer add-on's or carrier bloatware, you could root your phone and install a ROM such as CyanogenMod which does not have these things by default. Something you would not be able to do on the iPhone or Windows phones.
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Old May 15th, 2014, 05:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Reading between the lines AnonGuy it appears you would like an OS "shell" you can tack what you like onto rather than have, and be impossible to remove. This works be fine for the likes of us, great even, but can you imagine the outcry when Play doesn't work or heaven forbid, You Tube does not show cat videos because of the lack of flash?

Sadly software hard encoded into the firmware is a fact of life, for minimum intrusion buy a Nexus device. Don't buy a Samsung Galaxy device (there's a reason the top end Samsung's have the best specs you know, it is TouchWiz), and definitely, if you live in the US, Canada and some other places don't buy a branded carrier branded Samsung Galaxy. Not only will it have impossible to remove carrier software, it might have a locked bootloader, carrier only controlled updates and even different hardware.
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Old May 15th, 2014, 06:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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You cannot be serious...

It's as if you didn't even read the post.

You don't have to preload an app to make it available. Samsung has the icons there, but they are links to j stall the apps instead. They take up no device storage. Or you can get them in the store in their Galaxy Essentials section.

They can have their own section in play store for the non essential ones to be downloaded if needed by that user. There's too much bloat that comes with Google apps.

What does that have to do with YouTube not working, or buying an Android device incompatible with Google apps. Where are y'all pulling this crap from? The benefit of Google blessing is not bloat. It's Play Store Access. If they want it. Let them download it but don't waste hundreds of MB of space by baking it into the FW.

The clear, obvious point that I didn't think was possible to completely go over someone's head is that they put just about as much bloatware on the phones as Samsung and Carriers preload. There are just as many useless apps on my phone as Samsung or Carrier apps. They're all guilty of it. Whether you use them or not is a worthless retort because anyone can say the same about the OEM or carrier stuff.

Google Play Games
Music
Movies and TV
Newsstand
Google+
Chrome (non-Nexus)
Drive
Hangouts (non-existent devices)
Keep
YouTube

Are all non essential Google services that should be available in the Store in their section but not preloaded.

Soon I guess Docs, Sheets, and Slides may join these? That's gonna be about 100MB space used after install/update, if not more.

If you update all those pre-installed Google apps it demolishes multi-hundred MB of storage even if you never use them. How is that any different from what the Carriers do? It's not.
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Old May 15th, 2014, 06:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dynomot View Post
Don't buy a Samsung Galaxy device (there's a reason the top end Samsung's have the best specs you know, it is TouchWiz), and definitely, if you live in the US, Canada and some other places don't buy a branded carrier branded Samsung Galaxy. Not only will it have impossible to remove carrier software, it might have a locked bootloader, carrier only controlled updates and even different hardware.
Samsung uses top specs to use as a selling point and future proof their devices. Ask the One X users how 4.3/4 tastes, while the S3 is getting Kit Kat.

As long as the software can be disabled I don't care. I simply do not get phones with less than 32GB storage anymore.

I just think the carrier bashing and blaming is asinine.

And stock Android looks like poo and Nexus devices continue to have crappy cameras, no SD, and subpar battery life so they aren't an option for me. 4.4.3 won't fix that...

The phone hardware deficiencies/differences can't be patched by FW, either.

I just wish Google wouldn't mandate so much of their crap be baked into the phone FW, because they use a significant amount of space and can affect device performance and battery life negatively.

They are rarely better than the OEM apps, and largely redundant as well.
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Old May 15th, 2014, 09:22 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonGuy View Post
You cannot be serious...

It's as if you didn't even read the post.
Not only did I read your post but I answered your questions to the best of my ability.

Quote:
You don't have to preload an app to make it available. Samsung has the icons there, but they are links to j stall the apps instead. They take up no device storage. Or you can get them in the store in their Galaxy Essentials section.

They can have their own section in play store for the non essential ones to be downloaded if needed by that user. There's too much bloat that comes with Google apps.

What does that have to do with YouTube not working, or buying an Android device incompatible with Google apps. Where are y'all pulling this crap from? The benefit of Google blessing is not bloat. It's Play Store Access. If they want it. Let them download it but don't waste hundreds of MB of space by baking it into the FW.

The clear, obvious point that I didn't think was possible to completely go over someone's head is that they put just about as much bloatware on the phones as Samsung and Carriers preload. There are just as many useless apps on my phone as Samsung or Carrier apps. They're all guilty of it. Whether you use them or not is a worthless retort because anyone can say the same about the OEM or carrier stuff.

