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Old Sep 1, 2013, 12:51 PM   #51
darngooddesign
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Originally Posted by doug in albq View Post
Or, Bluetooth/WiFi the free personal hotspot to my old iphone 4
If you're using your iPhone as a hotspot you're paying more than 20 a month.
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Old Sep 1, 2013, 03:56 PM   #52
Stooby Mcdoobie
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Originally Posted by darngooddesign View Post
If you're using your iPhone as a hotspot you're paying more than 20 a month.
iPad is acting as the hotspot, not the iPhone.
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Old Sep 2, 2013, 06:07 AM   #53
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I want to chime in because I had created a similar thread about this. I have been running talkatone/line 2 for the past few months.

I currently spend about 60 a month on with Verizon unlimited plan, but recently acquired a ATT unlimited ipad plan as well. Over the course of a few months I was only using my verizon plan on my ipad, my phone was tied into line 2. Which is what I believe has the best service and reliability. Unfortunately it's super expensive at 9.99 a month. I was able to get all my calls through with the occasional hiccup now and then due to the great coverage of verizon. If the situation needed me to go with something smaller, I was able to swap sims into my iphone and off I went.

I then took the leap of going to ATT and selling off my Verizon ipad since I thought I would save money. Since I was spending so much for a voice line I didnt use. I also jumped ship from line 2 to tmobile. Then from tmobile back to google voice. Unfortunately in my area ATT has horrible latency issues, which affects my streaming (slingbox). But overall it is good with using talkatone.

The biggest issues I see with doing this are with your connection. If you have spotty coverage with your you can drop this idea about even attempting to do this. If you have a great provider like verizon in my area which offers the fastest LTE and data coverage you will be able to survive. It really comes down to coverage. And having the option to sim swap makes it an awesome choice for that situation when you need to downsize. Also you can have your calls forwarded to whatever your number you are using. You can also run into issues with your text alerts, like bofa doesn't work with google voice numbers.

Another option if you have verizon is instead of just running an ipad lte 24/7. You could sim swap into a mifi that offers text and call forwarding. So you will be able to continue to use your verizon line, but still be able to receive texts in addition to whatever number you are using on either your wifi or lte ipad,phone or whatever. This is the best solution I found to utilize your voice plan/texting if you have the grandfathered verizon plans.
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Old Sep 2, 2013, 10:10 PM   #54
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To me, the cost savings is worth it, despite the shortcomings of VOIP over cellular and the minor issues with portability.

Basically what I do is I have a small "dumb" phone that is prepaid for times cellular data stinks or away from Wifi. I go months without having to top it up. I pay an LTE plan for my mini, however I will be switching to an LTE Nexus 7 shortly. So far as worked fine for me. Most people text nowadays and I rarely need to use a phone for a significant period of time.
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Old Sep 3, 2013, 06:12 AM   #55
BruiserB
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I always thought something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Cyanics-Wirele...etooth+handset

Or this:

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-HM5000...etooth+handset

Or this:

http://www.amazon.com/Satechi-Blueto...etooth+handset

would make a good accessory to a tablet with a data plan. Solves the problem of looking like a cyborg with a headset or an idiot trying to talk into the tablet like a speakerphone in public. Just doesn't solve the portability problem.

I ended up going with the $30 Tmobile plan on my iPhone just for the portability of it. I can pay $15 more to tether to my tablet if I need to, but I find most places where I want to use my iPad have wifi.
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Old Sep 4, 2013, 05:49 PM   #56
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This is a great thread... I think the cellcos are scam artists who aren't giving us what we need (much like the cable cos). As I mentioned earlier, it wouldn't work for me, but I know there are many people who don't use voice minutes where this would be perfect.

I'm curious to know... Is there any way to get an iPad or Nexus 7 to receive text messages? T-Mobile has a great 5GB/100 mins/unlimited text plan that would be perfect for this scenario... if you could get the devices to work with text messaging.
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Old Sep 4, 2013, 08:11 PM   #57
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Are you joking? If not, there are many posts within this very thread talking about how apps like Talkatone are great for sending and receiving texts.

