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‘T-Mobile Play’ puts carrier bloat alongside Google Discover feed

The Google Discover feed is a handy way to keep up on your interests when it comes to news articles or even videos. On some of its self-branded smartphones, however, T-Mobile is now showing its own bloat alongside the Google Discover feed, but not in the way you might think.

Recently, T-Mobile debuted its own REVVLRY and REVVLRY+ smartphones, both based on Android. These devices, of course, come pre-loaded with T-Mobile’s various applications, including one called “T-Mobile Play.” Android Police first spotted the app’s Play Store listing, and it showcases how Play is available to the left of the homescreen right there with Google Discover.

At first glance, it looks like T-Mobile is somehow infiltrating the Google Discover feed itself and showing bloatware alongside it, but from what we can tell, this isn’t the case.

Looking through the T-Mobile Play app, we found that T-Mobile Play appears to be taking the place of the Google Discover feed on the leftmost side of the launcher, and also integrating the Discover feed into the app. While we can’t explain exactly how this works, it is using a partner API to have the apps talk to each other using shared libraries. To be clear, though, it’s not T-Mobile taking over Google’s app.

Regardless, T-Mobile Play is obviously being used to push carrier bloat, and it’s in a place that smartphone owners are going to access fairly often.

The app is designed to push video content from T-Mobile from various genres, all personalized over time to your preferences. The app also plays (skippable) video ads before each video. For now, the app is only going to be on T-Mobile’s new REVVLRY phones, but the app description says it will be coming to more devices “in the future.” Yay?

If you’re not a fan of this, just wait until actual ads come to the Discover feed later this year.

Dylan Roussel contributed to this article

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