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Carriers Continue to Force-Install Junk Apps

Article Comments  29  

May 29, 2011, 7:27 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Sprint recently pushed out a firmware update to the HTC EVO. Along with the firmware update, Sprint also installed several applications, including Netflix and N.O.V.A., a game. These apps cannot be uninstalled. N.O.V.A., in particular, has a troubling list of permissions. In can edit, read, and receive SMS; send SMS messages that cost money; full Internet access; change network connectivity; change Wi-Fi state; prevent phone from sleeping; and modify/delete microSD card contents. Phone Scoop has found this same application on the LG G2x, where it consistently runs in the background despite the fact that it was never opened. Sprint isn't alone in installing unwanted apps with software updates. Verizon, for example, installed Bing Search on a Motorola Droid being used by Phone Scoop. Responding to queries made by CNet, Sprint said that "it 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." Sprint did note, however, that it will continue to use firmware updates to add demo apps.

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Jun 1, 2011, 6:31 AM

lol silly carriers

Nobody gives a DAMN about your crappy apps. The age of duping consumers into purchasing resource-intensive, sub-par apps is over, especially on ANDROID devices, which offer tens of thousands of free apps.


May 30, 2011, 1:31 PM

It would seem to me the carriers need to be sued

I think it's time the end user sues the wireless companies for disgusting tactics like this. When you are buying a phone you should not have to buy the craptastic apps (especially if you are buying at full retail) without having the ability to have those apps removed, sans voiding your warranty.

Any legal eagles out there want to take this up?
I don't think that it's grounds for a legitimate lawsuit, cause you're not paying extra for the apps they install. The retail price of the phone is the same as it always was.

Yes it's stupid they pre-install certain apps, yes it's even more stupid...
Unless Sprint is dumb (unlikely), the carriers are covered under their T&Cs.
Here is the VZW part where its covered.

"My Wireless Device
Your wireless device must comply with Federal Communications Commission regulations, be certified for use ...

May 30, 2011, 9:45 PM

Carrier IQ?

If you want to find something truly "scary" that Sprint isn't even disclosing to users, check out the Carrier IQ service....
Carrier IQ is scary stuff. But what's halarious is Sprint's response to customer inquiries about it.

While working Sprint Email escallations one of my coworkers got an email asking "What is Carrier IQ and why is it installed on my Samsung Epic?" S...

May 29, 2011, 2:35 PM

I find it somewhat insulting

I know it is in Sprint's (and every other carrier's) best interest to generate a profit however possible. I understand that one great way to do this is by forcing certain applications down the user's throats that they might not otherwise use, or may use a competing app for the same purpose. It makes complete sense to me that you also would make it difficult to remove these apps to avoid customers blindly tidying up their devices and inadvertently removing the apps before they have even been used.

Though, in no way shape or form does it make any sense to me what-so-ever that you would make it entirely impossible to remove these applications from an already extremely limited memory on a device that the customer fully owns. (I consider the a...

I was going to wait a year before I root... then an Otterbox scratched my phone by putting slight scratches at the bottom of the screen. This was my Q to not care anymore, but I still haven't rooted my phone.

I've also found that GoLaunch...
This strategy has the exact opposite affect on me. I will NEVER use skype, amazon mp3, city id, or Verizon back-up assistant, since they pre-installed them on my phone, and don't give me the option to remove them!! I get really tired of having to go i...

May 29, 2011, 7:58 AM

At least rooting is easy

And pushing these junk apps only encourages it.
Very true, and that would be my option. But not everyone, nor the vast majority want to be bothered doing this out of ignorance mostly and loss of warranty as well.
I remember I had a Kaiser from AT&T, it had carrier apps, but they also could be rem...

May 29, 2011, 8:23 PM

EVO 4G Update DID NOT force install Netflix

To clarify the Evo 4G force installed the Blockbuster app and NOT Netflix. Netflix instant watch is now available in the Market to download for free.
Lets also further clarify that this particular install and update happened almost 6 MONTHS AGO on December 14 2010 (I bought my phone for my birthday the day after, with the previous install).

Oh and lest not forget that one MAKES A CHOICE if they...

May 29, 2011, 12:47 PM

What's to work on?

Here's my question to Sprint and other carriers... Are you so stupid you can't figure out how to allow an uninstall?

"it 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."

Seems like this is a pretty quick fix... this statement is just a buying time mechanism.
I read the article on the other website. It seems that the game, NOVA, has access to much of the phones features, such as data, and SMS. It is possible that that game modifies system and registry files stored in the phone. It is also possible that tha...
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