Buried in the press release announcing the Sharp Aquos Crystal on Sprint was the first official mention of Sprint App Pass. It's a subscription-based app store the carrier plans to pre-load on all its Android devices, and we have the full scoop on features thanks to some information we've been given. The gist of it is that you pay a monthly fee and get access to all the stuff offered by App Pass, but only for as long as you keep paying.


App Pass is backed by Mobiroo, which has its own subscription app store for other devices. The content included with App Pass will be different, though. Mobiroo is just responsible for the underlying platform (some of the slides we have use Mobiroo's store as an example of how App Pass will work). There's a 14-day trial for App Pass, after which it costs $5 per month to use all the apps in the store. There will be over 200 apps and games in App Pass at launch that cost money in Google Play like Camera Zoom FX and OfficeSuite 7 Pro. However, there will also be some freemium stuff, for which you get $5 of additional monthly in-app purchase credit. Of course, you can spend more than that (which Sprint would probably prefer).

The apps are going to be protected with DRM that ensures you can only use them with an active App Pass subscription. That subscription fee is shared by the developers of the apps you use. So if you download 10 apps from App Pass in a month, your $5 is split up between those devs. Sprint is pitching this as an additional revenue stream for developers, even if they're already successful in the Play Store. 

The official Sprint landing page for App Pass isn't live yet, but it should be soon. The program is going live on August 29th, and the on-device client will be pre-loaded on all phones going forward (yay bloatware). It may even be added to existing phones in future OTAs. The same service is going to come to Sprint's parent company Softbank in Japan as well. It'll be interesting to see if App Pass helps to turn around Sprint's fortunes.

[App Pass (not yet live)]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • MotDetoyr

    like always Sprint sucks and hooray more bloatware

  • Alvinpck

    Bloat. Bloat everywhere

  • Brad


  • Nick Cannon

    Appp Ass

  • Josh Crumley

    But whyyy

  • Mayoo

    I've stopped reading at "pre-load" then threw my screen out of the window.

    • BrazenRain

      Sprint should partner with LCD companies.

    • frafri

      me too. bloatware..

  • Stone Cold

    WTH kind of person would want this DRM based mess? And you get this and the Play Store Ugh

    • atg284

      Just something for the store sales rep to push on people.

  • dkbnyc

    I wonder how Google feels about loosing money like this.

    • Brad

      ask amazon

    • http://dribbble.com/nickchamberlin Nick Chamberlin

      Lol google won't be losing money from this.

  • http://www.scottcolbert.com/ ScottColbert

    Sprint, as clueless as usual.

  • Matthew Fry

    What a colossal waste of money. Let me guess, it's carrier billed and you have to call them to cancel, but they only have 1 person able to do the cancellation and they're only available between 2pm and 5pm Tuesday and Thursday.

    • Bryan Pizzuti

      No, they're off Thursday, and have to take a mandated union break from 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM on Tuesday.

      • bob

        we work every day also lol union

  • MJ

    I keep wishing wireless carriers would just put resources towards making their networks faster with better coverage and stop putting shit on thier phones.

  • Bryan Pizzuti

    So Sprint's game-changer feature is the evil twin of IAPs, OAPs?

    • Autocorrect

      Duck off you birch.

  • ProductFRED

    I like how even in Sprint's press-release shot, their phone is roaming (the triangle).

  • blindexecutioner

    More bloat that will go unused taking up space.

  • joser116

    That screen is simply stunning.

  • autocorrect

    Duck off you botch.

  • Android Developer
  • robert

    I don't understand why they add this stuff I mean no one likes all this extra stuff

  • meyerweb

    At least Sprint lets you uninstall their bloat, unlike AT&T and Verizon.