Have you ever had an app on your cell phone or tablet that caused all kinds of unforeseen problems?

For me, it's an app called Peel Remote. I recently uninstalled it on my tablet (a tablet I admittedly don't use all that often). I don't remember whether it came with the tablet, or whether it was something my brother installed on it while experimenting with different apps. Either way, subsequent "updates" have significantly de-improved this app!

Peel Remote was designed so that you could use your mobile device as a TV remote. I never used it much for that purpose, but it was a fun plaything. I think it worked when we first set up the tablet (back in late 2013), but sometime it stopped being able to talk to the cable box. But the app did learn to be increasingly intrusive!

1. First of all, last year it added a new lock screen to the tablet. Some of the pictures were pretty, but it adds another step to the process of starting the device. So that's no bueno.

2. Second, it added an annoying battery life indicator - whenever your battery level drops to 25%, Peel Remote displays a pop-up message telling you that your battery life is indeed low (even though Android already has such a warning when you hit 15%). This pop-up can make programs unhappy if they don't like being interrupted.

3. The last straw was adding ads. Yay! In the most recent update, Peel Remote started displaying ads on the aforementioned lock screen. These ads varied in quality, but regardless, this new "feature" was extremely not OK with me.

Peel Remote is now gone from my tablet and will probably never return. Since uninstalling Peel Remote, my tablet's performance has been noticeably snappier.

The moral of the story? Keep apps as lightweight as possible - don't stuff them with unwanted features that aren't related to the app's core functionality. I understand that free apps need a way to make money, but don't start displaying ads after an app has been ad-free for four-plus years.
“Naturally, the workers are perfectly free; the manufacturer does not force them to take his materials and his cards, but he says to them..'If you don't like to be frizzled in my frying- pan, you can take a walk into the fire.” -Friedrich Engels

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