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Question What are the non essential APKs to remove if i care about privacy or debloating?

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Nov 25, 2021
29
2
After the fiasco of debloating so much my battery was permanently on energy saving mode and my GPS wasn't working correctly with some apps i decided to reset from factory and try again. Does anyone know more or less which apks are entirely non essential, spyware, bloat, or google stuff that can be removed?
 

blackhawk

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2020
7,019
2,523
FB, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, etc are all trashware and major privacy threats.
If you insist on using them do so by browser login only.
Use Karma Firewall to lock apps down so they can't connect with the internet.

I prefer to use a package disabler as you can make changes on the fly, use it for troubleshooting and completely clear system app data with no nulls left behind.

Dependencies... many apks rely on other apks to be fully functional. Names can be misleading.
Many of the Samsung apks just sit there and do nothing unless called upon. Many smaller ones are used to modify the UI and will cripple it if removed.
I disable all cloud apks especially Google backup Transport (I don't use it for backup). I normally keep Google play Services disabled unless needed for Gmail or Playstore
Playstore disabled unless needed.
All OTA updates are always disabled to avoid rude surprises.
Bixby never runs. All MS junk never runs.
Google Firebase, all carrier, Samsung and app feedback disabled.

I have about 80 packages always disabled and about 7 that are sometimes used which include "problem" apps on my N10+'s. I have one running on Android 9, one on 10. Both are package disabled profiles are almost identical.
The Android 10 variant has over 100 more apks than the 9 variant, many of these are all essential system apks the modify the UI so it's compatible with Android 10. The result is both devices look and behave almost identically. Samsung went to a lot of trouble to make Android 10 functional, don't undermine this by blinding disabling apks as the results will be less than optimum🤣
What's also interesting is the Android 10 variant gets near the same or better battery life as the 9 variant. Those additional Samsung system apps impact on battery life are not perceivable.

Play with it, each device, user needs and setup are unique. One size does not fit all. You need to learn what's best for you on that particular variant. Fun times...
 
Nov 25, 2021
29
2
FB, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, etc are all trashware and major privacy threats.
If you insist on using them do so by browser login only.
Use Karma Firewall to lock apps down so they can't connect with the internet.

I prefer to use a package disabler as you can make changes on the fly, use it for troubleshooting and completely clear system app data with no nulls left behind.

Dependencies... many apks rely on other apks to be fully functional. Names can be misleading.
Many of the Samsung apks just sit there and do nothing unless called upon. Many smaller ones are used to modify the UI and will cripple it if removed.
I disable all cloud apks especially Google backup Transport (I don't use it for backup). I normally keep Google play Services disabled unless needed for Gmail or Playstore
Playstore disabled unless needed.
All OTA updates are always disabled to avoid rude surprises.
Bixby never runs. All MS junk never runs.
Google Firebase, all carrier, Samsung and app feedback disabled.

I have about 80 packages always disabled and about 7 that are sometimes used which include "problem" apps on my N10+'s. I have one running on Android 9, one on 10. Both are package disabled profiles are almost identical.
The Android 10 variant has over 100 more apks than the 9 variant, many of these are all essential system apks the modify the UI so it's compatible with Android 10. The result is both devices look and behave almost identically. Samsung went to a lot of trouble to make Android 10 functional, don't undermine this by blinding disabling apks as the results will be less than optimum🤣
What's also interesting is the Android 10 variant gets near the same or better battery life as the 9 variant. Those additional Samsung system apps impact on battery life are not perceivable.

Play with it, each device, user needs and setup are unique. One size does not fit all. You need to learn what's best for you on that particular variant. Fun times...
The easy stuff to remove are those bloat crap, its the other background stuff that worries me, THAT is the stuff that you never know how important it is or it could be some background data collection i wanna get rid of. I removed all google services and some apps didn't want to update anymore (did some just use google services even without an account to update?)

From what i understand Bixby is security related, and a lot of it is required to keep the device functioning, however i never used its features and i believe them to be somewhat privacy intruding, same with find my devices and such. That's why any help on a list would be appreciated.

I dont suppose you would also happen to know what's a good browser for the phone? i was using Firefox then DuckDuckGo then Brave but from my understanding there's little difference between them.

At least now i learnt my lesson, next time im just buying a phone compatible with /e/OS or lineage.
 

blackhawk

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2020
7,019
2,523
The easy stuff to remove are those bloat crap, its the other background stuff that worries me, THAT is the stuff that you never know how important it is or it could be some background data collection i wanna get rid of. I removed all google services and some apps didn't want to update anymore (did some just use google services even without an account to update?)

