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Pros and cons of removing "bloatware"?

Discussion in 'Droid Bionic Hacks' started by bladewriter, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. bladewriter
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    bladewriter New Member

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    I've been conducting a little experiment. Using Titanium Backup, I have painstakingly frozen nearly every preloaded app (aka "crapware") or system app on my rooted Droid Bionic (5.9.901), so long as it doesn't result in forced closes or total mayhem. I've arrived at pretty much the most non-bloaty system possible short of actually deleting the apps or loading a completely non-stock ROM. I've actually tried to hunt down what some of these things actually do to decide whether to ice them or not. So I'm stock with lots of frozen bloat.

    And yet with nearly every benchmark I can find on the Market, the differences in performance are practically meaningless. Nor do I notice any especially faster response in subjective terms. So the question for the Android jedi is: what's the deal here? Is Android so clever that it always optimizes regardless of what apps are around? Is most of the bloat not really loaded and running until you actually activate an app, so removing it makes little difference? I can still see a reason to clean out the unwanted apps - frees up storage space and rids the phone of annoying trialware and functions better served by other apps (VZ Navigator, I'm looking at you). But is there any real benefit to performance?
  2. guidot
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    guidot Developer Relations Staff Member Premium Member

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    Mainly for battery life IMHO.
  3. kodiak799
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    kodiak799 Well-Known Member

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    Bloat really has no impact to the extent it can be "out of sight, out of mind". It WAS, however, an issue on the D1 because of limited ram and internal storage. But most people who rage against bloat simply have OCD where the mere thought of bloat (even if disabled and hidden) causes them chest pains.

    It is true, however, that bloat sometimes has related services that will run and dain battery (like a few minutes worth overall).
  4. Hodor
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    Hodor New Member

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    I agree with you 100% bladewriter! My bionic is forever rooted and running 901 and I have experimented with freezing all kinds of combinations of "bloatware" and can't say I have noticed any noticible performance increases either!
  5. jcwilliams
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    jcwilliams New Member

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    Speaking of forever root...I tried to edit the file and add forever root with the there lines of script and my phone wouldn't turn on. thank goodness I had a backup. So my question is how did you get forever root?
    Sorry that this is off topic here.

    All I did with my apps was freeze them with tibu so I don't see then in my app drawer.
  6. BayouFlyFisher
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    BayouFlyFisher Rescue Squad

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    Here's how I did it:

    Forever root manual method:

    Open an app such as Root Explorer from the market
    Navigate to the system/bin/mount_ext3.sh
    At the top of the screen press the Mount R/W button
    Long press mount_ext3.sh
    Select copy
    Navigate to sdcard-ext
    Press paste (this will put a clean copy of this file on your sdcard in case things go badly)
    Navigate back to system/bin/mount_ext3.sh
    Long press mount_ext3.sh
    Select Open in Text Editor
    Scroll to the bottom of the file
    Press the the return key on the keyboard to put a empty line
    type the following:

    chmod 4755 /system/bin/su
    chmod 4755 /system/xbin/su
    chmod 4755 /system/app/Superuser.apk

    (note: there is a single space between chmod and 4755 and there is a single space between the 5 and the /.)

    Press save
    Press the Mount R/O button at the top of the page
    Navigate to the mount_ext3.sh file and long press it and select “view as text” in order to confirm the new lines are present in the file.
    Exit and reboot.
  7. jcwilliams
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    jcwilliams New Member

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    See I did that...and last night my phone died (first time it rebooted since I added forever root) and when I plugged it in it wouldnt go past the ba. So then I had to do a restore and the only one I had was stock root with all bloat so that's what i'm on now.
  8. TvVoice
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    TvVoice New Member

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    After hearing what you guys have to say I am really convinced that there is no good reason for me to root my phone. My Bionic is working so well as it is I'm going to leave it stock. I truly believe in that old saying, "if it ain't broke don't fix it"!

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using DroidForums
  9. bladewriter
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    bladewriter New Member

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    Well, this game of "extreme freezing" is kind of interesting, and I've learned all kinds of things that I didn't know before. For instance, anyone know what ConnMO, LawMO, and DMService do and why they are connected? I believe they are part of a "device management" suite that lets a remote administrator adjust connectivity (ConnMO) and lock-and-wipe your phone if lost or stolen (LawMO). MO stands for management objects. DMService probably is the system level process for this. And SSO apps? Part of Verizon's single-signon service, probably for their various apps and media products (none of which I use). Kpi Logger Service? Sounds scary like some kind of evil carrier spyware right? As far as I can tell it just collects and sends back process performance data. I'm sure I'm the last to figure all this out. At any rate, I found no disadvantage to freezing it, if one is concerned about surveillance (they have better ways of watching you...).

