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T-Mobile is Launching a Free Google Voice Clone Called Digits

T-Mobile DIGITS logo
Today T-Mobile USA announced the launch of Digits, a free service that lets you make and receive calls and messages using your T-Mobile number from most of your internet connected devices. According to T-Mobile, Digits will be available to all T-Mobile customers on May 31, 2017. Hopefully "all T-Mobile customers" includes those of us on T-Mobile Prepaid, but T-Mobile didn't explicitly say that so we won't know for sure until the 31st.

There are two parts to Digits. The first part that lets you use your T-Mobile number to make and receive calls and messages with all your devices is free.  The second part lets you create up to five additional Digits virtual numbers.  The additional numbers can be used for calling and messaging with any or all of your Digits phones.  T-Mobile One Plus postpaid customers get a second Digits number for free, for the rest of us additional numbers cost $10/month.

Digits is built into the T-Mobile versions of the Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+, Galaxy S7, S7 edge, Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+, and Galaxy Note 5. Android and iOS apps are available for other phones. There's also a web app that works with the Chrome and Firefox PC browsers.

You need at least one T-Mobile phone and phone number to use Digits, but additional Digits phones tablets and PC just need an internet connection and do not have to be on T-Mobile.  Digits calls to T-Mobile phones are normal circuit switched or VoLTE calls. Calls to or from other non-T-Mobile phones or WiFi connected devices are VoIP.  I suspect that if you're not on a T-Mobile unlimited talk and text plan Digits calls and messages made using PCs and non-T-Mobile devices will count against you calling or messaging limits like T-Mobile WiFi calling does.

The basic Digits service sounds like a good alternative to Google Voice for the Google adverse. Like Voice, it will allow you to use a single number on all your devices, handy if you have multiple phones. Like Voice, it also lets you make and receive calls, SMS and MMS from a PC. Additional Digits virtual numbers could eliminate the need for some of us to carry two phones, such as one for business and the other for personal use. They could even be used as temporary disposable numbers for calling or texting services you suspect will SPAM you, although $10 seems a little pricey for a single use number.

To sign up for Digits, visit www.t-mobile.com/getDIGITS starting May 31.

Source: T-Mobile

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34 comments:

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  1. Better than Googke Voice, I hope. I never could get GV to work... As it get past it giving errors when I asked it for numbers in any area code I tried.

    At least TMO customers will start with existing numbers, even if it fails like GV and the web pages give errors when trying to make new numbers on it.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I've had Google voice for about 3 years now and it has worked and still works fine for me

      Delete
    2. I suspect this Anonymous (May 25, 2017 @ 10:13 PM) is characterizing a lack of available numbers in an area code as an error. That's not an error. That's just simple unavailability.

      Delete
    3. How can you say it's better than Google Voice? It's not even available yet! If you can't get GV to work then you must be the dimmest bulb on the tree because our 5th grader could figure ours out!

      Delete
  2. could not log into the tmo digits app. apparently legacy pay-as-you-go gold rewards $10/year users are not eligible for digits although they seem to say that all tmobile users get digits. but really not surprised.

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    1. Try again on May 31. Digits hasm't launched yet.

      Delete
  3. Your title is lousy... It's not a FREE service, and not comparable to Google Voice, if it's only for tmo subscribers. The best feature of GV is being free to switch services at a moment's notice.

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    1. GV is not free either. You pay $20 to port in your number, and then you give up your privacy, as Google scans your calls and records info so they can spam you (no wonder they dropped the slogan Do No Evil). You also pay $3 to port away from GV, unless you paid the $20 to port in a mobile number.
      With Digits, you can also switch services whenever you want for your other devices.

      Delete
    2. You don't have to Port in a number to use Google voice.

      Delete
    3. Of course not. Nobody minds telling all their friends, relatives, former classmates and business associates their phone number has changed. Nobody minds going into all their online accounts and changing their contact and security phone numbers. Or calling their insurance agents and others who need a contact phone number. And nobody minds getting junk calls and calls from bill collectors because the previous owner of the GV number dumped it to avoid same. All this is "free" with GV.

      Delete
    4. You miss the point anon 9:26 AM
      You can point the GV # to your "real" # (or multiple, home, office, vac. home) and set up rules and use it to give out to those you don't necessarily want to have your real # (promotions, Craigslist sell/buy etc.). GV does a great job of blocking spam / telemarketing calls and blocking a bothersome # is easy.

      Those who port in their main # find the convenience of being able to switch services (or have multiple services / carriets at the same time) find it liberating to be able to swap services w/o ever having to worry about a port ever again. By being able to change on a whim you tend to do so more readily and I am sure they saved that $20 many times over.

      For an old landline # that doesn't see much use its a nice almost free way not to lose that old # if you value it for some purpose.

      Delete
  4. Digits is NOT a GV clone. Not even close. It's a really different product and fills a much needed niche.

    Please update this article with some better journalism and title! Try watching the video and reading some of the articles posted yesterday.

