OnePlus made a name for itself with its clean and burdenless Oxygen OS interface over the years. Whatever be the phone’s specifications, Oxygen OS has been known to offer a closer to stock Android experience. However, it is, by all means, a custom version of Android and OnePlus has now chosen to pre-load some services from Facebook. All OnePlus phones from 2020 will come with Facebook services preinstalled. And, none of them can be removed. Also Read - Poco teases OnePlus Nord challenger, could launch soon
In a report from Android Police, OnePlus has confirmed that it preloads some Facebook services on the OnePlus 8, 8 Pro and Nord. These include the Facebook App Installer, Facebook App Manager and Facebook Services. The aforementioned services and apps cannot be deleted from the phone as it includes them as system apps. This negates the presence for Play Store when it comes to updating all Facebook apps. Also Read - OnePlus 8T allegedly spotted on GeekBench with Android 11
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Hence, on these 2020 models, apps such as Facebook, Messenger and Instagram will automatically update via Facebook Services. These apps won’t pull updates from the Google Play Store. OnePlus says this method of updating the apps allows them to reduce battery consumption. It allows for HDR enhancement while watching Netflix. These apps will automatically update in the background without relying on the Play Store. Also Read - OnePlus 8T and OnePlus 8T Pro rumored to feature 64-megapixel camera
What’s concerning with this move is data privacy. Facebook Services keeps eating small amounts of data even when they aren’t in use. This is not comforting given Facebook’s dubious reputation for data protection. The company was involved in multiple data and security breaches in the past. With direct access to system, Facebook may have more control over the data it sends from your OnePlus phone.
OnePlus will preload Facebook apps on all upcoming phones
Surely, users can uninstall Facebook, Instagram and other Facebook apps. However, these services are unremovable. At most, one can disable these services from the Settings. Moreover, this is not a temporary solution for the Chinese phone maker. The company said this will be the norm for all phones sold in Europe, North America and India going forward. The older phones from last year won’t be getting these as software updates. Hence, your OnePlus 7T is safe from this one.
This move from OnePlus puts it in the same ballpark as Samsung, Xiaomi and other manufacturers. All phone makers off late have been doing their own app stores and pushing updates to apps directly via their platform. OnePlus does not have an app store of its own yet but it is involving third-party services as part of the system. While the company may assure security, it puts user privacy at risk. OnePlus itself was involved in data breaches frequently, which also makes it tough to believe the claims.