Ice Cream Sandwich: Say goodbye to bloatware

The Android 4.0 OS update known as Ice Cream Sandwich includes one understated feature that users have been requesting for years.

Android fans, say goodbye to bloatware.

CNET has recently confirmed with Google that the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update will let users disable any application, even those apps that the manufacturer and carrier preinstall as part of their business deals.

The ability to shut down unwanted apps also extends to the browser and Gmail.

For years, Android users have been harassed by the presence of apps that were locked into the phone and impossible to uninstall. Users who didn't want any of these preinstalled apps had to lump it, and turn an unseeing eye to the offending apps.

While you won't be able to remove the app completely, disabling will keep the app from running and will remove the icon from the app tray and home screen.

That is, of course, unless they're part and parcel with Ice Cream Sandwich to begin with.

About the author

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.


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