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19 hours ago

Microsoft rolls out Skype Lite in India with support for biometric authentication

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Skype Lite is designed to work on slow cellular connections in India.

After Facebook Lite and YouTube Lite (which is dubbed YouTube Go), it is now Microsoft's turn to roll out a 2G-friendly version of Skype in India. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella showed off the app at an event in Mumbai earlier today, highlighting the fact that it was built at Microsoft's development facility in Hyderabad and tested extensively in India.

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19 hours ago

Digital Offers: Learn to code with Python for only $22.50

Just about everything relies on some type of code nowadays. Cars are computerized; we use computers all day long, and we're glued to our smartphones from sunup to sundown. Python is a major coding language for apps and it's an excellent tool if you're wanting to enter the field of software development, especially if you want to build apps for a living.

Use code LEARN50 for additional savings! Learn More

But you can't just learn to code with Python overnight. You need training, and Python may not be offered at your college of choice. Or, you already have a full-time job and don't have the time to attend classes, day or night. You need online courses and you need to be able to take them at your leisure — even if that means it takes a couple years.

The Python Power Coder Bonus Bundle is a great way for you to get started and to learn to build apps from scratch and learn web programming, as well as other applicable skills that you can use to forge your career as an app developer or programmer. You'll get lifetime access to eight courses, totaling roughly 70 hours of content, and you'll build 17 apps during your studies.

Were you to go anywhere else for these courses, you'd end up paying over $700. But right now through Android Central Digital Offers, you'll only pay $22.50 for the whole bundle when using the code LEARN50. That's eight courses, over 600 lessons, and about 70 hours of content for over 93% off.

Save 93% on this bundle for a limited time! Learn More

It's a great time to get into the world of app development and programming for the web, but you first need the tools to get a foot in the door. Python is one of the biggest coding languages when it comes to apps and learning to use it and use it well is an invaluable asset right now. But don't pay over $700 for courses. Get the Python Power Coder Bonus Bundle for only $22.50 with code LEARN50 through Android Central Digital Offers.

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19 hours ago

New leak shows off the LG G6 next to last year's G5

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LG G6's slim bezels get highlighted in latest leak.

The latest LG G6 leak shows off the device next to last year's G5. LG has previously stated that the G6 will feature a big screen in a small body, and it's easy to see that from the image posted on Weibo. In spite of featuring a 5.7-inch QHD+ display, the G6 is only marginally larger than the 5.3-inch G5.

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19 hours ago

New Futurama game for Android promises to bring authentic experience for fans

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Good news, everyone! Futurama may finally be getting a mobile game worthy of the show expansive universe of comedy.

Futurama is coming back! ...as a mobile game. Yes, despite the animated series final finale airing back in 2013, the show is getting a brand new game for 2017 in a partnership between FOX Interactive and game developers TinyCo. Unfortunately, we don't know any specifics related to gameplay or what sort of hi-jinx Fry, Leela, and Bender will be getting up to yet, so instead we're left to speculate based on clues from TinyCo's previous licensed titles.

TinyCo was responsible for bringing another popular FOX animated series, Family Guy, to the mobile platform with Family Guy: The Search of Stuff. It's a city building game with delayed build times and in-app purchases — as well as millions of downloads from the Google Play Store alone. It's hardly a stretch of the imagination to see how a show that's centered around an interplanetary delivery service could easily be developed into a lucrative, quest-based mobile game with a free-to-play model — but again that's pure speculation on our part.

At the very least, Family Guy: The Search of Stuff proves that TinyCo takes its source material seriously and takes the time to faithfully adapt the look, feel and humor of the original show to a mobile game.

And that's great news, because Futurama deserves a well-made mobile game more than any other franchise. Of all the great animated series that existed during the early 2000s, Futurama did the best job of capitalizing and embedding itself within the proliferation of nerd culture, and was literally kept alive thanks to fans showing support on the Internet. It was a incredibly creative and well-written show that offered a smart satirical look at the world and science fiction tropes won over the hearts of diehard fans… despite having been cancelled multiple times.

Family Guy: The Search of Stuff proves that TinyCo takes its source material seriously and takes the time to faithfully adapt the look, feel and humor of the original show to a mobile game.