Google Play Games
Music
Movies and TV
Newsstand
Google+
Chrome (non-Nexus)
Drive
Hangouts (non-existent devices)
Keep
YouTube

Are all non essential Google services that should be available in the Store in their section but not preloaded.

Soon I guess Docs, Sheets, and Slides may join these? That's gonna be about 100MB space used after install/update, if not more.

If you update all those pre-installed Google apps it demolishes multi-hundred MB of storage even if you never use them. How is that any different from what the Carriers do? It's not.
Why do you not simply go to Settings > Apps > All... and uninstall/disable some of those apps that you mention above as well as any other apps you do not require?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonGuy View Post
Samsung uses top specs to use as a selling point and future proof their devices. Ask the One X users how 4.3/4 tastes, while the S3 is getting Kit Kat.
Can I just correct you there please... not all Samsung Galaxy S3 phones are getting KitKat. In fact, the vast majority, worldwide International, are not. See, New Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat Details Emerge

Quote:
As long as the software can be disabled I don't care. I simply do not get phones with less than 32GB storage anymore.
See my earlier reply regarding uninstalling and/or disabling.

Quote:
I just think the carrier bashing and blaming is asinine.
As I mentioned before and you have chosen to ignore... "How strange that you should get that idea from my post! I do not dislike a particular carrier/s and am not, "blaming", anyone. Merely stating the facts as they are." If you are personally upset by those facts, I see no reason to label me as, "asinine".

Quote:
And stock Android looks like poo and Nexus devices continue to have crappy cameras, no SD, and subpar battery life so they aren't an option for me. 4.4.3 won't fix that...
Since it is clear that you do not like, "bloatware", of any description on a phone, I ask again, why did you choose an Android handset with Google Apps that also came with Samsung's TouchWiz overlay and add-on's that were tailored for the phone's capabilities, and then select a carrier branded model which added even more, "bloatware". Why did you not simply get an un-carrier branded handset and you will have at least saved yourself from some extra add-on's/bloatware?

Quote:
The phone hardware deficiencies/differences can't be patched by FW, either.
I cannot comment on any deficiencies with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 or, indeed, Verizon's version of Samsung'S Galaxy Note 3, as I do not own that model and perhaps you might do better asking about any shortcomings for your variant in the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 forum as you are clearly unhappy with it.

Quote:
I just wish Google wouldn't mandate so much of their crap be baked into the phone FW, because they use a significant amount of space and can affect device performance and battery life negatively.
It is a chicken and egg situation. Google Android release details of their firmware to manufacturers with recommendations of the hardware specs needed to run the firmware. The handset manufacturers then decide on what specs they will need to accommodate that, plus any apps and overlays, such as TouchWiz or Sense, and come up with the hardware to run all these efficiently. What they cannot allow for is carriers demanding to add even more apps/bloatware/configurations to the handsets. Perhaps the answer could be that these carrier branded, minority variants, should come with higher specs to allow for this rather than causing lags, battery drains, etc: This should not prove too difficult as we have seen carriers request hardware changes on the Galaxy S4 already. See, Gorilla Glass 3 not on all Galaxy S4's!!! . Of course, whether these carriers would be prepared to pay extra for increased specs is another matter. Alternatively, those carriers could do what the rest of the world does... and not insist on adding them in the first place. Apple do not allow this on the iPhone!

As mentioned in post #1, South Korea have banned all un-removable bloatware from phones and Google are in future introducing their, "Silver", accolade in response to the bloatware problem.
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Old May 15th, 2014, 09:30 AM   #12 (permalink)
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They are disabled.



South Korea is one country out of like 150 or more. And why should just care about their laws in the US, lol. Not sure why that is being used as some example.

Like I said. Google could mandate that if they wanted. Microsoft does. You do not need Congress to tell Carriers and OEMs to make their apps uninstallable.

The GS3 is a great retort to the specs cause TW needs it. It ran fine with 1GB RAM but 2GB gave the phone more life in markets where that setup was used.

The issues I cite are pretty much exclusive to Android. Apple doesn't bake all their apps into the FW and neither does Microsoft and what few apps are preloaded on WP8 devices are easily uninstalled.
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Old May 15th, 2014, 10:22 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Maybe I was playing dumb, or as you so eloquently put it, being "asinine". It certainly provoked a response.

Carriers (or as we call them "networks"), do what they do. Fortunately in the UK they don't demand you have their version of a certain device, with their software baked in. Apps above what is there? Yes. Replacing things, turning other things off (tethering for instance) ,locking bootloaders? No. They don't do that in the UK ( I'm pretty sure it's actually illegal, it's one of the few things the EU is good with - consumer rights). If they ever tried I, along with millions, would not renew my contact where I get a "free" phone every two years that is not even networked locked, never mind "carrier crippled".