Texts: no problem. Texts to you and texts from you.
Internet access: no problem.
Phone (voice): pretty close to a "real" phone. Calls to you and calls from you.
People texting or phoning you dial a regular phone number that has no differences from a cell phone number (no one can tell you aren't using a "real" phone).

If you need everywhere access, get the version with cellular and pay the $20/month for cellular data. If you can get by with access only when you have wifi, save the $20/month and do your (cell phone-like) business in wifi zones. Buy the cell-capable version and have the best of both worlds: use wifi as much as you can and turn on cellular only when you really need it and can't readily access wifi when you need to communicate. This last one is what I do and my entire cell "phone" bill for a year is going to finish at $80... for a YEAR.

There are some tradeoffs to this usage. It's up to each person to decide if they are worth the difference in ongoing (service) costs. In my case, they are not- so I make the $80-per-year work for me. I don't really feel like I'm suffering much in the way of any tangible tradeoffs.

The person that needs to immediately take/make voice calls probably won't like this option. The person that highly values portability (pocket-ability) won't like the bigger size of the mini. The rare scenario of needing immediate access to 911 service (instead of the potential 2-step process if you don't already have cellular turned on) points those worried to a "real" phone. The person who hates earphones with mic or bluetooth headsets and instead wants to hold the phone up to their ear probably needs an iPhone. The person overly concerned about what other people think probably needs an iPhone. Etc.

On the other hand, the person who doesn't really use voice that much... the person who doesn't have such urgent inbound calls that they would generally let them go to voicemail and then call them back when they can... the person who wants to kill 2 birds with one stone (carry just an iPad instead of a phone + iPad)... the person wanting a bigger screen for the rest of what they do with these kinds of devices... the person who is often around wifi and not really leaning on cellular that much, etc can probably give this a good try and find it covers their phone needs well enough.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: the relatively indifferent person who would rather keep $60-$100 or more in their pocket EVERY MONTH instead of giving it to AT&T, Verizon or others can probably get their needs covered with this. If you work at a place with readily-available wifi and you have good wifi at home and maybe places you hang out most, you might be able to nearly completely cover your phone needs without having to spend a nickel on cellular service.

iPhone service at- say- $80 per month times 24 months = $1,920 in AT&T, Verizon, etc. pockets.
iPad "service" at- say- $0 per month times 24 months = $1,920 that stays in your pocket.
iPad "service" like I use it at- say $80 per year = $1,760 that stays in my pocket.
THAT is the point in trying to make an option like this work. It's not for everyone but I suspect it would work for most if they really thought about how they use their phone, when they use their phone, and basically had the self-discipline to "survive" without anytime, anywhere access. If someones phone ever failed leaving them without a cell phone for a period of time, they may have observed that the world (and their world) did not end. A person can live that way and the (and their) world won't end either.

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Old Sep 4, 2013, 09:00 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by HobeSoundDarryl View Post
Are you joking? If not, there are many posts within this very thread talking about.. . . .. . . .. . . .. ..
Are you joking?

I've been following this thread since the day it was created.

I asked a simple question in regards to using text messaging with the iPad/Nexus 7 with the $30 5GB/100 min/Unlimited text plan, which could be extremely useful.

However, Talkatone must be the only acceptable option, since you decided to explain the whole thread to me again.
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Old Sep 4, 2013, 10:18 PM   #59
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No, Talkatone is just one I use (and know that it works very well for texting). There are plenty of others that work well too. As far as "plans", get any one that connects you to the Internet. I use the $20 Verizon plan for my own purposes (when I can't find some available wifi). If you could connect via Tmobile or any of the others, that should work just as well.
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Old Sep 5, 2013, 12:32 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by HobeSoundDarryl View Post
iPhone service at- say- $80 per month times 24 months = $1,920 in AT&T, Verizon, etc. pockets.
iPad "service" at- say- $0 per month times 24 months = $1,920 that stays in your pocket.
iPad "service" like I use it at- say $80 per year = $1,760 that stays in my pocket.

Your numbers are completely skewed, and don't represent the reality (at least if you are semi-intelligent about how you purchase carrier plans).

