theodp writes: 'If you could change the way wireless companies did things, what would you do?' asked Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. How about stopping the use of Sprint's firmware updates to download apps that aren't wanted and can't be removed, Dan? Sprint confirmed to CNET's Elinor Mills that those strange apps she was shocked to find on her Android phone — sci-fi shooter N.O.V.A. and Blockbuster — with a long list of permissions that couldn't be uninstalled had been sneakily downloaded onto her phone during a firmware update. 'Sprint does offer a variety of partner applications that are optimized for use on our wireless phones,' a Sprint representative explained in an e-mail. 'From time to time, we will provide new apps to our customers in conjunction with a software maintenance release. Also, Sprint, in conjunction with Google, is taking steps to develop a technical solution that would allow customers to remove any unwanted applications that have been preloaded or pushed in an over-the-air software update.' Other Sprint customers have voiced displeasure with the practice. 'Unbeknownst to me, my 5-year-old found N.O.V.A. on my phone and was shooting the guns and weaponry and killing enemies in the N.O.V.A. game,' an unhappy camper wrote on an HTC customer forum thread. 'Thanks a lot HTC and Sprint for forcing violence on my 5-year-old! I am protective of my kids and would never install a game like this on my phone, but now you forced this app onto my phone and I can't uninstall it! I'm very frustrated and VERY ANGRY!'
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