Bloatware is one of things that, unfortunately, most Android users have simply been forced to get used to, but that’s starting to change. One of the more interesting bits of information about Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 5 was that the phablet wouldn’t come with the Google+ app pre-installed. This is just one of a number of Google services that the company is no longer requiring phone makers to pre-install on their devices.
You might have heard that the new Samsung Galaxy Note 5 comes without Google+ preinstalled. While some are using this as more “proof” that Google+ is dead (that’s another discussion for another time), in reality it’s just one of several Google applications that are no longer required to be included by the folks who make our phones. The way this whole Android thing works is difficult for some to understand. Google writes and updates Android itself, but gives the source code away to anyone. As consumers, we can get our own copy from the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) repository. Google even has pretty thorough instructions to help you build it into a fully functioning version of Android. Phone manufacturers have access to the Android source code, too. They also get it for free. Like you and I, they are allowed to modify and change any parts they like. This is how things like the Amazon FireOS happen. And it’s a very good thing.