Samsung Galaxy S4

You'll notice in just about every non-Nexus device review we've done over there past few years that there are comments about the pre-installed apps that come on these device, and we've always wondered why they're there and who really uses them. Turns out the answer to the second part of that question is "just about nobody." Strategy Analytics dug into their AppOptix data to look at the usage patterns of real world more than 250 users of the Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy S4, and found that usage of Samsung's custom apps on these devices lags far behind that of Google's apps.

This is in spite of Samsung's efforts to promote these apps, which have seen considerable play in their marketing efforts. Strategy Analytics found that the average Galaxy S3 user in their study group logged 6.2 minutes of total use over an entire month of Samsung's signature ChatON, Group Play, S Memo, S Voice, Samsung Apps, Samsung Hub, and Samsung Link — combined. Galaxy S4 use of these same apps was only slightly higher, totaling 9.3 minutes total in a month.

A small selection of similar Google apps logged significantly higher use, with around an hour a month spent in the Google Play Store, half an hour in Google Search, and about two hours a month in YouTube.

We know that we've rarely used these apps, and the apps that other manufacturers have loaded onto our phones. There's a reason we call them "bloatware" — these apps take up a tremendous about of space. On the Samsung Galaxy S5, the customizations to Android and the custom Samsung apps take up nearly 8GB of space.

So this leaves us with an important question: If nobody's using these apps — and surely the manufacturers know that from their own built-in usage trackers — why do Samsung, LG, HTC, and everybody else bother to begin with?

Source: Strategy Analytics, Via: Wall Street Journal

 
There are 86 comments

Adam Zeis says:

Bloatware: Ain't nobody got time fo dat

ScottJ says:

Oh memes...the death of a decent forum.

zr2s10 says:

If I could figure it out, you'd getting a grumpy cat meme! lol

Glenuendo says:

Best post ever. Lol

Posted via Android Central App

poppany75 says:

LMFAO

Posted via Android Central App

I guess that's why they're making most of it downloadable in the GS5. Anyhoo, the omission of apps like DropBox vs. Google Drive is a little disturbing when considering the validity of this app survey.

I'm not entirely sure how Dropbox falls into bloatware.

fuzzylumpkin says:

If you can't uninstall it and don't have a use for it, you can consider it bloat.

But that wasn't what he was saying anyway.
Posted via Android Central App

TenshiNo says:

I don't want *any* app that I can download from Google Play to come preloaded on my device in a way that prevents me from uninstalling it.

Dperks17 says:

That's why I went nexus I took it out of the box popped my Sim card in and turned it on! No fiddling around. Just works!

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cgardnervt says:

Hope we see more oem hardware do this!

Sent from my HTC One

Deegan says:

Same here. N5 ftw!

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rd_nest says:

That's exactly why I find my N4 a POS out of box. The batterylife sucks more than anything, photos come out embarrassingly bad.

jimbo says:

On the HTC One there is 'NO' HTC bloatware with net 27 Gb Internal storage (in the US).

On the other hand, Samsung's bloatware includes ChatON, Group Play, S Memo, S Voice, Samsung Apps, Samsung Hub, Samsung Link Heart Rate Monitor, and a dysfunctional Finger Print Scanner.

Nevertheless, Samsung devotees buy that stuff up on a $50 more expensive handset with net 9 GB internal storage.

And they'd despise the OnePlus One

Taz89 says:

That's 5gb taken up by htc, the s5 takes up about 5gb and in some cases much closer to 4gb(uk s5).
Posted via Android Central App on nexus 7 (2nd gen)

fuzzylumpkin says:

Actually, it'd only be 2 gigs used by the HTC one. Because binary. What's the clean formatted space available on the S5?

If ya gonna compare, compare like for like.

Posted via Android Central App

Taz89 says:

What matters is available user storage, if user can't use it doesn't matter in this context. The 16g m8 has 10gb, the 16gb s5 has 10gb. It's that simple.. People complain that it's too less for samsung but don't say anything when htc has the same amount of storage available out the box.

Posted via Android Central App on nexus 7 (2nd gen)

DrLouie says:

I agree with the bloatware being an issue, but personally I like S Memo. I haven't found a better handwriting notes application, but I am always looking if anyone wants to recommend another one.

TenshiNo says:

Check out Papyrus. I used SMemo quite a bit until I discovered Papyrus, and now I use nothing else for straight up hand written notes.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.steadfastinnovation.an...

