Preloaded apps are apps that are installed on a device before it is shipped to the customer. These apps are not downloaded from the app store but are instead pre-installed on the device’s system. Preloaded apps can be either system-level apps or third-party apps.
System-level apps are essential apps that are necessary for the device to function, like the phone, messaging, and email apps. Third-party preloaded apps are apps that are not essential but are included on the device by the manufacturer or carrier. These apps can include social media, games, or shopping apps.
How Do Preloaded Apps Work?
Preloaded apps work by being installed onto the device’s system before it is shipped to the customer. These apps are not removable by the user and can only be disabled or hidden from view. Some preloaded apps can be useful to the user, while others can be considered “bloatware” because they take up valuable storage space and cannot be removed.
Why Are Preloaded Apps Included on Devices?
Preloaded apps can be included on devices for a variety of reasons, including:
- Revenue generation: Manufacturers and carriers can include third-party preloaded apps as a way to generate revenue. These apps can be pre-installed with advertising or have partnerships with the manufacturer or carrier.
- User experience: Preloaded apps can be included to enhance the user experience by providing essential apps like the phone and messaging apps.
- Promotion: Third-party preloaded apps can be included as part of a promotion or partnership between the app developer, manufacturer, or carrier.
Advantages of Preloaded Apps
- Convenience: Preloaded apps are convenient for users as they don’t have to spend time searching for and downloading apps.
- Time-saving: Preloaded apps save time and data as they are already installed on the device.
- Exposure: Preloaded apps increase the exposure of apps to potential users, making them more visible.
Disadvantages of Preloaded Apps
- Storage Space: Preloaded apps take up valuable storage space on a device, which can be a problem for devices with limited storage capacity.
- Irrelevance: Preloaded apps may not be relevant or useful to all users, making them feel like bloatware.
- Inability to Uninstall: Preloaded apps cannot be uninstalled without rooting or jailbreaking the device, which can be a daunting task for some users.
Examples of Preloaded Apps
- Google Apps: Google apps such as Gmail, Chrome, and Google Maps come preloaded on many Android devices.
- Apple Apps: Apple apps such as Safari, Maps, and Mail come preloaded on all iOS devices.
- Carrier Apps: Carrier apps such as Verizon’s My Verizon app come preloaded on many smartphones sold by that carrier.
- Manufacturer Apps: Manufacturer apps such as Samsung’s Bixby assistant come preloaded on Samsung devices.
Are Preloaded Apps Harmful?
Preloaded apps are not inherently harmful, but they can be considered bloatware if they take up valuable storage space and cannot be removed. Additionally, preloaded apps can sometimes be used to collect user data, which can raise privacy concerns. However, manufacturers and carriers are increasingly aware of the negative impact of bloatware and are starting to include fewer preloaded apps on devices.