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Android phones sold in India might require that bloatware apps can be uninstalled

Bloatware has plagued Android phones for years, but it’s certainly an issue that’s gotten better over time. But in India, major action may soon be taken, as a reported plan by the country takes aim at Android bloatware, ensuring safe updates, and more.

Reported by Reuters, India is apparently planning new rules and regulations for smartphone makers within the country that are aimed at improving security. This includes screening of “every major operating system update” before it launches to customers.

Further, and perhaps a move with bigger impact, is rules around pre-installed apps.

Under these new rules, smartphones in India would be required to provide an option to uninstall apps that are included with the device. As it stands today, many bloatware apps, whether provided directly by the manufacturer or through partners, cannot be removed from the device easily.

Indian officials apparently see these apps as a national security risk, with a document saying that the “majority of smartphones used in India are having pre-installed Apps/Bloatware which poses serious privacy/information security issue(s).”

Smartphone brands including Vivo, Xiaomi, Samsung, and even Apple reportedly attended a closed-door meeting regarding the new rules, though India’s minister for state for IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, denied that “security testing” or a “crackdown” on apps is happening.

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