DrLouie says:

Do you care to elaborate on why you think it is better? And have you tried Lecture Notes?

DWR_31 says:

Sprint did it best awhile ago.
Sprint Zone App that lets you download extra Sprint apps when you want them.

Samsung should only put the Samsung Appstore on devices and let customers choose what features they need.

Posted via SPARK enabled Sprint LG G2 that still spins fast after using 60GB in a billing cycle. {No Overages}

HZD says:

And we nexus users still laugh in the faces of oneplusone fans for their blatant lies around and over hyped no better than the rest monolith of a hand set.

Why would you buy anything other than a nexus if you don't want bloat, that oneplus's ship has sailed and is already sinking.

Who remembers the N1 . . .

Posted via Android Central App

rd_nest says:

Don't worry. The whole world laughs at the face of that "tiny" Nexus community.
You Nexus owners are irrelevant, that's a fact. The time it takes to sell a single Nexus, 100s of non-Nexus devices are sold.
You guys are just another minor vocal group who contaminants every Android forum with your fanboyish rants.

Warrenisit says:

I don't mind Nexus phones or Nexus fans but you are right that they are SUPER fucking annoying reiterating the same points over and over and over and over and over like 2 year olds asking the same question over and over and over.

figueroaw says:

The question shouldn't be how many people use them, but how many people do whatever it take to remove them?

TenshiNo says:

Ding ding! Thank god for Titanium Backup :)

sunburned says:

Motorola finally figured that out with the Moto X.

TKDnerd05 says:

+1 & Chive on!

Posted from a Nexus 5

Gator352 says:

Let's put this into perspective. On nexus, you're stuck with only 16 or 32GB of storage. Most people don't want to download an extra app that will do the same thing as a stock app. So they use that. Why? Because it works and they are trying to save space for pics and vids.
On Samsung, they have an SD card to store pics and vids. Even if the phone has 16GB of storage they will download "better" apps to replace the bloat apps because they are generally better.
I know Dropbox and others can be used for nexus users to store content, but most people like it local and not dependant on the Internet.
Posted via the porcelain throne.

Muzta says:

Counter Point, most people don't know their phone has SD storage

Gator352 says:

Most don't even realize it's actually a phone either :)

Posted via the porcelain throne.

enigmax says:

And you cannot install apps on the ext sd card. So bloatware is just expensive - for the manufacturer and especially for a customer - and totally useless crap!

Posted via Android Central App

Jon Bresler says:

AppMgr III (App 2 SD) on my S5 moves the apps (or the bulk of their space eating requirements) onto the ext SD card.

TenshiNo says:

You *can* actually move apps to the SD card, they've just changed how you do it. If you go into the Application Manager (in Settings), you can swipe to the left and there's an "SDCard" screen where you can check or uncheck a box for each installed app which is able to be moved to the SDCard. At least, that's how it is on my Note 3. Could be slightly different on the S5.

toukale says:

WOW!!! who is surprise by this finding? Just about everyone on this forum knows that already. Samsung is a great hardware oem, but when it comes to software, they are lost. Which is the main reason I will never put them in the same category as Google and Apple, specially Apple, that company is competing on everything and competing well.

Gator352 says:

I just bought an iPhone 5s to play with even though I hate apple. Here's my take:

The iPhone is so boring that I would rather gouge my eyes out with a spork than use it as my daily driver. It's going back as soon as I get off work.

That's competing? Nah. People buy it because it's simple. Even my cat can use it blindfolded and high on catnip.

Posted via the porcelain throne.

vtpmt81 says:

How is this a bad thing? Simple is always better than complex. For some people a phone is means to an end - they just want it to work. For example my Moto X is the best phone I have ever had - the phone is smooth and it works.

Gator352 says:

The moto x is a great phone. I have one too. But the big difference is that the moto x is much cheaper to own. Plus, you can customize it to your hearts content if you wish or leave it simple. There's no customizing to iPhone whatsoever.

Posted via the porcelain throne.

toukale says:

And yet, the iphone is the most successful phone line in the world. To make matters worst, the iphone own the high end. Apple has 0% marketshare for phones $400 or less but own 70% of phones above that. Android fans keep talking about the iphone marketshare shrinking and my question for them have always been the iPhone/Apple dominates the market they compete in which is above the $400 threshold that's what people should be comparing their marketshare in, but we all know they will keep moving the goalpost to fit their agenda.

warpdrive says:

Apple has a world wide market share of only 25%. 50% in the US.
Samsung has a 55% world market share. About 25% in the US.

