Never install them. And if you have them, delete them.
1. Flashlight and other flashlights
There are hundreds of similar flashlight apps on Google Play. And these are simply fantastic programs in their uselessness: now the button to turn on the flash is available in the curtain of any Android firmware.
At best, programs like Flashlight are meaningless. In the worst—case scenario, they can spy on you and leak your personal data, as such utilities were once stamped out by hackers in batches.
Alternative. Swipe down from the top of the screen, find the “Flashlight” button in the curtain that opens, and tap it.
2. CamScanner and other scanner programs
This application is used to create snapshots of documents and convert them to PDF. Unfortunately, it is not trustworthy: its creators were caught introducing a Trojan-dropper into the program code, which could fill the smartphone with ads and even issue paid subscriptions without users ‘ knowledge.
Alternative. Forget about CamScanner and its many clones from little-known developers. Use Adobe Scan and Microsoft Office Lens. The chances that products from Microsoft and Adobe will be hacked are many times less.
3. Phone Booster and similar memory cleaners
Programs running in the background take up RAM, causing the smartphone to slow down, and noticeably consume battery power. Apps like RAM Booster are designed to fix this by systematically shutting down background processes.
Sounds great in theory, right? This may have been the case on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but a lot of water has flowed since then.
On modern smartphones, Android is able to manage RAM independently and knows better when to keep a program in RAM and when to unload it.
So all these RAM Booster, Battery Saver DU and Task Killer are useless and even harmful. They close some process, the system does not find it in RAM, and as a result, it has to load it again. This only increases the load on the processor, memory and battery of the smartphone-the effect is exactly the opposite of what is expected.
Alternative. Let the system decide for itself which processes it needs and which don’t. If Android is slowing down, remove some programs that you don’t use from it, and don’t download new ones.
4. “Music player” and other unnamed apps
You think that the built-in player of your smartphone is not very good, and you run a Google Play search for the keywords “music player”or” music player”. And before you appear a bunch of programs with the same icons called “Music player”.
Not only do some developers call their program Music Player, but they also subscribe in the same way. There is only one reason: this makes it more likely that this particular app will appear when you search.
But there’s a pattern: if an app doesn’t have a proper name, it’s likely that it’s no different from dozens of clones and made out of hand. And this applies to all programs, not just music players.
Alternative. The most convenient way to listen to music is through numerous streaming services. But if you prefer to store it in your smartphone’s memory in an old-fashioned way, pay attention to the paid PlayerPro or free AIMP. They are better made and have a good reputation, and their names are well-known.
5. Easy Uninstaller and other Uninstallers
By searching for “uninstaller” in Google Play, you can find dozens of Uninstaller programs. They are supposedly able to remove any unnecessary programs so that there is no garbage left after them. Some also guarantee that they will be able to erase unused apps from the smartphone manufacturer that only take up memory.
Everything would be fine, but there are a couple of inconvenient moments. First, Android is able to remove user programs on its own. And secondly, pre-installed programs without root rights will not be removed by any Uninstaller.
Alternative. If you need to delete a custom program, go to the settings of your smartphone and find the item “Applications” there. Select the appropriate one and click “Delete”. If you want to get rid of installed apps without root rights, please follow these instructions.
6. UC Browser and other questionable browsers
UC Browser is the most popular web browser for Android in China and India. Unfortunately, like many Chinese apps, it tracks you by leaking your personal data to Alibaba. These include the IMSI number, IMEI, Android ID, and Wi-Fi MAC address, as well as data about users ‘ geolocation — longitude, latitude, and street name.
Another browser, Dolphin, which once enjoyed well-deserved popularity, lost credibility when it was caught draining the user’s browsing history even in incognito mode.
In General, for the query “browser”, Google Play simply gives out tons of equally clumsy web browsers, against which UC Browser and Dolphin look quite decent. But don’t be fooled: it’s a useless thing filled with ads.
7. ES File Explorer and its many clones
ES File Explorer was once the most popular application for working with files. And it was really good-about five years ago. But the current version of ES File Explorer is so full of junk SOFTWARE and advertising that there is no desire to use it.
In addition, the creators of the program were convicted of distributing malicious code through ES File Explorer, which clicked on advertising links without the knowledge of the smartphone owner. The program has even been removed from Google Play, although it continues to be updated and can still be found on the developers ‘ website.
After deleting ES File Explorer in Google Play, a lot of its clones appeared, imitating both the interface, the name, and the icon. Naturally, these are also extremely dubious programs.
8. QuickPic and its copies
Same story as with ES File Explorer. QuickPic used to be a convenient and simple photo gallery, but then it was bought by the infamous Chinese firm Cheetah Mobile. The app was overgrown with ads and began to merge user data, as a result of which it was removed from Google Play.
Now in the store, you can find dozens of clones of QuickPic, imitating the original to the smallest detail. Naturally, it is better not to install this on your smartphone.
Alternative. If you are not satisfied with the standard Android “Gallery”, install Simple Gallery. It has a photo editor, file Manager, design themes, and many ways to filter groups, and sort photos.
9. GetContact and other “caller ID” tools»
Programs like Getcontact and Truecaller let you find out how numbers you don’t know are signed in other users ‘ address books. In theory, this should protect you from spammers and phone bullies.
In practice, such applications are a huge hole for personal data. You are invited to voluntarily give access to your confidential information, which the developers will do as they see fit. For example, they can sell numbers from your address book to advertising agencies.
If your phone number ended up in the GetContact lists, here’s how to delete it.
Alternative. Any app that shares your address book with a third party is potentially dangerous. So, forget about such “determinants”.
10. antivirus Programs
Antivirus programs on Android are a dime a dozen. But according to a study by AV-Comparatives, only a few of them do anything useful. Most antivirus programs from Google Play in AV-Comparatives experiments detected less than 30% of all malware installed on test smartphones.
Approximately 138 antivirus programs out of 250 tested, according to AV-Comparatives, were aimed not at protecting smartphones, but at displaying ads and recruiting the user base. Only the most well-known products like AVG, ESET, Kaspersky, McAfee, and Sophos performed well.
But even these are mostly redundant. If you do not install programs from third-party sources and do not open links on dubious sites with messages like “Your Android is outdated! Click to update”, it is quite possible to do without an antivirus, because it only takes up the system resources.
Alternative. Do not touch the checkmark “Allow installation of applications from unknown sources”, and everything will be fine. The built-in “Google Play Protection” will also cope with everything else.