As for YouTube not working, open a flash YouTube video in the native browser of any 4.1+ Android device - it won't work. Click on a link for a YouTube video and you'll at first be asked how you'd like to open it, with it being an internet link you will be asked if you want to use the Web browser or the "baked in firmware" (bloat?) YouTube app. Now imagine if that wasn't included "out of the box". There would be a huge out cry, and rightly so.

As for Samsung making their devices future proof by having top specifications. Now that is actually funny. Given that Samsung usually update their firmware twice per device and we (the consumers) generally upgrade at least once every 2 years. "Future proofing", nah I don't think so. Besides that argument fails due to the vast majority of Samsung Galaxy SIII's ( the international GT-i9300). So future proof was it it isn't getting KitKat officially and yet KitKat works fine on it. Add Samsung bloat and TW and it fails. So hardly future proofed and yet at the time of release well specced, needed to be too to run TW on Ice Cream Sandwich.
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Old May 15th, 2014, 11:43 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by stargazertony View Post
Well, I have a Verizon S4 and got kitkat about a week ago via ota. I've had no problems, but then I don't mess with my phone. All of my contacts, calendars, photos, and other data synced, even the data stored on my external card, perfectly.
I, unfortunately, was not so lucky. The day I installed the update, my SMS started to fail when sending. I wiped cache, rebooted, and at the end even factory reset without any luck.

I called VZW and they said that I did everything they would have troubleshooted and that it must be a hardware issue. I got a new phone, shipped with 4.3, and the update has not tried to install again, yet.

I'm a little afraid to try and install it again, but I guess if it screws up my SMS again, I can just go through the troubleshooting process again call and complain a second time.

Other than that, I do not remember any other issues with the update.

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Old May 15th, 2014, 01:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
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They are disabled.
There you go... that's the Google, "bloatware", sorted out that you mentioned at length, earlier. Now you just have to sort out the Samsung and Verizon, "bloatware".

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South Korea is one country out of like 150 or more. And why should just care about their laws in the US, lol. Not sure why that is being used as some example.
Perhaps because South Korea is the home and headquarters of Samsung, not to mention LG, cell phone manufacturers.

As dynomot points out, in the UK, Europe and most countries of the world, one can choose a totally unbranded version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 or Note 3 without any added carrier, "bloatware", whatsoever and then proceed to select a contract with the carrier of your choice... therefore, there is no incentive for carriers to heavily brand or modify their firmwares or handsets since customers have that freedom of choice.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, it is the countries that do not offer their customers this freedom of choice of unbranded handsets that seem to have the separate, customised and branded, minority variants that the carriers themselves dictate and these models should not be confused with the firmware, or indeed, the hardware, that the majority of the rest of the world are using.
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Old May 15th, 2014, 03:42 PM   #16 (permalink)
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AnonGuy, you have a point that google adds "bloatware" But then isn't Android itself bloatware? Why not sell just the hardware as is with nothing on it. Let the users download the roms etc and install the one they want.

The answer is because 99% of the people won't know how to do it, will be pissed about it, and some will even brick the phone.

This was clearly seen when youtube's native app from Google showed up in Apple's AppStore. It shot to #1 instantly. which proves that people want these apps.

So yes, you can say they are bloatware, but others would say it's the "minimum" app required to get functional use out of the phone.

But my definition of bloatware is when I cannot install an app that's not integral to the use of the phone. I can't uninstall many of the things that VZ adds to the phone. I can't uninstall many of the things that Samsung adds either.

So I guess it boils down to degrees of dislike. Far enough along the scale, it becomes bloatware. Up the scale, it becomes "baseline of required apps."

Good discussion though.
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Old May 15th, 2014, 06:56 PM   #17 (permalink)
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There you go... that's the Google, "bloatware", sorted out that you mentioned at length, earlier. Now you just have to sort out the Samsung and Verizon, "bloatware".



Perhaps because South Korea is the home and headquarters of Samsung, not to mention LG, cell phone manufacturers.

As dynomot points out, in the UK, Europe and most countries of the world, one can choose a totally unbranded version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 or Note 3 without any added carrier, "bloatware", whatsoever and then proceed to select a contract with the carrier of your choice... therefore, there is no incentive for carriers to heavily brand or modify their firmwares or handsets since customers have that freedom of choice.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, it is the countries that do not offer their customers this freedom of choice of unbranded handsets that seem to have the separate, customised and branded, minority variants that the carriers themselves dictate and these models should not be confused with the firmware, or indeed, the hardware, that the majority of the rest of the world are using.
Already done.

