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Facebook has 3 ‘hidden apps’ on most Android phones sold in India, but should you be concerned? – Last News


Most of the Android phones in India come with the Facebook app pre-installed. While some brands allow users to remove this bloatware, others only allow the Facebook app to be disabled. But a new trend is being observed in the sale of Android phones this year. Along with the main Facebook application, there are three additional Facebook applications that are hidden along with other Android system applications within the Settings menu.

These are Facebook system apps with no interface, so you can’t see any icons. But if you go to Settings of any new Android phone from a well-known brand and just type ‘Facebook’ in the search box under Settings, three apps will appear: Facebook Services, Facebook App Manager, and Facebook App Installer.

Facebook has 3 'hidden apps' on most Android phones sold in India, but should you be concerned? - Last News

(Just search for ‘Facebook’ in the Settings menu of your Android phone to see if you have these 3 system apps or not.)

The shift from bloatware to ‘system apps’

The three Facebook system apps were first noticed on the OnePlus 8 series and OnePlus Nord phones. This despite OnePlus’ hype that it doesn’t offer any bloatware alongside its phones. After the company faced severe backlash from users and fans, OnePlus decided to no longer provide these Facebook system apps on its phones, which includes the recently released OnePlus 8T.

After the launch of OnePlus Nord, OnePlus faced severe backlash from users and fans for including three hidden Facebook bloatware on the phone, even the OnePlus 8 series came with these Facebook bloatware. Fortunately, OnePlus has decided to listen to its fans and has removed the bloatware from the newly released OnePlus 8T.

Another interesting trend was observed in Samsung phones after the launch of the Galaxy Note 20 series. All Samsung phones are known to come pre-installed with Facebook. You can’t remove it, but luckily you can disable it. However, on the new phones that Samsung is selling this year, including the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the company allows you to remove the pre-installed Facebook app. But just head over to the Settings menu and you’ll see these same Facebook system apps that you can’t remove.

Not just Samsung phones, you can also find it on Realme, Xiaomi, Poco, Oppo and other popular brand phones. HMD Global appears to be the only company not yet offering these three “free” Facebook bloatware on Nokia phones.

None of the phones from these brands will allow you to completely uninstall the Facebook system apps, but you can disable them manually. There is little logical interpretation of why a non-Facebook smartphone user would want to have three Facebook system apps on their device.

What is the need for these three Facebook system apps?

Facebook explains on their official blog that they don’t want any user to use an old version of their app just because they’re too lazy to update the app from Google Play or don’t have access to enough mobile data.

“To ensure that people have the best experience out of the box and throughout the lifecycle of their devices, we partner with mobile operators and device manufacturers to pre-install Facebook applications on devices. Android system applications are not hidden; You can find them in Settings> Applications on your device. System applications often do not have application icons because they do not have any user interface; they are background utilities to support other applications, in this case, they keep Facebook consumer applications up to date and send notifications ”, said Facebook.

Should You Care About These Facebook System Apps?

The Times of India – Gadgets Now contacted both Samsung and Facebook to explain the need for these system apps. “The applications in our system do not collect names, contact information or other confidential information about the owner of the device. These applications use basic device and network data to operate their primary functions of installing and updating consumer applications, troubleshooting, and improving performance. System applications do not collect this information until a person opens one of our consumer applications and accepts Facebook’s Terms of Service, ”said a Facebook spokesperson.

Samsung also had a similar response. “The purpose of the Facebook system applications is to help people have the best experience on the out-of-the-box Facebook applications. The Facebook application is usually pre-installed as a helper application along with the system applications to help keep Facebook applications up to date. System applications do not affect overall device performance and do not collect any personally identifiable information, ”the company said in a statement.

How to deactivate these applications if you are not a Facebook user?

Both Facebook and device makers can claim that these three system apps are not a privacy issue at all, but from a non-Facebook user’s perspective, these are bloatware being pushed onto them. And the only thing you can do is disable them manually. Here’s how:

-Open your mobile phone device settings.

-Press Application Manager or Applications.

-Scroll down and tap Facebook App Installer.

-Touch Disable to disable updates or Enable to enable them again.

-Scroll down and tap Facebook App Manager.

-Touch Disable to disable updates or Enable to enable them again.

If you can’t find these apps, just search for “Facebook” within the Settings menu to find the three apps: Facebook Services, Facebook App Manager, and Facebook App Installer. Tap on each of them and hit the disable button.

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