Customizing and Decrapifying the Bell HTC One M8

So it’s day two with my locked-to-Bell HTC One M8. As it will be my full-time sidearm over the weekend, I thought I’d share another screen grab tour—this one showing some available options for customization, along with steps to mitigate the Bell bloatware that ships with this particular device.

Admittedly, the decrapification part would be a lot easier with root—all you’d have to do is freeze up the Bell apps with TitaniumBackup. I don’t have that particular luxury here, but if you’d like to make your M8 your own I’d recommend a trip over to XDA.

Even without root, there are some obvious and not-so-obvious things you can do to ban the bloat. Here’s what I did…

Bell M8 Home

Here’s where we left off yesterday, the M8 up and running with my Google account.

Nexus 5 Home (for reference)

For reference, I wanted to get this M8 looking as much like my Nexus 5 as possible, without bothering with the DashClock widget or live wallpaper by Muzei. Such things, of course, are entirely subjective—it’s your phone, after all…

Bell M8 Sans Bell (almost)

So, my first step was to remove the Bell apps from the home screen. You’d think this would be easy enough, but apparently I missed that big-ass widget below the Google search bar. I’ll deal with it later…

Bell M8 Play Store Settings

Before downloading any of my go-to apps I always go to the Play Store settings and uncheck where that second blue arrow is—why litter your home screens with shortcuts when they’re already in your app drawer?

I think Google does this for new users so they won’t get lost. But again, it’s your phone, do as you wish.

Bell M8 Apps

Being a Nexus user I’ve only recently come to realize that both HTC and Samsung organize apps with the default ones first, then the user-installed ones after. I myself prefer them alphabetized, but it’s an interesting option to have.

Bell M8 Greenify

Back to the crapware: Even without root, Greenify will at the very least help you stop the bloat from running in the background. Unfortunately, without root not all of these Bell apps can auto-hibernate.

I seem to remember that some forum members use and enjoy Bell’s navigation app. I don’t, but remember, subjective

Bell M8 Themes

Time to pick a theme. Not as many options as I would have thought.

Bell M8 Widgets

And now my favourite part. I’ve always been a sucker for HTC’s Weather Clock widget—so much so that I ran the copycat Beautiful Widgets stand-in for quite some time.

Bell M8 New Home

That was easy.

On my stock Nexus 5 I needed root and an Xposed Module to get rid of the Google Search bar on my home screen; with Sense 6.0 no root is necessary.

Now that this thing is finally set up, let’s see what it can do!