Your numbers are way off, and your reply based off of it, is off too.

Posted via Android Central App on my all new One

ScottJ says:

He's talking about the market segmented by price. Broken down that way he is correct. Reading is fundamental.

Mai Dvices says:

Nice one. People should read more before talking

Posted via Android Central App

TenshiNo says:

Whether or not Apple is "competing well" is very much a matter of perspective. They are constantly playing catch-up in the industry lately (with the exception of 64-bit, which I still say is not as big a deal as people seem to think it is). In order to "compete" in an industry, you have to offer customers what they want. The fact that everyone is so excited that Apple might *finally* release a phone with a larger screen this year shows how much they're playing catch up in order to complete in the market.

You can say that Apple dominates the "high-end" market, but even that is only when comparing Apple versus any other single Android OEM. Apple's marketing is largely based around it being a status symbol. So many Apple users are spoon fed what they believe are the differences between Android and iOS and really have no idea what Android is really like.

If you like iOS, that's cool. For some people, it is the better option. My father comments all the time that my phone has a ton more features than his iPhone, but he still doesn't want one because he doesn't want to have to deal with it. He wants a phone that he can just pull out of his shirt pocket and use and not have to think about it. And, for that, the iPhone is a great device.

Quit all this "this device is better" crap, because there is no "best" device. It all depends on what you want to get out of your device. This argument got old a *long* time ago.

Mai Dvices says:

Finally, an adult point of view. Its hillarious how some members here of age (read: no longer a toddler/teenager) just defend each brand blindingly.

Posted via Android Central App

movielover76 says:

Simple is often better than complex, however I'd argue that with increasing skill with smartphones among the general public, some people are getting bored with their lowest common denominator UI approach and slow innovation. For many users the iPhone is still the best phone, and I don't hate the iPhone it simply different.

But quite a few people prefer a little more power in their devices and a little more choice in what they use.
The most obvious example of this that actual normal average people can appreciate this is default apps.
When I show many iPhone users that I can use a different browser, chat application, keyboard etc they are amazed and I know quite a few who have left their iPhone for that feature and bigger screens alone.

Neither is best for everyone, for some iPhone is better and others Android and for a very small minority even windows. Sales number can't prove an approach is the best, simple what marketing is most successful. and even if simple enough for any idiot was the best approach for the majority of users, it still wouldn't be the best for everyone.

TenshiNo says:

Well said. I think Apple is going to be (eventually) forced to face the problem that the iPhone is basically just training people to use more complex devices. Personally, I know a couple dozen people who jumped from iPhone to Android and *love* it. I even know a few who had an Android, jumped to iPhone and came back as soon as their contract was up. I've met exactly 1 person who dropped their Android for an iPhone and actually likes it better.

flychinook says:

I think Apple has worked itself into a corner with the design of their phones. The iPhone has looked pretty much the same for about 5 years now (single bottom button, large top and bottom bezels, rounded rectangle shape). To add a larger screen, they'll have to do something about those bezels. And by then it won't look like an iPhone anymore.

toukale says:

Yet, I don't see any other manufacture doing anything worth a damn. The iphone set the course that everyone is on right now. Wake me up when anyone else steps up to change it.

warpdrive says:

Are you talking about the iPhone that had 16 apps, no app store, and couldn't copy and paste? Then, it was late to add 3g, then 4g. And now it still only has a 4" screen, in a world of 5" (and in many cases much larger)? Retina display? Still lower dpi then most of the flagship Android phones.

Or are you talking about some other apple?

Posted via Android Central App on my all new One

ScottJ says:

I think he's talking about the apple in the garden of Eden that set humankind on a course of sin and misery.

Now that I think about it, it's not much different then Apple Inc.

TenshiNo says:

lol

TenshiNo says:

Apple definitely shook up the industry. They took a big risk with the iPhone. They weren't the first to think of it, but nobody thought the mainstream market was "ready" for smartphones. Apple designed a nice-looking device and came up with great marketing and convinced people they wanted it. It ended up being massively successful. Kudos to them for that.

But I'm so sick of people acting like smart phones didn't exist before Apple. Apple has not invented a single piece of technology in the iPhone. They did a great job of bringing together existing technologies in a way that is non-intimidating for the average consumer, and they proved that the a smart phone is something that consumers actually want, but they didn't "invent" anything. You don't have to take my word for it. Look it up. I had large-screen, touch-based devices back in 2001, that *did* actually have downloadable apps and copy/paste functionality.

