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Support Purchased Pixel from Google, but it has Verizon bloatware and no WifI hotspot on the phone

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by youngdoc, Oct 24, 2016.

  1. youngdoc

    youngdoc Well-Known Member
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    I purchased a Pixel XL for myself and a Pixel for my wife, both directly from the Google Store online. Our carrier is Verizon. Our phones arrived today and we inserted our SIM cards and transferred data from our old phones (in my case, a Moto X Pure Edition, her old phone an S5). I did the transfer via cable, she did it wirelessly via her Google sign-in. My SIM card came directly out of my old phone, while she had to get a new one at Verizon, due to the change in size.

    After install, my new Pixel XL phone had the My Verizon app and the Go90 app, which are part of the bloatware that gets installed if you buy the phone from Verizon. I also noted that when I try to launch the Wifi Hotspot (which always worked on my Moto X Pure Edition), I get the message, "To use Mobile Hotspot, please call customer service to subscribe."

    My wife's new Pixel phone does NOT have the bloatware, but her Mobile Hotspot is locked just like mine.

    I can easily uninstall the Verizon bloatware, but I'm worried that I got the wrong phone. What gives? Did I/she not get an unlocked phone from Google? I'm currently in a chat with an apparently useless Google representative, who doesn't seem to understand what I am asking, or he is an idiot. he just responded, "I checked with my resources and would like to inform you there is no chance for the apps." Idiot.
     

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  2. dontpanicbobby

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    Go90 is from Verizon? Didn't go90 stream Miss 2059?
     
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  3. youngdoc

    youngdoc Well-Known Member
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    No idea what you mean by Miss 2059, but sources say that the apps that come with the Verizon version of the phone are those two (My Verizon and Go90) apps.
     
  4. dontpanicbobby

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    Miss 2059 is a Sci-Fi Beauty pageant theme show that was streaming earlier this year. I know I got a link around here somewhere. Let me check my notes...
     
  5. youngdoc

    youngdoc Well-Known Member
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    I don't really need to know what the app is. The important thing is that it should not be preinstalled on my phone, and I am trying to figure out why. Read this: http://www.greenbot.com/article/312...tes-on-the-carriers-version-of-the-pixel.html
     
  6. dontpanicbobby

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  7. youngdoc

    youngdoc Well-Known Member
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    Thanks, but that is indeed off topic. Please read my post immediately above.
     
    #7 youngdoc, Oct 24, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
  8. dontpanicbobby

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    I read, and it's uninstallable. But if you Like Sci-Fi watch that shows short episodes before you uninstall go90.
     
    #8 dontpanicbobby, Oct 24, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
  9. sswingle

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    My guess would be it saw the Verizon SIM on activation and followed the same activation procedure as a Verizon phone, giving you My Verizon and Go90. Curious you didn't mention Messages+ which I also got on mine.
     
  10. zetroc

    zetroc Android Enthusiast
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    I agree that the SIM triggered the downloads. I don't believe it came pre-installed. As for hotspot, hit up Verizon, mine is working just fine.
     
  11. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    The trend is for most carriers of unlocked BYO devices is to ask you to opt-out of the default bloatware or simply install it with the option to delete it later, rather than preinstalling it. I would venture that a simple yes/no prompt answered differently when you first set up these phones is the difference between the one with the VZW apps and the one without.

    As to the tethering question, because many US carriers require a separate plan for hotspot tethering, most Android devices sold in the US have an entry in the buildprop to check if carrier requires it before allowing it to be enabled. While it's possible sometimes to bypass that, it usually requires root and it's a violation of your Verizon TOS.
     
  12. zetroc

    zetroc Android Enthusiast
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    Unless you're grandfathered into an unlimited plan, your VZW plan should allow for hotspot (either by more everything or the verizon plan).

    Also, I agree, I wish they had asked me if I wanted those apps as opposed to trigger the download upon activation. I just as easily uninstalled them so all is well :)

    PS in case anyone cares, WiFi calling works fine, and I'm not sure if HD voice works, but if WiFi calling is enabled, I'm guessing HD voice will be too.
     
