Removing Samsung Bloatware / Junk Apps
When I rooted the S4 and Tab4, I didn't make any notes about hiding and removing all of the bloatware or "junk apps" that Samsung fills its phones with (one of my biggest complaints about Samsung phones). I don't know why I didn't make notes — but for some reason, it slipped through the cracks.
In writing this post, I also discovered that Samsung and Oppo were sued in China over the bloatware and were told they must allow for "easy removal" of the junk apps. However, a researcher found that all you actually can do is "disable" an app rather than fully remove it.
In both of those previous instances, I installed "app hiders" and used various websites to tell me which bloat apps were unnecessary and could be hidden or removed. It took a little while to go through all the apps, but I was confident that I got rid of and hid quite a bit.
For this phone (the Samsung J7), I decided to install an app from the Play Store and try the automated version! When I searched for "bloatware", dozens of apps appeared. I chose the one that had 5 million downloads and 170,363 comments!
This app turned out to be almost worthless. Identified THREE apps as "could remove". The rest it either didn't know or said it was a system app.
I also tried "Hide Apps" which I had used before. This is a manual method of disabling apps (takes THREE steps per item) and is nothing better than the existing App manager.
I also tried "Bloatware Freezer". In the comments, I noticed complaints of it freezing up (no, that is not a joke) — comments that it stopped working as soon as they installed it. Guess what? They were right – this was junk.
As it turned out, I was better off using LINK2SD that was already installed. With it, I could FREEZE or DISABLE apps with ONE TOUCH in Link2sd.
I searched on the internet for a list of bloatware and compared the entries from a number of posters, and froze apps based on their list.
There was one problem that I didn't foresee. On the J7 (as well as some of the other lower priced Samsung phones), Samsung has chosen to install Google Play Music instead of the Samsung Music App (perhaps because of financial incentives from Google??).
Because I don't use this app, I had it disabled — and then this phone had nothing to play audio with. I enable the app and was able to have a music player again.
Even with NOTHING else installed (I have not installed ANY of the new apps for this phone yet), RAM use was at 71% (the J7 only has 1.5g of RAM). Not an exciting number — and not much savings.