Beginning May 31, T-Mobile will roll out the Digits service to all customers. All existing lines will access the service for free but additional ones will incur a monthly charge of $10. The carrier has been conducting tests on the service since December last year.
The service is similar to Google’s voice service and allows customers of the wireless carrier to synchronize their smartwatches, computers, tablets and multiple phones to their numbers. Digits also allows for the use of multiple numbers on a single device. This eliminates the need of carrying multiple mobile phones for work and personal needs.
Messaging from any device
Just like with Apple’s iMessage, users of Digits have the option of sending text messages from personal computers or tablets and have them look like they originated from their mobile phones.
With the Digits service it will be possible for households to have one shared phone number which will ring all the devices of the family members regardless of their physical location. There is also the option of having a second number on the Digits service which can serve as a burner line in situations where sharing the main phone number is neither safe nor appropriate.
The Digits service works with either iOS devices or those devices running on the Android operating system. With the messaging service, users can access it on any device that that has a Firefox or a Chrome browser installed. There are also supporting apps provided for major operating systems.
Some of the recent smartphones from LG and Samsung possess native Digits integration on their dialers and thus users will just place Digits phone calls just like other calls. But with the iPhone, users will be required to make use of the Digits app when placing phone calls and when managing their Digits lines. Additionally with the iPhone, there will be no syncing with the Digits service of messages that have been sent via iMessage.
While making the announcement concerning the universal availability of Digits to all its customers starting at the tail end of this month, T-Mobile noted that messaging from tablets and personal computers was one of the most used functionality of the Digits service during the beta phase of the product. The ability to ring various multiple devices using one number was also appreciated by a significant number of customers.
Unlike with other messaging apps which rely on OTTP data connections, calls placed via the Digits service make use of T-Mobile’s circuit-switched and VoLTE networks. They are thus similar to regular phone calls.