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ASUS updates ZenFone 2 Laser to Marshmallow, removes boats of bloat

Those customers who purchased the ZenFone 2 variant will be pleased to know Android 6.0 is on its way to you now, with less bloat to boot!

Published onMay 11, 2016


As 2016 progresses and summer gradually approaches, the gradual influx of 2015’s Android Marshmallow update slowly but surely continues. The latest OEM to offer the upgrade is ASUS, and with a rather stunning surprise as well.

As posted on the company’s ASUS ZenTalk message board, the ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE500KL) is now upgrading to Android 6.0 (Build Perhaps the more interesting part is what the Taiwanese company has removed from the update, namely heaps of its bundled bloatware:

The apps listed below will no longer be pre-loaded once your device has been upgraded to Android 6.0 (Marshmallow).

  1. Omlet
  2. Data Transfer
  3. Photo Frame
  4. ASUS Backup
  5. Dr. Safety
  6. What’s Next
  7. Party Link
  8. Remote Link
  9. PC Link
  10. Yahoo Shopping
  11. EZ Ding
  12. TripAdvisor
  13. Zinio
  14. iReader
  15. Dr.eye
  16. Google+
  17. Puffin Browser
  18. Mirror
  19. Google settings (Integrated in ASUS Settings)

Remove ASUS Email, ASUS Calendar, ASUS Messaging won’t preload in this software version. You can use Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Messenger for relevant services.

For better or worse however, three apps have been added.
Add new features and new apps:

  1. Google Calendar
  2. Google Messenger
  3. Dr. Booster

Suffice to say, that is a lot of content to have been removed. Why ASUS has done this is unknown; perhaps the agreement to bundle some of the software has expired, perhaps it received complaints about storage issues related to these possibly unwanted apps. Perhaps it’s simply trying to follow along with what HTCis doing and removing duplicate apps.

ASUS Zenfone 2 Laser-6

Whatever the case may be, it’s probably safe to wager most users will be pleased with this addition by subtraction, and one can only hope ASUS will make it a priority to not only do the same with other Marshmallow upgrades, but think twice about adding this kind of bloat to future devices as well.

It's probably safe to wager most users will be pleased with this addition by subtraction.

The OEM also makes note of a few additional changes:

  • Software update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Internal storage will decrease slightly after update, suggest to back up data and relocate media file (pictures & video clip) to SD card to reserve enough storage before starting the software update.
  • Android Marshmallow won’t support APP2SD. Please move apps to internal storage before system upgrades.
  • Multi-user function won’t be supported if the account is deleted. Please keep your account to continue usage.

In light of the first point (decreased storage) the need to banish bloat seems more relevant.

For those waiting for the day to come, ASUS notes that:

[Sic] It takes about one week for the system to complete the autopush, if you did not receive the updation, please go to 【Setting】->【About】->【System Update】to update manually

Have you received the update on your device yet? Leave a comment and tell us of your experience!

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