First off, you don't need to pay AT&T $80/month for an iPhone plan - that's insane. There are plenty of affordable MVNO options, that bring down the cost of "true" cell voice service to a reasonable level. Look up AirVoice and H2O MVNOs - you can buy unlimited Voice/Text plan with some data thrown in for about $30/$35 per month. They both use the same AT&T network.

I don't know where you get iPad service for $0 or $80 dollars a year. The lowest iPad AT&T plan is $15/month or $360 for 2 years. However, this plan gives you measily 250Mb/month, which is not enough if you use Talkatone or Skype for VoIP. You need at least $30/month iPad Data plan, if you want to use your iPad as a VoIP phone on the go. So that's $720/2-years right there.

Here's my carrier costs:

iPhone Unlimited Voice+Text+100Mb of data (AirVoice via AT&T): $30/month
iPad grandfathered $25/2Gb data plan (AT&T): $25/month
Total Cost: $660 a year

I am contact free, and can easily switch carriers/plans whenever I please. I get the best of all worlds - *reliable* voice and text on a normal phone, 2GB of mobile data on my iPad, plus enough data on an iPhone for an occasional use. Best of all, I don't need to fight with iPad VoIP apps, lack of pocketability and unreliable voice service. To each their own.
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Old Sep 5, 2013, 02:54 PM   #61
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If you actually read the thread before jumping on my figures like they were invented you would know where the $80 comes from: I don't need cellular every month. So far, I've used Verizon's $20 1GB data plan 3 times with an expectation of using it one more time before I've owned the iPad Mini for 1 year. That's the $80/yr. For my situation, I have free wifi just about everywhere I am so I don't need a continuous cellular connection.

The wife uses NET10 with an iPhone at $45/month for "unlimited" everything (on the AT&T network) so, yes, I'm quite in tune that there are cheaper ways to get an iPhone working than $80/month. Of course, that involved us making a full-price purchase as a subsidized iPhone at cheap rates like those doesn't seem to be available. Thus, the general assumption that iPhone users are probably taking the "cheap" iPhone via AT&T, Verizon, etc.

However, let's reject that assumption and redo the numbers:
NET10 at $45/month times 12 months = $540/yr
Your AT&T plan at $30/month times 12 months = $360/yr (with very little data)
My only on-demand use of cellular data about 4 months each year = $80/yr.
Someone who needs continuous cellular data every month: $20 times 12 = $240/yr
Unless someone is already grandfathered in, they can't readily get that other plan so I won't bother to list it seperately.

However, you seem to be missing the point of this thread. Your "value" is the combination of that $30/month AT&T plan PLUS that $25/month grandfathered iPad plan. So you have a monthly service cost of $55/month or $660/yr. This thread is about trying to make an iPad Mini with VOIP apps be a "poor man's" iPhone and some of the posts clearly illustrate it can be done for very little (as in my case) or upwards of $240/year if one needs a cellular connection every single month. $240 is a whole lot less than your $660 (which no one can replicate unless they are already grandfathered in anyway). And a guy who doesn't already have an iPhone or iPad can buy just the latter rather than BOTH.

Once again: if one can live with minor compromises and has only modest voice calling needs, there is pretty good money to be saved... even against the MVNO options... grandfathered plans or not.