    So the bottom line is, while having a clean apps drawer is nice and I enjoy peace of mind of having a load of total rubbish out of sight in cold storage, I see no real performance advantage. However - tip o' the hat to Guidot - I didn't think about battery life. I'm going to check that out. Titanium B is really great for this - you can set up fllter sets to quickly freeze/unfreeze whatever list of apps you choose. Easily go back to stock for upgrades if you need, then refreeze whatever app list you've set up.
  10. BayouFlyFisher
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    BayouFlyFisher Rescue Squad

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    Assuming ICS will be on the Bionic as it is on the Gnex, you'll be able to "Disable" unwanted apps in the Settings/Apps/All menu.
  11. jcwilliams
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    jcwilliams New Member

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    I thought the same thing but i'm not running any roms. I'm stock rooted so that I can back up apps and use apps that are useful that require root to use. I couldn't stay away from root lol
  12. bladewriter
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    bladewriter New Member

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    Indeed, words to live by. But some of us geeklings like to get under the hood and mess about until things are just at breaking point and then pull back and see what happens. If you don't take care, it can been a bricked phone and tears at bedtime. However with resources like Droid Forums, there's no excuse not to be prepped and prepared. I rooted my Bionic 886 and then applied forever root manually, exactly as given in post #6. I've been able to take upgrades (never OTA - just wait til someone grabs the file and posts it) to 893 and 901, no sweat. After getting on 893, I removed Bionic Bootstrap and installed Safestrap, which is just a brilliant utility - allows me to backup/restore like, er, clockwork and then get into a CWM-type recovery at the earliest possible stage in the bootup. And then there is the tethering thing. But I am getting off-topic here...

    The point is, rooting and debloating has taught me a lot about Android and Bionic innards. Somewhere along the line it becomes less about getting a better phone, and more about learning how it all ticks. Totally reasonable though if you just want a working smartphone not to go down the garden path of rootish endeavors.
  13. Hodor
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    Hodor New Member

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    Actually the reason I root is not to increase performance or freeze bloatware (even though both are good benefits). I like to use Adfree to get rid of stupid ads (similar to NoScript for Firefox on my pc), Bionic Bootstrapper so I can make nandroid backups, (similar to having a Norton Ghost image or Acronis image of your pc), I like Titanium backup because I can also backup data from my apps, I like clock sync cuz I'm kinda anal about keeping the correct time, and lastly I like the new Avast security app, because it has a firewall (that needs root to work) that lets me block any app I want from connecting to the outside world and it has antitheft, which has a whole slew of interesting commands you can txt to your phone, (which also needs root) So for me it's kinda more like a control thing. You can either try and keep control over as much of your phone as you can or let Verizon and Motorola do it. There is no right or wrong, just personal choice, and that's what it's all about.
  14. kodiak799
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    kodiak799 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I don't see much need for custom roms (well, on my Rezound I WILL be flashing vanilla ICS when it makes it), but absolutely there are some great features you can get with root:
    SetCPU for underclocking to save battery
    Ad-free
    Titanium Back-up
    Wireless tether
    And for me, I use Pure Messenger widget that requries old, lower security Gmail and Email apps to pull the data for the widget.

    And that's just naming a few. Plenty of other apps and various little tweaks/adjustments that are a big help.
  15. tgyberg
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    tgyberg Well-Known Member

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    I rooted and bloatfroze my DB on day one and from there it was fast and got great battery life. So I assumed all of that had something to do with freezing the bloat!
  16. bladewriter
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    bladewriter New Member

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    Just to finish off what I started here: I've tried benchmarking battery life with nothing frozen (except task manager - see below) against extreme freeze (just about everything frozen that won't break the essential phone functions). I found a couple of apps on the market: Battery Benchmark (just counts the time it takes to go from 100% charge to "lights out") and AnTuTu Tester (battery test function puts a ~50% load on cpu and marks the time to get to different charge levels. Issues a "score" but I have no idea how this is computed). AnTuTu kept triggering a low battery warning in Task Manager ("this app has been running for more than 45 minutes..." dum dee dum dee dum) so I froze TM too.

    Result: zero to modest battery life improvements by freezing. Lots of variability as you'd expect, but only about 7% to 10% longer battery life. In some cases it was worse. So for now I'm just going to do a minimal freeze to get rid of frivolity like VZ Navigator and City ID, and the various social media authenticators I don't use. Others may find larger improvements, so have at it. Or I may have bodged up my testing. I suspect it depends on what you freeze - freeze or delete the wrong stuff and the OS may just start thrasing around looking for missing processes.

    Off to play with my new Nook Tablet (Gingerbread, rooted, CWM flashed, root-breaking OTAs blocked hopefully).
  17. Vepaot
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    Vepaot Active Member

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    The way Android works, is that it frees up memory as needed to run new apps, while keeping previously opened apps in RAM for as long as needed. RAM is going to use the same amount of energy regardless of 1 megabyte or 1 gigabyte being used, because the entire chip is being utilized.

    Now what will drain your battery and lower performance, is anything that is actively needing processing power. Any time the CPU is utilized, it has to go through cycles, and the CPU uses more power depending on how it needs to perform.

    It's for the former reason that there is a big debate regarding task killer applications right now. The vote goes that they are good to have for force killing certain apps in situations, but to let Android close them as it needs, as turning on the phone's screen to kill apps drains your battery, plus the CPU cycling to kill apps also uses energy. And in most cases people just hit the "kill all" button, and many apps will auto-restart immediately after that...which loading them also makes the CPU cycle.
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