Sprint has been marketing push-to-talk functionality (a walkie-talkie style function that's popular with business users) since long before Android came into being. Though the feature isn't nearly as common as it once was, Sprint seems ready to keep it going with an update to the official Android app. The Direct Connect service is now compatible with a handful of new phones, most notably headliners like the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3, and LG G2.

unnamed unnamed (1) unnamed (2)

The new LG G Flex and Optimus F3Q get to join in, along with the ruggedized Kyocera Hydra Edge. To access Direct Connect, Sprint customers will have to have a plan that supports it (or a surcharge to a more basic plan), then download the Direct Connect app from the Play Store. Sign in, tell all your friends employees to download the app as well, and get to talking. Direct Connect also works with some of Sprint's standard "dumb" phones, and the press release says that the app will be expanded to the Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy Mega, and the Sprint Spark model of the Galaxy S4 soon.

At this point Sprint has got to be feeling the crunch from apps like Voxer, which offer much of the fame functionality without any network or hardware requirements. Even so, it's nice to see one of the few useful carrier add-on apps getting expanded. Direct Connect is a free download for Sprint customers.

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sprint (NYSE: S), the industry’s push-to-talk pioneer, today announced it has added more Sprint Direct Connect-capable handsets to its push-to-talk portfolio. On the new phones, push-to-talk service can be installed quickly by accessing the Google Play store and downloading the free “Sprint Direct Connect Now” application. Sprint Direct Connect service is included for no additional charge on many service plans or available for an additional $5 per month for other plans.

The new phones that can be made push-to-talk ready with the Sprint Direct Connect Now application today:

  • Samsung Galaxy S 4
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
  • LG G2
  • LG G Flex
  • LG Optimus F3
  • Kyocera Hydro Edge

Coming soon:

  • Samsung Galaxy S 4 Mini
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega
  • Samsung Galaxy S 4 with Sprint Spark

Sprint Direct Connect Now features:

  • Sprint Direct Connect on 4G LTE capable devices
  • New enhanced user experience
  • Interoperable with Sprint® Direct Connect® devices
  • Convenient touchscreen controls
  • TeamDC and Opt-In TeamDC closed group calling
  • Call alerts to notify others you want to talk without interrupting
  • Displays contact image for speaker
  • Synchronizes contacts with device’s address book
  • Create favorites for most contacted Direct Connect® contacts

“With Sprint Direct Connect Now, consumers and businesses can easily download push-to-talk service to help mobilize their lives, their businesses, and their workforces,” said John Tudhope, Sprint director-Product Marketing. “Sprint Direct Connect Now is the ideal complement to our portfolio of rugged, military spec Sprint Direct Connect handsets that our longtime push-to-talk customers have grown accustomed to – especially construction workers, manufacturers and emergency workers.”

Sprint Direct Connect Now marks another milestone for the Sprint push-to-talk franchise. Today, Sprint Direct Connect has matured into a service featuring:

  • Sprint Direct Connect platform upgrades to support push-to-talk on Sprint’s 4G LTE Network.
  • Triple the square miles of coverage compared to the former Nextel National Network.
  • Instant call setup time on domestic push-to-talk calls.
  • International coverage to Latin American countries that most frequently use push-to-talk service (SDC Now international capability coming in future update).