And really, it's not like Futurama needs a mobile game, but it would be nice to have something to make up for the other game "based on the series": Futurama: Game of Drones an uninspired tile-swapping game with the Futurama characters and branding slapped on.

So it's heartening to hear that the developers behind this new title carrying the Futurama brand are huge fans of the Futurama series. As TinyCo's Head of Business Operations Michael Chen explained, the team has the added benefit of working so closely with the series' original cast and crew.

"Our team is all die-hard Futurama fans, and we work day in and day out with the amazing people that gave birth to the incredible Futurama world. It is a labor of love and we just hope that all of our passion, love, and hard work translates into something that befits this world and these characters we all love," said Chen.

"We work with the original crew every day on this game. They are an integral part of making the game the best it can possibly be. We firmly believe that you can't get to 100% authenticity for a game on a brand like Futurama without working with the folks that created it. They lived this world for so long and have such unbelievable passion and love for the world and what makes it tick, that without them you can only do so much to make it authentic.

Without revealing any specifics, Chen did specify that the game should take advantage of one of the core aspects of Futurama — going on zany space adventures — would be a big part of the game. And that's good because, as Chen acknowledges, there's a lot of pressure to deliver when you're dealing with cherished source material.

"We firmly believe that you can't get to 100% authenticity for a game on a brand like Futurama without working with the folks that created it."

"Yes there is added pressure, but the pressure for an authentic brand experience is the right pressure to have to push a team to deliver a better product," said Chen.

"When creating a game based on a world with beloved characters and universe it is an imperative that the experience is authentic in order to make it a game that's worth a player's time. If you have incredible mechanics and gameplay, but the world and characters are misrepresented or slapped on, you are doing your product and the fans of that brand a disservice."

As a Futurama fan, I'm cautiously optimistic to see what TinyCo and the Futurama crew have in store for us.

You can pre-register for the game in the Google Play Store or at www.youwillplayfuturama.com

See at Google Play Store

Android Gaming

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19 hours ago

How to manage Chrome's Autofill feature

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Chrome's Autofill feature remembers typos, too. Good thing editing is so easy!

Having the Chrome browser remember your details when filling out forms on the internet can be handy. Most times when you sign up for any service or buy something online, you'll need to enter the same information each time and a secure way to enter it all at once saves time and means fewer errors. But it's only a good thing if all the info is correct.

Thankfully, changing the data stored for Chrome's Autofill feature is simple. So is turning it off completely if you would rather not have this information about you — including your credit card numbers — stored in the cloud.

When you first enter information about yourself, Chrome can save it if you have the Autofill feature turned on. The information it saves ranges from the relatively harmless to the sensitive, including credit card information, as mentioned above. Here's a list of what gets saved when you're using Autofill.

  • Name
  • Organization
  • Street address, including city, state or province, ZIP/post code, and country
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Credit Card information

Your name and address are tied to credit card data in Chrome's Autofill settings or can be data from Google Payments. We think Google Payments is a better place to store your Credit Card information, including the associated name and billing address, but we'll include instructions for managing it through Chrome for completeness' sake.

Autofill data is in the cloud, not on a device. You always need to be aware of what data you're saving and where you're saving it when it comes to your personal information.

You can add, edit, or delete Autofill information at will through Chrome, both on your phone or from a desktop version, like the one you find on a Chromebook. Because the data is stored in your Google personal cloud, the information is the same across all instances of Chrome you're signed into. That's another good reason to make sure you sign out when you're finished on any computer you share with other people.

How to change the Autofill data through the desktop version of Chrome:

  1. Open the settings menu and scroll down to Advanced Settings. Click to open them.
  2. In the Passwords and Forms section, click the Manage Autofill settings link.
  3. To add an address, click Add new street address.
  4. To add a credit card, click Add new credit card.
  5. To edit an existing address or credit card, hover over its entry and click Edit.
  6. To delete an address or credit card, hover over its entry and click Delete.
  7. Click Done when you're finished.

You're unable to change addresses stored in Google Payments through Chrome's settings. To edit one of these, follow the same procedure and then sign into Google Payments in the new tab that opens.

