While I’m sure many Android users might not be completely aware of the benefits of UMA, those that have relied on it in the past can attest to it being a real life-saver. The folks at Kineto Wirelss agree and have wrapped UMA functionality into the latest version of their Smart WiFi app for Android 2.2 phones. With Smart WiFi, UMA allows your phone to use any regular old WiFi router as an extension of your cellular network. For instance, if you live in that one house in the neighborhood that happens to be a dead zone for your network, as long as you have a wireless internet connection set up you can place and receive calls and text messages without interruption.
Smart WiFi even manages the seamless switching between using your cellular network’s towers and your WiFi router as an access point. Kineto’s statement on the matter:
“Smartphones have highlighted the coverage and capacity challenges of mobile networks, especially in indoor locations. Operators have started to look to Wi-Fi, already installed in many homes and offices, to address these issues… we have now enhanced our Smart Wi-Fi Application to support the latest version of Android and validated it with the leading Android smartphone manufacturers.”
Of course, this isn’t field of dreams here and if they build it not all manufacturers and carriers will come. But a few are apparently already working with the company (you won’t be able to simply download this one in the market). The following video seems to suggest that Samsung and T-Mobile may be two partners, but then again the not-so-cleverly blacked out network branding may suggest otherwise. Also interesting to note is the announcement of the Android 2.2 version as it is shown on a 2.1 device. I’m just splitting hairs with that one, though.