What is ANT Radio Service/ANT+ on Android? Should you delete them?

by | 08 Jul 2020

If you have ever tried to look around the system apps that come preinstalled with your device, then you would have probably noticed two apps called as ANT Radio Service and ANT+ Plugins. If you are wondering what these apps/services are, this article is for you.

ANT Radio Service and ANT+ Plugin

Some OEMs, for example – SONY and Samsung, bundle these services (ANT Radio Service and ANT+ Plugin) on all of their latest devices.

ANT and ANT+ are for pairing with fitness devices like pedometers, heart rate monitors, and other such fitness monitors and tools.

If my understanding is right, these services are just the equivalent of the Bluetooth stack that allows apps to use Bluetooth on your phone, but for ANT+. Instead of being integrated deeper down at the Android system level (in which case, you wouldn’t be able to find it in the apps list), it’s been distributed via the Google Play Store. This is to make bug fixes and feature updates much faster to deliver than having to wait for the new version firmware to ship. Also, it allows users to add ANT support to devices that already do not have it through USB.

Google already follows this approach for the Google Play Services (which is essential to use any Google service on Android) and deliver it through the Google Play Store so they can bypass carriers and not wait for phones to be firmware updated. Android phones don’t have very good track record when it comes to firmware updates. Most phones don’t even get updated. So, it is actually a good approach to deliver updates through the Google Play Store.

Should you delete/disable ANT Services?

If you delete them, do note that it is an equivalent of deleting Bluetooth support, but for ANT+ devices instead.

You would need root access to delete them. But, if no apps are actually using these services, then their power consumption would be next to nothing. So, it may not be well worth your time and effort to go through the process of removing these services.

More Information: ANT

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