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).

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