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Support Newbie questions about Android, thank you

I've just gotten an Alcatel A564C running 4.4.2, Device: Yaris5NA, Maker TCL

So many questions, even after going through a couple weeks of various tutorials on how to use it. As someone else said, I think I now have enough knowledge to be dangerous to my phone.

In Androidforums I see lots of references to doing things that sound like the phone is a computer similar to a pc, but I can't seem to find a way to look at the folders tree, or even how to copy and paste or print a list of the apps that were stored on the phone when I bought it. In 30 years of working on computers, I've come to appreciate a clean slate - getting rid of anything that I don't use, duplicates, things I have ignorantly downloaded in the beginning - and I'd like to start off by getting rid of anything that is not used or that I don't like. So here are some questions (with many apologies for abusing your time).
  1. There are so many apps listed under the "All" tab. Are they using storage and does it make sense to get rid of them?
    1. Can I get them totally off the phone rather than just disable them?
    2. Is there any way to easily tell which apps are critical to the function of the phone and should be left alone? I assume that any app called "com.xxxxxxx" are Android things to leave alone?
    3. How can I print out a list of all the apps that show under Manage Applications? I'd like to check off the ones to ignore and concentrate on the others.
    4. Unfortunately, App Info doesn't tell anything about the provenance of the app - manufacturer, purpose, etc. - but a lot of them have Version 4.4.2-xxxxx. Can I assume that all with that version are from Android?
    5. What about apps like Google Transport which has the same 4.4.2 version?
    6. There are doubles of some apps - Have I somehow download two versions of the same thing?
      1. 2 Launchers 1.39MB 20KB Cache and 2.01MB 24KB Cache,
      2. 2 Location Services 112KB and 152KB.
    7. When an app says "This service was started by its app (SVI Service com.qualcomm.svi) am I safe to ignore it, or is it one of the things to cause problems?
    8. Finally, am I going to have to google each one of the rest to find out what they do or will Google Play give me all the info to make a decision?
  2. Storage Truth has a popup that says "Displayed info has been copied to clipboard" How do I access clipboard?
  3. Can I store apps on the memory card with this phone?
  4. Can I transfer pictures and files via the USB cable from computer to phone and vice versa, or do I have to get yet another app?
OK, I'll stop here. I do appreciate your help, and I also want to say that as I have read threads on this forum, I have been very impressed with how it is managed, and the friendly help. Kudos to the managers and knowledgeable folks helping. Thank you.


#1 Gomer Fackworth, May 31, 2015
Lotsa questions. I'll try to keep this as short and simple as I can...

If you don't use it, uninstall it.
If you can't uninstall it, disable it.
If you can't disable it, ignore it.

If ignoring an app is driving you nuts and a you feel you must stop it from running, try to to resist the urge. If deep breaths and/or prescription medication can't control your anxiety, check out Greenify. Use it sparingly and carefully!

To get a tree view of the filesystem install X-plore:

To get a list of installed packages install a terminal:

Open the terminal and type:
pm list packages
You will get a list of installed packages. Copy/paste into a text file and print.

When something is copied to the clipboard, you don't really access it, if you mean look at it. Long-press in a blank space whenever you are in an editor and a Paste pop-up will appear. Tap Paste and the the clipboard contents appear.

General rule of thumb: When you go to Settings > Apps > All, the ones with the little green robot icon are system apps that should be left alone. There are others you don't want to mess with. Common sense and Google search will guide you. Be careful!

DO NOT use any task killers, RAM memory optimizers/boosters, battery savers/repairers, cache cleaners, antivirus, etc etc. None of that stuff is necessary. Such apps are actually counterproductive and some are just plain evil. They actually waste power, disrupt critical system processes and degrade performance. Not to mention the nag ads many throw up.

Basically, relax, leave Android alone to do its job as intended and enjoy using your phone.
#2 Crashdamage, May 31, 2015 Last edited: May 31, 2015
Also,uninstalling pre-installed apps doesn't free up any usable storage as they're saved in the system partition with the operating system so it's best to just clear their data and disable them :thumbsupdroid:
#3 funkylogik, May 31, 2015
Unless you root, then you can.
#4 shawshank72, May 31, 2015
3. It depends... Some developers allow this, some don't, regardless a portion usually ends up on the phone anyway.
4: Yes; drag the photos from your computer to the same folder that the phone keeps them in. You don't have much room for photos in the phone itself though. Does the photo app that comes with that phone have an option to store the files on a memory card?
#5 dontpanicbobby, Jun 1, 2015
Thanks Crash for the good advice, and I will stay away from Greenify, thank you.

I should have mentioned that Storage Truth shows that 60+% of /data is used and my understanding is that that is apps, so I thought it would be best to get rid of all the dead weight.

You say DO NOT use ........antivirus? How is the phone and browser safe if no antivirus? I installed CM Security right away on the first day I used it, and I haven't seen any ads.
#6 Gomer Fackworth, Jun 1, 2015
Thanks to funky, shaws, and dont.