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Old Sep 5, 2013, 07:06 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by HobeSoundDarryl View Post
If you actually read the thread before jumping on my figures like they were invented you would know where the $80 comes from: I don't need cellular every month.
That's great that YOU don't need cellular every month. I think MAJORITY of people who would even attempt to use their iPad as a VoIP phone would (minimally) need a monthly iPad data plan. Most of us do get out of our houses from time to time, and like to be reachable while outside of WiFi coverage. Hence your $80/year number is rather meaningless as a generic use case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HobeSoundDarryl View Post
that involved us making a full-price purchase as a subsidized iPhone at cheap rates like those doesn't seem to be available.
There are plenty of second-hand previous-gen iPhones available for about the cost of carrier-subsidized iPhones. OR you can get a brand new Nexus 4 for $199-$249 from Google. You don't need to get $800 latest-gen 64GB iPhone to take advantage of post-paid low-cost MVNO plans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HobeSoundDarryl View Post
However, you seem to be missing the point of this thread. Your "value" is the combination of that $30/month AT&T plan PLUS that $25/month grandfathered iPad plan. So you have a monthly service cost of $55/month or $660/yr.
I am not missing anything. You started off trying to compare one extreme end of the spectrum ($80/month iPhone plan) to another extreme end of the spectrum (your personal use case of $80/year iPad data usage). What I am saying is - there is a golden middle where a user can get both - iPad data mobility and a "real" voice coverage with no compromises.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HobeSoundDarryl View Post
This thread is about trying to make an iPad Mini with VOIP apps be a "poor man's" iPhone and some of the posts clearly illustrate it can be done for very little (as in my case) or upwards of $240/year if one needs a cellular connection every single month. $240 is a whole lot less than your $660 (which no one can replicate unless they are already grandfathered in anyway).
You are being loose with the numbers once again. No one HAS to have my grandfathered AT&T $25/month plan to replicate my model. One can get Verizon $20/1GB plan instead, combined with $30/month AirVoice plan - that actually lowers the yearly cost to $600. Alternatively, one doesn't have to get iPad cell data at all - use WiFi on an iPad and get 1GB of iPhone data from AirVoice (in addition to unlimited voice/text) for $40/month. This gets you down even lower - just $480/year.

In my opinion - any of those options are better than trying to shoehorn your iPad into a VoIP phone.. for majority of people out there.
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Old Sep 5, 2013, 07:59 PM   #63
bursthead
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Your numbers are completely skewed, and don't represent the reality (at least if you are semi-intelligent about how you purchase carrier plans).

First off, you don't need to pay AT&T $80/month for an iPhone plan - that's insane. There are plenty of affordable MVNO options, that bring down the cost of "true" cell voice service to a reasonable level. Look up AirVoice and H2O MVNOs - you can buy unlimited Voice/Text plan with some data thrown in for about $30/$35 per month. They both use the same AT&T network.

I don't know where you get iPad service for $0 or $80 dollars a year. The lowest iPad AT&T plan is $15/month or $360 for 2 years. However, this plan gives you measily 250Mb/month, which is not enough if you use Talkatone or Skype for VoIP. You need at least $30/month iPad Data plan, if you want to use your iPad as a VoIP phone on the go. So that's $720/2-years right there.

Here's my carrier costs:

iPhone Unlimited Voice+Text+100Mb of data (AirVoice via AT&T): $30/month
iPad grandfathered $25/2Gb data plan (AT&T): $25/month
Total Cost: $660 a year

I am contact free, and can easily switch carriers/plans whenever I please. I get the best of all worlds - *reliable* voice and text on a normal phone, 2GB of mobile data on my iPad, plus enough data on an iPhone for an occasional use. Best of all, I don't need to fight with iPad VoIP apps, lack of pocketability and unreliable voice service. To each their own.
I wouldn't use a Mvno. It is fine for calls and texting, but when it comes to data all you have is high latency and reliability. You are at the bottom of the totem pole in terms of call priority and data quality.

You might think you are saving money, but you are sacrificing a lot. And I have use the carrier before (straighttalk, airvoice). Unless you need to be in touch with people immediately, it's a waste to even spend 30 dollars a month on cell service.

Stick with either ATT or Verizon and you are only limited to the data cap/internet speed you choose. And you can talk/text as much as you want. Carry only one device and everything becomes simple.
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Old Sep 5, 2013, 08:11 PM   #64
Hey Jude
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Originally Posted by doug in albq View Post
Way to profoundly sum up my thinking with this setup. Some people get it.


I find it funny the 4 or 5 post in a row about the terrible quality of VOIP apps...almost seems like sophisticated trolling. Talkatone works just fine for my needs.
I used Takatone a lot during this past weekend, and have a fair bit in the past when I am too lazy to go grab my phone, and I have found the call quality more than acceptable for my needs, though this is over wifi. Ironically, I was telling a friend that during the numerous phone calls that I made, not one person asked me to repeat myself; the quality was that good.

