Can you delete stock apps to make this kid friendly?

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by andjarnic, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. andjarnic
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    andjarnic Member

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    Hey all,

    I haven't gotten far enough in my dev/testing to figure this one out. The Droid (and Android 2.0..maybe 1.6) has some very nice features for some of us paranoid over-controlling parents. Namely, that portion of the map program that allows any gmail friend that you connect with to show you where they are at any time, a service that you used to have to pay for and be a pain in the butt to use, is something I would love to have working on a phone for my kids. I don't know if I could get a cheaper android phone that will work with this feature AND not cost me too much money to add it as a new line (do you get the same phone buying discount when you add a new phone to an existing contract?).. but there are some limitations that prevent this from being a kid friendly phone.

    So kids around 14 and under, well.. with all the state laws about kids and cameras at school now, it should apply until they are 18 and out of school.. but it would be very nice to be able to actually remove some programs that come with these phones. I know they come with a camera, but since Android is so flexible, and I believe you can replace some apps like the virtual keyboard and such with your own, I was wondering if we could full on remove the camera app, perhaps a few other apps. I've only briefly looked at the folder layout in USB mode, and I do recall seeing a bunch of .apk files on there (that I did not download). I was curious if removing some of those would end up screwing up the phone, or if there is a safe set of apps that can be removed from the phone to make it more kid friendly.

    Thanks.
     
  2. New2u
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    New2u DF Super Moderator

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    So far you cannot remove the apps that are installed in the OS, that meaning the preinstalled apps. They reside in the part of the memory protected by root access only. So while we can see the files right now, we cannot delete them. I'm not sure though if verizon could maybe remove them for you, who knows it would be the question to ask.
     
  3. soba1
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    soba1 Member

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    Last edited: Nov 12, 2009
  4. New2u
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    New2u DF Super Moderator

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    Yes you can view them but you still cannot delete them. The option for uninstall is not there.
     
  5. andjarnic
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    andjarnic Member

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    Exactly. Good try tho.. didn't know that existed.
     
  6. BzB
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    BzB Member

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    i don't think the droid was intended to be a kid friendly phone. and to be honest, why would someone buy a droid for their kid anyway...only to remove the functinality and features? there are many other (less expensive) choices out there. :confused:

    and yeah, deleting or disabling stock apps is probably a no go at this stage. maybe if you root the device you can?
     
  7. andjarnic
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    andjarnic Member

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    BzB, the ONLY reason I would consider a "cheaper" Android 2.0 phone is due to the feature of being able to update "friends" of your GPS location. I may have worded that wrong, but there is a neat feature... not sure if it is exclusive to Android 2.0 devices, the Droid only, or what, but I can become your "friend" and you and I can see each other's GPS locations of our phones. That feature, on phones that my kids carry around, would allow me, their paranoid parent, to know where they are at. As my kids are young, my main concern is kidnapping or a disaster. As they get older, besides those two, it's the knowing that they are not lying to me if they say they will be somewhere. Sure, it's a trust thing, but it's always nice to have that info available. Otherwise, you are absolutely right..I am not one of those parents that if I was rich (which I am far from), would just get them the greatest phone so they could be kewl amongst their friends. I would like the GPS feature, but dumb down the phone otherwise.. take away the video, turn off the camera during school hours, and so forth. I think there could be a big market for this type of capability. A lot of parents are either too naive, or too worried their kids will use phones in that way so don't let them have one. Too many kids tho are texting like crazy during school hours, using the cameras in inappropriate ways, etc. There are millions of kids, not just in the US that carry cell phones. Most that I see text, customize their phone, and use the camera a ton. Verizon could jump on that bandwagon with a newer Android based customizable phone. If every aspect of an Android device is .apk files (camea.apk, dialer.apk, etc), then you could essentially remove these programs to eliminate certain capabilities. Take away the store app, etc. Sure, a kid that learns how to plug it in and download apk files off the net can still possibly get around it. But younger kids wont have a clue, and if the phone was done right, it could be locked from installing any apps without parent approval, etc.

    So it's not that I want to get my kids one of these amazing phones.. I want the flexibility and customization it offers with the GPS location capabilities that it offers, and then dumb it down so it's more appropriate for my kid. I'd much rather get the cheapest version of an Android device.. definitely not the Droid. They don't need all the capabilities of the Droid. However, to be fair, most basic phones are coming with similar capabilities these days. It's getting really hard to take advantage of todays technology (e.g. the gps location feature on these phones to know where my kids are) while still trying to have some control over what goes into the device that your kid(s) may use.
     
  8. delaen
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    delaen Member

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    God, I wish my parents would have tried to set up some sort of gps tracking thing like that for me. It would have been sweet, sweet freedom. Leave phone where I said I was going, forward calls by any means necessary to where I'm ACTUALLY going and I would have had proof that I was "where I said I was". Since you have the kind of kids you don't trust...well, expect this to be abused. :)

    Would have turned me into a little lying macguyver.
     
  9. andjarnic
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    andjarnic Member

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    Haha Delaen. Nice. Yah..google voice may make that a bit tough now that you can forward calls anywhere for free.
     
  10. JoeFresco
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    JoeFresco Member

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    If this forum had rep points, I'd give you one. That's the best phrase I've seen in a while.