I don't think I'll try rooting until I have a great need for it. As for the photo app storing files, I'm still waiting for a delivery of a memory card, which an email this morning says now won't be delivered until Saturday.

Am I right in thinking that the usage of memory card is limited to docs and fotos?
#7 Gomer Fackworth, Jun 1, 2015
Their isn't really any "viruses" to get lol
The best "Antivirus" is to only download from trusted sources.......
#8 MLSS, Jun 1, 2015
Uninstall CM Security immediately! Never, ever install anything by Cheetah Mobile! To understand why read this:


And this:


Greenify isn't a Bad Thing. It works differently than other battery savers, which are bad. With Greenify you just need to be careful and use it sparingly. Don't use it to freeze lotsa stuff all willy-nilly. That said, I don't use it myself.

I don't use antivirus. I consider it ineffective and unnecessary. A waste of power and CPU cycles. There ate no Android viruses. Malware, yes, but no viruses, which are far more serious. The best protection is to be careful where you get software and to use common sense at all times. In Settings > Security leave Install from unknown sources disabled.
#9 Crashdamage, Jun 1, 2015
Thanks MLSS, but what about when using the browser? Are there no viruses that can affect a phone when on the internet?
#10 Gomer Fackworth, Jun 1, 2015
Don't worry about it. You have to approve all installation. Just use common sense.
#11 Crashdamage, Jun 1, 2015
Sorry Crash, your answer doesn't make sense to me. (I did just uninstall CM security, thank you.) I am asking about surfing the internet with my phone, not installing applications. On my desktop, I use antivirus because of the chance of picking up viruses from the internet. Even some popular sites are getting bugged by hackers, and without an antivirus program, one is looking for trouble. Why does that same caveat not apply to surfing with a browser on phones?

And while I have your attention, one of the reasons I chose CM Security was because of the lost phone aspect of it - locking the phone remotely, locating its whereabouts (that's how the cops located the Boston bomber's stolen Mercedes), etc - and Flashlight (disabled after reading yr post on one of those links above) is a basic tool. I also want a password manager, a way to take notes, talk to my notes hands free, etc. What alternatives do we have for those apps that collect more than they should, and why doesn't Android provide non-invasive alternatives? I can understand why Google Play doesn't care to rank things privacy-wise, because Google is king of the abusers, but at least Android should have a simple app for a flashlight.

Reading your posts has made me quite frustrated about even having a smart phone because I try to avoid all social media and other things invasive, and not because of Big Brother - I really have nothing to hide and at my age I'm not much to look at dressed or undressed - but I do what to have access to some things personal - contacts, banks, etc.

Anyway, I'm taking too much of your time. Thanks for your wise counsel.
#12 Gomer Fackworth, Jun 2, 2015
Because viruses for Android don't exist due to the way things are coded. A virus is technically a program or a code to work on a computer. For any program or code to work on Android, you have to approve it first. Hence, you can't pick up any viruses unless you approve it's install. Your phone MAY become a carrier of viruses that affects a PC, but it won't affect the phone in any way. A PC virus can't affect a phone, the same way a Mac virus can't affect a PC. And if it does, then the PC antivirus should take care of it.
#13 chanchan05, Jun 2, 2015
Excellent summation, Chan, thank you. A dog tick doesn't affect a moose and a moose tick doesn't affect a dog. Got it.
#14 Gomer Fackworth, Jun 2, 2015
Download Android device manager. You can then track your device if it gets lost or stolen from your computer.
#15 MLSS, Jun 2, 2015
Pretty good explanation by chanchan05. Thanks!
Android has no viruses, but there is malware. I've never gotten malware from a website, but it is possible. Very unlikely, but possible.

Common Sense is the best defense. Remember, you approve all software installation so it's up to you to keep it clean.

Very likeky that everything you want is easily available.

For a lost phone I use Android Device Manager. MLSS was mistaken, no download is required for Android Device Manager. It's part of Android by default, already installed. You just need to activate it.

Go to the app drawer and tap on Google Settings (the gray gear) then tap Security, then turn on Remotely locate this device. I recommend turning on all 4 options there.

Now you can use any browser, any device or computer and go to:


Login and you can locate the phone on a map, ring it, lock it or wipe it clean.

I use Google Keep for notes. You can talk to it hands-free. If Keep isn't quite what you want there's dozens of notes apps in the Play store to choose from.

A Flashlight app is also there by default. Do a 2-finger drag down on the Notifications bar top of the screen. Flashlight is there in the Quick Settings. Tap on/tap off.

Let us know what else you need and I'm sure someone here can suggest suitable apps.

No reason to let using a smartphone get you down. The little buggers are kinda fun! Using a smartphone is about the same as using a computer. After all, a smartphone is just a pocket-size computer. So the basic rules for using anything connected to the internet still apply.
#16 Crashdamage, Jun 2, 2015 Last edited: Jun 2, 2015