Changing your Autofill data on the Android version of Chrome is almost the same. You'll need to open the settings and tap the Autofill forms entry to find your existing data or add new data. Once open, you'll see the same data as the desktop, displayed in a single scrolling list for a better mobile view. Add, edit, or delete your data the same way as mentioned above.

Turning Autofill off

If you don't want Chrome to hold your data and fill out forms, it's simple to turn the feature off. You might want to do this on some devices and not others, and in that case, you need to look at how to select exactly what to sync between devices.

Read: How to choose what you sync on Chrome across devices

To turn Autofill off in the desktop version of Chrome go to Settings > Advanced Settings > Passwords and Forms and uncheck the box labeled Enable Autofill to fill out web forms in a single click.

To turn Autofill off in the Android version of Chrome tap Settings and then Autofill forms. Tap the switch at the top to toggle it to the off position.

Questions?

Let us know in the comments below, or ask Jerry in our forums.

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20 hours ago

Amazon is offering $8.63 off nearly any purchase of $50 or more today only!

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Amazon has topped the charts on the annual Harris Poll for corporate reputation, and to celebrate you'll be able to save $8.63 on any purchase of $50 or more. Using the coupon code BIGTHANKS you can save yourself on that purchase you've been holding out on. Whether you are in the market for a new case to protect your phone, a battery pack to keep it charged, or even a better way to get Wi-Fi through your whole house, you'll want to make sure you get $50 in your cart to save with this promo.

Some great ways to use your discount include:

Remember, this discount is only good for today, and there are a few exceptions to it. You won't be able to use the coupon on orders placed through Alexa or Prime Now, and it doesn't apply to video games, digital content or Amazon Gift Cards. Be sure to check out all the details at Amazon and then load up your cart with the stuff you want so you can save today!

See at Amazon

For more great deals on tech, gadgets, home goods and more, be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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20 hours ago

Using an Android watch with multiple Google Accounts

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LG Watch Sport

People with multiple accounts have some extra steps in Android Wear now.

Where previous versions of Android Wear acted as an extension of your phone, anything running Wear 2.0 is designed to work like it's a standalone Android device. A big part of setting up this experience is moving your Google Account over to the watch from your phone.

This is a fairly trivial thing to do with a single account, but if you use multiple Google Accounts on your phone and need information from multiple accounts to live on your watch, there're a few new things you're going to need to know about using Android Wear.

What does it mean to use multiple accounts on Android Wear?

Android Wear

When you move more than one Google Account to the watch, each becomes an option for Google's core services in Android Wear. For starters, it means you can install apps as either of your accounts from the Google Play Store app on the watch. Like the Play Store on your phone, this affects how you manage your apps, as well as where paid apps live when you buy them. Only one account exists at a time in these Wear apps as the "primary" app, allowing you to switch back and forth as you need.

It's important to make sure you have the right account set as your default.

The good news is notifications works seamlessly once you've moved your accounts over. If you get a notification from an account that isn't set as primary, you still receive it like you would any other notification and can interact without needing to manually switch between those accounts. This setup is a little more complicated than what was previously available for Android Wear, but it gives you a lot more flexibility and control regarding the notifications that show up on your watch and the things you can do with apps on your watch.

A good example of why you would need to switch accounts on a regular basis is Google Assistant. Even with multiple accounts available on your watch, you only want to use Assistant with a single account. Additionally, Assistant settings on your watch can only be adjusted on the phone with whatever account you currently have enabled on the watch. Since Google pulls data from the account you currently have selected, it's important to make sure you have the right account set as your default.

How to switch accounts on Android Wear

Most Google Apps on your phone have the ability to quickly switch between your Google Accounts. Watch apps aren't quite as functional, especially those that have not been updated to Android Wear 2.0. For all of Google's core functions, including Assistant, the default account is whatever you currently have enabled in the Play Store on your watch. This means, in order to set the correct Assistant for your watch, you need to have that account set on the Play Store.

Making the switch is simple.

  1. Go to the Play Store on your watch.
  2. Swipe down to access the Play Store settings.
  3. Tap the Accounts icon, and whichever account has green text next to it is the default account.
  4. To switch accounts, tap the account you want as the default, and you'll be returned to the Play Store.

