Like dogs, smartphones grow to look like their owners—if those owners are tech-savvy enough. Sprint ID offers curated "packs" of apps, widgets, and themes for simple customization, starting with the Samsung Transform, Sanyo Zio, and LG Optimus 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, is to make customization simple. 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. Bloatware for the power user, perhaps, but useful for the app illiterate. Users will be able to load up to five packs on a device at the same time, customize 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 this fall: the $50, 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" touchscreen, a slide out QWERTY keyboard, and front and back facing cameras. It's currently saddled with Android 2.1 but is schedule for a Froyo treat later in the year, and it'll be on sale October 10 for $150.