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Removing "Whats New" app from Sony Xperia Android smartphones

Sony Xperia smartphones come with a number of Sony crapware, one of which is the "What's New" app that runs in the background and popup from time-to-time as a notification, which is just plain annoying for some of us. Worse, unlike the other crapware, this one cannot be disabled in "App Info" (the "Disable" button is greyed out).

After some research, I found a way to disable this app. First you need to have a working ADB in your system. The trickiest part is to install the correct ADB driver. I referred to this post for help. On my Win7 x64 system, the AdbDriverInstaller method worked for me.

If you don't have adb.exe yet, you need to get it into your system. The official way is to install the Android Platform SDK, but a minimal install of ADB can be found here.

Anyway, to verify that ADB is working properly (both EXE and driver), at the command prompt (with the device connected to the PC via USB cable), type:

adb devices

This should display something like:

List of devices attached
YT91152XZY      device


i.e. there must be at least one device attached.

So much for the prerequisite. The rest is simple. Simply execute the following commands:

adb shell
pm hide com.sonymobile.entrance
exit

That's it!

Older posts on the web recommends pm block com.sonymobile.advancedwidget.entrance, which does not work anymore. So this is a note to myself (and others) to hopefully save some time in case I reset the phone and need to perform this step again in the future.


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