As for Samsung. A lot of their software isn't actually loaded. They only load links to installers which makes it easy for a user to see its available and acquire it without baking entire apps into the FW:





It's a pretty tried and true method that Google and the Carriers can use for putting their stuff on there.
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Old May 16th, 2014, 01:59 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Well done AnonGuy!

So, that's the Google bloatware and the Samsung bloatware that you disliked, removed/disabled.

Now you can set about removing/disabling your Verizon bloatware.
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Old June 14th, 2014, 02:16 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I think it is worth repeating a, slightly edited, post that appears in the Android 4.4.3 coming soon as it explains why we are seeing so many complaints from some U.S. Galaxy S4 users...

"The reason for this is the seeming cartel operated by the various North American carriers who all insist on their own minority branded variants of the Samsung Galaxy S4. Unlike almost every other country, with the notable exception of the Communist China mainland, where there are unbranded handsets available and customers are able to pick and choose their carrier and receive unbranded carrier updates directly from Samsung, without the need to go through any lengthy carrier alterations, this means that there is little incentive for those carriers to load on tons of their own apps and re-configure their firmware as they are competing against unbranded phones. However, there is every incentive for those carriers to make sure that their branded firmware keeps apace with Samsung's unbranded releases usually with some having as many as 7 - 10 updates so far since launching, as can be seen from the examples in #1.2 and #1.3 of post #1 of KitKat 4.4.2 "bugfix" updates rolling out.

Below are the known bugfix updates since launch, which are above and beyond the normal platform updates from 4.2. -> 4.3 -> 4.4.2.

AT&T SGH-i337... 1, possibly 2. Original 4.3 release withdrawn. AT&T firmware is not available from Samsung sources.

Verizon SCH-i545... 1 possibly. Original 4.3 release withdrawn.

Cricket SCH-R970C.. 1

C-Spire SCH-R970X... 1

T-Mobile/Metro U.S.A. SGH-M919... 2

US Cellular SCH-R970... 3*

Sprint SPH-L720... 3

* Denotes that a 4.4.2 bugfix update has been issued for that model. All the Canadian variants that I managed to check, have also received a recent KitKat, 4.4.2, bugfix update.

Make no mistake, this is NOT Android or Samsung's fault, as we can see that KitKat bugfix updates are readily available and are distributed. The problem lies with the carriers themselves who do not spend the time, effort and money to update their minority variants. This is never more true than with AT&T and Verizon who even release, or not, as the case may be, their own, heavily modified, firmware directly to their customers without even involving Samsung.

The bottom line is that if you own a U.S. carrier branded model you are less likely to receive a bugfix update and are therefore, more likely to be unhappy with your phone... as demonstrated in this forum where less than 3% of all the Galaxy S4 firmwares worldwide, receive well over 50% of the complaints on here.

Taken from #1.6 of KitKat 4.4.2 release... fact and fiction

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Originally Posted by ironass View Post
6. So, next time you see a post that states something like... "KitKat ruined my phone!", or, "KitKat is rubbish", or, "Android sucks", look more closely, do they mean Android's version of KitKat or Samsung's version of Android's KitKat or their carrier's version of Samsung's version of Android's KitKat?
E&OE
"
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Old July 27th, 2014, 12:39 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Wonder how much of "the problem" is related to inadequate memory in the GS4. Wife's original phone did not have any of the updates, but a recent replacement phone (and the several replacements of the replacement) all have experienced random screen freezes. When we 'clear RAM' over 30 apps close, even only a short period after clearing memory. Seems to be a hardware issue of inadequate memory for the amount of aggregate bloatware installed by Google, Samsung and the carriers.
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Old July 27th, 2014, 01:28 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Wonder how much of "the problem" is related to inadequate memory in the GS4. Wife's original phone did not have any of the updates, but a recent replacement phone (and the several replacements of the replacement) all have experienced random screen freezes. When we 'clear RAM' over 30 apps close, even only a short period after clearing memory. Seems to be a hardware issue of inadequate memory for the amount of aggregate bloatware installed by Google, Samsung and the carriers.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 has, IMHO, way too much under the hood for the pure Nexus, Google Edition firmware and certainly has adequate for the stock Samsung, TouchWiz, firmwares that it was designed for and can easily handle the odd carrier branded app or two that can be found on the worldwide, International, releases. What we see on these forums is, time and again, complaints from those running the minority variant, carrier modified, Galaxy S4's, almost always U.S.A., which can have anything up to a dozen added or modified apps to contend with on top of Samsung's TouchWiz firmware.

Also, if you are on Sprint, you are running the very old, original, outdated, NAE, January, firmware release that has long ago been updated by Samsung many times over for the rest of the world. See post #45 of KitKat 4.4.2 "bugfix" updates rolling out
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