Anything connected to Google on your watch will now use that account as the default.

Questions?

Let us know in the comments below!

Android Wear

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21 hours ago

Grab this great battery pack for under £17 right now at Amazon UK

0

In need of keeping your phone and tablet topped up while you're away from home? How about this whopper from RAVPower, available from Amazon UK for one day only at £16.49. The battery pack comes with a substantial 16750mAh capacity with a pair of 2.1A USB outputs. That'll be enough to charge most phones about four times.

Despite its capacity it's still a fairly portable battery pack with a neat power level meter and, as ever, an included flashlight. It comes in either white or black and as it's a deal of the day the price will go back up real soon.

Grab it while it's hot!

See at Amazon

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1 day ago

Honor V9 debuts in China with 5.7-inch QHD display, 6GB RAM, and 4000mAh battery for $435

35

The Honor V9 has everything you'd want from a high-end phone in 2017.

Huawei's sub-brand Honor unveiled its 2017 flagship in China, and like the company's offerings in the past, the Honor V9 offers high-end specs for the equivalent of $435. The phone features a 5.7-inch QHD display with 2.5D curved glass, and is powered by Huawei's latest Kirin 960 SoC, which has four Cortex A73 cores clocked at 2.4GHz complemented by four 1.8GHz Cortex A53 cores and a Mali G71 GPU.

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1 day ago

Refurbished Galaxy Note 7 could be heading to India and Vietnam [Update: Not really]

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Update: A spokesperson for Samsung India has confirmed that the company won't sell refurbished units of the Galaxy Note 7 in the country: "The report on Samsung planning to sell refurbished Galaxy Note 7 smartphone[s] in India is incorrect."

Original story follows:

Samsung announced the findings of its Galaxy Note 7 investigation last month, detailing that two separate battery issues were to blame for the device catching on fire. With Samsung now recovering most of the Note 7 units sold worldwide, it looked like the device's troubled tale has reached its conclusion.

However, a new report out of Korea suggests that Samsung is looking to sell refurbished units of the Galaxy Note 7 in India and Vietnam as a way to recoup some of its losses. Samsung has recovered 98% of Note 7 devices sold globally, and used 200,000 devices to conduct battery tests, leaving the company with 2.5 million units in its inventory. Instead of disposing the devices, Samsung will fit smaller batteries in the range of 3000mAh to 3200mAh, and sell them in emerging markets.

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1 day ago

Verizon's Moto G5 Plus breaks cover in new leak

24

The Moto G5 Plus is heading to Verizon.

Verizon has shunned the Moto G series for a few generations, but it looks like that won't be the case this year. According to noted leaker Evan Blass, the Moto G5 Plus will be available on Verizon.

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1 day ago

The latest Facebook spam wave is all thanks to deceptive UI

36

I just spammed all of my friends and family to install an app I had just uninstalled.

Installing new apps is a part of the job. It is rare that I will go through a whole day without deciding to check out an app I haven't heard of before, and a lot of my friends will recommend stuff either for my opinion or to share a new cool thing. It's rare that a new app finds a permanent home on my phone, but I like trying new things so I usually dive in without a ton of research.

Today that had an unfortunate side effect, and it's actually part of a nasty spam wave hitting Facebook right now.

I got a notification from a friend to try out Chatous via Facebook. Tapping the link takes me right to the Play Store, where I see it is a messaging app that lets you talk with random people in your immediate physical area. It's a simple enough app; you see a bubble with an avatar on it show up in a radar and tap to interact. There's very little personal information shared in the account creation process, making it easy to be fairly anonymous while enjoying a conversation that could very well end in discovering shared interests with a local person. Overall, not the worst idea.

I quickly sent a message to my friends asking them to ignore it.

During the account setup process, Chatous pings your Facebook account and asks if you want to invite your friends into the app. I have never once in the history of ever wanted to do this, so I quickly dismissed the screen and went on to test some of the features of the app. There was only one person in my area using the app, and he seemed mostly interested in showing me photos of dog genitals, so I moved to uninstall the app. Alongside my Uninstall Complete notification was a new notification from Facebook, where a friend was asking me for more information about this app I had just sent them.