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  13. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Extreme Android User
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    to use Mobile Hotspot on Verizon, you need to be subscribed to a Data Plan that includes it, or pay extra per month.

    forget about HotSpot, just get the FoxFi premium app and get on with your life.
    * FoxFi (WiFi Tether w/o Root) - Android Apps on Google Play
     
  14. badcatz

    badcatz Well-Known Member
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    When I activated my 5X on Verizon I used the nano sim that I took out of my Droid Maxx 2. I never saw any prompt to install any bloatware and never had any download and install.

    Hopefully this isn't the start of a trend at Verizon. No carrier crap is one of the primary reasons to buy an unlocked phone in my opinion.

    The Nexus and Pixels also allow you to change carriers at your discretion, also a good thing if Verizon continues down this path. Could it be due to the Google/Verizon partnership on the Pixels?
     
  15. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    Actually, the sim is only for LTE access. Verizon, being a CDMA network activates your phone based on it's IMEI (or ESN) so it's entirely possible that even though this was a simple device switch for you, it was considered a new activation for them at which point they pushed their apps to the phone. It would be nice if they cave you an option to decline, rather than having to uninstall after the fact, but I bet if you read through the 97 pages of user agreement legalese, you gave them permission to do this.

    I am not sure how Verizon could get their apps on Pixels by default, especially if whoever bought one wasn't a Verizon customer. It would be pointless and silly.
     
  16. jwbeeler

    jwbeeler Android Enthusiast
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    So here is my guess...you already had those apps showing as installed on the play store. When you changed phones, you opted for Google to do a restore of your apps. Therefore, it showed everything previously downloaded. :)
     
  17. badcatz

    badcatz Well-Known Member
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    I didn't do anything but install the sim and turn the phone on. I got no notifications to install any apps.

    I booted the phone with my sim in it and it came right up. I didn't have to engage Verizon in any way which is exactly what I was hoping for.

    Verizon knows that I'm using a Nexus because it shows under my account.

    One possible wrinkle is that I'm a prepaid rather than a postpaid customer. Prepaid are considered second class citizens in Verizon Land and maybe that's to my benefit.

    I don't know how they could push apps to Pixels either. On my Maxx 2 they used that insidious crapware DT Ignite which I disabled immediately on my Maxx 2.

    Leave it to an American carrier to ruin the new phone experience! :)
     
    #17 badcatz, Oct 25, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
  18. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    I think @jwbeeler might have a point as well. If you registered with the same gmail account and has backup and restore set on your Maxx2, then they would have automatically downloaded again if they were originally listed as installed.

    Personally, I'd just uninstall them, be thankful that you can and call it a day. :)
     
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  19. badcatz

    badcatz Well-Known Member
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    This sounds plausible except I tried to install My Verizon on my Nexus because it is actually useful (to me anyway) but the Google Store says "It's not compatible with your device". It's possible that is different for the Pixels.
     
  20. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Extreme Android User
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    I for one, happen to really like the "my Verizon" app.

    I use their widget which shows me at all times on a homescreen how much data is left in my plan for this month.

    I know I am an odd ball, but I actually enjoy being in the Verizon camp. been here for 25 years now, after going thru all of the bad carriers of 25 years ago....

    I have made a few ventures to test the waters about a year ago, and everything that I looked into showed that I would loose coverage in the back waters of 'merica... I ride motorcycles for a hobby and it is really easy to get into places where the 'the others' don't have a signal. for that matter, I find a lot of places where no cell phone has a signal.

    maybe, I will get the new Tier 3 SPOT tracker next year, with that, it will marry up with my cellphone on Bluetooth, and I can send messages to anyone I want, even from the bottom of a ravine... won't get a reply back, but I can be camped out in the 'netherlands and be able to let the family know that I am healthy and wealthy breathing in clean air

    .
     
  21. sswingle

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    At the end of the day, just uninstall them and move on. I think everyone is missing the point here because usual bloatware can, at best, just be disabled or hidden. In this case we can completely remove the programs, even on a Pixel bought from Verizon, so be happy in that.
     
  22. badcatz

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    I also ride motorcycles and where I live Verizon has the best coverage. Or "they suck less"... Coverage is the primary reason I've stuck with them having tried Sprint and ATT which could not match Verizon's coverage.

