Smozzy Android app offers web surfing without a data plan

Imagine if you had the ability to browse the web on your smartphone without a data plan, sounds like a fantasy right? Well, Smozzy, a new Android application, plans to turn fantasy into reality by letting users search the Web on their mobile phone without a data plan.

But here’s the caveat: The app works only on T-Mobile phones (in the United States) and requires that you have a messaging plan to avoid being charged. Once you get beyond the red tape, you find out that the app smartly uses SMS and MMS to send requests and receive the content. Users will also find the app to work just like their own Android phone’s browser, but with the lack of a data plan it’ll be a tad bit slower.

The concept behind the app’s functionality is a little tricky, as end user requests are sent to Smozzy’s servers by SMS and the responses are sent back via MMS. Smozzy then downloads the requested page and all its resources (stylesheets, images, etc.) and puts everything into a Zip file, to be encoded as a PNG. When done, the PNG is sent out via MMS completing the perfect hack recipe.

This app showed its face first on Hacker News, and we found it thanks to TechCrunch. Smozzy has impressed so much that its even been getting offers from company’s willing to help with hosting. The fact that this app was created by some UT Austin grad, now Berkeley graduate student is impressive to say the least.

But we still have to see whether T-Mobile will turn the lights off on the app, especially when Smozzy sort of threatens the way T-Mo makes its money with data plans.

[via 1, 2]


  • It’s probably very easy for them to stop this by blocking the server’s number, or even worse making it premium rate as revenge for you ‘abusing’ their system, but basically I think this is genius. My guess is that a LOT of work went into this, so well done to the author.

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