Sprint Direct Connect Now makes push-to-talk an Android app
The app lets subscribers use Direct Connect without a dedicated button
IDG News Service - Push-to-talk, once the killer app of Nextel's iDEN network and more recently a feature offered on certain Sprint Nextel phones, has finally made the transformation into a downloadable Android app called Sprint Direct Connect Now.
The third-largest U.S. mobile operator announced Direct Connect Now even as it continued the process of shutting down the iDEN system. Sprint says the app delivers the key capabilities of Direct Connect and the original push-to-talk, which allow subscribers to talk to each other immediately in a walkie-talkie fashion, without placing or answering calls.
Push-to-talk systems are often used in businesses where workers are on the run and working with their hands, such as construction, manufacturing and service industries. Nextel's pioneering use of the feature won it a devoted following in those fields, which Sprint has tried to hold onto even as it moved to phase out the slow, narrowband iDEN network. Sprint plans to phase out iDEN in mid-2013. Last year it introduced Sprint Direct Connect for use on its own 3G CDMA network.
Like Direct Connect, the new app is based on Qualcomm's QChat technology. It's available for the Kyocera Rise and other devices, according to Sprint. The carrier says Direct Connect Now is interoperable with Nextel Direct Connect and Sprint Direct Connect.
The number of PTT users isn't growing significantly, partly because ordinary consumers have so many ways to keep in touch, such as SMS, Twitter and Facebook, said Maribel Lopez of Lopez Research. The market is still centered on the same group that used Nextel's system, which probably totals a few million users, Lopez said via email. Rivals such as AT&T have tried to attract those subscribers with their own PTT systems but have not made major inroads, she said.
With the Direct Connect Now app, Sprint subscribers can "push to talk" without actually pushing a button, different from current Direct Connect implementations that use dedicated hardware buttons on the handset. The app uses touchscreen controls instead. It synchronizes with the contact list on the subscriber's phone. Using a Group Connect feature, a subscriber can call as many as 21 people at once.
The app is available now from the Google Play store.
- Use the Mobile App Mix to Choose an Enterprise App Store Strategy In this research report Gartner outlines how organizations can optimally secure, distribute, and manage mobile applications for employees and contracted workers.
- The Case for Mobile Apps Today's mobile apps turn handheld devices into e-book readers, portable navigation systems, digital wallets and more. And for organizations with mobile workers, they...
- The 5 Big Lies About Going Mobile You've heard about the power of mobile to change your business. But have you realized your mobile potential? It's about much more than...
- Transforming enterprise applications for mobile environments This new white paper explains how Dell Application Modernization and Development Solution Set can help you understand when to develop new mobile apps,...
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different....
- Why Are Customers Really Deploying an NGFW? It seems every IT Security expert is talking about the NGFW, but what are people really doing? This webcast covers 5 real-world customer... All Mobile Apps White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!