Android 13 continues to move towards a full release to the general public, with Google adding more and more new features. A feature that could be coming soon will make it much easier to use two phone numbers on one device.
According to some research on Esper’s latest Android code updates, it looks like Google is about to introduce Multiple Enabled Profiles (MEP) into the software, a technology the company patented back in 2020.
Simply put, this means that an eSIM can support two numbers and two providers at the same time. Current eSIMs can store multiple profiles, but only one can be active at a time – Android 13 may be able to remove this limitation at launch.
One SIM good, two SIMs better
When MEP shows up in Android 13, it would be much easier for users to use two numbers on one phone at the same time without requiring physical SIM cards. Dual SIM support is something that many people are still looking for – for example to separate work and private life.
It’s important to remember that the early previews of new Android releases – the stage Android 13 is currently in – often see new features being added, tested, and then removed again. We’ll have to wait and see if MEP makes the cut this year or not.
However, since Google patented the technology a few years ago, it is keen to get it installed in mobile phones as soon as possible. As rumors of an eSIM-only iPhone continue to circulate and the iPhone 13 will have two eSIMs on board, Android could gain an advantage here.
Analysis: So long for the SIM
SIM cards have gotten smaller and smaller over the years, down to the current nano size. However, phone makers have been reluctant to abandon physical SIM slots altogether for all sorts of reasons – not the least of which is that eSIMs are not fully mainstream and because eSIMs cannot (yet) keep two numbers active at the same time.
If you’ve never come across eSIMs before, they essentially do the job of a SIM card via a module embedded on the phone’s motherboard. You identify the handset and connect it to the network of the network operator you have subscribed to.
The advantages are obvious: you can connect in seconds via a QR code, and phone manufacturers can use the space of the SIM card slot for another component or a larger battery. In the long run there is no real reason to keep the traditional SIM cards.
If multiple enabled profiles actually make it to Android 13, phone makers could remove the SIM card slot while still catering to those who need to run two numbers at once. The operating system is expected to be fully marketed later this year.