It should surprise no one that the carrier-branded versions of the Galaxy S7 come loaded with carrier-branded apps and software. In our reviews of the standard and edge versions of the Galaxy S7 we had Verizon devices and noted the software there, but AT&T decidedly has taken the crown with annoying crapware.
Here's what comes on an AT&T Galaxy S7, directly out of the box:
- AT&T Locker: Cloud storage from AT&T.
- AT&T Protect Plus: Cloud backups, device locator and "Pro Tech support."
- Device Help: Essentially a wrapper for the att.com help pages
- DirecTV: AT&T purchased satellite TV company DirecTV in 2015, and now their app is right here for you
- Drive Mode: Sets auto-replies to texts and calls straight to voicemail when moving faster than 25 mph
- myAT&T: Access your AT&T account
- Plenti: A rewards program in conjunction with Exxon, Macy's Hulu, and others
- Smart Limits: Parental controls on times, calls, data, and more
- Usage Manager: Track data usage by app
- Visual Voicemail: View your voicemails with your eyeballs
You can tell which apps are AT&T apps because they almost universally have terrible old icons and designs. With the exception of Usage Manager and Visual Voicemail, all of the apps are easily disabled, but none can be uninstalled.
You can tell which apps are AT&T apps because they almost universally have terrible old icons and designs.
But the real most amazing moment here? When you pull down the notification draw and sitting under the Quick Settings toggles, brightness slider, and Quick Connect prompt is a big black widget for DirecTV. It's not a notification — it doesn't get pushed down as more notifications roll in. No, this is an advertising prompt to download the DirecTV Quick Remote app (at least it's from Google Play) and sign up for DirecTV. And it doesn't go away until you act on it — either by downloading or signing up, or by tapping the gear icon in the top right corner and then tapping the Disable button.
We get it, AT&T, you spent a lot of money on DirecTV and want to make sure that your customers that have it get a good experience with the GS7, and those that don't know that it's an option. But this is a bit over the top — an ad should not be pushing notifications down past the upper half of the screen by default. And that's not even mentioning the janky AT&T Protect Plus notification prompt in there at launch too.
We've been begging for years for fewer and better apps from carriers. We're already coping with Samsung's duplicative options — I don't need or want third level installed-by-default choices for backups, cloud storage, security, rewards, and all that, and I suspect very few other subscribers do either. Focus on the unending task of improving your networks and customer service. Then we can talk about what apps you should be installing by default on my new phone.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
You can now pre-order Motorola’s foldable RAZR on Verizon for $1,500
Motorola's foldable RAZR reboot is finally up for pre-order in the U.S for $1,500.
Are you going to keep your Galaxy S10 throughout 2020?
There are a lot of exciting phones set to come out in 2020, but the Galaxy S10 still has plenty of kick left in it. If you own the phone, do you plan on keeping it throughout this year?
Samsung will give away Galaxy Buds+ with S20+ and S20 Ultra pre-orders
Samsung's Galaxy S20 series will be here before you know it, and when pre-orders open up, you'll be able to get your hands on the new Galaxy Buds+ for free.
Here are the best cases for the Samsung Galaxy S7
There are some excellent cases and covers for those planning to protect their Samsung Galaxy S7 from the inevitable drop, and we've rounded up the best of the lot.