Update: If you've been itching to try this workaround on a non-T-Mobile phone, then now's your chance. The Snozzy dev has added experimental support for AT&T and Sprint, and untested support for Verizon, Virgin, Cricket, Straight Talk, US Cellular, and Viaero. Since the latter group is completely untested, there's a good chance that it will be extremely buggy, if it even works at all. If you decide to give it a go, make sure to drop us a line and let us know how it turns out!

With all this talk of data plans - unlimited, tiered, throttled... whatever - one developer decided to find a way to circumvent the system and gain access to the web without paying carrier prices. The end result is an app called Smozzy, and it allows T-Mobile customers to surf the web without a data plan of any kind.

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Here's the breakdown: Smozzy looks like a typical web browser, but it works very differently underneath that familiar face. When you execute a search or enter a URL in the browser's address bar, it sends that info via SMS to Smozzy's servers and then returns the results via MMS. Brilliant, right? Just wait -- that's only the beginning.

Smozzy then downloads all of the applicable files from the requested page and places them into a zip file. The file is re-encoded as a png and received as an MMS before being displayed in the browser window with full images and working links. Bloody brilliant, if you ask me.

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I'm sure it will only be a matter of time before T-Mo tries to put this app underground, but until then, you can enjoy it completely free of charge form the Android Market.

[via TechCrunch]

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Landrovan

    Great idea! What speed can you get?

    • OniKyanAE86

      probably like 3-5 MMS' per minute depending on how much data contained on the page....... lol.

  • Deltaechoe

    Omg, this is one of the most brilliant concepts for Android that I have ever seen.

  • creliandobi

    in a related note, T-Mobile announced modifications to their text messaging rates. Unlimited SMS, capped MMS.

  • Mike

    Who is the user this app is targeting? I mean, it sounds like a good idea, but any Android phone from any carrier requires a data plan so you would already have internet access, and probably at much faster speeds. Hell, I have unlimited data but only 300 messages a month, so this would probably tear through those pretty quick.

    I don't mean to be a killjoy (TOO LATE!) but I feel like I am missing something here. I love the concept, but I don't see the use for someone already under contract. I'm sure someone out there will tell me what I am missing, so please do!

    • Mostafa

      I have a smartphone with no data plan...

    • Chris

      Many people get smartphones without plans. My friend bought a used G1 on ebay but his parents won't pay for a data connection. I bought my Nexus One unlocked straight from Google when it first came out (although I got a data line for it). Others get the phone itself as a gift, but not the data plan, etc.

  • franco

    Like the idea,can see it working.
    I think the main reason this things are great is the fact the maker is making an effort and even if it dont suit most maybe with encouragement the next app will.

    I see what ya saying mike i got 500 text unlimited data but maybe some got just unlimited text so would help them too save little data they got.

    Dunno just a thought.

  • Matt

    Valid point Mike, but it could be helpful for those with the lowest tier plans of 200mb. If not it's at least a proof of concept and a damn good one at that.

  • http://mendicantbug.com Jason A

    How are ajax requests handled? That probably would still use your data plan. For some web pages, that's a good chunk of the total bandwidth.

    You can't ditch your data plan altogether unless you also don't want to check your gmail, use any app that requires internet access, or pretty much anything else. So you unsmartify your smartphone quite a bit.

    But yeah, if your data limit is really low, and you have unlimited MMS, this can be the edge you need to get past it.

    And *ugh* 200mb? Who can do that??

    • Duh

      Just go to mail.google.com and check your mail.....duh.

  • John

    Sounds like a great app for someone who wants to keep their phone after their contract is up. You can cancel your data plan and use wifi at home and this app everywhere else. Might be a pain for a heavy data user but would be cheaper.

  • Tim M

    Interesting, but very very slow. Would be good in a crunch, but speeds are close to dialup speed.

  • Simon Belmont

    I'm pretty sure this violates some EULA somewhere. This will likely get pulled very quickly.

    It's a cool concept though. Very innovative.

  • http://gadgetless.blogspot.com Augie

    Oh Yeah! Wen can it work for other carriers

  • Caroline

    Similar in concept to back in the olden days of the web when you could send requests for webpages, usenet posts, etc. via email.

    You'd have to have sms for it to work, though, so to the poster who is thinking this might work away from wifi or a 3g/4g carrier connection, it won't. You'd be able to use it over wifi at home, but why would you when you could use the wifi to browse? Away from home, if you don't have connection to some carrier or wifi, you're not going to be able to receive text messages ;)

  • J

    Why is this limited to just T-Mobile? I would assume this would be useful for any carrier.... Unless maybe its running on some T-Mo hub that gets unlimited free texts to T-Mobile numbers....

    I don't know how useful this app would be without a data plan... Don't most carriers require a data plan for Android phones (maybe T-Mo doesn't & that's why its for them alone?). I don't think it'd be too useful for old phones either.... When I upgrade, my service (inc. data & being able to text) goes from old to new phone. Sure I could use wifi to surf with the old phone, but it won't be able to receive texts (unless I use Google Voice/etc that send via data). So the only way an old phone could use this would be if it has a data connection (which would moot the necessity for the app). And as some have pointed out, it'd probably run through your text package and cost you more than what getting a data package would have.... Plus with a data package, you'd get faster speeds....

    Of course.... It might come in handy if you're on the verge of crossing your monthly limit on data & desperately need to look something up... A few texts here & there might be cheaper than a few megabytes over your limit... Though, while your friends are getting 40MBps, your stuck at 160 characters/....

  • SiliconAddict

    There is an easy reason for this. I am about to go up north camping. While I know that there is NO way in heck I will ever get any service when I get to my destination, txt and MMS is usually accessible well after data services has dropped off the radar.

    Meanwhile Google voice doesn't support MMS so its a moot point for me. Thanks Google....damn Jackwagons.

    • pay2play

      You know MMS requires a working data connection, right? If MMS works then any other app that needs data will work.

  • wackadroid

    Doesnt work on sprint. It sends a request and then it just waits for a response. Or maybe the 25 people that are trying it are crashing the server.

  • Collin

    good idea but I'll just pay for my data and call it a day. If you need to pinch pennies this much then just get a regular phone...

  • ocdtrekkie

    It's gonna get banned, is mostly useless, etc. But it's a creative concept, and you gotta give him props for that.