The Galaxy S8 is evidence of Samsung’s changing attitude to bloatware

Remember back when we all used to have a field day bashing Samsung bloatware? There was sooo much of it, you couldn’t disable or uninstall it, and most things duplicated stuff that Google already did perfectly well (and also pre-installed on Galaxy phones). But starting with the Galaxy S6, Samsung started to change its attitude toward bloatware, and the Galaxy S8 benefits greatly from the continuation of that tendency.

But more to the point, we benefit greatly. As much as we understand how lucrative these software deals can be to smartphone manufacturers, none of us really want bloatware clogging up our phones. In the past you could barely uninstall any, having to settle for disabling a few and making your peace with most, but times have changed.

See also:

Does bloatware drain your battery? – Gary explains

June 25, 2016

The 32 GB Galaxy S7 had 8 GB of storage taken up by its ROM and pre-loaded apps. The 64 GB Galaxy S8 in my hands – even without any carrier bloat – admittedly had 12 GB used by the time I peeled the plastic off. But even though I’ve already lost a large chunk of my internal storage to the system it doesn’t feel so bad because the apps that are on the S8 are largely removable.

Pre-loaded apps may not ultimately take up much space, but to have the ability to get rid of most of them almost makes you forget about the rest of the space you’ll never get to reclaim. Of course, pre-installed apps you don’t want, can’t remove and can’t disable are also a drain on your system resources, so any time you can uninstall or disable them, the better.

The Galaxy S8 has 37 pre-installed apps (at least on my unlocked international variant). The Galaxy S6 had 50 apps, not including carrier bloat. By my count there’s only a dozen I can’t uninstall or disable on the S8, and some of those are rather useful like the dialer.

You can still get rid of the few remaining apps Samsung won't already let you disable or uninstall.

Even for those of you suffering from extensive carrier bloat in the US, there are still steps you can take to get rid of the few remaining apps Samsung won’t already let you disable. You simply have to decide if ridding yourself of them is worth $1.50. If it is, you’ll also be able to remove future bloat on your next Galaxy phone. Not uninstall, sadly, but disable any and all apps you want to. And it doesn’t even require root.

You won’t get the storage space back, but you will block them from chewing system resources and you’ll no longer see them in your app drawer. All you need to do is fork out for an app called BK Package Disabler, which you can do via the button below. Install it, grant it the necessary permissions and swipe to the ‘Bloatware’ tab in the app.

Tap the check mark next to the apps you want disabled and that’s it (don’t just go crazy, look for the specific apps in the app drawer you want removed). You’ll no longer see them in your app drawer and they won’t be able to run in the background. If something breaks or you want the app back for some reason, simply relaunch the BK Package Disabler app and uncheck the box next to the apps you want resurrected.

While it’s unfortunate we still have to resort to paid apps to remove everything we want to on a phone that cost us an arm and a leg, the base situation has at least improved from years past. On my S8 I can uninstall or disable 25 apps straight out of the box, and pay $1.50 to disable the rest. That may not quite be ideal, but it sure is better than it once was.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus International Giveaway with Rhino Shield!

Welcome to the Sunday Giveaway, the place where we giveaway a new Android phone each and every Sunday!

Congratulations to last week’s Samsung Galaxy S8 Giveaway winner: Anthony P. (USA)

This week we have partnered with Rhino Shield to give away a brand new Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus and a Rhino Shield Bumper Case!

Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 Plus features a beautiful 18.5:9 Infinity display, a powerful Snapdragon 835 processor, 4 GB of RAM, a 3,500 mAh battery, as well as a 12 MP rear-facing camera with an f/1.7 aperture. One of the standout features on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus this year is Bixby, Samsung’s new AI assistant that even has its own hardware button.

Enter giveaway

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus International Giveaway!

More giveaways:

Winners Gallery

Terms & Conditions

  • The giveaway is an international giveaway (Except when we can not ship to your Country.)
  • If we can not ship to your country, you will be compensated with an online gift card of equal MSRP value to the prize.
  • We are not responsible for lost shipments.
  • We are not responsible if your giveaway prize malfunctions.
  • You must be age of majority in your Country of residence.
  • We are not responsible for any duties or import fees that you may incur.
  • Only 1 entry per person, do not enter multiple email addresses. We will verify all winners and if we detect multiple email addresses by the same person you will not be eligible to win.
  • We reserve all rights to make any changes to this giveaway.
  • This giveaway is operated by AndroidAuthority.
  • The prize will ship when it is available to purchase.

You can remap the Galaxy S8 Bixby button to Google Assistant again

As the saying goes, when the world gives you lemons, make lemonade. Or in this case, when Samsung gives you Bixby, make your own app to remap the Bixby button to Google Assistant. After Samsung’s blocking update – which has also caused problems for multiple users with a “DQA keeps stopping” error message – the ability to remap the Bixby button went with it. Until a Redditor by the name of Dave Bennett came along.

