Sprint has been rolling out a new piece of software to some phones called the Sprint connection optimizer. It has already been installed on multiple Sprint Android phones, including the Samsung Epic 4G.
The software basically searches for wifi in the background. It then uses a standard Android notification to ask to connect to an open wifi network. After being connected once, it’ll remember that network and connect to it whenever you’re near. I’m not quite sure how that differs at all from standard Android behavior, but I doubt Sprint would make a useful app then call it “a little bit groundbreaking.”
This of course helps Sprint, because it takes a lot of traffic off their networks. It also helps the user, because wifi is almost always preferable to a mobile network, and it is more battery efficient. In fact, head of products and devices for Sprint, Fared Adib, says smartphones can get up to 50% better battery life using wifi as opposed to a mobile network.
On another note, Sprint talked about their plans for LTE devices. They’ve already stated that they plan to release 15 LTE devices, but it was never stated what kind of devices they’d be. Now, they’ve said that a majority of them will be handsets. A few have been confirmed to be tablets, data cards, and USB modems though, which is good. They’ve already released 2 LTE devices, and the third, the EVO 4G LTE, is on the way. That leaves 12 to go in 2012.