Remove bloatware from Android startup

Most tablets are just filled with bloatware. These so called utilities use system resources, cause performance issues, hang your device, and some of them even spy on the user. As most of them are hardcoded into the firmware, it’s not easy to remove them. However, you can quite easily disable most of them, just don’t use those application freezers available in Playstore.

Most of them do block apps at system boot, however, the Android OS happily starts them a couple minutes later. We will be using native ICS mechanism to block the bloatware.
First, reboot your device, then immediately go to your tablet Settings, click Apps and click Running. Here you can see how many bloatware is loaded automatically on system start. Now go to All, find the apps you want to remove, Force stop them, then Disable them. Agree to all stupid notifications, whenever they pop-up.
Some of the apps, however, are not disabled that easy. One Asus-specific app is CMClient. Asus markets this application as anti-theft measure. If you have been unfortunate enough to loose your device, the next time it connects to the internet you may remotely lock it, wipe personal information, sound an alarm, use the device camera remotely to get a photo and even track its location via GPS. This is a very, very powerful backdoor potentially giving full and unrestricted remote access to your device, and the users should at least be able to opt out of such “security”. But no, you can’t even disable it. I don’t know if any happy owner returned his stolen device with this magic app, but I do know a user who has been denied of Asus official warranty, because this app reported to Asus that his device was rooted. Even though rooting should not void your warranty, having such a little Santa’s helper running in the background was out of the question. So, to disable it, install some root file manager and make sure it is granted root permissions. Now use it to browse to system\app, create a folder there called Bloat, and then select apk and odex files related to CMClient and move them to that folder. Done. Now the spying bloatware won’t startup whenever it wants. If you ever need to reinstall it, just move the files back to the system\app folder.
I also recommend to remove DMClient, which manages over the air firmware updates. I’m against incremental updates in general, as they cause more trouble than comfort and moreover, if you have unlocked your bootloader, OTA updates are just not available to you anymore, so this app is just a waste of resources.

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