If you have a Verizon phone, you may have seen the search bar AppFlash. It was a universal search bar that you were pushed to use for searching anything on your phone and the web. But tech experts found it to be spyware.
What is App Flash On Android Device?
Phones bought through carriers have pre-installed apps that usually get mixed or negative responses from users. Most users find these apps useless, and they only take up the storage and memory of the phone. This is why these pre-installed apps are known as bloatware apps as well.
Verizon, for many years, included AppFlash on Android phones (prominently, LG K20 V). It was an app made in collaboration with Evie Launcher and was presented as a content discovery service. It was a universal search bar on the phone. You could use it to search your phone and the web.
You can find app recommendations (from advertisers), restaurants, and anything you want to search for. It did everything that a Google search bar does. You had to swipe left and browse or search for anything to access it.
After a backlash that it sold users’ data on the app to its advertisers, Verizon discontinued AppFlash. Phones that had the app were provided updates for uninstallation of the app. And for newer phones, Verizon stopped pre-installing them with AppFlash.
Is AppFlash Safe?
Now you know what App Flash on Android is, you would be curious if it is a spyware app. This question will be more critical if you have an older phone that still has AppFlash or had AppFlash.
The answer is: yes. Because the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recognized AppFlash as spyware. The app allows Verizon and the Verizon family of companies, such as AOL, to know which apps you downloaded and your interactions with them. They collect the user data about what those apps know about you and then show you personalized ads.
- The app also uses your device information like your mobile number, device identifiers, device type, operating system, and all the features and services you use through AppFlash.
- This information is also used for relevant advertising.
- Interestingly, many common search & news feed apps require similar permissions, but most users aren’t concerned about them.
- The fact that turned people off was that AppFlash was preloaded on phones, and uninstalling it was impossible.
How To Remove or Disable AppFlash?
Most phones that had AppFlash received an update that removed the app. But if you have a phone that still has AppFlash, use these methods to remove or disable it:
- Uninstall the App
- Disable AppFlash from the App Settings
- Disable AppFlash from the Home Screen Settings
- Disable AppFlash from the AppFlash Menu
- Uninstall AppFlash by Rooting Your Smartphone
- Update Your Phone to Remove AppFlash
1. Uninstall the App
If you installed AppFlash yourself on your phone, removing it is the easiest job. You can uninstall it like any other app. As it wasn’t a pre-installed app on your phone, it’ll be uninstalled without any issues.
- Open the Settings of your phone.
- Go to ‘Apps.’
- You’ll find a list of apps that are installed on your phone. Choose ‘AppFlash.’
- Now, tap the ‘Uninstall’ button to remove it from your phone.
2. Disable AppFlash from the App Settings
When an app comes pre-installed on your smartphone, it can’t be uninstalled unless with root. You can disable the app if you don’t want to root your phone. This stops the app from operating, and you won’t find it crashing or causing any problems.
However, when you disable a preinstalled app, it’s enabled automatically whenever you restart your phone. So, it would help if you disabled AppFlash spyware each time your phone reboots.
You have to disable the app after every restart, but it’s still the best method to keep AppFlash out of your way because the next method is to root your phone to uninstall pre-installed AppFlash, which is risky.
Use these steps to turn off AppFlash from app settings on your phone:
- Go to settings.
- Choose ‘Apps.’
- Pick ‘AppFlash’ from the list of installed apps.
- Now, select ‘Disable.’ If the app doesn’t disable, tap the ‘Force Stop’ button.
3. Disable AppFlash from the Home Screen Settings
Another method of disabling AppFlash is from the home screen settings. As this app is presented as a launcher, its options are also present in the home screen section of settings. This method also doesn’t require rooting. And you may need to perform it every time after your phone restart.
- Go to the Settings app on your phone.
- Choose ‘Display.’
- From the list, select ‘Home Screen.’
- Pick ‘Left Home Screen.’
- Select the option ‘None’ to stop AppFlash from opening when you swipe right on the home screen.
4. Disable AppFlash from the AppFlash Menu
If you can access AppFlash by swiping left when on the home screen, you can also disable it from there.
- Swipe left to get the AppFlash interface.
- Tap the settings icon at the lower left corner of the screen.
- Find ‘Configuration’ and choose ‘Disable AppFlash.’
- Now, scroll down and tap the toggle next to AppFlash. The toggle will turn gray from green. This means that AppFlash has been disabled.
5. Uninstall AppFlash by Rooting Your Smartphone
If AppFlash is preloaded on your phone, it can’t be uninstalled. You can disable it with the methods mentioned above. However, if you insist on removing the app from your storage memory, you can root your phone to perform this.
- As rooting allows you to access the root directory of your phone or get the administrator rights of the operating system, you can remove pre-installed apps easily.
- But the process of rooting a phone is complex and dangerous. It voids your device warranty, and one mistake can brick your phone.
- There are two major methods of getting root access to an Android device:
You can find some apps that claim to root your phone by tapping one button. They handle all the steps and processes required to root your phone and show you a message when it is rooted.
- You can search on Google ‘one-click-root apps’ to find these apps.
- A common issue with these apps is that they only support a few old phones. So, installing the app doesn’t ensure that it will root your phone.
- These rooting apps don’t follow any security regulations.
- They can install any malware or steal your information when you install them on your phone.
6. Update Your Phone to Remove AppFlash
Verizon claims that it removed AppFlash from all the phones through updates. So, if you never updated your phone and it has pre-installed AppFlash, you should try updating your Android OS. This may automatically remove the app from your device.
- Go to Settings.
- Swipe down and choose ‘System.’
- Select ‘System Update’.
Verizon has ended support for AppFlash, and it’s also been removed from Google Play Store, but if you have an older Verizon-bought phone, you should know what App Flash on Android is and how to disable it.