In an open-letter published by Privacy International, Google has been asked to take action against the pre-installed software on Android devices. Bloatwares have been a matter of concern and a frequent point of criticism for Google’s Android. The letter quotes a study claiming that 91 per cent of Android’s bloatwares are not found on Google Play Store. While the open letter did received backing of over 50 organizations, the demands look a little far fetched for Google to act on.
The letter cites three primary demands. Considering the special permissions pre-installed apps have on any android device, the organizations have insisted Google to allow users to fully delete these apps if desired. Also, the letter asks Google to facilitate updation of these apps without an account. To address the security part, the letter insists Google should avoid licencing devices that have a security concern. The biggest concern though is the change requesting Google to ensure that pre-installed apps have similar permissions to that of regular Play Store apps. The intent of this letter is to address consumer privacy and fill in the loopholes that can leave an android user vulnerable to attacks via bloatwares.
Talking about Google, the company is reportedly busy testing Stadia on non-pixel Android devices. Users have reported that they are able to select their non-android phone as a screen for Stadia. The subscribers are able to play a game once connected to a WiFi and also after connecting a Stadia controller for an experience identical to what one would have on a Pixel device. The pick of users who are a part of this test is apparently random and the device list too is quite variable suggesting that Google might well be planning to launch it on a huge number of Android devices.