The Samsung Fascinate is an awesome piece of hardware, but the one common thread among almost every review of the unit was Verizon and Samsung’s software experience left something to be desired. Between the massive amounts of software bloat that most people won’t use to the “bingification” of the entire Google Android OS (the phone is locked to Bing search and Maps), Samsung and Verizon really could have made a better phone if they were less greedy.
Luckily, with a few steps you’ll be able to get rid of the bloat and get back to what the Android experience SHOULD be.
First, you’ll need to root your phone. Head over to this guide to do so if you haven’t already. Then, follow these steps to get rid of the bloatware.
- One of the top complaints in reviews of this phone is the Bing lock. There is no way to control the default search options for the browser and search widget without rooting your phone. Now that we’ve rooted, let’s go through and make the fixes.
- Install Google Maps from the Market if you haven’t already.
- Copy these three APK application files to the root of your phone’s SDCard: GoogleCarHome.apk, GenieWidget.apk, and GoogleSearchProvider.apk (Download these in a ZIP)
- Use the “My Files” app to install these three applications. Navigate to the root of your SDCard and tap each one to install.
- Install LauncherPro from the Market in order to add these widgets-it’s a homescreen replacement app. After it installs, your phone will ask you what homescreen app to use–select LauncherPro and check the box to remember.
- After LauncherPro is installed, press the Menu button on your phone and click “Add” to add these widgets if you like. They are called “News and Weather” and “Search.”
- The default browser will still be locked to Bing. There hasn’t been a fix for this found yet, however you can simply install an alternative browser like Dolphin HD or Skyfire.
- Next, we’re going to remove some or all of the unwanted stock applications. It’s up to you how many of these apps you want to remove, but here’s how to get them off your applications drawer and make sure they’re never using resources on your phone.
- Download Titanium Backup Donate from the Market. It’s about $5, the donate version is required for this process.
- Open the app once it’s done downloading, and make sure to give the app superuser access when asked.
- Tap the “Problems?” button, then click “Yes, Do It”. This will install Busybox, which is necessary for Titanium Backup to work properly.
- Tap the “Backup and Restore” button in the app, then press the menu button on your phone and select “Filters.” Change “Filter by Type” to “System.” This will only show you the apps that come on the phone.
- Long press on the apps you’d like to hide, then press “Freeze.” This won’t delete the app from your phone, instead it will just prevent the app from appearing or running. You can’t delete these completely, or else future updates will fail.
Apps that are safe to remove / freeze if you’re not using them:
- 411 Search
- Backup Assistant
- Bing (Make sure to install the attached EnhancedGoogleSearchProvider.apk)
- Browser (If you delete browser make sure to download an alternative from the market)
- Buddies Now
- Car Cradle
- City ID
- Daily Briefing
- My Files
- NFS Shift
- Skype Mobile
- ThinkFree Office
- V CAST Music
- V CAST Tones
- V CAST Videos
- Voice Commands VSuite
- VZ Navigator
- Write & Go