I finally found a way to delete apps on the Vizio SmartCast platform. If you’re like me, you’ve been looking for a way to remove apps either because they are unneeded and annoying or because they contain mature content. Here’s my short answer, my long story will follow
Find the box your Vizio Television arrived in.
Unplug your Vizio display and put it back in the box.
Return the Vizio TV to the store.
Buy a Samsung, LG, Hisense, or SONY television. All of them allow you to delete or block unwanted apps. Vizio has made it clear that users CANNOT have this ability on their platform.
I purchased a Vizio and immediately found mature content and discovered I could not block the apps. I have children in the house and contacted Vizio for help. They offered me two very lame workarounds. I’m a little surprised they didn’t suggest I unplug the TV and keep the power cord with me until I want to use the device.
Here is the letter I ended up writing to Vizio:
To whom it may concern,
I just purchased a 55″ Vizio TV. It looks great. It was easy to set up with my Bluray Player and Soundbar. It’s a great piece of hardware. I’m impressed with the quality of this TV. Unfortunately if asked, I would tell everyone that they should not purchase smart televisions from Vizio. The problem is that the SmartCast platform includes a great deal of free content from a large variety of apps. Some of this content includes graphic violence, gore, sex, nudity and language. One of the first movies to be recommended in one of the apps has a scene of a bound and gagged man being anally raped by a woman with a large steel dildo. A recommendation that followed was a zombie movie with a gory scene of bloody body parts in the title graphic. This is not what I was expecting when I purchased a television. With children in the home it is not wise for me to allow this sort of unfiltered content to sit openly in reach of curious minds.
I recognize that Vizio does not control the content of these apps. I would not object if each of these apps required a sign in to access their content (as Netflix, Hulu and Prime do). But many of the apps included on the SmartCast platform are free to use (like Xumo and FreeCast). I’ve come to discover that there is no way to block, delete, or hide any of these apps. I contacted Doro and Gray in customer support, they were both as understanding and as helpful as they could be. They informed me that I only have two options. Doro said that I could disconnect the WiFi from the television and re-input my WiFi password each time I wanted to use the TV. Gray agreed and said I should also contact each of the apps and ask them to put parental controls on their apps.
I know that Vizio should not have to monitor the content of all of the apps that appear on SmartCast. That’s not the responsibility of a product manufacturer. But when creating the Vizio SmartCast platform an important feature was left out, the ability to hide, delete, or block these apps. Most, if not all of these apps are available on smart phones, sometimes they are even preloaded on the phone. The major difference in your SmartCast platform is that you do not allow the user to delete the app. Being left with two cumbersome and ineffective options makes the TV unusable unless I purchase another piece of hardware from which to stream.
May I strongly encourage you to add the functionality to your SmartCast platform which allows users to hide, delete, or block apps.
I’ve heard no response from Vizio.