T-Mobile launched a program called Digits, which will let customers apply the phone number to multiple devices, or create and combine multiple numbers onto a single device. The service not only works with the numbers from other carriers but also enables users to answer calls with a specific number on any Internet-connected device.
T-Mobile is the latest carrier to free up your phone number to multiple devices — AT&T and Verizon offer similar capabilities — a move that breaks the usual requirement to have a single number tied to a single SIM card. By enabling you to apply a phone number to other devices, you can contacted on a connected smartwatch, PC or tablet.
Digits goes further than its competitors by letting you create multiple numbers and apply them on a single or group of devices. That is ideal if you want to create a temporary phone number for a Craigslist sale or if you’re uncomfortable giving out your “real” number to someone you just met at a bar. The numbers can also be applied to the phones running on different carriers, so the businesses can create T-Mobile numbers and assign them to their employee’s personal phones, regardless of service.
There’s one big, big problem though: Digits doesn’t currently work with iMessage. T-Mobile is encouraging beta participants to turn off Apple’s massively popular messaging platform for the smoothest experience, that might dissuade the some people from trying it out in the first place and become a hurdle for adoption.
If you’re interested in trying Digits, you will need a postpaid T-Mobile account. The beta will be compatible with the devices running iOS 9 and above, Android 5.0 and above, and Chrome and Firefox on the desktop. Support for the Digits is already built into the dialer on recent Samsung phones (Galaxy S7/S6, Note 5).