Sprint is in the process of releasing a software-only push-to-talk option for its Android customer base. Direct Connect Now will be a downloadable Android app that will give folks access to Sprint’s CDMA-class Direct Connect network. It will also operate on the iDEN-class push-to-talk network. It will have touchscreen controls and it will allow you to have up to 20 conversations with people at one time. While initially it will only be available on the Samsung Transform Ultra, the app will be available to more non-embedded devices later on according to an internal Sprint web site.
Up until this point it special hardware was needed to connect and this app signifies a breaking away from that. Considering the iDEN 2G network that Sprint got from Nextel in their merger, and up until this point, the Direct Connect CDMA-network needed special hardware (The Admiral by Motorola for instance) to operate push-to-talk this is very big news indeed. We should see more Android devices get push-to-talk capabilities now that Direct Connect relies solely on software on the Android Platform. Here’s hoping!
source: The Verge
First came the rumor of an April 15th release for the Sprint Galaxy Nexus, brought to you by an anonymous Sprint insider talking to s4gru.com. Now, that same insider is leaking some more interesting news for the Now Network. Apparently, an HTC device codenamed “Jet” is to be released on June 10th. Jet? What device is that?
Judging from the rumored specs, the HTC One X is a shoe in. See for yourself… here are the specs of the Jet:
- 1.5 GHz dual-core processor (Krait)
- 1 GB RAM
- 4.7-inch Super LCD 1280×720 display
- CDMA 1X, EV-DO Rev 0/A/B (UE category 3)
- LTE Band class 25 (PCS A-G blocks)
- WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n and bluetooth 4.0
- Corning Gorilla Glass 2
- Solid polycarbonate body
We told you the Sprint Galaxy Nexus was one step closer after it passed through the FCC a couple of days ago. The latest rumor, which s4gru.com says comes from an inside source at Sprint, is that the carrier has decided to release the device on April 15th. That’s a Sunday, which would normally seem like an unlikely day for a phone’s release, but Sprint has been known to do Sunday releases in the past. Also, Sprint’s Galaxy Nexus contest ends on April 14th, along with a few promotions for older WiMax devices, giving some more credence to the rumor.
Other interesting details the source provided centers around the phone’s LTE capabilities. First, the phone will come set to 3G connectivity by default. This makes sense since Sprint’s LTE network will not be anywhere near fully rolled out. A toggle function will be available to switch between 3G and 4G. This can be seen as an advantage since the LTE radio can use more battery power than 3G. Verizon Galaxy Nexus users have been asking for an LTE toggle, so it would be nice to have it built-in by default.
Sprint and LightSquared had entered into an 11-year agreement last June to share network expansion costs if LightSquared could get regulatory approval for its LTE rollout plan. LightSquared was debating with the FCC about alleged GPS interference on the 1.6 GHz spectrum, and Sprint had given them a six-week deadline to sort it all out. Well, the six weeks is now up, and Sprint has decided to terminate the agreement, saying the following:
“…due to these unresolved issues, and subject to the provisions of the agreement, Sprint has elected to exercise its right to terminate the agreement announced last summer. We remain open to considering future spectrum hosting agreements with LightSquared, should they resolve these interference issues, as well as other interested spectrum holders…
…Per the terms of the agreement, Sprint has returned $65 million in prepayments LightSquared made to cover costs that were not ultimately incurred by Sprint.”
Full press release after the break.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Sprint’s board of directors is getting more hands-on in business negotiations and partner handling, and distancing themselves from Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. This is a bad sign for Hesse since this type of behavior from a board usually means they are either trying to secure themselves against a shareholder lawsuit, or they are getting ready to fire the CEO.
Hesse has become the face of the third largest carrier in the U.S. over the last five years, but considering Sprint has been losing money that whole time, that’s not necessarily a good thing. The board can easily use him as a scapegoat, and articles that paint the board as the guys trying to undo Hesse’s missteps, like the WSJ article does, only serve to strengthen the board’s position. An anonymous source says, “The board as been stunningly engaged. It sort of has to be because the company’s not doing well.”
Yes folks, it’s release is getting ever so close now as the Sprint version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has just stopped by the FCC begging for approval. Still on track (hopefully) for a mid 2012 release, the Sprint GNex appears to be very similar to the Verizon version and the FCC filing doesn’t really give us any deets that we didn’t already know. It’s sporting LTE band 25, 3G and 2G radios, along with Bluetooth and NFC. I wouldn’t plan on seeing this phone launch without a few active Sprint LTE markets, so once the Now Network decides to light the LTE wick, hopefully they release this bad boy along with it.
Right now, Amazon is quite possibly offering one of the best smartphones sales of this year. From now until March 26th, all Sprint’s 4G smartphones are on sale for only.. wait for it… one lousy penny! That’s right, for one cent (and the usual contract obligations) you can get any one of the following 4G phones to use on the Now Network:
- Samsung Galaxy S II Epic Touch 4G (white and black versions)
- HTC EVO Design 4G
- HTC EVO Shift 4G
- Samsung Nexus S 4G
- Samsung Epic 4G
- HTC EVO 3D 4G (black and plum versions)
- Motorola Photon 4G
- Samsung Conquer 4G
That’s a total of eight 4G phones to choose from, all of which would make for a great new addition. The only catch? This deal only applies to new contracts unfortunately, so if you are in need of a new wireless carrier and have been eyeballing a new Galaxy S II then this is probably the time to get on board with the most successful Android device to date. Plus, the SGSII is scheduled to receive the illustrious ICS update sometime in the near future, too. Hit up the source link below for further details and to place you order.
If you’re a Sprint customer and are looking for a
budget modest phone, you may want to check this out. The ZTE Fury smartphone has been unveiled and will be available in Sprint stores. The device looks to be targeted to new smartphone owners or those who prefer their phones in the simple/basic flavor and features a 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, 3.5-inch display, 5MP camera and Gingerbread 2.3. In case you’re wondering: the Fury is set to be on sale in stores starting March 11th for $19.99 on contract.
Did you know that Leap Day was also the 27th Annual International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference in Los Angeles? Sprint knew, and announced that it has launched a free app that provides easier access to the smartphones of blind or low-vision Android users. Dubbed “Wireless Accessibility“, the suite has been specifically designed by developers Code Factory for the blind or visually impaired, or for anyone who is having trouble using a smartphone due to physical or developmental disabilities.
This suite normally costs $99, but Sprint is now making it available for free in the Android Market. AT&T has a similar free version in the Market for a limited time called Mobile Accessibility Lite.
Mitch Pomerantz, president of the American Council of the Blind (ACB), said the following:
“Having the ability to gain greater access to information on smartphones through the use of a free suite of applications is a very positive development in the blind community’s quest for more affordable choices. The American Council of the Blind commends Sprint for its willingness to take another positive step toward full product accessibility.”
Full press release and a video of the app after the break.
Are you with Sprint and jonesing for a Galaxy Nexus? Well here is your chance to win one of 30 Nexus’ being given away by Sprint. The Now Network is holding a Data Storm sweepstakes that ties in gameplay for additional contest entries. Sounds easy enough right? Play a game, win a Nexus! Head over to the source link below to get entered, you have until April 5th to get as many entries in as you can. Curious about the cutoff date? Maybe that’s the day Sprint plans on releasing the Galaxy Nexus to the masses…