If you love your iPhone, more power to you. But please quit playing this whole "Apple invented the smart phone" game. It's sad and pathetic and it's really getting tiresome.

eszklar says:

Well I'm curious if there will be a GPe S5 coming. I have an OG International Note (N7000) that I flashed up CarbonROM onto since Samsung will never upgrade this past beyond 4.1.2. On the Note series I'm trying to figure out what Google apps I can use to replace Air View, Multi-window and Gear/Fit Manager although with the Moto 360 and LG Watch coming later I'm not too concerned about Samsung-specific hardware/software myself. I run Nexus/CyanogenMod in general so bloatware has never really bothered me.

jcastag says:

Is this a shock?

Posted via Android Central App

TheDu9du says:

ATT is shocked

Tigrisan says:

Unless it's something that absolutely has to run in the background or my Galaxy 4S won't work right, I don't think I've ever even opened any of the bloatware apps that came with the phone. Just turned as many as I could off and that was that. But I won't own a phone without an SD card either because I change them out depending on whether I'm traveling for work or staying around the office or home. I store too much that takes up too much room to try and get by with internal storage only.

Gator352 says:

Galaxy 4s? Don't let apple see this or you'll get sued....

Posted via the porcelain throne.

Tigrisan says:

Push an Apple button here, push one there, my Galaxy S4 is a far better phone than an Apple will ever be. How's that for getting sued? ;)

TenshiNo says:

lol, to both of you.

jcastag says:

If you think that most consumers don't care about all the bloatware loading on their phones, you're wrong. I have friends that Samsung phones, and their biggest complaint is all the bullshit that they can't uninstall from the device. These are people that don't understand the fact that this crap takes up valuable memory space, may cause battery drain, and may cause lag.

But they do know they just don't want it on their phones!

Posted via Android Central App

enigmax says:

However, you can disable the crap. They dont need to run in a background. But they are still expensive crap fot a customer until SOMEONE *pointing samsung* let us unistall them totally.

Posted via Android Central App

droid4lyf says:

They can disable them but they are still there, occupying what precious little space their phones have.

I say Samsung should drop the prices of their phones if they insist to put bloatwares on their phones. It's like watching a movie but with commercials.

Posted via Android Central App

TenshiNo says:

Except that you can't even use the argument that the bloatware is lowering the cost of the device in some way, since Samsung themselves are the ones putting the apps on there. They're just hoping people accidentally stumble into the Samsung App store and start spending money instead of the Google Play Store.

TheDu9du says:

"little" is an overstatement.

leif1981 says:

Ok, this is a bit hilarious. Why are you linking an old article which was completely wrong in a new article? We all know that the "news" about the 8gb rom of the S5 was wrong because it included many MWC Demo files which the tech blogs didn't noticed.

droid4lyf says:

If Samsung keeps putting bloatwares on their phones, they should price them way way way way lower. The thing is, their phones are loaded with bloatwares and they still price their phones same as Apple who I believe doesn't put any bloats on their phones.

Posted via Android Central App

leif1981 says:

Define bloatware. Where does it start and where does it end? What carriers add is usually useless bloatware, some pre-installed hotel apps...okay... you maybe can call it bloatware. But there are also many things where they just fix the stuff that Googles version of Android is missing. Maybe we geeks want to spent some hours in the play store to search the apps to make it work, but not the average customer. For the average customer it's usually better to have more features than he needs, than missing something and don't know how to get it. They often don't want to spend hours on blogs and in the play store to search the right thing like we might do.

Taz89 says:

Agree no one probably uses the samsung apps especially compared to googles but when there is like 100 million s3 and s4's out there, 250 is a real small number to get any conclusive data. It all matters which country etc also it's surveyed.. One country might have higher usage than others. Even than if you were to take samples from multiple country's, the sample is just too small. Also the 8gb memory available on s5 is wrong, come on that was demo units and ac even reported it and that the actual s5 comes with about 10gb and in some case even more.
Posted via Android Central App on nexus 7 (2nd gen)

leif1981 says:

The Google calendar would be a good example. From the design I like it much more than the S-Planner, but the Google calendar app is just not usable. When I enter an adress there is no way to check it on a map and see if it got it right. S-Planner has a little map icon so I can be sure it got it right.
I pretty much dislike the design of many Samsung Apps, although their latest Milk radio is pretty good, but Google Apps often lack in small details that can be very annoying.