    Disappointed in the turn of this site. I will have to stop visiting if the quality doesn't improve right quick.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Voice and Digits are both services that let you use a single number on multiple phones, tablets or PCs or multiple numbers on one or more devices.

      I'm sure there are differences in the underlying technology but they both provide similar functionality.

      Delete
    2. T-Mobile Digits appears to be more analogous to Apple's implementation of iMessage/FaceTime's reachability on any Apple device, rather than Google Voice.

      Delete
  5. I wish it were more like Google Voice, but it misses several features of GV.

    I have a Teltik SIM in the mail, going to try TMO, so this comes at a good time. But personally, since hearing about Digits yesterday, the only potential use I've thought of is possibly the Android app would allow wifi calling on non-TMO phones.

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  6. This would be great if they offered it on MetroPCS.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I miss Ring.to :(

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm guessing the "Walmart" plan (and all other limited minute prepaid plans) will be excluded from the voIP side of this feature.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. If all you need is a T-Mobile number to get Digits, those grandfathered Walmart plans should get it, too. The secret/Walmart plan got lots of Uncarrier perks, though none were specifically advertised to get them.

      It's more of a shame the Walmart plan is discontinued at all. The only people who truly need "unlimited" voice would be trying to use a boatload of minutes for uses that violate T-Mo T&C's.

      Delete
    2. The Walmart $30 5GB plan is still available for resale on eBay. $59.98 plus you fund the first $30. A second copy costs $75 and includes a $10 balance, so you fund $20.
      Previous items sold at $69 and $79, no cash balance.

      Delete
    3. "The only people who truly need "unlimited" voice would be trying to use a boatload of minutes for uses that violate T-Mo T&C's."


      If you make regular phone calls to friends and family, just 20 minutes a day can easily add up to 600/mo alone.

      The only way anyone can reasonably make do with 100 without incurring $30 to $50 in overages is if they pay extra for a redundant landline (which itself could cost ~$40 alone), are homeless and live at work (which is...yeah), use VoIP only (which leads to reception and compatibility problems), are an unemployed antisocial hermit who shuns the world and subsists entirely on frying rats in a rusty pan, use someone else's landline or unlimited plan (which still requires the purchase of an unlimited plan), or are dead/dying.

      There's basically no good reason not to invest in Mintsim's cheaper $20/10GB plan instead, unless you're more interested in the niche perks that come with an on-brand plan.

      Delete
    4. Good points. Yet again we get trolls why try to shame wise consumers who buy unlimited plans and dare to use the service they paid for.

      Those trolls think customers should pay for stuff but not use it. I wonder if the trolls go down to the 7-11 and buy a 6 pack and walk out leaving it on the shelf.

      If not, they are hypocrites...

      Delete
    5. Anonymous (May 27, 2017 @ 1:39 PM), you fail to provide any context on what you think unreasonable unlimited is, since for you, it's clearly somewhere north of 600 minutes a month.

      Also an unemployed, anti-social hermit wouldn't use a phone at all. See definition of "anti-social."

      Delete
  9. I just chatted with a rep and that person said Digits is not available on prepaid. They did confirm Digits would support mp3, mp4, as well as jpg via messaging so that function is one step up from GV.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "Digits would support mp3, mp4, as well as jpg via messaging"

      Sounds like it's right up Carlos Danger's alley.

      For everyone not on T-mobile postpaid (which is literally everyone who follows this blog), this is a steaming, freshly grilled nothing burger.

      Delete
    2. That rep should watch YouTube before spouting off information, as within the *first thirty seconds* of the Digits launch announcement video, Mike Sievert says clearly Digits is for all T-Mobile customers. It's even in hard-coded subtitles, for those who can't believe what they're hearing.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaoS3TFqDnI

      Delete
  10. I think it's hilarious all the people arguing about something that's not even released! If I didn't know better I'd think that "free" in the title brought in the old R+ crowd just to argue about nothing!

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    Replies
    1. Back off, man. My jetpack is better than your hoverbike !

      Delete
  11. Postpaid customer here. Downloaded Digits and set it up. Biggest complaint so far is that not only the app asks for location information (why?) but it also wants me to use Google's location service (i.e. GPS-only isn't enough.) However, I can keep location turned off and still get incoming calls. But if I try to dial out, the app closes when I don't turn on GLS.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Prepaid customers are reporting they can't sign up for digits. Looks like the T-Mo rep was right after all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I called, rep told me digits is for ONE customers.

      Delete
  13. I hope MetroPCS gets Digits. TMO offered a free unlimited VOIP service a few years ago to everyone who could download the app on Google Play, not just customers.

    To the Anonymous posts confused about Google Voice. The company Google gets numbers from does NOT have numbers in all areas. In areas where Google has no numbers, you can't port in a number from that area either.

    One such example is Southern Indiana between the Ohio River and Seymour and East of Evansville.

    ReplyDelete
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