This is really just a short blog to explain one of the most annoying things on my otherwise excellent HTC 10.
The phone comes with a number of preinstalled apps, whether you want them or not. That’s not unusual for Android phones. Aside from Google’s own devices, it’s as common as the crapware you get on too many new Windows PCs.
Unfortunately, just “leaving them alone” isn’t always a solution. I’m finding more frequently that apps are “spamming” the Android notification bar, urging me to use them when I’m not interested in them. It really feels quite invasive.
Specifically, Facebook insists that you use its Messenger app. I refuse to use it for a number of reasons – not least already having lots of chat/messaging apps. I don’t need another one. But Facebook is notably aggressive in trying to get users onto its Messenger app, having removed access to messages within its own app, and not allowing users to read messages on the mobile web. Today if someone sends me a message, I can only read it in a desktop environment. Messenger is preinstalled on HTC 10s, and it was persistently trying to get me to upgrade it.
Meanwhile News Republic is a news aggregator app. I’m not interested, and am not a subscriber. But it was there in the background, and more recently has started serving me notifications I’m not interested in. As with Messenger, I can’t uninstall it. All I could do is remove updates.
Finally, for now, there’s the TouchPal keyboard. It’s a pre-installed alternative keyboard that you can use. I don’t use it, nor the dozens of language variants that sit on my phone. Again, I was happy for it to be in the background until it recently started spamming me in the notification bar of my phone. I can’t uninstall it as with the others.
Without rooting the phone, I’m unable to fully get rid of these apps.
So my solution to all of this is to “disable” the apps.
Go to Settings > Apps
Find the app you want to shut down, and select it in the list. Then choose Disable to stop the app running.
I believe that this will stop apps seeking updates, and most importantly sending spam to my notification bar.
Note that I had to install TouchPal updates to get it to appear in the Apps list at all, allowing me to then disable it. I fear the language packs may keep updating.
It’s also worth noting that you can go into Notifications and choose to Block All notifications without necessarily disabling the app altogether. But I choose to go nuclear on these apps.