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PPL Connect is a virtualized smartphone that lets you make and take calls from a web browser

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Sure, you've heard of virtualized computing environments before, but a start-up here at TechCrunch Disrupt called PPL Connect is a platform that virtualizes your phone's capabilities in real-time. That means you can make and receive calls and texts and access the photos and videos on your phone from any device with a web browser. It's kind of like AirDroid, only you don't need to have your phone with you or even have it turned on to make calls or receive texts once you've signed up. It's a platform agnostic solution for a fragmented mobile world.

The magic happens via a localized app on your phone and Amazon cloud service to dish out your data where you need it. That cloud component both serves as cloud storage for your data and as a back-end VoIP relay station for calls and texts. Currently, photos, videos, contacts, calls and texts are what's handled by the service, but the plan is to eventually fully replicate your phone's capabilities. For folks who are concerned about putting your digital life in the hands of PPL connect, all transmissions to and from its servers are encrypted. And, the company is currently devising a fully encrypted system whereby the data's only accessible with a single, user-owned key.

PPL Connect is a virtualized smartphone that lets you take calls from any web connected device

PPL connect will be free and come with a cloud locker of undetermined size when it launches (at an unknown point in the future), but will charge for more storage and for long distance calls. When asked how much, company co-founder Jenviev Azzolin played coy, as those details are still being worked out. The app was first revealed in alpha form back at SXSW, but now PPL Connect is rolling into a limited beta. The app's currently a free download at Google play, and after installing it, you'll get a notification once the beta becomes available to you. When will that be? Well, PPL Connect's creators couldn't say, but we imagine that'll depend upon how many sign up for the beta. Early bird gets the worm though, folks, so if PPL Connect sounds good, you know what to do. For the rest of you, check out the video below to see it in action.

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