Available on the Android operating system is an app often installed by the manufacturer, but there is little information about what it does.
ANT Radio Service is just one of those apps.
- But do you need to keep it?
- Is it malware?
- Is it a radio streaming service?
- Can I remove it?
- Who installed it? I know it wasn’t me.
- Does it slow the system down?
ANT is a wireless protocol designed for much lower power consumption than Bluetooth. This lower power short-range wireless radio protocol means the connected devices can use a smaller battery. ANT is ideal for body-worn fitness trackers like the Fitbit wrist-worn devices.
These tiny and lightweight fitness trackers are only possible because of the lower power requirements of ANT and ANT+, which need to communicate with your phone. Although low-power systems like WiFi or Bluetooth also exist, they can’t compete well enough with ANT’s lower-power capabilities.
Typical ANT Radio Service Uses
- Heart Rate monitors that are worn on the body
- Fitness equipment like bicycle trainers
- Bicycle Speed and Cadence can be captured and transmitted
- Bike Power gathering from devices like the Garmin Vector
- Step and stride information from running or walking
Yes, there is an ANT app. That may be where you first came across ANT Wireless Service and wondered if you needed it. The manufacturer of your Android device probably installed it, and you were unaware of it previously.
Do I Keep ANT?
The current ANT app is a tiny 610Kb, with much less storage for Cache and User data; uninstalling it wouldn’t give you much space back. If you don’t have a fitness tracker or a device that uses ANT Radio Service, then you don’t need the app and can uninstall it. If you later purchase a fitness tracker or other wearable device that needs the ANT Wireless Service, it is available on the Play Store here. Getting the app back will not be a problem for you should it be removed and then needed some time in the future.
If your ANT Radio Service is bothering you, or just for testing, if it makes any difference and you can’t uninstall, then ‘disable’ it. You can find that option in the settings, apps, and ANT Radio Service screen. Choose force stop, then disable. If the device manufacturer installed it as a required app, this would be your only way to stop it. Find that setting again and select ‘Enable’ to get the service back up and running.
Do I need it?
If you have an ANT-enabled wearable, then yes, you probably do. You can browse a list of devices that are ANT Radio Service compatible here, which may help you decide. It’s quite a list, and it shows how widely accepted the ANT Radio Service is now.
Although the ANT Radio Service is an app, it doesn’t have a screen or any buttons you can press. It just sits in the background, helping devices connect via ANT to your phone and for your phone to talk to the ANT-enabled devices. It is quite an uneventful app and gets on with its job.
ANT is a current service, and the ANT Radio Service gets necessary updates. The Latest (Beta) version is 4.16.00. Originally released on 5th November 2010, the app has racked up over 1,000,000,000 downloads from the Play Store. ANT Radio Service app is compatible with Android versions from early Android 2.1 up to the current version.
Worries about Adware/SpyWare
The secrecy surrounding the ANT Radio Service, coupled with the somewhat cryptic name, has some users concerned that it is a bad app. Concerns that it can track you, serve ads, or generally spy on you. The official ANT Radio Service app from the Play Store is very well-behaved and doesn’t do anything you wouldn’t want. As for the version you sideloaded from anywhere else, who knows?
Does ANT sound like fun?
Do you want to be involved in the ANT Wireless Service? Would you like to look into its API? Visit the ANT Android Developer page for more information and to download the SDK.