Ask LH: How Can I Fix These Android Problems?

Ask LH: How Can I Fix These Android Problems?

Dear Lifehacker, I’ve having a bunch of small, yet annoying, problems with my LG Optimus One. Is there any way I can fix them easily without rooting my phone?

Firstly, the updating to the latest versions of the movies (by Flixster) and YouTube apps have given my phone double icons! I now have two YouTube app icons (one which is the actual latest update and another which, when pressed, gives the message “This app is currently not installed on your phone” or something to that effect) and two Movies app icons (same deal). I tried rebooting my phone, uninstalling and reinstalling the apps and still no solution. How can I fix this?

Secondly, although it doesn’t get in my way much, I’d like to remove the bunch of useless preinstalled Optus apps that can’t be deleted by conventional means. Is there any way to do this without rooting my phone (which I don’t particularly want to do)?

Thirdly, I need to get around to installing a security/tracking app. I was looking into Seek Droid for a while — is that an app you’d recommend? The only thing putting me off is that for these sort of apps to work you have to leave your 3G on all the time, don’t you? Are there any ways around this?

Speaking of which, when I do leave 3G on, something is constantly using it! The little upload/download arrows constantly turn on and off : is there any way for me to find out what’s causing this and stop it?

Oh and finally, is 2.3 available for Optimus One yet? If so, how do I update?

Thanks Android Noob

Picture by John Karakatsanis

Dear Noob,

There’s a lot of questions there, but the best answer to many of them is the same: you really should root your phone and then think about installing your choice of Android custom ROM. Yes, I know you said you didn’t want to do that, but in practice rooting is likely the only way you’ll be able to get rid of the unwanted Optus apps. I also suspect it’s the only way you’ll effectively clean up what sounds like an unpleasant mess with your movie and YouTube apps, and it will provide you with an easy way of upgrading to newer versions without being stuck to local carrier timetables. Need more convincing? Check out our list of apps that make rooting worthwhile.

We’ve got a detailed guide to how to root your Android phone and advice on how to choose the best custom ROM for your needs. There’s also plenty of online advice specific to the Optimus One.

To cover off your other questions:

  • Seek Droid ranked highly in our recent Hive Five listing of phone recovery solutions, so it’s definitely one to consider. You’re correct about 3G needing to be switched on in order for these kinds of apps to work effectively: it’s a bit much to expect your phone to communicate its location without using some kind of network!
  • The person who is using your 3G connection is actually you. Even in its default state, your phone is checking for email; other apps you’re running will also make periodic use of the connection. This is normal behaviour for a smartphone, and shouldn’t cause you any concern unless your data usage ends up being ludicrously (and expensively) high.
  • If you’re not going to reimage your device, the apps issue is a tricky one. All I can think to add is to very methodically uninstall movies, reboot, uninstall YouTube, reboot, and then download the newest versions from the Market.
  • A 2.3 update for the Optimus One has appeared overseas, so will probably get rolled out here eventually. Again, though, if you take matters into your own hands, you won’t be forced to wait!

Cheers Lifehacker

PS If anyone has specifically dealt with these issues and can offer additional perspectives, we’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Got your own question you want to put to Lifehacker? Send an email to [email protected], and include ‘Ask Lifehacker’ in the subject line.


  • I had the same problem with Youtube. The last update broke shortcuts. Delete your youtube shortcut and recreate it.

    Long click on the shortcut to delete and actual app to create one.

  • Perhaps ACMA can add carrier bloatware to their list of telecommunications customer gripes.

    For this person who wants a stock phone and is having trouble with apps, surely it would be best to try a factory restore and then reinstall the borked applications. As much as the geek in me is pro-rooting, the little red Jobs on my shoulder thinks that this is probably a safer and less time-consuming option.

    • Bloatware apps are included in the software image. All reloading from factory default will do is put his phone back to the day it was like when he got it from Optus, which included the software then too.

      The only way to be rid of it is to root then remove the apps in question, or root then load a Android build that doesn’t include the bloatware.

  • Flixter/Youtube icons issue: Is the duplication in the app drawer or on the homescreen(s)? If the duplication is in the app drawer, un/re-installing the app should do the trick; if not, sounds like there’s issues within the apps code. If the duplication is on the homescreen, long-press the icon, drag to the trash, and then recreate the shortcut, hopefully that should fix it.

    Optus apps/bloatware: These can only be removed as they reside in a protected folder. Once you have root access, you can remove these apps via ADB commands, or apps such as Titanium BackUp.

    Security/tracking app: I personally think these are un-necessary, and needlessly consume system resources.

    3G usage: Review what sync settings you have, but Android (same as all smart phone OS’es) is data hungry. Keep a close eye on what you’re allowing in the app permissions and you should be fine. If you’re worried about how much data your phone is using, grab an app such as 3G Watchdog to monitor how much data you’re consuming.

    • I have the same problem with the you tube apps. Really annoying as when other apps or chrome to phone try to open it it opens the wrong one which immediately crashes. The problem is that you can’t unistall youtube because it comes with the phone (that is you can’t unistall it without rooting it).

  • For such a cheap phone I wouldn’t think twice about rooting it. I don’t know ANYONE that has bricked their phone by rooting it.

    Cyanogen ROM will make your slow phone run faster and give you freedom to do whatever you want.

    Rooting is a Low Risk, High Reward choice.

    You know you want to.

    While you are there increase your data plan – what is the point of having an internet enabled phone if you are scared to leave the data enabled 🙂

    If you are with Virgin there is a Virgin Usage Meter Android widget which you can put on your screen to keep an eye on your phone / data cap.

  • I’ve got an Optimus One with Optus — it’s my first smartphone and I’ve had it for almost a year. Rooting + installing a new Gingerbread ROM is the best thing I’ve done. There are heaps on the xda forums. I strongly recommend it for this phone — with a good ROM, it really exceeds expectations.

  • I would suggest that you look at getting an iPhone next. Give this one to some other member of your household / friends. You will will both ways. Seriously.

  • Rooted my X10 mini pro.. got rid of all the sony bloatware, timescape, useless navi apps, etc that i never used, improved performance greatly. z4root is your friend.

  • First and foremost get onto XDA Developers and you find answers to everything you need to know there…

    Of course, you could by an iPhone, but then you would be lame like Lamebert here…

    (yes that superfluous ‘e’ was intentional and not actually superfluous at all)

  • Yay for one click rooting apps like z4root! I’m with Virgin and they gave me an Optus Android phone with a heap of useless Optus apps on it. I complained about this. After spending months of pursuing a solution with Virgin, Optus and Samsung, things hit a bureaucratic dead end. A huge waste of time.

    I rooted my phone and then purchased Titanium Backup Pro. I’ve deleted the offending bloat apps and tinkered with it so it’s running beautifully now. Next step will to be to wrap my head around putting a new ROM on my phone.

    • If you’ve figured out Ti Backup – then installing a ROM will come pretty easily for you. Grab a copy of ClockWorkMod ROM Manager from the market (if you don’t already have it) – it’ll serve as a pretty useful starting place until you get a grasp of Recovery and/or ADB.

  • im trying to figure out how to undo my clockworkmod issue
    pressed wrong carrier now the button configuration doesn’t match..n y suggestions??

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