T-Mobile is doing its Uncarrier thing again. As the carrier works on bringing its LTE network to US forces and older cars, it's also bringing the latest technology to its existing customers. The company's new Digits program lets you add multiple numbers to your phone, and then use them across all your devices. Starting today, postpaid customers can sign up to try out a beta version of the service, which the company says will launch commercially next year. Those who join the trial will need to have at least Android 5.0 or iOS 9 installed on their phones, and/or Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome on their Macs or PCs.
After you register for the beta, T-Mobile's support team will help you get started. When you sign in with your phone number, you'll find your call history, messages and voicemail waiting for you on whichever device you logged on with. The company says the service will work on "virtually any Internet-connected device," including feature phones, tablets, computers and wearables.
Since you'll be using the same number across your various gadgets, you won't have to tell all your friends to add your new number to their address books. T-Mobile also says you can put multiple numbers on one device and easily switch back and forth between them. What's interesting here is that you can also use this service on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint devices. You'll just have to download the Digits app, and your calls will be made through your own carrier's network.
When you get a call on Digits on a non-cellular device, the connection will be made over the Internet, and your conversation will be prioritized over other data transmissions. This ensures that calls "are more reliable with crystal clear HD voice quality and full mobility," said the company. It's not yet clear if there's a way to prevent all your devices from ringing together at once when you get an incoming call, which would be annoying.
Digits appears to be a pretty sweet way to enable more convenient communication with your phone number. Although other services, such as Apple's iMessage and Google's Hangouts, already let you use your phone number to send text messages from desktops, T-Mobile's solution seems to encompass even more platforms. It could let me send SMS messages to my friends from the comfort of my laptop, regardless of their operating systems. The ability to add multiple numbers to my account also makes sense for those who have a separate line for work, removing the need to carry several phones around.
The beta trial will be free, but official pricing for the service is still unknown, although T-Mobile COO Mike Sievert said that you can "expect us to be really disruptive here." He clarified that it won't be treated the same as adding a line to your account, and that the company is "going to take a completely different approach that will really delight people."
Chris Velazco contributed reporting to this article.