About two weeks ago, Amazon proudly announced the addition of the Nokia 6, Alcatel IDOL 5S, A50, and A30 PLUS to its roster of exclusive unlocked phones. It coincided with the first anniversary of this “Amazon Edition” lineup that offered a few mid-range smartphones at heavily marked down prices. The was, however, a catch to this deal. After all, there always is a catch. In exchange for $25 to $50 off the retail price, these smartphones come preloaded not just with Amazon apps but with tons of Amazon ads. Fortunately, since this is Android, there is a way to get rid of those.
When it unlocked its Amazon Edition exclusive line of unlocked smartphones, the retail giant made no qualms about the hidden costs involved in pushing the price down. Aside from the Amazon Prime subscription requirement, the phones are loaded with ads on top of the common bloatware. While bloatware is something many Android users have resigned themselves to, ads are an entirely different matter.
It was initially possible to simply disable the correct package to disable the ads, but Amazon pushed out an update that made that workaround unusable. If you do disable the com.amazon.phoenix, the package that brings on those ads, you might get flooded by errors about user permissions. Good thing it’s still possible to get rid of the ads. It just requires a bit of a command change.
The most difficult part of the process is to get the Android development tools, specifically ADB (Android Debug Bridge) up and running and your phone connected. Fortunately, Google has already made the tools a separate download, so you don’t need to download the entire SDK for it. On the phone side, you need to enabled Developer Options (tap seven times on the Build Number in the Settings app’s About Device section) and then enable USB Debugging.
Once that’s done, you need to run
adb shell from the Command Prompt or Terminal and to disable the ads, run this command:
pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.amazon.phoenix
You can opt to also uninstall other pre-installed apps. Just hit the source link below for the whole shebang.
It’s not yet known how long this solution will last. Amazon was able to block an older method, and it probably won’t take kindly to having its subsidy strategy so easily thwarted. For now, though, this still works and you can enjoy your entirely cheaper Android phone ad-free.