When will phone carriers learn that sometimes less is more? Sprint has recently announced that it will be outfitting its Android smartphones with a pre-installed wallpaper called Sprint Live. The new wallpaper will feature a preselected assortment of apps and widgets. It's sort of like the Sprint ID app you'd find on the carrier's budget devices, just not as intrusive. The company will be teaming with mobile security and productivity software company NQ Mobile to bring Sprint Live to all Android phones later this year.
According to the press release, Sprint Live will be an "always-on" mobile desktop that will serve as a replacement to the regular static wallpaper. The service will deliver content to the homescreen based on the brands the user preference in brands or news. Live will run in the background allowing users to use their regular apps and widgets. The service sounds good in theory, but carrier-installed software functions more as a way to get sponsored apps in front of users than to improve or enhance user experience.
Another variable to consider is manufacturer skins such as Samsung TouchWiz and HTC Sense. Sprint will essentially be adding yet another layer to devices that are already heavily skinned and loaded with specialized features. We're reserving our judgement until the nascent program rolls out, but stayed tuned for more coverage.