- Nov 9, 2015
AT&T recently launched a convenient new feature dubbed NumberSync that allows customers to use a single phone number across a number of devices. If you have ever heard of or used Google Voice, it is basically the same concept - your network carrier or a middle man, in the case of Google, allows you to virtually group a number of devices and attach them to a single number, then handles all the necessary processing to allow each of them network access through said number. It is a rather elegant system and although there is a lot going on behind the scenes, you get the benefit of a single point of contact. In an effort to simplify communications even further for its customers, AT&T is now expanding the service to smart wearables as well, with the Samsung Gear S2 spearheading the concept. You can now pick up a Gear S2 from the cell operator and have it use your main phone number. Of course, there are some conditions to note. The offer currently lists the Samsung Gear S2 at $99.99 with a new two-year Mobile Share Value plan. To use NumberSync on the wearable, you must have a compatible phone, preferably a recent Samsung Galaxy, just to make sure everything runs smoothly with AT&T HD Voice-enabled postpaid wireless service. The Gear S2 itself does require a software update to support the feature, but that can be downloaded on existing units and comes preloaded on new ones. If you tick off everything on the list, AT&T promises that you will be able to make calls and handle messaging on your smartwatch, even if your phone is not around or switched off. In case you are wondering how this all works (we know we were) it is all network switching magic. The Gear S2 that AT&T is offering is actually the 3G model, which has calling and messaging capabilities via a cell connection of its own to begin with. The trick is simply to "fool" the network into thinking it's your phone and forward your communications accordingly. This is why in the small print of the offer, you can clearly see that while in roaming, your watch won't actually be able to use your main phone number, but will rather remain functional with its own one, since the network it is connected on is not AT&T property and does not support the number-spoofing feature. Now, achieving the same with a basic Wi-Fi only model would be a far more impressive feat and it just so happens that AT&T might be working on that as well. A quick browse through the NumberSync offers page reveals that the system is actually a lot more versatile when applied to Apple devices. If you have an iPhone 6 or newer, running iOS 9.2 you can actually use Wi-Fi calling and have NumberSync on a number of other Cupertino tech, like iPad's, iPod's, Mac computers and even the Apple Watch. For more details on the Gears S2 offer, check out the first source link and for further reading on the topic of NumberSync, there is plenty of information to be found at the second link. Source 1 |...