ScottJ says:

Check out the latest Google Calendar app update. It includes address linking to Google Maps, according to the change log.

Cwey55 says:

I want to make this article friggin poster sized and mail it to everyone at every manf. and carrier...

Posted via Android Central App

thNoz says:

Big HD display, good hardware, fast processor, & access to Google Play Store, good battery life, ample storage, decent speakers. That's about all the average user wants. If Samsung & the carriers want a real assessment on how good their apps are, then make them removable & check back a year later to see how many are still there.

Posted via Android Central App

This frustrates me to no end. I'm a power user and don't use bloatware because I don't need additional apps outside of Google's suite of applications that do the same thing (usually not as well though). When talking to my friends that would be considered 'regular consumers', I find the same thing. No one wants or needs to use Samsung backup or AT&T Locker to sync their contacts when they all know it's already sync'd with their Gmail account. Furthermore, the sync'd data isn't as accessible online as it is with Gapps. It's ridiculous. The first thing I do is either root and remove or disable as much of this as possible. Unfortunately, I'm stuck with the disable option on my S5 as root hasn't been achieved yet. The bloatware that can be disabled is taking up space and the bloatware that can't be disabled is actually a resource hog. I don't need apps running in the background if I'm never using them.

AKFL3TCH3R says:

NO REALLY

Posted via Android Central App

Joel E says:

As a samsung fan and daily user myself, I must admit that "Samsung's signature ChatON, Group Play, S Memo, S Voice, Samsung Apps, Samsung Hub, and Samsung Link" ive spent very little to no time using.
They can be useful...but Google services are and always have been superior.
-ChatON and group play would be useful if only I knew nothing but other galaxy Users.
-theres a myriad of other apps that do what S Memo does and better
-S voice is much improved...but on ny S5 I now have "ok google" from home page..I honestly cant be bothered to set up the S Voice.
-and samsung hub/linked in. .have 0 use for honestly :-/

Posted via Android Central App

Carrier bloat is the real PITA

flychinook says:

Yeah it is. My first Android phone was a HTC Desire on U.S. Cellular. It came with U.S. Cell's crappy navigation app, a MySpace app (lol), some kind of contacts backup that insisted on doing scheduled backups and would lock up the phone every time, and a bunch of other rubbish. Once they downloaded all their updates, they took up nearly half of the space on the phone. I ended up installing Cyanogen not because I wanted to, but because I had to.
The Sprint S3 I got after that had a lot more manufacturer bloat, but thankfully very little carrier bloat. And the G2 I got earlier this month was surprisingly light on both... I think only 3 or 4 apps total that I can't uninstall (one of them being the legitimately useful Sprint Zone app)

fuzzylumpkin says:

If you don't want Samsung's software, don't buy Samsung's phones.

There's nothing wrong with Samsung phones, I'm just saying everyone on this page knows what they're getting when they buy.

You shouldn't really complain about Samsung bloat because we know that's how they operate, cramming as much stuff as they can all up in there.

It's like buying a camel then complaining that it's not a horse.

Posted via Android Central App

K White1 says:

Well, I figured Samsung owners used the bloatware, so I am surprised by the results. I like most of the pre-installed apps on my device.

Posted via AC App on HTC One

Kolten Nay says:

Lol, you think I am going to you use s-apps? Ahh sometimes I dream of an s4 without the stupid apps.

Posted via Android Central App

dougltc says:

Sprint Galaxy S4 here... I use exactly ZERO Samsung apps regularly ...

Wish they could be removed without root/rom flash...

A2theC says:

Yay! I'm nobody! I use these samsung apps t connect to my tv using the media hub, I use chaton for work for non-text group messaging, along with group play to share and work on documents, I use the watchon IR blaster like nuts (seriously dont even use the REAL remote), polaris office (isn't quite as awesome as hancom) is great for getting things done while out and about (away from Micro$OFT PC office), Smemo to sync with my Snote, samsung apps to buy stuff (with free giftcard they gave me). I, unlike the majority of people, give these apps a chance and have found them useful. Anyway, I am a loser that no one likes, because I use these apps. :D

rkcmd says:

I use the calendar app from TouchWiz... Too bad it doesn't work with a different launcher...

Posted via Android Central App

blademansw says:

I don't think I have ever even opened any of the Samsung bloat on my Note II in 16 months of owning it.

Marius Rye says:

Once or if the Google Experience launcher is released for the Note 3 i'm getting it, as long as i can use the SPen features.