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Any way to use an Android smartphone for calls/texts ONLY and disable ALL apps?

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c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
What is the best/quickest way to use, for example a Galaxy S7, for texts and phone calls only and disable all Apps on it?

If it were AT&T / T-Mobile, I would just pull the SIM card and insert it into an old phone without Apps.
But Sprint / Verizon phones can't switch between devices without a HUGE hassle, correct?

So the only way to accomplish that on Sprint / Verizon phones is to disable all Apps?
 

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Certain apps will have to stay (as I am certain you are aware). Apps such as the default alarm clock and calculator are somehow inextricably tied to the system and it becomes unbootable without them. Developers and enthusiasts often compile a list of apps that are safe to remove while leaving a functioning system. Going a step further would be to lock/hide the remaining apps behind a password protection app. These can be found on the playstore pretty easily.

If you find a way to slim a device down to phone-only or some other minimum functionality, I will greatly enjoy reading about it
 

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
It might depend somewhat on the phone what can or shouldn't be disabled. I have a Nexus 5X which is stock Android. Looking at some of the Google included stuff, I can see an option to uninstall it (it actually only uninstalls the updates, but you can't remove the base inclusion), and/or there's a disable button. Some presumably critical ones do not offer either option. That would be my thinking, uninstall what you can, then disable the rest.

If you do have a choice, I'd avoid anything Android from Samsung, purely because you are essentially doubling the amount of stuff you have to uninstall. Due to licencing, they have to include certain Google Android apps, which they then duplicate by adding another set of apps of their choice. Find a phone offering a more pure Android experience.

You might also try to see if there are 3rd party roms you can use instead which may be optimised in a more useful way.
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Yes, I can get around all that by simply nuking everything on retail Samsung Galaxy phones and installing an OS from scratch with only the apps I want and nothing else, I already do that...

The clarification to thread question should be: how to simply and quickly temporarily block all user installed apps without uninstalling them all.
 

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
The clarification to thread question should be: how to simply and quickly temporarily block all user installed apps without uninstalling them all.
Hmmm... I wonder if further clarification would help others answer you. Block all user installed apps from the user or the system would be my question. For instance if you would like to block an child from their apps but still have calls and text then there are apps that will allow you to scan a list of all user installed apps and lock them. But if your intentions are to make them unusable by the system for testing or troubleshooting then I have no idea. Best of luck though
 

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
It isn't something I've looked at, but I think Android allows for multi-user (more so on tablets than phones). If so, I'm wondering if that might allow the creation of a limited access rights account? Perhaps an area for further research?
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
For instance if you would like to block an child from their apps but still have calls and text then there are apps that will allow you to scan a list of all user installed apps and lock them.

Yes.

And multi user would accomplish that also... Does Android allow that?
 

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Yes.

And multi user would accomplish that also... Does Android allow that?
To my knowledge Android does not allow multi user in the traditional sense (or in a sense that would be useful). Android allows for multiple users on a device by signing out of the current Google account and signing in with a new one. I cannot think of a way off the top of my head to create an user account without installation (playstore) privileges.
 

ssjwizard

Has slightly less legible writing than Thideras
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Android 6.0+ have multiple user accounts. Password protect the home user and create a guest account with limited access to apps its possible. I havent played with it too much so I dont know exactly how far you can lock it down, but the functionality is in there.
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
How do you password protect the home user and create a guest account?
 

ssjwizard

Has slightly less legible writing than Thideras
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Under settings > Security > lock > select password.

Then from the home screen pull down notification bar top right click on the blue person to access the user accounts menu.
You can either select guest, or create a secondary account.
 

ssjwizard

Has slightly less legible writing than Thideras
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Tried to do this as an edit but the DB error is getting annoying.

You can also use an app like titanium backup to lock out any apps you dont want accessed without removing them.
 

ssjwizard

Has slightly less legible writing than Thideras
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
Tried to do this as an edit but the DB error is getting annoying.

You can also use an app like titanium backup to lock out any apps you dont want accessed without removing them.