Sprint is ready to bring its carrier bloatware game to a whole new level, as it’s looking to convince customers to pay a monthly subscription fee for an app it will preload on its on-contract devices – the Sprint App Pass. Basically, Sprint is ready to offer subscribers unlimited access to certain apps on their Android devices for as long as they pay the subscription fee, and for as long as they remain with the carrier, Android Police has learned.
While the new “feature” may not be that bad, as Sprint seems ready to offer users access to a variety of apps and games, it’s not that great for the user either. The better alternative is sticking with the Google Play Store, which has plenty of interesting apps to offer that you can choose to download as you see fit.
The Sprint app store will include both paid and free apps, although users can expect to get access to just over 200 premium apps, according to available information. The $5 per month fee that subscribers pay will be split with the developers of the paid apps downloaded by a user during a month – it’s not clear whether Sprint will also take a cut.
Sprint will also offer $5 worth of in-app purchase credits to subscribers each month, which they can spend on more in-app digital content, and each Sprint App Pass subscription will include access for two different devices.
The service should launch on August 29 in the U.S., and Sprint’s owner Softbank will roll out a similar service in Japan as well.
An image showing promotional materials for Sprint App Pass and a section from Sprint’s press release introducing the bezel-less Sharp Aquos Crystal smartphone that actually describes the new bloatware service follow below.
“App All You Want” with App Pass
Exclusive to Sprint in the U.S., App Pass is a subscription service that allows customers to access a hand-selected catalog of premium apps and games for $4.99 per month – after a 14-day free trial. App Pass offers unlimited access to these apps and games across two devices, and additionally, customers are given a $5 credit each month to spend on in-app purchases.
“Many customers find value in premium apps, but hesitate to make the purchase without knowing more about the app,” said Wayne Ward, vice president-business and product development at Sprint. “With App Pass, Sprint makes it easier for our customers to ‘app all you want’ with a curated list of popular premium apps.”
App Pass will host a curated selection of apps and mobile games from some of the world’s top developers including Gameloft and Oceanhouse Media. Select titles from other developers include OfficeSuite 7 Pro, Camera Zoom FX, Minuum Keyboard, CamScanner and Color & Draw for Kids.
App Pass, powered by Mobiroo, which develops and manages app subscription platforms globally, will be pre-installed on all new Sprint Android devices beginning Aug. 29. App Pass can also be found under the “Apps” tab of the Sprint Zone app, on supported devices, for current Sprint customers using an Android phone. After the launch on Aug. 29, Sprint customers can visit http://www.sprint.com/apppass to learn more and download the app. New apps and games will be regularly added to the storefront.
To receive the 14-day free trial, customers will need to open the App Pass app and then register by tapping on the menu button, then selecting ‘My Account,’ tapping on the ‘Sign up now’ button on the Featured page or tapping on the ‘download’ button on an App Details page. App Pass will not be available on prepaid devices.
UPDATE: The image was removed at the request of Mobiroo.