Sprint’s Foray Into Android

sprint_heroSprint is starting to take the wraps off their support for Android, starting with the HTC Hero.

The sexy part, at least for the short term, is their Android content at the Sprint Open Developer Conference, October 26-28, in Santa Clara, CA. They, along with HTC and Google, are doing a fair bit to highlight the HTC Hero making its US debut on Sprint’s network. For example, some unnamed Googlers will be delivering 3.5 hours of presentations on the 28th, covering the latest in Android, plus how to get started on Android development.

Also, on the 26th, HTC is sponsoring a hands-on “coding lab”. Bring your laptop, you will learn how to build an Android application that gathers data from a Web service, displays it in a list, and also makes it available to an app widget for on your home screen…in three hours flat.

[quote]Needless to say, you’ll have some help. You will get a step-by-step guide on how to build the application, along with some starter code and open source components to help streamline the process. You will also get some live presentations explaining some of the theory behind what you are doing in the lab, and some means to get your questions answered should you get stuck.

And if you’re wondering how I know all of these details, it’s because I’m running the session.

Oh, and did I mention that Sprint and HTC are giving away HTC Hero devices (with one month’s free Sprint service) to the first 400 developers to show up at the lab ready to participate?

Sprint is doing more than just the conference, including a “developer sandbox” to get access to Web services from the Sprint network for things like network-based location lookups, Web-based free SMS delivery, and more. They also have their own set of forums, where they disclosed that the HTC Hero will ship with Android 1.5 but they plan to make Android 1.6 available eventually.

All in all, these are good first steps for Sprint to get themselves enmeshed in the overall Android ecosystem. With luck, they will continue expanding their efforts, perhaps adopting some of the tactics that T-Mobile has employed (e.g., helping improve their brand by having T-Mobile engineers assist in developer support on the Android Google Groups).

  • Feech

    Hey Mark is the conference going to be dealing with Sprint specific Apps? For example, like the "My Account" T-Mobile App?

  • Hi this is nathan from the Sprint Developer Program – we won't be talking about specific Sprint applications as our goal is to focus on enabling third party applications and making them available for customers primarily through the Android Marketplace.

    Sprint ADP – http://developer.sprint.com/android

  • Feech

    Thanks for the response. So its not Sprint specific app you’re working on but Apps for any carrier?

  • @Feech: I cannot speak for the entire conference agenda — it may be they will cover the Sprint Developer Sandbox there. The "coding lab" is not Sprint-specific (i.e., the app created there will work on other carriers), but it is aiming to create an app widget that blends in with the look-and-feel of other Hero widgets.

  • name

    Thanks for the info, Mark.
    Do you happen to know if we only need to register for the conference to attend the Android coding lab session on Oct 26, or do we have to register for the conference and the lab session? I would hate myself if I register for the conference, then find out that Android coding lab session is full and I cannot register for the session.

  • Hey you guys… have you registered yet for CES 2010 Las Vegas… It's free for all before October 1…

  • Mark Murphy

    @name: I think the coding lab is first-come, first-served. I am not aware of a separate registration process for the lab. I've forwarded your question to somebody at HTC to confirm my theory — if I find out that you do need to register for the lab, I'll try to remember to post it here.