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Lenovo Mobile Services

7 February 2020

I have a 7" Lenovo tablet with Android that I use mostly as an Internet radio tuner. Last night, while I was listening to it, I watched new applications appear into my app drawer right before my eyes. Junk like Candy Crush, TikTok and a dodgy-sounding "com.pivotmobile.android.metrics". Who or what the frig was responsible for installing these? I opened the settings to uninstall them, and noticed that the "Store" was "Mobile Services".

App details screen showing the supposed mobile store as its installation source.

So I went to remove Mobile Services, only to find it is marked as a Lenovo system application and cannot be disabled. I can force it to stop when it is running, but that is only temporary.

Mobile Services details screen with a greyed out disable button.

I searched the Internet for references to this app, and there are many posts about "Mobile Services Manager" and "DT Ignite" silently installing unwanted crap. Was this the same problem that I have? Looking through every screen in Mobile Services I saw that yes, it is.

Mobile Services settings screen with a permission to contact dtignite.com.

All those posts claimed that all I had to do was press disable on the app. However... I can't!

When I first got the tablet, I had to go through an elaborate procedure to remove the Lenovo weather app because that too was force-enabled. I figured I'd use that same method to remove this nuisance anti-feature. The problem was... what's the package name? There were no references to ignite, none relevant to mobile and none to manager. Luckily, Ghost Commander was able to tell me.

Ghost Commander app giving me Mobile Service's package name:

com.dti.lenovo.tablet

So with that, I was able to use the adb shell and pm to remove it. (If you're attempting this, you need to first install the Lenovo USB debug drivers, Android debug bridge and permit debugging on the tablet in order to open the adb shell.)

This sort of thing should be illegal and needs to stop. If someone broke into your home and dumped boxes of crap into your living room without your knowledge, I bet you'd be less than pleased. It would be a police matter. But companies pushing over 800MB of unrequested and unwanted software onto my devices? Par for the course, apparently.

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