Cosmos for Android is an application that was designed with markets that don’t have widespread access to LTE and 3G in mind. Cosmos is essentially a browser which bypasses the need for 3G or LTE and uses SMS messages to help you browse the web. On September 29, Cosmos went live on the Google Play Store so that everybody who needs its services may enjoy them.
The Cosmos app is still in beta stage, but the good news is that it is free in the Play Store. Cosmos is an ingenious app because it has a certain emergency quality to it, meaning that whenever you would be in a rut and with no internet connection or 3G, you can easily access a website that you need, such as a flight schedule or timetable for example. To access a webpage, all you need to do is type the URL into Cosmos Browser and it will send the webpage content through SMS messages. Of course, there is a complex process behind all this, involving Twilio, which allows developers to make and receive calls and messages using its web APIs. Once the URL you typed hits the Cosmos backend, the page is found and stripped down to only the text elements of the page. Cosmos then sends these text files to users in the form of text messages. The messages are compressed before sending, and uncompressed by the Cosmos browser, which then displays the text, reducing the amount of data that needs to be transmitted.
The Cosmos Browser will supposedly work with international as well as local phone numbers, and will load a full webpage in about 12 seconds. Cosmos is able to send three text messages per second, but this will probably be improved when the developing team finds a new way of compressing files. Since the app is still in beta, we don’t know how well it will work, but we expect updates to come in the following weeks.
One of the problems Cosmos will be facing in India is that Twilio messages are considered promotional messages and there are restrictions on the number and timing of messages a user can receive or send. If Indian Cosmos users will be registered in the National Do Not Call Registry, the browser won’t work for them, so they will have to disable the service. Most say that workarounds will probably be available for Indian customers, but there hasn’t been any information about that yet. Do you think the Cosmos Browser will come in handy for you or do you see the app as a necessary tool aimed at those without an internet connection?