That's right, even though I explicitly told this app to leave my friends alone, every single one of them got a notification from me inviting them to install this app.

I quickly sent a message to my friends asking them to ignore the previous notification and stay away from the app, and that's when I saw this was not an isolated incident. Some of my friends had been getting this recommendation from others all day long, and a little further research revealed this was not isolated to Chatous. This is a common UI trick designed to spam people into installing your app, and the origin of the spam isn't even aware this is happening unless someone tells them.

There's not much that can be done about this right now, aside from letting your friends know not to trust app recommendations on Facebook, even from trusted friends. This user-hostile experience is an unfortunate form of notification spam that gets used because it works, and it's the kind of thing that keeps people from trying any new apps at all.

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1 day ago

The Galaxy S8 won't follow Google's advice for its virtual buttons

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Samsung is going to try to recreate its hardware navigation button layout with software buttons on the Galaxy S8.

We always knew the day would come (or did we?) when Samsung would do away with its capacitive navigation buttons and physical home button for something a bit more... flexible. Now, it looks like exactly that is happening, based on earlier leaked photos and some illustrations from the upcoming Galaxy Tab S3 manual.

The Galaxy S8 will indeed have on-screen navigation buttons, but according to leaked images, they will be reversed from the standard format found on most Android devices today — and in accordance with Samsung's reverse order that it maintained for so many years. While this makes sense from a continuity perspective, it also finds Samsung continuing to go against the grain of the rest of the Android industry. Perhaps there will be an option to reverse them, as many devices from the likes of Huawei and LG offer.

The illustration, which cannot be confirmed as genuine right now, depicts the Galaxy S8 with a rear fingerprint sensor next to the camera, too.

Finally, the manual shows the Galaxy S8 sitting in its Dex computer dock, ostensibly used to interface with a laptop or desktop computer. With the Galaxy S8 expected to be one of the most powerful devices released this year — a Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 9 chip depending on region — it should have plenty of performance to power a desktop environment.

What do you think of what you've seen of the Galaxy S8 so far?

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1 day ago

Google testing Voice over LTE support for Project Fi

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Project Fi is testing VoLTE support via T-Mobile's network

If you're a Project Fi customer, you may have noticed improved call quality over the past few weeks. That's because Google has been quietly testing Voice over LTE (VoLTE) for a subset of Project Fi users, formally announced in a post on the Project Fi Help Forum. If you're curious to know if you're one of the fortunate testers for this new service, you can find out by looking for the signal indicator to continue displaying LTE when making or receiving a call.

VoLTE allows you to make calls over a data connection without using any of your data allocation. You also get the added benefit of faster data browsing during an ongoing call — perfect for those times when you need to look up directions on Google Maps while talking to someone. You'll also get faster call setup for a smoother overall call experience on your phone.

If you're curious to know more about Project Fi and how it works, it's Google's phone carrie, which offers you mobile data service spread across three mobile networks: Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Carrier. Your phone will intelligently switch between the different networks to find the strongest connection, and it will also automatically use Wi-Fi for calls and texts wherever available.

Project Fi is restricted to Google's devices — the Google Pixel and Pixel XL, Nexus 6p, and Nexus 5X — and VoLTE support for Project Fi is also limited to T-Mobile's network, as it's currently the only partner network to fully support VoLTE.

Google hasn't set a timetable for when VoLTE will roll out to all Project Fi users, but testing will continue and we're sure we'll hear updates as things progress.

Are you one of the lucky Project Fi VoLTE testers? Let us know your experiences so far in the comments below!

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1 day ago

What is T-Mobile Digits and why do I want it?

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T-Mobile's Digits brings phone calls and texts into the 21st century, but at a time when people care little about those things, will it make a difference?

T-Mobile has unveiled a new service called Digits, making phone numbers less reliant on a SIM card, and expanding the simple phone number into the smartphone age.

But for all of its big talk, Digits is a bit confusing, so let's break it down.

What is Digits?

At its core, Digits is T-Mobile's way of utilizing its new IMS (IP Media Subsystem) backend to dynamically direct calls to any device, or store multiple numbers on a single device.

