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T-Mobile’s parent company lets customers opt-out of bloatware

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A sign of things to come?

Photo by Michele Doying / The Verge

T-Mobile’s parent company Deutsche Telekom has announced it will give customers the option to choose which apps they want to install on new Android devices. The feature, spotted by Android Central, is designed to combat unwanted pre-installed apps or “bloatware,” a source of frustration for many users. Deutsche Telecom also notes that manufacturers will now provide direct firmware updates, which the company says will make them more timely.

Bloatware is a problem for many devices on many platforms. Manufacturers and carriers pre-install apps on phones which they envision to be useful, but in reality they’re often unnecessary and take up precious space. The worst part of bloatware is that users aren’t able to easily delete the superfluous apps. With this new feature, customers will “no longer receive pre-installed apps and presets on your Android,” Deutsche Telekom said in a German-language blog post.

If you’re with Deutsche Telekom, switch on your new phone and go through the normal setup process. Depending on which smartphone you have, there will be a screen that shows the recommended apps during setup or afterwards. The new customization option means users can easily choose the apps they want to install and leave unwanted ones off their device completely.

Hopefully T-Mobile USA follows suit with an Un-bloatware program of its own, though there’s no indication as to when that might happen.