Oct 29 AT 12:48 AM Taylor Wimberly 21 Comments

This is what Sprint ID could look like on your Epic 4G [Video]

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?

Via: Twitter

Source: Sprint ID

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • gamefreak1218

    This….is horrible…one more reason to root….when will carriers learn android is about customers CHOOSING what they want on their phones…not forcing it down their throats…

    and don’t even get me started about changing the default search to yahoo instead of google… come on sprint I thought you were better than this….

    • http://Website Gee

      Google search is there. The yahoo search only shows up when you install and activate the yahoo ID. Basically they are giving you a choice.

      I like this because it essentially brings stock android to all new sprint android phones going forward. You can just delete all the extra ids and install launcher pro or adw and have a stock experience. Since they are only including a launcher that setups up your phone with already available third party Widgets and Apps, we might actually see quicker updates since every thing else is pretty much stock.

      They do have to fix it though. It seems that the installed ids still live in ram and take up memory and bandwidth even if the id is not active. A problem for those with a ton of ids. Of course if your not dumb and choose to replace it with either of the for mentioned launchers, or better yet, root and delete it altogether, then you’ll be fine.

  • http://Website Nik

    Well, looks like I’m rooting my damned phone then….Cyanogen can’t come fast enough.

    Jeez Sprint, this is a terrible idea. In case you have yet to figure it out.

  • coyotejbob

    I will be ok with service providers putting their software on phones when you can customize on the operating system level at home without anything special to do it. In otherwords al phones should come vanilla unless a user decides to put the skin on themselves or at the first boot up give the user and option for the custom skin or vanilla. Of course this is from a CM 6 G1 user who stripped out all I didn’t want already.

    • http://Website gee

      Sprint IDs default id is stock android… don’t install any more ids, replace it with launcher pro or adw and gets rid of that dumb id icon. Better yet, root and get rid of id altogether.

      I guess I’m alone in liking the fact that this essentially beings access to stock android :/

      If I’m wrong (have a evo but played with some of the id phones in the store) please correct me.

  • http://Website puterchickfl

    I was sort of interested until they mentioned that Yahoo! would make itself default. That’s an immediate fail. I’m Epic 4G, and will wait for it to come out before trying it. The concept is intriguing to me so far.

    • http://Website gee

      Yahoo isn’t default. There’s a yahoo id that includes a yahoo search widget.

      • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

        All the phones I played with at CTIA had Yahoo as the default so they must have changed that. I need to pay a visit to my local Sprint store and play with the retail phones.

        • http://Website Gee

          I actually don’t know if the Yahoo ID is the default ID when you load up the phones but I don’t think it is. Either way Google search is there and can be used.

  • http://withoutbren.tumblr.com imbrenton

    Blah.. I wouldn’t buy a phone with Sprint ID on it.. I was thinking a whole different concept like how they did the UI on their other LG devices but this is just something I could download as an app, and I, as an Evo user, basically have already using HTC’s Sense. Sprint needs to go back to the drawing board and actually come up with something thats never been seen before! They just took all these years and spent so much money rebuilding their reputation.. smh.

  • http://Website evo2droidx

    Ya’ll can go ahead and thank Verizon for this kind of a move. I would really like for someone to give me an answer: WHY DO CARRIERS DO THIS? BING? YAHOO? LOCK PHONES DOWN GO AGAINST THE VOICE OF CUSTOMERS ALTOGETHER? WHY DOESN’T OR WHY CAN’T A PROVIDER SAY HEY WE’LL LOCK U IN FOR ONE OR TWO YEARS SIMPLY TO SUBSIDIZE YOUR DEVICE. BUT IF U WANT OPEN ANDROID YOU’LL GET IT. IF YOU WANT YAHOO HAVE IT GOOGLE ITS YOURS. WHAT’S WITH THE TOTALITARIAN” WE OWN YOU CONTROLL YOU AND IF WE SAY BING YOU SAY Microsoft ATTITUDE THEY HAVE? DID APPLE INTRODUCE THIS TOO WITH THEIR WALLED GARDEN? WHY CAN’T WE AS CUSTOMERS HAVE A DEVICE AND ENJOY IT TOO? (WITHOUT ROOTING) NOT LIKE I CAN EASILY DO THAT ON MY X.. JUST CURIOUS WHAT PURPOSE IT SERVES THE CARRIER TO SCREW US? ITS FINE TO PROVIDE OPTIONS BUT THIS IS FORCED

    • http://Website Brian K.

      All caps? Seriously?

  • http://Website watbetch

    This just looks like a new way to force ads on users.

  • http://Website danny

    As a Sprint employee I can reassure you (if you haven’t used one already) that the Samsung Transform and Sanyo Zio run like crap at setup because even the “Clean” ID pack takes forever and a day to download. Even after setup the phone can barely get out if it’s own way. Most of us are avoiding explaining what ID is because it’s already becoming a headache. One of the biggest problems we see out of Android phones is people downloading far too many apps. The ability to load 6 “packs” of apps at once is just a cluster f*** waiting to happen. If they decide to push this crap to the Evo I’m flashing to a custom ROM immediately.

  • http://Website deeb215

    They better not send this my way. My EVO won’t go for that!

  • http://Website Josh

    Im lost on why people are upset about this, cant you just not use the IDs and it will function like any other sprint android phone? I understand you can uninstall the sprint apps but cant you uninstall everything else? Also sprint is not doing this for people like us who follow the forums and root our phones, its for the people like my wife and sister inlaw who changed the wallpaper other then that there phones look like they first bought them.

  • http://androidandme Carl

    Yahoo is not the default search engine. It is a downloadable ID pack which has a yahoo search bar. The default MyID pack is vanilla Android with Google search.

  • SGB101

    he said this ‘id’ if for the people that havnt downloaded off the market as they are scared of that they may do.

    if they download one of these id’s they will shit themselfes when there whole phone ui changes. they will be conpleatly lost.

    and for the like of us WTF…. what are they thinking

  • http://Website gee

    This basically means that all sprint phones going forward will be stock android running the id launcher. That’s fine by me.

    Delete all id packs, install launcher pro or adw. If you root, delete id altogether. This is great for people who aren’t dumb and now how to replace the launcher.

  • http://Website steve

    FAIL.

    Push this garbage to my EVO…oh wait…you can’t. I’m rooted.

    Yes..this is for all the people who “READ” about Android and think “Oh I’m totally upgrading to a smart-phone” then have not a clue one on how to use it. Keep this on the low end phones and not across the board Dan.

    Sweet Jesus. This must be music to Steve Jobs ears…

  • Prince77

    I agree with Josh, if you guys listen in the video and read, it is for the everyday person who isn’t up on trying too root their phone. It’s for someone who might be new to Android and who just wants a phone that will be up to date and better than the one they had before. They have the two phones to start with if it isn’t a good thing they won’t bother to send it to any other devices.