My detailed review:
DATE: 5th May 2017
Devices Used: Samsung Galaxy S6 (SM-G920T), Samsung Galaxy S7 (SM-G930T), Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (SM-G935T), Surface 3 Tablet, iPhone 6 (T-Mobile version)
Virtual Interfaces Used: Google Chrome Browser DIGITS web interface, Windows 10 DIGITS app,
Scenarios tried with: One number multiple devices, One device multiple numbers
Acct 1: Voice line: L21, (old number: L13), LineLink: L23. L21 has a duplicate SIM card.
Acct 2: Voice line: L22, (old number: L81), LineLink: L20. L22 has a duplicate SIM card.
Rate Plan: Simple Choice North America
VOICE MAIL is deactivated in all four lines L20, L21, L22 and L23.
Acct 1 Device PD1: iPhone 6 with Primary SIM card of voice line L21
Acct 2 Device PD2: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge with Primary SIM card of voice line L22
PD1 Virtual Mapping: iOS DIGITS app version 1.0.28 mapping voice line L22 of Acct 2 and LineLink line L20 of Acct 2
PD2 Virtual Mapping: S7 Edge native Multi-Line settings (with March 2017 Security Patch) mapping voice line L21 of Acct 1 and LineLink line L23 of Acct 1.
Issues related to Samsung galaxy S7 Edge and other Samsung devices:
- Call records of L21 and L23 does show up in the call log but the duration of the calls are not recorded. Duration of the call is recorded for only L22 which is the primary line in S7.
- In Multi-line settings, L21 and L23 often become “Not Ready to Use”. The only way around to fix it is to deactivate the virtual lines, log out of Multi-line settings, reboot device and log in to Multi-line settings.
- Messages are always marked as “Sent from Primary SIM Card” in case the primary SIM card is changed although the “Messages are sent using some other virtual mapped numbers”. Ideally it should have shown that the “line has been disabled and reenable the line to send text”.
- Message and Call application sometime fail to remember the default line chosen for call and messages for a number in contact list. The only to make it definitive is to edit the contact and assign a default line using the Contact app.
- Delivery notifications of messages (Delivered / Read) are unavailable with Multi-line settings enabled. I believe “Delivered” is available to even a basic phone without RCS but S7 and S7 Edge fails to show “Delivered” status when Multi-line settings is enabled. I reported this numerous time via tmo_mike_c and gave several examples. But till today I do not see any resolution. Possibly need some firmware modification at Samsung’s end.
- For virtual line, device fails to send notifications to connected device like Samsung Gear Fit 2. Notification is sent always for the primary SIM line to the connected devices.
- Sometime, with Multi-line settings enabled, Galaxy S7 Edge heats up. I noticed the same problem with S7 and S6. S7 and S7 Edge are the best phones I have used so far and they hardly heat up because of the tight hardware software integration that Samsung pulled off. Yet, sometime they heat up only when Multi-Line settings are enabled.
Issues related to Android DIGITS app:
- Battery drains faster for DIGITS app in Android compared to iOS DIGITS app. Not sure of this has something do with power management policy of Android and iOS.
Issues related to iOS DIGITS app:
- Version 1.0.27 onwards, after the app got updated, I got logged out automatically. The app fails to identify the primary SIM card number automatically even when the Wifi is switched off and the device is in LTE. The only way to get around this is to uninstall the app completely and then reinstall from app store.
- Google contact link gets disconnected some time. Apparently, the app fails to keep the authorization that was granted to access Google contacts. Not sure about Microsoft exchange as I do not use that service.
- Version 1.0.20 onwards, every time I tried to call some number using one of the virtual line from the DIGITS app, the DIGITS app pops up a number starting with +1-417-XXX-XXXX and until I press call, call does not go through. This is very annoying. The call should go through without that pop up as if I am calling from the native dialer. Not sure if that has something to do with iOS 10.3.1 update.
- While activating the virtual lines, the slider needs to be swiped couple of times sometime to make the line active. The slider comes back to off position before the line gets finally active. Not sure if that is a network issue or something else. This even happens in version 1.0.28
Issues related to Windows DIGITS app and Web Interface:
- Problem 2 and 4 of iOS DIGITS app are present in this one as well.
