Search results for

All search results
Best daily deals

Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

OnePlus keeps adding bloatware to the OnePlus 12 and OnePlus Open, its premium flagships

The situation could get worse, as we spotted evidence of more bloatware in the works for their flagship device.

Published onMay 8, 2024

  • OnePlus 12 and OnePlus Open now have as many as four third-party apps pre-selected for installation during device setup.
  • The OnePlus Open also continues to ship three Meta apps that cannot be easily uninstalled.
  • We also spotted evidence in the OnePlus 12’s latest firmware of many more third-party apps that were once destined to be preloaded on OnePlus devices. However, there is a chance that OnePlus does not proceed with this plan.

OnePlus has released some great Android smartphones recently, including premium flagships like the OnePlus 12 and the OnePlus Open. I like what OnePlus has done on these devices, with standout features like Open Canvas on the OnePlus Open and the amazing battery life on the OnePlus 12. But lately, these devices have received updates that have added third-party apps (aka bloatware), and we’ve found evidence of more bloatware possibly coming soon to these premium flagships.

The bloatware problem on the OnePlus 12

Content creator Gauraang Arora spotted that the “Review additional apps” screen presented during the setup process on the OnePlus 12 now includes some new apps. This screen allows users to deselect four pre-selected apps, which have been mentioned under the “From OnePlus” header, meaning that OnePlus made the decision to push these third-party apps through the Google Play Store. The third-party apps are LinkedIn, Policybazaar, Block Blast!, and Candy Crush Saga.

I was setting up the OnePlus 12 and I came across a screen suggesting additional apps that I could install. I’ve never seen these apps suggested before on any OnePlus Flagship. This OnePlus 12 was being used and updated before, now reset.
OnePlus might be headed down a dark…
— Gauraang Arora (@Gauraang_) May 1, 2024

I can confirm that the above apps are presented during the setup process on the OnePlus 12 running the latest Oxygen OS build in India. Curiously, only LinkedIn is presented during the setup process in the US, and no third-party apps are presented to users in the EU.

What makes this choice screen infuriating is that it follows a dark pattern of hiding under the “Review additional apps” menu, with all the apps pre-selected. While it is easy to unselect these third-party apps, most users will not realize that there are pre-selected non-Google apps in the first place.

On my first wipe-setup of the device, I missed the screen even though I was looking for it. I can imagine most users will be missing this screen, only to end up with four bloatware apps on their phones that were auto-consented for them.

The only silver lining here is that all four apps can be easily uninstalled in the same manner as you usually uninstall any third-party app.

Bloatware on the OnePlus Open gets even worse

The OnePlus Open costs even more than the OnePlus 12, and for that extra money, you get some more bloatware.

In addition to the four apps shown above that I can confirm are present on my OnePlus Open, there are also three more pre-installed Meta apps: Meta App Installer, Meta App Manager, and Meta Services.

These are the same three apps that were pre-installed on past OnePlus flagships, like the OnePlus 8 series. OnePlus had received a lot of criticism for this inclusion at that time, and it received more of the same when the Open launched.

Much like in the past, these three Meta apps cannot be easily uninstalled. What benefits these three apps bring to the table remain as questionable today as they did a few years ago.

Can these apps also be considered bloatware?

During my investigation, I also spotted a few other apps that can arguably be considered bloatware for a premium device.

Some apps, like Link to Windows, are pre-installed, which users who don’t use a Windows PC may consider bloatware.

There are also apps that appear shady at first glance, thanks to vague, non-descriptive names. For instance, both the OnePlus Open and OnePlus 12 include apps like Ubiquitous Manager Service as a system app that cannot be easily uninstalled. It’s anybody’s guess what Ubiquitous Manager Service does on Oxygen OS.

When asked about this app, OnePlus mentioned in a statement that Ubiquitous Manager Service is a “system level platform that supports some shared ColorOS and OxygenOS functions.”

Then, there are apps like XRCB and XRVD, which also suffer from the same problem of non-descriptive names. OnePlus mentions that both of these are “Qualcomm system apps that come with the chipset.” These cannot even be disabled, and since they seemingly come with the chip, there’s probably a good reason why you wouldn’t want to do that. I think Qualcomm could do a better job at the app name here, much like how OnePlus/OPPO could rename “Ubiquitous Manager Service” to something more descriptive of its actual functionality. Seemingly random names like these can erode trust in the eyes of end users.

Evidence of more bloatware possibly coming to the OnePlus 12

If you thought the situation looked dire for premium OnePlus flagships, we’ve spotted evidence that it could get even worse.

OnePlus enthusiast and trusted tinkerer 1NormalUsername investigated the latest OnePlus 12 Oxygen OS firmware and spotted evidence of more third-party apps being added to the list of pre-installed apps. These apps could be preloaded on the device either as full apps or as APK stubs/shortcuts in the future.

The mentioned third-party apps are:

  • Fitbit
  • Folder titled “Must Play” including apps like:
    • Bubble Pop!
    • Word Connect Wonders of View
    • Tile Match
  • Folder titled “More Apps” including apps like:
    • Facebook
    • LinkedIn
    • Amazon India Shop
    • Amazon Prime Video
    • Amazon Music
  • Zomato
  • Agoda
  • Swiggy

To be clear, these apps are not yet pre-installed on the latest Oxygen OS firmware on the OnePlus 12.

However, the presence of this code in the firmware indicates that OnePlus plans/planned to preload these apps in some capacity in the future. Since we are speculating on future plans, and OnePlus has received a lot of criticism from users regarding the four third-party apps that are already pre-installed, the company could decide not to proceed with them.

OnePlus’ statement on the bloatware situation on the OnePlus 12 and the OnePlus Open

We contacted OnePlus for a statement on the issue, and a OnePlus spokesperson responded with the following:

The soft-preloads on OnePlus 12 was an error made during testing and has been rectified as of 6 May. The OnePlus 12 does not come pre-loaded with any of these apps and will continue to remain light, fast and smooth.

The “soft-preloads” likely refer to the list of upcoming bloatware apps we present. The four bloatware apps (LinkedIn, Policybazaar, Block Blast!, and Candy Crush Saga) continue to be pre-selected during the initial device setup on both the OnePlus 12 and the OnePlus Open. After receiving the statement, I tested both devices again, and the setup behavior remains unchanged.

OnePlus also mentioned the following:

We have always worked at keeping OxygenOS bloatware free. In the OnePlus Nord CE4, we have carefully selected two apps that will be pre-installed in the device, namely Instagram and Agoda. The user experience of applications is an integral part of the overall user experience, and we are working closely with app developers to ensure better performance on OnePlus devices. We fully respect users’ choices, and if they do not need these pre-installed apps at the moment, it is also easy to uninstall them. When they need them again, they can easily download them from the Play Store.

While the situation is not ideal for the OnePlus Nord CE 4, it is a budget-centric device. Devices like the OnePlus Open (currently costing $1,400) and the OnePlus 12 (currently costing $700) are the absolute premium experiences that the brand offers, and seeing third-party bloatware snuck in during setup sours this flagship experience.

We hope OnePlus corrects its course on its flagship devices across all regions.

Got a tip? Talk to us! Email our staff at You can stay anonymous or get credit for the info, it's your choice.

You might like