Like dogs, smartphones grow to reflect their owners - if those owners are savvy enough. Sprint's new Sprint ID service offers users its American customers curated "packs" of apps, widgets and themes - from employers, brands, sports teams and more - for simple smartphone personalisation.
One of Android's greatest virtues is its customisability, but that assumes that users know how to achieve that customisation. And with Android's increasing popularity - even my little sister was convinced she wanted the special edition R2-D2 droid recently - making content easy to find for mainstream users is paramount.
That's Sprint's goal with the Sprint ID, a new service that allows users of Sprint's Android phones to load up to five "ID packs" on their devices. The packs bundle apps, visual elements, ringtones, dynamic widgets and more based around a common theme, allowing users to pick the types of things they're interested in instead of finding the individual apps and widgets that fit their tastes. Users will be able to load up to five packs on a device at the same time, customise them as they choose, and switch between them via an icon on the home screen.
Initially, a handful of lifestyle packs will be available - think entertainment, business productivity, auto enthusiast, etc - as well as collections from big names like Yahoo! and EA. Other partners with packs on the way include Amazon, E!, Oprah, MTV, LatCel, Weather Channel, Notre Dame, ESPN, eBay and others. Schools and businesses could load packs with relevant apps or pre-populate devices with information on their wireless networks.
Sprint ID will be available on three newly unveiled Android devices before the end of the year: the $US50, Froyo-sporting LG Optimus S, the mid-range Sanyo Zio, and the Samsung Transform. The last is the beefiest of the bunch, with a 3.5-inch touchscreen, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and front and back facing cameras. It's currently saddled with Android 2.1 but is scheduled for a Froyo treat later in the year, and it'll be on sale October 10 for $US150.
For a closer look at Sprint ID and its packs, check out the official site. [Sprint]