Sprint is again in the headlines in connection with its latest DirectConnect for Android devices. The carrier is planning a revival of the service in an upcoming Android app.
As for now, the app will debut as Sprint DirectConnect. Though initially on the Samsung Transform Ultra, this gives the device walkie-talkie capabilities without the need for iDEN compatible hardware.
Sprint’s push-to-talk technology, dubbed DirectConnect, currently supports international push-to-talk feature, an option that isn’t available from competing services offered by Verizon Wireless and AT&T.
In addition, this service supports Land Mobile Radio interoperability (LMR), which is typically used by the military or emergency services and is also offered by Verizon Wireless.
Other features include support for simultaneous data and push-to-talk functionality, support for up to 200 people on a push-to-talk group session, per-second push-to-talk billing and notifications alerting the users when other contacts are available for Direct Connect.
This Android app is the direct result of the latest changes to the platform which frees it from the previous hardware requirements. It can turn chat services into fully functioning push to talk services without the need to develop customized hardware around it.
This was indeed the biggest reason manufacturers were hesitant to include support into devices such as smartphones, due to the added expense and cost for integration with the previous version.