Verizon May Invade New Phone Homescreens With Bloat

Just when you thought the wireless carriers had gone far enough with crapware, now comes a new ploy to "enhance" the user experience. According to Advertising Age, Verizon has offered to install big brands' apps your on the home screens of its Android phones.

This would make Verizon a substantial amount of dough, as the provider is apparently seeking between $1 and $2 for each device. And we're assuming that's for just one brand's app. For a carrier that activates 10 million phones a quarter, that could add up in a hurry.

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Although we've seen branded apps installed on home screens before (usually a secondary screen), this concept would put the apps front and center and reportedly guarantee downloads for participating brands.

I'm not sure that this is any different from past Verizon preload programs," said Avi Greengart, research director of consumer platforms and devices at Current Analysis "For example, the Moto Z DROID comes with Genies & Gems, Cookie Jar, Slotomania, and Hotels.com. Most Verizon Android phones come with a suite of Amazon apps, including Kindle and Audible."

The good news for iPhone shoppers is that this program likely wouldn't impact them, as Apple doesn't allow third-party apps on its devices. The bad news is that Android users would be subjected to this experiment.

While some preloaded apps can be helpful, many needlessly take up screen real estate and storage while often falling short of Google's own apps.

"Apple does not allow the practice, Greengart said of pre-installing third-party apps or downloads. "Carriers who do it prioritize profits over the consumer experience"

Verizon wouldn't be the most aggressive company when it comes to in-your-face offers. That would be Amazon with its Prime Exclusive phones. For example, Amazon Prime members can get the Blu R1 for 50 percent off -- if you're willing to put up with lock screen ads and offers.

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