Home Sprint Launches “Sprint ID:” App Packs and Customizations for Android Phones

Sprint Launches “Sprint ID:” App Packs and Customizations for Android Phones

At this week’s CTIA Enterprise and Applications conference in San Francisco, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse announced a new project called “Sprint ID,” aimed at mobile phone customization. The Sprint ID service lets users create separate mobile profiles for work and play, each with their own application packs, wallpapers, widgets and ringtones. Initially, Sprint ID will only be offered on new Android handsets including the Samsung Transform, LG Optimus S and Sanyo Zio, but the plan is to roll out the service to all Sprint devices in the future.

The Sprint website now offers a selection of these free ID packs from launch partners like E!, Disney, ESPN, Yahoo, eBay, Amazon, EA, MTV and others. Alternately, users can design their own “ID packs” with apps and other customizations of their choosing.

What’s an “ID Pack?”

There are three different types of packs available: branded, non-branded and personalized.

Branded ID packs feature a company’s own applications and services, like Yahoo’s new pack which offers easy access to Yahoo content like the homepage, Mail, Messenger, News, Sports, Finance, Flickr, Fantasy Football, Search, Movies, Weather and omg!.

Non-branded packs are more like curated selections of content. Sprint offers a few of these with focuses on Entertainment, Social Networking, Health and Fitness and Business Productivity.

For example, the “Entertainment” Sprint ID pack contains apps for music (Shazam, Pandora, Rhapsody), movies (IMDB) and TV (TMZ) as well as entertainment-related news (E! News, Express News, Horoscopes), Games (Guitar Hero 5, Super KO Boxing 2, WSOP Hold’em), social networking (Facebook, Twitter, Wertago) and YouTube.

Finally, users can create their own packs by customizing an available packs with their own apps and content. Only five different ID packs can be stored on a device.

A Clever Solution to App Overload, Blurred Boundaries Between Work and Play

Although Hesse touted the ID packs as an improved way for users to customize their phones, find apps and change the phone’s settings, assuming this is just another nifty homescreen customization tool is selling it short.

People’s phones are now extensions of their lives – they’re used for business, for keeping in touch with friends, for playing games, listening to music, streaming video and so much more. But organizing our varying personas and needs is becoming increasingly difficult. We’re now close to the “overload” point with our phones becoming inundated with apps. (For app addicts like yours truly, it’s getting ugly, I tell you).

Different vendors are attempting to solve the problem in different ways – Apple introduced folders for apps, Windows Phone 7 is using attention-grabbing “hubs,”

and Android users have customizable homescreens that can contain both widgets and apps.

Sprint’s ID solution may or may not be the answer – we’ll need to test its functionality and performance, first – but at least it’s a new take. You can learn more about Sprint ID from the new homepage here.

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