From what i understand Bixby is security related, and a lot of it is required to keep the device functioning, however i never used its features and i believe them to be somewhat privacy intruding, same with find my devices and such. That's why any help on a list would be appreciated.

I dont suppose you would also happen to know what's a good browser for the phone? i was using Firefox then DuckDuckGo then Brave but from my understanding there's little difference between them.

At least now i learnt my lesson, next time im just buying a phone compatible with /e/OS or lineage.

What OS version are you using?
Bixby can be wiped, however Bixby Vision and Bixby Vision Framework are used with the cam to read QR codes though. You have to test to see if more of Bixby is needed for QR codes. I don't use this feature. The Bixby eula is a *****.

Knox are the Samsung security apps. They ones I can disable cause no harm, not sure if that holds true with all of them though. I do not disable knox attestation com.
Knox is a default system Administrator on stock Samsung's. No idea what disabling that will do... be careful. Samsung Pass is also a default system Administrator. I leave these alone.


Screenshot_20211205-141604_Package Disabler Pro.jpg
 
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Nov 25, 2021
29
2
What OS version are you using?
Bixby can be wiped, however Bixby Vision and Bixby Vision Framework are used with the cam to read QR codes though. You have to test to see if more of Bixby is needed for QR codes. I don't use this feature. The Bixby eula is a *****.

Knox are the Samsung security apps. They ones I can disable cause no harm, not sure if that holds true with all of them though. I do not disable knox attestation com.
Knox is a default system Administrator on stock Samsung's. No idea what disabling that will do... be careful. Samsung Pass is also a default system Administrator. I leave these alone.


View attachment 5475479
SM-A325M. Dunno what the M stands for, its the southamerican market one. Sadly reading QR codes is something i will have to do. Although i dont know how intrusive or concerning Bixby might be regarding privacy. I know that Knox is all just security related but i always enjoyed to remove the features i wasn't gonna use. Sadly the harder parts to remove are the things that start with samsung and are necessary for some things to work.
 

blackhawk

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2020
7,019
2,523
OS version Android 9,10 or 11?
The goal is to remove only the trouble makers not damage the functionality or usability of your phone.
Even after 2 years I'm still exploring my N10+. If the feature has been arbitrary blocked you'll never know it was there and/or it may cause erratic behavior with other apps.
 
Last edited:
Nov 25, 2021
29
2
OS version Android 9,10 or 11?
The goal is to remove only the trouble makers not damage the functionality or usability of your phone.
Even after 2 years I'm still exploring my N10+. If the feature has been arbitrary blocked you'll never know it was there and/or it may cause erratic behavior with other apps.
11. Yeah, i dont remember what you did say, its just that im a guy that really likes the simple things on a phone. Yeah im THAT kind of guy that sometimes wonders if there's an use to a phone to begin with.

To make things a lot simpler is there any way to check which apps use data or send info back to google or samsung or log my activity for example?
 
Nov 25, 2021
29
2
Im also noticing after setting back to factory settings that the phone keeps showing me a notification to copy and paste data from the previous phone using smart switch, OR log in to google. I do not want to log in to google at all and while this notification does not prevent me from doing anything is there a way to stop the phone from constantly asking me this?
 

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    The easy stuff to remove are those bloat crap, its the other background stuff that worries me, THAT is the stuff that you never know how important it is or it could be some background data collection i wanna get rid of. I removed all google services and some apps didn't want to update anymore (did some just use google services even without an account to update?)

    From what i understand Bixby is security related, and a lot of it is required to keep the device functioning, however i never used its features and i believe them to be somewhat privacy intruding, same with find my devices and such. That's why any help on a list would be appreciated.

    I dont suppose you would also happen to know what's a good browser for the phone? i was using Firefox then DuckDuckGo then Brave but from my understanding there's little difference between them.

    At least now i learnt my lesson, next time im just buying a phone compatible with /e/OS or lineage.

    What OS version are you using?
    Bixby can be wiped, however Bixby Vision and Bixby Vision Framework are used with the cam to read QR codes though. You have to test to see if more of Bixby is needed for QR codes. I don't use this feature. The Bixby eula is a *****.

    Knox are the Samsung security apps. They ones I can disable cause no harm, not sure if that holds true with all of them though. I do not disable knox attestation com.
    Knox is a default system Administrator on stock Samsung's. No idea what disabling that will do... be careful. Samsung Pass is also a default system Administrator. I leave these alone.


    Screenshot_20211205-141604_Package Disabler Pro.jpg