    I also use the My Verizon app when possible. I have it on my Maxx 2 but since I got the 5X my Maxx hasn't had a sim in it. I like the 5X too much.

    In my opinion all the carriers suck. You just have to go with the one that works best for you.
     
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  23. youngdoc

    youngdoc Well-Known Member
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    Original poster here. Wow, this thread generated a lot of discussion. Some additional information is below.

    REGARDING THE BLOATWARE APPS:

    1. I ended up wiping the phone and doing a second installation, this time completely from scratch -- no connection to my old phone and I did not transfer anything. I installed all but the default apps (that downloaded automatically with the OS install) one at a time. Man, that took forever. Nevertheless, the two VZ apps (actually three -- as someone pointed out above, Messages was also included and I didn't catch it the first time) appeared again. That means they are either associated with my SIM card or with my gmail address vis-a-vis the Play Store. When I look at the "All" tab under my apps in the Play Store, they are certainly present in the list (not installed, just "FREE,") on both my old phone and my new phone, but those are relics of who-knows-how-many Verizon phones ago. My last two phones have been Motorolas (Moto X v2 and Moto X Pure Edition) that I purchased directly from Verizon.

    2. As mentioned above, when I purchased my Pixel XL, I also purchased a Pixel for my wife. We did the install at the same time, the only difference being that she had to go get a new SIM card from Verizon, because her previous card was not a nano. She never got the bloatware on her Pixel.

    3. Also as mentioned above, it was no big deal to quickly remove the bloatware -- that wasn't my concern -- my larger concern was what I was actually getting when I bought the phone from Google, since this didn't happen when I purchased my phones from Motorola and used the exact same SIM card. In other words, I was beginning to wonder if Google's deal with Verizon somehow influenced the way "pure" versions of the phone were being shipped. This concern was further aggravated by the change in Wifi Hotspot functionality (see below).

    REGARDING THE WIFI HOTSPOT:

    1. In response to the comment above: FoxFi (so far) does not work with the Pixel (that was one of the first things I checked when I discovered that WiFi hotspot was blocked on my Pixel).

    2. I do (as someone mentioned above) have a grandfathered unlimited data plan and I do NOT have "WiFi hotspot" included as an add-on to my Verizon plan; however, that never stopped my Moto X v2 and Moto X Pure Edition from having a working WiFi Hotspot right out of the box. Having the WiFi hotspot option blocked is new (to me) with the Pixel and it seems odd that going from a phone made by Motorolla which was mostly "pure" to one made by Google (both on the same carrier) would actually cause me to lose my free WiFi Hotspot. I didn't make any changes to my actual Verizon plan when I purchased the Pixel or when my wife picked up her new SIM.
     
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  24. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    A couple of things ...

    You might not have seen the Verizon apps on your previous phones because, for whatever reasons, they might not have been compatible. I've since seen reports of others on G+ with new SIMs getting the three apps pushed to their phones upon activation. And, they immediately uninstalled them. FWIW, when I first activated my Nexus 6 on AT&T I got some bloat pushed to it, too. It's a carrier thing, not a Google thing. Still, easily removed if you don't want them. Not a bad compromise if you ask me.

    As for the hotspot, just because you used to get it, doesn't necessarily mean they were giving it to you. You had a device that didn't bother checking first and you were getting away with it by not being a big data user. I am able to use the hotspot on my plan even though i don't subscribe to that option in my plan. I rarely use it. In the last two years, maybe 2 or three times. I do tether, but that's permitted, and really I don't abuse that either. I'm sure there will be a workaround to get past the restriction sooner or later. Just be a responsible data user. :)
     
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  25. aleis

    aleis Android Expert
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    I use the s7 edge for for personal and my pixel xl for work because of the hotspot thing!
    foxfi support verizon on a select number of devices and older android versions.
    its soooo frustating as that is the only thing keeping me from using the pixel as my daily (and weekend) device.
    but!
    there is a method to root android phones that was discovered...seriously considering that.
    dont care too much about android pay and i do believe updates are blocked if its rooted (or the bootloader is unlocked) but i need wifi tether. i have a grandfather plan and i share with my sons tablet for youtube.

    came to this forum to see if anyone was rooting their verizon pixels yet.
    please post if you find a work around without root.
     
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