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Original topic:

Undeniable permissions

(Topic created on: 09-01-2020 12:57 PM)
Ellis3
Journeyman
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Galaxy S10 Series

I get that Samsung put a boat load of bloatware on their phones. I also get that they make it difficult (now impossible) to remove these apps.

 

What I find completely unacceptable is that not only can you not uninstall or disable many of these but also you cannot in any way deny any of the permissions they have.

 

Bixby voice (one example, but there are many others) currently has permissions for my contacts, location, microphone, SMS, storage and telephone. I cannot uninstall Bixby. I cannot disable it. If I try to change permissions the Deny button is greyed out with the message that "Device requires this permission to operate".

 

I use my phone for personal use and work. For the latter it is essential that I have control over which apps are installed on my phone and what permissions they have. It is unacceptable to have pre-installed apps for which you cannot control permissions. No matter how honorable Samsung may be, no matter how secure their servers are, no matter how much they tell me they won't abuse my personal data in any way, this is not acceptable.

 

Furthermore, for an international company, they won't honor their international warranty (https://www.samsung.com/sec/support/guarantee/InternationalWarranty/). I bought the phone abroad whilst on a trip but now use it in Europe. Returning it to the shop I bought it from is not an option and Samsung will not allow international returns.

 

Unless something changes dramatically in the very near future (which is unlikely) I am left with the option of restoring factory settings and trying to sell the phone (which is pristine and only 10 days old) or rooting it and trying to disable the various Samsung apps that way. Either way, its a real shame as the S10 plus is an otherwise amazing device.

 

Samsung should concentrate on the hardware and ignore their mostly useless and intrusive compulsory bloatware.

19 REPLIES 19
Ireibe
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Galaxy S10 Series

@Ellis3 wrote:

Bixby voice (one example, but there are many others) currently has permissions for my contacts, location, microphone, SMS, storage and telephone. I cannot uninstall Bixby. I cannot disable it. If I try to change permissions the Deny button is greyed out with the message that "Device requires this permission to operate".


Then try again. I removed the permissions from the three Bixby apps. Agree when asked whether you really want this. That it is required for the phone operation is a bit exaggerated. Perhaps you'll have to configure Bixby first and tell it not to do this and that, as I did before revoking all permissions.

 

09202074740.jpg

 

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Ireibe
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Galaxy S10 Series

@Ellis3 wrote:

 

Furthermore, for an international company, they won't honor their international warranty (https://www.samsung.com/sec/support/guarantee/InternationalWarranty/). I bought the phone abroad whilst on a trip but now use it in Europe. Returning it to the shop I bought it from is not an option and Samsung will not allow international returns.

Then carefully read the link that you posted. It doesn't give the sort of guarantee that you think it does.

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Ireibe
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Galaxy S10 Series

@Ellis3 wrote:

 

I use my phone for personal use and work. For the latter it is essential that I have control over which apps are installed on my phone and what permissions they have. It is unacceptable to have pre-installed apps for which you cannot control permissions. No matter how honorable Samsung may be, no matter how secure their servers are, no matter how much they tell me they won't abuse my personal data in any way, this is not acceptable.

You won't get that control with any commercial operating system I know of. Do you have examples ? If yes, then why did you buy Samsung in the first place ?

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Ireibe
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Galaxy S10 Series

@Ellis3 wrote:

 

Samsung should concentrate on the hardware and ignore their mostly useless and intrusive compulsory bloatware.


Yes, I'm with you. They make good hardware, no need to force customers to use their idea of android. But they make money that way - would you pay more for the hardware if they gave you more freedom with the os ?

Ellis3
Journeyman
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Galaxy S10 Series

That's really encouraging news - no one at Samsung has been able to tell me how to do this.

 

I don't suppose you can give me step by step instructions? I'm fairly computer literate and have tried everything I can think of to disable these permissions but every time I get to the final stage, the 'deny' option is faded out and I can't select it.

 

I've even tried removing my Samsung account completely and just using Google but that hasn't worked either. I've played around with every setting I can find within Bixby but to no avail.

 

There are several other Samsung apps with similarly difficult (?impossible) to remove permissions, e.g. Samsung MirrorLink 1.1, Safety assistance, SmartThings and so on...) Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

Ellis3
Journeyman
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Galaxy S10 Series

Yeah, I do realise that but its a bit disappointing.

 

A few years ago I had a problem with an iPad that I'd bought abroad. It was replaced by apple customer service and I don't even remember being asked where I bought the device. I just had to provide the serial number and my apple id.

 

I will be more careful in the future. It was a bit of a sudden purchase as my old phone screen broke and I needed a new phone quickly. I'd read good things about the Samsung S10+ in terms of it's hardware. I should have researched it a bit more really.

Ellis3
Journeyman
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Galaxy S10 Series

Good question. It was a bit of a hurried purchase as my old phone had broken whilst I was away in India and I needed a new one quickly. I'd read good things about the S10+ so took the opportunity to get one. I should have researched it more thoroughly.

 

In my naivety I thought that Samsung made the hardware and Google the software. I thought I could use my google account and all the google services and have complete control over other apps and permissions. It turns out I'm wrong and I now regret the purchase.

 

I'm considering rooting the phone as my warranty isn't valid outside of India anyway, or resetting to factory settings and selling it on eBay. I suspect I could get a fairly good price as it's brand new and in pristine condition.

 

On another note, the Samsung technical service team were pretty bad. Not one of them told me straight that I could not disable permissions for the various pre-installed Samsung apps. They all tried to talk me through various 'solutions' some of which made me wonder whether they'd actually used a Samsung phone at all. If they were honest up front it would have saved me much time and frustration.

 

I really wish Samsung would concentrate on their hardware. The S10+ is superior in just about every way compared to my old iPhone XS. I absolutely love the design, the feel, the awesome screen and the customisability of Android. I just find it hard to accept that there are apps on my phone with permissions to access a lot of phone functions and data over which I have no control. It is my data, not theirs.

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Ellis3
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Galaxy S10 Series

To be honest I think I would. If there was a phone marketed in such a way that data privacy and user control was paramount, I'd be willing to pay a premium. I suspect others might too in this day and age.

 

No matter what Samsung say about data privacy, it is my data, not theirs. Data breaches happen daily even in the biggest and best compaines. In fact, that makes them more of a target...

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Ireibe
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Galaxy S10 Series

@Ellis3 wrote:

That's really encouraging news - no one at Samsung has been able to tell me how to do this.

 

I don't suppose you can give me step by step instructions? I'm fairly computer literate and have tried everything I can think of to disable these permissions but every time I get to the final stage, the 'deny' option is faded out and I can't select it.

 

I've even tried removing my Samsung account completely and just using Google but that hasn't worked either. I've played around with every setting I can find within Bixby but to no avail.

 

There are several other Samsung apps with similarly difficult (?impossible) to remove permissions, e.g. Samsung MirrorLink 1.1, Safety assistance, SmartThings and so on...) Any help would be greatly appreciated. 


Sorry, I did this only once, encountered no difficulties other than accepting the warnings, and cannot support you step-by-step. You'll have to get yourself a nerd from your vicinity :face-with-tears-of-joy: . Any computer kid would probably do :face-with-tears-of-joy: .

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