#itsmyphone

So today I was way excited because the UPS man left some goodies for me at my door step. One of them was my NEW Samsung Galaxy S8+. I’ve been using my Note4 since…well, since it came out! I’ve been a T-Mobile customer since…are you ready for this?
2001! Yep that 16 years with one provider (I should get a 16 year jacket or something) 😉

Anyways, before I purchased this bad boy I jokingly tweeted to T-Mobile that I hope they don’t load a bunch of “crapware” on such a nice phone. In the past, most of you are probably aware that almost all the phones today come pre-loaded with apps that you may or may not use. I remember my wife’s phone had a stupid NFL app on it. Not that the NFL is stupid but the first time I saw it, I was like, “Why did they take up room for an app that not everyone wants or likes?”.

Today we see things like Facebook, Twitter, Lookout!, Hancom Office as well as Provider apps that may or, again may not be needed. I personally LOVE T-Mobile, but I could give a rat’s backside for their "TMobileTV" App.

Listen, I get it…it’s all about marketing, I’ll accept that, but we’re talking about paying around $850 for a device and providers are making money by loading apps without my permission. On top of that, these apps can’t be uninstalled. Let's imagine this in another way….

Let's take a look at buying a new car and of course it comes with a car stereo…Let’s say a Pioneer stereo. Guess what, I can actually buy a car WITHOUT a stereo OR I can install my own preferred brand of stereo. Now imagine the dealership telling you “Sorry, you have to put up with that Pioneer stereo…and if you try to take it out, you’ll void the warranty on the transmission.”

Let me get back to MY story. So after I tweeted about T-Mobile better not load a bunch of “crapware” on my device, I got the following:

So Kia’s link took me to a “How To Uninstall Applications” (that you’ve installed, not one's that come pre-installed). I decided to wait and see if maybe the Galaxy Gods would smile down on me with some new feature. I had read a recent article about Microsoft Stores would be selling S8’s unlocked, so there was hope.

Today I opened my “shiny new toy” and discovered the following:

AND when you disable it, you still have to give up storage space:

I know, I know, It’s only 1.71MB…but the point is IT’S MY MB!

I quickly got a response by someone named Emmanuel Lopez who tried to fix things, but has made it worse by
1) Trying to redirect me by saying “Yeah that sucks” and
2) telling me T-Mobile has no control because “they" (the apps) are programmed into the OS and that folks like Lookout is working with the manufactures (ie Samsung)

And me being a fun loving guy tweeted back that I was lied to.

So Emmanuel’s response got me thinking…this is weird, because not all Samsung devices come with Lookout installed by default. I should know, my family and I have about 4 Samsung phones, 4 tablets (big Samsung fan huh?). So I decided to do a little something we call “research” and I went to Lookout’s webpage and low and behold, guess what I found?

When I questioned Mr Lopez I got this response (notice the social engineering here…apparently I can’t make my own device secure or track my phone without the particular pre-installed app:

Listen, if you want to load “Crapware” on my phone, fine but let’s come to an agreement here… YOU pay for the phone. Why should I be subjected to anyone’s whim of what apps to run. If I want Facebook, I’ll load Facebook. If I want to read PDF documents, I’m a big boy, I can find and install my own copy of “whatever” app to fulfill my needs. Better yet, now I’m starting to wonder if having those apps (even if they’re “disabled”) can create an attack vector. I mean when you disable the app it uninstalls any updates and reverts back to the original .apk file…I’m assuming some of those updates include security patches…and if that’s the case...

who pays the price? Things that make you go hmmmmm.