OnePlus has seemingly made an arrangement with Facebook to pre-install its key apps and services on new handsets like the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus Nord.
The handsets all rock the back-end Facebook App Installer, Facebook App Manager, and Facebook Services as system apps, as well as the consumer-facing Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps.
While the apps themselves can be removed from the phone, the back-end Facebook services cannot. That amounts to bloatware. Many users have drawn attention to the issues, including XDA Developers’ Max Weintrack, who was particularly annoyed.
On Twitter, Max pointed out: “Basically if you’re on an old version of Instagram and the device has Facebook services and Facebook App Installer preinstalled, it automatically updated it using Facebook stuff instead of the Play Store.”
OnePlus has now confirmed to Android Police that the OnePlus Nord, OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro smartphones all adhere to the new policy. All handsets sold in Europe, North America and Europe will continue to have these services installed.
The feature is in response to OnePlus’ Ideas initiative that was suggested to help users decide which apps should be pre-installed on phones.
In a blog post in April this year, OnePlus staff member wrote: “Besides essential features and Google apps, we also want to provide a better experience on certain apps for users. These apps are introduced by OnePlus team after several round of review based on the popularity and usage among our users, such as Netflix – for enhancing HDR playback – and Facebook – for higher battery efficiency.”
The new policy will be annoying and perhaps even a dealbreaker for OnePlus fans and Android users who purposely avoid Facebook apps and services for various security and moral reasons. It’s also damaging to OnePlus’ reputation as an Android device manufacturer that likes to do things a little differently, outside of the mainstream.