A new Android app called Smozzy allows users to access websites without using a data plan. The clever app circumvents traditional web content delivery by utilizing Short Message Service (SMS) and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), otherwise known as text messaging.
The free download looks and feels like a regular Android browser. When you request a website or a search term, that data is sent to Smozzy via SMS. Once the data is received on Smozzy’s end, their servers hit the web and find the information you are after. It is then zipped, packaged as PNG files and sent back to you via MMS. The local Smozzy app then reassembles the PNGs into a functional web page complete with links and content.
The whole process sounds brilliant, but Geekosystem says there is some fine print to consider before cancelling your data plan.
According to Smozzy’s Android Market page, the app is currently in beta and only works for T-Mobile subscribers in the US. Due to the multiple steps involved, the process takes a lot longer than standard smartphone web surfing. Furthermore, data exchanged between the Smozzy app and their servers isn’t encrypted, meaning you wouldn’t want to log into any pages that require a password or otherwise contain sensitive material.
Smozzy recommends that only subscribers with unlimited text messaging use the program as the app sends and receives a lot of messages which could result in overages for those on tiered plans.