T-Mobile has some exciting news for anyone toting around multiple devices — starting May 31, it will be possible to sync a T-Mobile phone number with devices other than your phone, allowing you to make calls and send text messages from any of them. The feature is called T-Mobile Digits, and after a successful beta testing period, it’s ready for prime time.
Using the Digits app, a web browser, or the dialer depending on your device, T-Mobile phone numbers can now be synced to other devices. Want to take a call on your PC or send a text message from your tablet? Done, and not only that, the messages and calls made on other devices will be synced to your phone.
The flip side is that multiple phone numbers — T-Mobile now calls them Digits — can now be used on one smartphone. That’s similar to the service that apps like Burner provide, making it possible to use an alternate number for public uses like Tinder or Craigslist. Those additional Digits cost $10 each, so even if you’ve got a dual-SIM phone, there’s reason to consider Digits — this way, there’s no need to pay additional line access fees or get additional wireless plans for that second SIM.
T-Mobile is taking special care to talk up the potential for businesses. That starts with workers themselves — instead of having separate personal and work phones or lines, they can just get work and personal Digits and use them on a single device, then sync each one independently with other devices as necessary.
But, if businesses need to maintain more control over those work lines, that’s possible too. Businesses can buy Digits phone numbers in bulk, then assign them to employees instead of adding those employees to the company plan or assigning them a business phone. That way, should the employee leave, the business retains ownership and control of the phone number. And, because Digits works using an app or browser, those phone numbers can be assigned to employees that don’t have T-Mobile.
They’re even using the new service to try to get rid of landlines. For anyone who keeps their landline around because they’ve used the phone number to sign up for rewards accounts and the like, T-Mobile is making it possible to port that landline phone number over to Digits, so they can keep the phone number and get rid of their landline service.
There are some limits. The big one is that if you share data access across devices, download speeds will be capped at 512 Kbps for all other devices besides your smartphone with the T-Mobile SIM. It’s only possible to sync one set of Digits to up to five devices, and likewise, one device can only be assigned five Digits. And, for iOS users, iMessage won’t be synced across devices, just calls and SMS.