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T-Mobile parent company, Deutsche Telekom, will let users opt out of pre-installed apps

T-Mobile logo
T-Mobile logo (Image credit: Android Central)

For a lot of people, buying smartphones through carriers is still preferable over going the unlocked route. In addition to typically better financing options, most carriers always have some deal going on to help offset the cost of new devices. Unfortunately, as great as these two things are, carrier-branded phones are also plagued by pre-installed apps that nobody wants or asked for.

In a recent post on its official blog (opens in new tab), T-Mobile's parent company, Deutsche Telekom, announced that it's now giving its subscribers the option to choose which apps they want and don't want on their phone from day one.

Deutsche Telekom says that its customers "will no longer receive preinstalled apps and presets on your Android smartphone," and laid out a five-step process for how this will work. It reads as follows:

  1. You use your Telekom SIM and start the device. After switching on the smartphone for the first time, you will go through the manufacturer's initial setup.
  2. Later on, you'll see our recommended telecom applications either during setup or afterwards (depending on the smartphone model).
  3. Select the applications you want to install.
  4. Immediately after completing the setup process (which may also include a reboot) welcomes you our new telecom welcome moment. There you will be asked, among other things, if you want to receive notifications and automatic updates to installed apps.
  5. The selected applications of Telekom and our partners can now be found on your home screen.

In addition to giving users the freedom of choosing which pre-installed apps they want, Deutsche Telekom also says that future firmware updates will be handled by manufacturers — potentially resulting in much faster turnaround times when new versions of Android are released.

It's unclear at this time if T-Mobile will gain similar features, but I wouldn't be surprised if they get added with the next Un-Carrier movement.

Until then, is this something you'd like to see your wireless provider adopt?

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

32 Comments
  • Oh please, please adopt this TMO.
  • Plus 3 on that. Hope TMobile does this. And by putting all up dates on the manufacturer, the males can no longer point their fingers at the carriers for slow updates This is good.
  • Plus one on that. Even though the load of persistent bloatware isn't as bad as some competitors.
  • What kind of self respecting geek buys on contract anyway?
  • The ones that need subsidizing. The ones that were refused subsidizing from Google for a Pixel.
  • Fair
  • What he said. Got $100 off a Pixel 2 from Verizon when Google still wanted full price.
  • I really liked the pre-installed apps. Google should pre-load; Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, Hulu and all the other annoying apps on the pixel
  • Uh, or you could take 2 minutes to install them yourself.
  • Don't forget about full Microsoft Office suite and iTunes for the converts from other ecosystems. And Amazon and eBay for all the shoppers. And add a couple of games with IAPs for a good measure. And, of course, all the Google's messenger apps. They are totally necessary too. Now, that'd be awesome.
  • Hope T-Mo adopts this. Not only them, but all carriers. Followed by manufacturers (looking at you Samsung and LG). If I wanted the crapware that manufacturers and carriers put on their phones, I know how to get them. Google does most things well, carriers and manufacturers should stop trying to reinvent the wheel.
  • I don't see Samsung taking off Samsung apps from Samsung phones.
  • They need to.
  • Verizon and AT&T will be like over my dead body.
  • Unfortunately, you're more than likely correct.
  • Much welcomed change I would certainly welcome this change that would allow you to avoid the pre-installed software (crapware) that many carriers put on their branded phones.
  • I've Been on a T-Mo family plan now with 6 phones and 6 lines for the past 9 years I, have to say that we never had any issues with them. before that we had AT&T= NEVER AGAIN!!!
  • This is interesting. If it works well with Deutsche Telekom, then I would love to see it on all carriers.
  • That sounds amazing! Now if every carrier went this route it would mean those Android distribution numbers would look better than they do.
  • Please do this TMobile!
  • That would be great, but Verizon will never do that. This is the same company that has features removed from their phones so they can charge a monthly fee for the same functionality.
  • That's cool!
  • I think all apps should be removable. Well except the Play Store and maybe the dialer/ contacts, and Chrome browser. But for everything else it's off with their heads.
  • Even the dialer. I am using the xda pixel dialer on my note 8, it should be their stock dialer as it blows away the Samsung. At least give us the choice.
  • I hate....no I HATE Google's dialer options, or lack thereof. Samsung and LG's dialer options are far more robust.
  • They can remove Chrome as well. I don't need it on a Galaxy phone.
  • Giving customers a choice... This should be adopted by all carriers. I think they'll probably gain more customers.
  • Start selling phones that can be bootloader unlocked and easily rooted and I'll start buying my phones from the t mobile again.
  • This is the reason why I stopped buying devices from the carrier. If this goes through, hopefully TMO will start carrying a nicer selection of devices and then I may consider having an EIP. It is getting very expensive to buy devices anymore
  • Glad I went with the iPhone
  • This is the next evolutionary step in T-mobile's long march to being the top wireless provider. Their best Uncarrier move imo, was music freedom. I subscribe to Google Play Music and stream it in my Rogue to and from work. If T-mo USA follows DT, they will hit another home run.
  • For the love of all things Holy, please run with this T-Mobile!!! We pay premium prices for our high end phones & for service, we deserve timely & routine OS updates!