Verizon gets out of the Android and BlackBerry app business

Verizon gets out of the Android and BlackBerry app business

Summary: Ever wonder why the phone carriers spent so much time on their own software apps and stores? So did Verizon, and, after due consideration, they're dropping out of the Android and BlackBerry app business.

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Droid 4
Coming soon: Verizon Android and RIM smartphones without crapware.

I use a Verizon Android smartphone, the Droid 4, but I've never used any of Verizon's built-in Android applications or gone to its app. store. It turns out I wasn't the only one. By January 2013. Verizon won't just be removing its apps from the market, it will start deleting its Verizon specific apps from your Android or Blackberry smartphone.

Why? Verizon isn't saying in detail. but there's no secret here. People dislike carrier-specific software. Android users in particular have never had much love for the bloatware that carriers routinely load on smartphones. Worse still, a lot of the bloatware came with security holes.

Despite this, for years, the carriers, including Verizon, resisted selling smartphones with stock Android. Verizon may not be ready to load pure Android with no Verizon specific changes on their smartphones, but the company wasn't making any friends, nor profits, with their pre-loaded apps.

Officially, Verizon's excuse for this change is "There’s now a whole new tech landscape in which both consumers and developers can interact like never before. We’re evolving our strategy to further simplify today’s experience and meet the needs of tomorrow."

Therefore, "in January of 2013, Verizon will start the process of removing the Verizon Apps application from ALL compatible Android and Research in Motion devices. We anticipate completing this process by March 27, 2013. But, no need to fear. Most apps existing on Verizon Apps are already available on multiple app storefronts, such as Google PLAY, Amazon and BlackBerry App World.  Business applications submitted to Verizon’s Private Applications Store for Business will continue to be available for purchase and download to enterprise customers."

If you've developed an app. just for Verizon--you poor devil--you'll still have access to app metrics & reporting and get paid for your programs. By March 2013, all those programs, and your payments, will be history.

As for users, Verizon will start removing its programs from your smartphone in January and the last of the V Cast, VZ, and other Verizon specific applications will have vanished by March. I suspect that most users will never even notice that they're gone.

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Topics: Android, Linux, Mobile OS, Mobility, BlackBerry, Smartphones, Software, Software Development, Verizon

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9 comments
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  • YES!

    Finally!

    "Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye!"
    T1Oracle
  • It's a sound decision.

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
  • I've no objection to carriers offering them...

    ...only to their not allowing them to be uninstalled.
    John L. Ries
  • Step two...

    Let manufacturers unlock the bootloader

    Step three: Reinstate unlimited plan(which I know isn't happening)

    Ste.... Know what...That's really it. Two things and more and more geeky people would flock to Verizon.
    MrSmith317
  • Another yawn - then again

    Yes, another yawner from SJVN, then again, it could be a harbinger of something deeper, like being unable to differentiate the product from the masses of other similar products. Something called a fungible good.

    For the uninitiated, a fungible good is something like wheat. One grain looks and acts just like all the rest. That's why a miller doesn't care what farm the wheat came from, as long as it's the right kind and meets minimum standards.

    Android is sort of like that. Whether you have a Droid or a Galaxy or another brand of phone, if they have Android, they are all about the same.

    As a fungible asset, a consumer can buy from any carrier or vendor and get about the same user experience. Same screens, same applications, same good, same bad. Carrier becomes immaterial, they are all about the same.

    Verizon, by choose Android put themselves into the bucket of wheat, no one can tell them from any other grain in that big bucket so the expense of creating and maintaining those applications didn't pay anything back.

    Perhaps of all Android vendors, they are the brightest, figuring out first that throwing bad money after good into their own applications just doesn't pay.

    Now, one wonders how long before others follow suit?
    Cynical99
  • I really hope this is a sign of things to come!

    Mobile Phone Operators: Leave OUR phones alone (at least let us uninstall your mobile "crapware").
    bradavon
    • They aren't getting rid of crapware

      only getting out of business of writing specific apps for their phone. Now, they'll add more paid crapware to make up for the lost revenue.

      Amazing how people (ID10T's) around here jump to incorrect conclusions.
      Cynical99
  • Good riddance!

    Should be a law against bloatware! Finally, some common sense.
    OutsideLookingIn
    • Common Sense?

      You apparently have none. Ceasing use of applications for their own phone has nothing to do with crapware.

      Amazing how it was a MS problem for so long, now it's an Android problem.

      Then again, it's neither. It's a distributor problem. No one here, including Steven seems to understand the difference between the Microsofts of the world and the Dell's. One creates while the other resells. The reseller puts the crapware on, not the creator.
      Cynical99