How your phone manufacturer is (legally) hacking your Android phone

Have you ever wondered how you receive notifications from apps you have never installed on your Android phone? Have you ever wondered why your app looks very different compared to other Android phones? And have you ever wondered why your phone won’t download the latest Android version, even if your device is fully capable of supporting it?

If you have, there is only one answer to this question: It’s the manufacturer of your phone. This means that with no exception, your Android phone manufacturer shall decide what apps your phone will be running – whether you need them or not – even if they are not scupported by the team or company that developed them.

Take the Android browser for instance. All device manufacturers shall include this browser, despite the fact that Google has stopped releasing updates for it, and suggesting Android users to switch to Chrome. This browser shall be pre-installed on your device and shall also be the default browser for your system, leaving your device open to malicious software and hacker attacks.

Unlike Apple and Microsoft, Google has little control over their operating system. They can release new features and functionality in the official release, but it’s up to your phone manufacturer to make them available to you. Same happens with your user interface and commands. Android is a nightmare for platform services developers, just because Google is unable to dictate which features or parts of the user interface phone manufacturers are allowed to modify and which should be included in their original form.

What can you do?

Unfortunately, not much. One thing you can do – if you are an advanced user – is to disable theme updates and lead home screen panel. Although this won’t stop all hacks your phone manufacturer has placed in your device, it will at least make those hacks less annoying. Another thing you can do, is to go to an independent service store and ask them to install on your phone the unmodified Google Android version (which is now only comes pre-installed on the Google Pixel devices) – bear in mind though that not all service stores are able to do this installation.

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