Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Lollipop has an amazing hidden feature you’ll want to immediately use

Published Oct 29th, 2014 9:51AM EDT
Android 5.0 Lollipop Feature
Image: Google Inc.

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Google will soon release Android 5.0 Lollipop for several Nexus and Google Play Edition devices, with certain Android device makers including Motorola, HTC, LG and Samsung also working on updating some of their handsets by the end of the year. The company so far thoroughly demoed and explained the main features of the new mobile OS, but there’s one hidden trick you’ll be more than happy to start using as soon as you get your Lollipop update.

FROM EARLIER: Want to get the most out of Android 5.0 Lollipop? Here’s the one video you need to watch

In an extensive interview with three Google executives, Ars Technica has learned that Android 5.0 contains a handy “Play Auto Installs” feature that handles carrier bloatware — and yes, users will be able to remove bloatware from their devices just as easily as carriers are able to install it during handset setup.

“So the idea is as part of setup, Verizon might have some apps that you want like an app that tells you how much you used that month in terms of charges,” Google’s vice president of engineering for Android and Nexus devices Dave Burke said. “There’s legitimate use cases where you want apps, but you also want those apps to be treated like any other app. What happens now is when you’ve got a Verizon SIM in the device, it actually installs Verizon apps as part of the setup flow, and then you can remove them if you want as part of the Play Infrastructure. And Verizon can update it.”

Burke also said that Google is getting better at issuing faster updates, and carriers “are learning and realizing that [frequent updates is] a feature they want.” Even so, extensive carrier testing is still obviously needed before an update is released.

Google’s Gabe Cohen added that these bloatware apps are not on the system partition, and they can be removed by the user. It’s not clear at this time whether preloaded bloatware from Android OEMs can be just as easily removed.

Google also revealed that in phone setups, Lollipop will immediately download updates as soon as an Internet connection is available, as the company will have the ability to “update more components of the system during the setup process, even without doing a full OTA.”

The full Ars interview with the Google execs is available at the source link.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.