SmartNet opened up to Android devices, iOS version due in Q1

Mobile operator Smart Communications announced that it has opened up its SmartNet service to other Android devices, although the company said there would still be a “Netphone” model that would banner the software kit.

The upcoming iOS version of SmartNet

A “network” within a network, SmartNet provides users a host of free services such as chatting, search, and social stream.

The carrier said in a recent press briefing that the software, which can be downloaded for free at the Android Marketplace, will also have an iOS version in the first quarter of the year.

Mitch Padua, head of Smart’s development and application division, said they are also looking at creating similar versions for other mobile platforms including Windows Phone.

Smart also previewed a version of SmartNet running on Android tablet, noting that the home-grown service works across smartphones, tablets, and other Web-enabled devices.

Padua said Smart has so far sold a total 100,000 of handsets loaded with SmartNet service.

According to Smart head for Broadband Internet and Data Services Gio Bacareza: “We have observed that 70 percent of smartphones with SmartNet use their phones to access the Internet, compared to the 10 percent industry-wide average observed among smartphone users.”

SmartNet running on a tablet

Created specifically for emerging markets, SmartNet touts the ‘Safe Browse’ feature, which keeps other applications outside SmartNet from accessing the Web in the background, taking away the risk of bill shock, or incurring unexpected data charges.

Brisk sales of the SmartNet-powered Samsung Galaxy Y Netphone Edition also set off a surge in the number of smartphones in the Smart network, the company said.

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