Earlier this month at CTIA, Sprint unveiled three new entry-level Android phones that all featured Sprint ID. I spoke with a lot of people from Sprint (including the UI designer behind the project) trying to figure out exactly how to define the experience and the best I could come up with is it’s Sprint’s new custom UI for Android that they were going to push on their new mid-range phones.
In all fairness, here is how Sprint defines Sprint ID: “Sprint ID is a catalog of experiences that will grow and expand giving Sprint customers a new kind of on-device technology to explore. Users can choose from a single experience or many (up to five IDs at once). Only Sprint ID gives the user ringers, wallpapers, apps and widgets downloaded all at once, in one click based on the Sprint ID pack they choose – it personalizes their home screen automatically – a total experience in a single download.”
This week during the Sprint Developers Conference, CEO Dan Hesse revealed that Sprint ID would come to their version of the Galaxy Tab and also existing devices like the Epic 4G. Jessica from CNET is also reporting that Sprint just added a bunch of Sprint ID partners including AOL, UPS, Canvas, IHG, and BodyMedia, as well as Deluxe, a partner on the enterprise side.
Sprint ID offers a completely different UI than the TouchWiz featured on the Epic 4G, so it should cause some controversy when they decide to roll it out. Either users will love it or they will hate it just because it’s different. We have no word on if the update will be optional, but I highly doubt it at this point.
Another thing that I observed on all Sprint ID phones was the inclusion of Yahoo! as the default search provider.
For an idea of what to expect from Sprint ID, check out this quick video I filmed with the LG Optimus S. This entry-level $49 phone runs Android 2.2, but each of the three Sprint ID phones I played with offered the same experience so expect something similar on your Epic 4G.
If you own an Epic 4G please sound off. Are you excited about gaining Sprint ID or will you be sad to lose the TouchWiz UI? Will you care if Yahoo replaces Google as the default search provider?