Basically, without the technical mumbo jumbo, it's a way to free the phone number from its legacy place, and to utilize the flexibility data-based nature of Voice over LTE and Voice of Wi-Fi to allow a call to take place, or to be received, in the most convenient place. This is very similar to Google Voice, and to many other Voice over IP services like Viber and Skype, but T-Mobile has one major advantage: it owns the network, and it distributes the phones.

So what can Digits really do for me?

Provided you're on one of T-Mobile's compatible postpaid plans (yes, this is yet another way for T-Mobile to upsell you), Digits can make it easier to manage phone calls in the increasingly inevitable situation you have multiple devices.

The basic idea is that if you receive a call on your traditional T-Mobile number, your phone should ring, along with any device — another phone, a computer, a tablet, even a connected smartwatch — at the same time. You can also make calls from any of those same devices without your phone nearby, and without the need to have a SIM card.

A secondary but for many people equally important feature is the ability to have more than one number available on a single device. So instead of having separate personal and work phones, you can have a single smartphone make and receive calls from two or more numbers.

This sounds a lot like Google Voice

Yes, it does. The major difference here is that T-Mobile is committing to a couple of things that even Google, which creates both Android and Google Voice, can't do:

  • It is integrating Digits directly into the Android phones it sells, working with manufacturers like Samsung to seamlessly add Digits support into devices like the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S7 and Gear S3.
  • It is making it easy to do so-called "SIM replication," which allows you to duplicate a phone number onto a second device, such as another smartphone or a connected smartwatch.

This is in addition to the Google Voice-like Digits app that's available for Android and iOS, to make and receive calls and texts from any device, anywhere. There's also a Digits portal on the web for people who sit in front of a computer all day and want to be able to initiate communications that way. And because the app is available natively and through an app, devices with SIM cards from AT&T, Verizon or Sprint — any carrier, really — can access Digits messages. If you lose your phone, for instance, you can download the Digits app onto a friend's device and make and receive calls and texts from there, too.

Like many cross-platform messaging services, call logs and messages also sync in real-time between devices, which is a huge boon to productivity if you don't always have your phone in front of you.

It's tailor-made for Android

Android is the only platform on which T-Mobile can rely to help Digits grow.

Digits is a cross-platform play, sure, but it is tailor-made for Android. Not only does iOS have its own cross-device communications protocol in iMessage, which may mess with Digits' ability to route texts, but Apple doesn't allow for any system-level alterations, rendering one of Digits' primary use cases moot.

Indeed, Android is the only platform on which T-Mobile can rely to help Digits proliferate, but by potentially limiting half of the population to merely an app-based experience, it is almost immediately cut off at the proverbial knees. Still, Digits has a five-device limit, and can easily be tuned to be used on an iPhone or iPad, especially since as of iOS 10 VoIP apps can take over the lock screen like a regular dialer.

The best Digits experience will always be on Android, and initially is only natively available on the Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S6 edge +, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge or Note 5 purchased through T-Mobile.

So should I sign up?

Digits, while free during the beta period, won't be afterwards, and T-Mobile isn't saying how much it will cost.

Digits is an intriguing product, and an example of what it looks like when a carrier turns next-generation core technology like IMS and HLR (which works to virtualize SIM data on the core network) into something that is truly compelling to consumers.

There are a couple of caveats, though: Digits, while free during the beta period, will not be afterwards, and T-Mobile isn't saying how much it will cost. It's likely going to be just a few dollars per month, but users already need to have one of the carrier's postpaid plans such as T-Mobile One or Simple Choice. And only the primary account holder can actually sign up for a second line in order to carry two on a single device; secondary users can merely share their existing number across multiple devices.

During the beta period, which is indeterminate but should go into next year, T-Mobile will ask users to provide feedback on the service. This is a complicated thing, despite its upfront simplicity, and bugs will need to be worked out.

In the long run, though, Digits is coming to market at a time when the phone number is likely the least important aspect of a smartphone user's experience. Data, and the avenues to the internet it provides, is the backbone of the mobile experience. Phone calls and rich texts sent over a carrier network, even one as advanced as T-Mobile's, still feel somewhat anachronistic.

Nonetheless, the Digits beta seems like a great option for T-Mobile users running select Samsung phones on Android, and we look forward to trying it out!

See Digits at T-Mobile

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