I have yet to try using Talkatone over 3g, however I will give it a test run now that I have a data plan. I can't foresee the call quality being that much worse than wifi, though.
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Old Sep 5, 2013, 08:45 PM   #65
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I wouldn't use a Mvno. It is fine for calls and texting, but when it comes to data all you have is high latency and reliability. You are at the bottom of the totem pole in terms of call priority and data quality.
I haven't had any data performance issues with AirVoice. Under my MVNO plan, I buy minimal amount of data - just enough for iMessaging and occasional map lookup. I use a lot more mobile data on an iPad, where I am covered by 2GB LTE plan on AT&T.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bursthead View Post
Unless you need to be in touch with people immediately, it's a waste to even spend 30 dollars a month on cell service.
Who can argue with that - it's a waste if you don't need reliable voice service. Just like it's a waste to spend $18 dollars a month on NetFlix if you don't watch movies.. Or it's a waste to buy car insurance if you don't own a car.
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Old Sep 5, 2013, 10:17 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by HobeSoundDarryl View Post
Are you joking? If not, there are many posts within this very thread talking about how apps like Talkatone are great for sending and receiving texts.

Texts: no problem. Texts to you and texts from you.
Internet access: no problem.
Phone (voice): pretty close to a "real" phone. Calls to you and calls from you.
People texting or phoning you dial a regular phone number that has no differences from a cell phone number (no one can tell you aren't using a "real" phone).

If you need everywhere access, get the version with cellular and pay the $20/month for cellular data. If you can get by with access only when you have wifi, save the $20/month and do your (cell phone-like) business in wifi zones. Buy the cell-capable version and have the best of both worlds: use wifi as much as you can and turn on cellular only when you really need it and can't readily access wifi when you need to communicate. This last one is what I do and my entire cell "phone" bill for a year is going to finish at $80... for a YEAR.

There are some tradeoffs to this usage. It's up to each person to decide if they are worth the difference in ongoing (service) costs. In my case, they are not- so I make the $80-per-year work for me. I don't really feel like I'm suffering much in the way of any tangible tradeoffs.

The person that needs to immediately take/make voice calls probably won't like this option. The person that highly values portability (pocket-ability) won't like the bigger size of the mini. The rare scenario of needing immediate access to 911 service (instead of the potential 2-step process if you don't already have cellular turned on) points those worried to a "real" phone. The person who hates earphones with mic or bluetooth headsets and instead wants to hold the phone up to their ear probably needs an iPhone. The person overly concerned about what other people think probably needs an iPhone. Etc.

On the other hand, the person who doesn't really use voice that much... the person who doesn't have such urgent inbound calls that they would generally let them go to voicemail and then call them back when they can... the person who wants to kill 2 birds with one stone (carry just an iPad instead of a phone + iPad)... the person wanting a bigger screen for the rest of what they do with these kinds of devices... the person who is often around wifi and not really leaning on cellular that much, etc can probably give this a good try and find it covers their phone needs well enough.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: the relatively indifferent person who would rather keep $60-$100 or more in their pocket EVERY MONTH instead of giving it to AT&T, Verizon or others can probably get their needs covered with this. If you work at a place with readily-available wifi and you have good wifi at home and maybe places you hang out most, you might be able to nearly completely cover your phone needs without having to spend a nickel on cellular service.

iPhone service at- say- $80 per month times 24 months = $1,920 in AT&T, Verizon, etc. pockets.
iPad "service" at- say- $0 per month times 24 months = $1,920 that stays in your pocket.
iPad "service" like I use it at- say $80 per year = $1,760 that stays in my pocket.
THAT is the point in trying to make an option like this work. It's not for everyone but I suspect it would work for most if they really thought about how they use their phone, when they use their phone, and basically had the self-discipline to "survive" without anytime, anywhere access. If someones phone ever failed leaving them without a cell phone for a period of time, they may have observed that the world (and their world) did not end. A person can live that way and the (and their) world won't end either.
That's great that you do that but everyone is different. Hopefully someone in your family doesn't have a massive emergency and can't reach u bc u didn't renew your data for the month. U brag about $80/year, but couldn't u just say u pay $0 and use wifi only? Heck why have an iPad? Just use your desktop at home on wifi only. Delay all texts and calls until you get home!
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Old Sep 8, 2013, 06:19 PM   #67
bursthead
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Who can argue with that - it's a waste if you don't need reliable voice service. Just like it's a waste to spend $18 dollars a month on NetFlix if you don't watch movies.. Or it's a waste to buy car insurance if you don't own a car.
I do not understand any of your examples. It's not like my phone service will not be used, and ultimately as long as i'm in a coverage zone I will be able to answer the call as it comes in. It's kind of like phone service a few years ago as the network was being rolled out.

