The Most Annoying Android Apps
Here's a list of apps to watch out for--and why.
PC World - Not all Android apps are created equal, and most are far from perfect.
And I'm not just talking about all of the unpopular, unmonitored apps that flood Google Play and often end up being ousted because they're spammy or malicious. Even popular apps from respected companies are often guilty of draining your battery, shilling for (paid) updates, and spamming your notification bar with ads.
Here are more than a dozen popular apps that offend in various ways.
Noisy Notifier: Instagram for Android
Instagram made its Android debut just a couple of weeks ago, but the app isn't perfect. One major issue is that the default notification setting is to spam you with updates whenever one of your contacts joins Instagram. Not when they follow you, just when they join. You can disable this by going to: Instagram, Settings, Edit Profile, Manage Settings, Push Notifications, Contact Notifications. Yeah, they really make it easy.
Super Spammer: Gun Bros.
Glu Mobile's free Gun Bros. is packed with fast-paced action and spammy ad notifications. The game uses alerts (similar to, but not, those from the Airpush ad network) to constantly pester you with promotional material--from Gun Bros., at least--in your notification bar. You can turn off the Gun Bros. ads in the Settings menu.
Data Hog: Netflix
Apps that use tons of data get a bad rap, perhaps unfairly--after all, you can't make a streaming video app that doesn't use tons of data. Still, Netflix is the major offender in this category. In fact, Netflix is such a data hog that even landline Internet providers are trying to put a cap on it. Netflix data consumption varies, because Netflix constantly adjusts video quality to keep up with your connection speed. But in our tests, streaming Netflix for just 10 minutes over Verizon's LTE network used between 100MB and 200MB of data.
Battery Drain: Angry Birds
Rovio's Angry Birds is uber-popular, especially on Android, where the app is free and ad-supported. But those "free" ads can cost you--in battery life, according to a new study by Purdue University. The study, which was performed in collaboration with Microsoft, claims that third-party advertising in free apps can be responsible for as much as 75 percent of an app's battery consumption. The researchers looked at Angry Birds and found that the core gaming component consumed only about 18 percent of the app's energy, while 45 percent of the app's energy went to third-party ads and analytics.
Bloatware: Verizon's Apps
Annoying apps are one thing, but at least you can remove them--most of the time. But if they come preloaded on your device, your carrier likely doesn't want you to do any such thing. Verizon phones, for example, come preloaded with My Verizon Mobile and VZ Backup Assistant, and there's nothing you can do about it. Unless you have Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), that is. In ICS, you can disable and hide any system app (but you still can't remove it).
- Assessing ROI for Mobile Acceleration Clients This EMA® paper examines the business case for deploying mobile WAN optimization client software and builds a ROI model based on the experiences...
- The Apple-ization of the Enterprise: Understanding IT's New World Read this paper for how to tackle Apple-ization (and the related consumerization of IT and Bring Your Own Device/BYOD).
- A Practical Introduction to Enterprise Mobility Management Read the white paper to better understand the basic concepts within mobility management and to learn how you can apply EMM technology to...
- Enterprise Mobility: A Checklist for Secure Containerization The advantages and disadvantages of the multiple approaches to containerization. Learn More>>
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Mobile Security: Containerizing Enterprise Data In this on-demand webinar, Fixmo's Lee Cocking, VP of corporate strategy, explains why Apple-ization trends like mobility and "bring-your-own-device" (BYOD) are driving the... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!