Verizon’s Mandatory NFL App

I have an android phone I had a good experience with it for the past year. Personally I didn’t see the point of smartphones, but neither did I want to be left behind the times so I got one. It allows me to check email without a computer, which has been its most useful function.

Unfortunately Verizon (and the manufacturer as well) has a habit of loading its phones with apps few people ever need. Most of these apps are relatively benign, other than taking up space on the phone, and others such as email and PDF reader I have found quite useful. But there’s one preloaded app that I found totally infuriating, and if you have read the title of this article you can guess what it is.

For some reason Verizon decided to put an NFL app on my phone without my consent. I wonder what exactly is the justification for putting this irritating app on my phone. Verizon does realize that not everybody in the United States is a football fan, they do know that women exist, right? (For those outside of the United States, NFL stands for National Football League. I know this seems awfully pedantic, but I know for a fact that not everyone following my blog lives in America.) To make matters worst, they made it a core app, which means it is almost impossible to remove. (Technically there is a process for removing these apps, but it involves some complicated process that I simply didn’t want to go through.)

Initially I didn’t mind having the app on my phone, it was a little odd but it didn’t bother me. But after a while the app was updated and began sending me notifications, whenever the NFL released news it would send me a message. Since I’m not a football fan I found these exceedingly annoying. At first I tried to turn off notifications from this app, but somehow that didn’t work. Finally I had to go in and disable the app by force. I still can’t uninstall it because I did not want to go through the trouble of “rooting” it, which is a somewhat complicated procedure, might ruin my phone if I do it incorrectly, and most likely violate the terms of service of my carrier.

I wonder what the decision process of making the NFL app mandatory on my phone was like. Did they assume every person in the United States is a football fan? Probably not, they probably had teams of very intelligent people working on the device. Did the NFL pay Verizon to put the app on their device? Maybe, but what would the point of that be? Football fans who are so fanatic that they want to have the ability to watch football 24/7 probably wouldn’t mind spending a few minutes downloading the app. I can understand that preloading the app makes it more convenient for users who want it, but why did they make it almost impossible to uninstall? On top of it all, why does the app keep bothering me with notifications and not simply sit there silently like the rest of the bloatware? Are they purposefully trying to annoy non-football fans?

And why the NFL app, why not some other app which would have more universal appeal? For example, instead of wasting my SD card with apps I barely use, why not put an app like RunPee on my phone? Not everyone is interested in football, but everyone has to pee. Another suggestion is Hand Heater, which drains your phone’s battery to warm your hands. It’s probably not the best way of using your phone, but at least it makes more sense than a mandatory NFL app.

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