Even with phone service you are limited by the coverage of the provider, now you at least have 3g data in most metropolitan areas. Running into issues with not having data coverage(unless your on tmobile) is becoming less of an issue. So running a data only plan and making/receiving calls on a VOIP is actually feasible now. And cost effective since I can make unlimited calls and text for free.

Haven't you asked yourself why MVNO are alot cheaper than the big 3? What do you think you actually paying for. Your paying 20-60 dollars a month just to have that reliability. Which depending on where you could probably get by with a VOIP solution and you can save all that cash.
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Old Sep 9, 2013, 07:11 AM   #68
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I am waiting on the new ASUS PadFone Infinity

http://www.asus.com/Tablets_Mobile/PadFone_Infinity
What an abortion. Good to see them still trying
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Old Sep 10, 2013, 11:01 PM   #69
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Another year, and another 4 inch screen from Apple...rocking my phablet, with impunity.

Funny, how Apple promised us a bigger screen for next year just before the release of the new phone stuff...lol.

EDIT: Or Maybe Apple did give us a phablet as the new iphone...(lol)...

http://www.cultofmac.com/244946/rand...-iphone-video/
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Old Oct 4, 2013, 04:47 PM   #70
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...If I can find a way to attach it to my belt without looking/feeling like a complete idiot, I'm in.
...
lol, there isn't a way that doesn't make you look.feel stupid if you carry it in your belt and answer a call...
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Old Oct 5, 2013, 10:33 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Carlanga View Post
lol, there isn't a way that doesn't make you look.feel stupid if you carry it in your belt and answer a call...
Bluetooth, my man. Bluetooth. Otherwise, agreed.
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Old Oct 7, 2013, 01:41 AM   #72
amaupin
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My iPad Mini Phone & Wife

I travel nation-wide about 25 to 50% of the time. I recently decided to cut my phone bill cost and increase the usability of iOS for mobile computing/communication purposes. I sold my iPhone and purchased two iPad Mini's with Verizon LTE. I ported our numbers to Google Voice and use Talkatone. The cost of the AT&T plan was just too outrageous for two iPhones and the services I needed, which included, 4GB data plan with hotspot capability, unlimited text and unlimited mobile to mobile calling minutes.

With the Verizon 4 GB data share plan which also includes free hotspot, I have everything I need. I just finished my first weeklong trip and the system worked above my expectations.

The cost of the Verizon 4Gb data plan is $30, and two lines are $10 each monthly. The AT&T iPhone plan would have been more than $150 monthly. With a 25% corporate discount I'm playing less than $50 monthly, effectively saving more than $100 monthly.

I use an iBaggs carrying case and strap with the iPad Mini to maintain portability. I do not care what anyone thinks of my phablet strung across my shoulder. The only downside is that it is not as convenient as a pocket phone, but on the other hand a more usable computing device. The voice quality is not quite as good as a cell phone but that does not bother me in the least.
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 12:24 AM   #73
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Just noticed the iPad Air with Cellular will be using a Nano SIM just like the iP 5/5c/5s and both iPad Minis. Good news!
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Old Oct 27, 2013, 07:42 PM   #74
dsampley
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Not sure if anyone else has tried this but with the update to Google Hangouts, you can make and receive phone calls if you have a google voice number. Has worked pretty good for me so far and the sound quality is better then cellular. I setup a local number for my mom where she lives so she can call me anytime and it does not cost her anything (she does not have need for cell phone).
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