Whether you’re talking about pre-built PCs, Android phones, or other gadgets, pre-installed software often gets a bad rap . But just because it’s pre-installed doesn’t mean it’s bloat — every once in a while, you get a gem you might not otherwise have seen.
I recently bought a Moto X, which — while mostly stock — contains a few extra apps and features from Motorola. As soon as I got the phone, I started hiding those apps from my launcher, including the not-very-descriptive Motorola Assist app — which actually turned out to be a useful little utility. It can silence your phone when you sleep, auto-reply when you’re in a meeting (based on your calendar events), and even read text messages to you while you’re driving. Now I use it every day.
That’s just one example, and it’s not to say bloatware isn’t real. But before you go on an uninstalling rampage, take a look at what you have. Out of 20 crappy programs, you might have one app that’s worth keeping. Lenovo, for example, bundles power managers and software updaters with its PCs that are quite good. Some old HP computers used to come with a free licence for Fences . A few Samsung phones even came with 50GB of free storage on Dropbox.
The point is: It’s easy to get tunnel vision and uninstall all these things as soon as you get your new phone or computer. The next time you get a new device, do a little research and give those pre-installed apps a chance before you kick them to the kerb. You might find something useful.