Prior to Sprint buying Nextel, the company was known for its push-to-talk feature. The walkie-talkie feature was the company’s claim to fame for well over a decade, before it fell out of favor and was removed from the company’s feature list almost entirely. Sprint, however, has announced they will be bringing back push-to-talk via an application on some of the flagship Android phone’s sold by the company.
The technology is fairly simple. The app allows users to sign up via the app, and a special contact list will be made. When a user wishes to push-to-talk, they’ll simply enter the application and they can connect with people who have opted into the service. The service is said to be free, for now.
Push-to-talk, in the past, was heavily utilized by fleets and workers. The phone’s were seen in school systems, construction companies, and other fleets were immediate contact without calling was necessary. The technology moved to the mainstream in the early 2000’s, and became popular in certain areas among teens and young adults. The technology fell out of favor as Nextel became incapable of conforming to a desire for smaller, lighter phones that offered more features. Once Sprint gobbled up Nextel, push-to-talk became a thing of the past.
Now, the technology have finally caught up with itself. Sprint, through the designation of an App, has made it possible to bring back push-to-talk, in a more streamlined and accessible manner. The technology will not be available on all phones. The app will only be available on high end Android phones and flagship handsets, initially. Later, Sprint will bring push-to-talk to all Android handsets on the network.
The Sprint news comes on the heels of several technological leaps in the cellular industry this month. At CES 2013, several phones were revealed that will offer “flexible” screens, and the first to hit the market is the LG G Flex, a curved smartphone. The curved phone is said to increase the phone’s usability and comfort, as well as its durability.
The Flex is one of the first phones to attempt to utilize flexible screens, which were first introduced by Samsung last year. A truly flexible screen, however, remains far off. The G Flex will be available on Sprint, AT&T and T-mobile on February 7th. Verizon is currently not offering the handset.