- After prolonged of no use, something like an hour or so, the app looks like goes into sleep state thereby missing calls and message. The call and messages come to primary device but the DIGITS app misses its purpose. I need to keep an eye on my mobile device while working on my laptop. This is annoying and counter-intuitive to DIGITS purpose.
- Sometime the app needs to be reloaded to sync all the messages and call logs. Even sometime a reload is not good enough and a logout and login is needed.
- On call arrival, the notification sound is too loud. It needs to have a control so that it can be lowered or switched off. I do not need a loud sound notification when I am already working on my laptop. I just need a notification, even a visual notification would suffice. The loud sound panics everyone.
- The Windows DIGITS app records the international numbers without the + sign. For example, if I called India, it records 91<10-digit number>. So, when I try to call from the call log, it says the number cannot be called. I need to open the contact and then I need to call from that. This is annoying.
Overall DIGITS problems and Experience:
- Right after enrolling for DIGITS, I lost my T-Mobile login and system removed me as PAH. I had to work with T-Mobile Twitter support almost for 3 months to get back my PAH and T-Mobile login.
- Call quality using DIGITS app (both in iPhone and in Samsung Galaxy device) is slightly better than using the Multi-line settings of Samsung Galaxy device. Multi-line settings include a slight shhhhh kind of noise.
- After enrolling in DIGITS, I did not receive any call or text messages in DIGITS app or in the DUPLICATE SIM card for voice line L21. It took me long time to get it fixed. I had to make several posts in DIGITS community forum. Finally, I decided to leave BETA at which point I got my attention of DIGITS BOSS tmo_evan With his effort and tmo_marissa (an admin in the DIGITS group) I finally got in touch with a team of three backend DIGITS engineers. They were finally able to fix the problem after tracing the calls coming to L21. It took me almost 1.2 months to get this fixed from the day of first post. Thanks to tmo_evan, tmo_marissa and backend engineers.
- DIGITS worked perfectly for L22 line fine from the very beginning including its duplicate sim card.
- After this problem was solved, I ported in my number ending in 2121 replacing 1113. That again created the problem of non-forwarding the call and text messages in the duplicate SIM card and in the DIGITS app. I reported that back. Finally, I took a chance and changed the SIM card of L21 and called DIGITS support to reprovision the new SIM card for DIGITS. It took long time for the rep to understand. Looked like he was not trained properly. I submitted the request. And after sometime, with help of backend engineer, I got my SIM card whitelisted again for DIGITS. And bang !! Everything came back in order. Looks like the OLD sim card ICCID got dirty in some way and a fresh ICCID was needed to get things in shape.
- I also ported in my number to L22 replacing 0381 but surprisingly everything worked perfectly without any intervention. Apparently, system identified everything correctly for L22.
- Recently I added LineLink to both accounts. I called the DIGITS special care team and again I needed to fight for ano hour to convince the rep that he does not need to change me from Simple Choice to T-Mobile One to upgrade LineLink (e911 required) to LineLink TE. tmo_evan 's post clearly mentioned that only change is needed is to upgrade the LineLink to DIGITS compatible LineLink. Somehow, after 59 minutes the rep was able to find that golden details in his system. He upgraded me and voila. My LineLinks are DIGITS accessible in both accounts both in Multi-Line settings and in DIGITS app.
- Another risk I took. The rep prohibited me that number port in is not recommended for LineLink while I am in DIGITS BETA. I posted the same question in forum and tmo_evan answered that in theory things should not break but since its BETA, it cannot be guaranteed. Well I took the risk and ported in my Google Voice number to LineLink L23. After allowing 2 hours, the new number became active with full service including texts and call. VOILA. System identified everything correctly. Looks like the system is now more stable than what it was earlier.
- DIGITS is getting into its final shape. Its working well as of now. There might be some glitches here and there but I believe the engineers are working hard to get these concerns resolved.
- The DIGITS rep needs more training. Some of them are informed and some of them looks brand new. And since T-Force @Twitter and @Facebook does not have access to DIGITS, it even becomes very difficult to resolve. Hope situation will improve soon.