He decided to write a basic app to bypass Samsung’s blockade by simply launching Google Assistant over the top of Bixby whenever the button is pressed. As such, you’ll see a quick flash of Bixby before Assistant elbows it out of the way to give you its more useful feature set, you know, like actual voice commands.

What’s even better is that there’s absolutely nothing to it either, no root, no ADB commands, no anything. Simply install the BixRemap app from Google Play via the button below, flip the switch in Usage Data Access and then hit the big old Start Service button. Note that following Samsung’s latest update some S8 owners are no longer able to call up Bixby with a single press or the dedicated button, so you might need a double press instead.

It’s not a very elegant solution and means that you’ll have both Bixby and Assistant running on top of each other, but until a more polished fix comes (I’m sure there are more than a few devs working on it as we speak) it’ll suffice. Several other Redditors have suggested the app be updated to lower its priority settings to remove the persistent status bar icon and to add a launch at boot option. Bennett seems to be open to the ideas so keep your eyes peeled for that update.

Don’t miss: The first 10 things you should do on your Galaxy S8

How to fix Galaxy S8 “DQA keeps stopping” error message

Following the day one update for the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, many users are now repeatedly seeing a “DQA keeps stopping” error message when connected to Wi-Fi. While Verizon, T-Mobile and Samsung support have been all over the issue on social media, a single conclusive fix still doesn’t seem to have been found. We’ve got a few things you can try listed below though.

See also:

The first 10 things to do on your new Galaxy S8

19 hours ago

First, the problem: many Galaxy S8 owners started seeing the popup immediately following the update and while some said it went away on its own after a while, others have been suffering ever since. DQA is short for data quality assessment, which monitors Wi-Fi data connections. Hence the most popular “fix” for now is simply turning off Wi-Fi. This is obviously not ideal.

Of the suggestions listed below, all have worked for at least a few people, while others claim they’ve tried them all and the problem still persists. Some are user fixes while others have been suggested by carriers or Samsung. The last one will cost you $1.50 but seems to be the only definite way to stop the issue from cropping up, but you’re probably better off working your way through the list and hoping one of the less severe methods works for you.

  • Reboot device (may need to repeat a few times)
  • Clear cache partition through recovery (turn off phone, press and hold Power, Volume Up and Bixby button. On Android screen, when you see ‘No command’ hold power and press volume up to access recovery. Use volume keys to highlight ‘Wipe cache partition’ and press Power to select. Highlight ‘Yes’ and press Power to confirm, then reboot phone)
  • Turn off Wi-Fi
  • Disable high performance mode
  • Force quit DQA app (go to Settings > Apps and tap the overflow menu (three dots at the top right), tap ‘Show system apps’ and locate DQA. Tap it and ‘Force stop’)
  • Disable DQA app with BK Package Disabler (costs $1.50, does not require root). Install app, grant permissions, swipe to System tab, find DQA and check the box next to it (simply uncheck to re-enable).

While disabling the DQA app entirely is not really recommended, those that have done so have not (yet) reported any problems from doing so. Of course, disabling any system app can have repercussions so this should only be used as a Band-Aid solution until a patch is issued to fix the problem. The good news is that if you did buy BK Package Installer, you can also use it to disable any bloatware apps you want out of your app drawer.

Let us know if you’re experiencing this issue and if you find a permanent solution not on this list.

Samsung Bixby’s Amazon shopping feature doesn’t work on Verizon yet

If you bought the Verizon Wireless versions of the new Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus phones, you won’t be able to use a pretty nice feature that is supposed to be available with the devices’ Bixby digital assistant. For some reason, those phones on Verizon cannot use the Bixby Vision image recognition technology to scan and recognize bar codes and products in the real world, and then see if they are available online at Amazon.

CNET first reported on this rather odd discrepancy, and a Verizon spokesperson admitted in a statement to the site that the Amazon shopping feature in Bixby Vision “isn’t operational yet” on its Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus phones. The spokesperson did not indicate why it was not included, nor when this feature would be added, saying only, “We are working with Amazon to provide that experience.”

See also:

Remapping Bixby: the pros and cons

2 days ago

The Verizon spokesperson did state that Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus owners can use the Amazon app “for the same photo and shopping experience.” The Bixby Vision-Amazon shopping feature is enabled for those phones from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. It’s possible that Verizon has some issue with this feature at the moment, but so far it’s keeping those reasons to itself.

This is just the latest black eye Samsung has had to deal with surrounding the introduction of Bixby. The company previously admitted that the voice-command features in its new digital assistant would not be available for the launch of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, but would be added in an update later this spring. In addition, the ability to remap the dedicated Bixby hardware button on those phones has now been officially removed by Samsung. It was also recently revealed that Bixby would not go live in Germany until the fourth quarter of 2017.