Google added an option in Android 4.0 ICS that would let users disable many of the bloatware apps that can’t be removed on new devices. Sure you could just root the device and uninstall them, but there are quite a few people out there who don’t want to mess around rooting their device. While disabling an app doesn’t save you any space it can still impact your battery life in a rather positive way.
So what do you have to do? Open up the Settings > Apps on your Android device. You should see a list of programs you have installed, and if you slide over to the right a couple of times you should be taken to an All section. This page lists out all of the apps you have installed… both system and user apps. Find the app you want to turn off, such as Google+, tap on it to bring up that app’s settings, and click the Disable button.
There is an alternate way if the thing you want to disable is an app that has an icon. From the app drawer go ahead and start dragging the app. In the upper-right portion of the screen you should see an App Info section appear. If you drag the icon into that section of the screen it should take you directly to that particular app’s settings screen. Once there you should be able to disable it as well.
So those are two different methods for disabling some of those pesky apps to ensure they aren’t using any extra CPU cycles without your consent. Unfortunately not every stock app can be disabled, but as long as it’s not a core part of the OS you should be able to disable it.