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Old Aug 28, 2013, 09:26 PM   #1
doug in albq
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iPad Mini is my iPhone phablet. Only $20 a month.

Simple, yet a bit too convoluted for most people.

iPad Mini (Verizon LTE) + Google Voice + VOIP phoning app (Talkatone).

Double bonus because I have bad eyesight and iPhone screen is too small for me.

Sans all the jokes about carrying it around...I leave it in the car often. Or, Bluetooth/WiFi the free personal hotspot to my old iphone 4. Mini is wrapped in an Otterbox Defender and sometimes just carry it around like a small book. Fits in the pocket of most of my cargo shorts/pants...

Not doing much conventional phoning, anyway.

Done. For $20 bones a month.
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 06:56 AM   #2
SHirsch999
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Originally Posted by doug in albq View Post
For $20 bones a month.
20 bones a month? You must not be married.
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 07:00 AM   #3
ehfz
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I'm planning on doing this exact thing when the new ipad mini comes out. I'll be getting bluetooth headphones to make calls on. My understanding is that the LG Tone headphones have notification vibration built-in too, not sure if that will work correctly in this scenario but I'm going to give it a shot.
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 08:06 AM   #4
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still deciding if this is a good idea for when my contract expires on 2014. It seems ok, but the form factor makes it a little awkward for me as both a cyclist and runner, because I need to have a phone on me at all times in c ase of emergency.
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 08:20 AM   #5
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How do you take a call when you are walking? Seems like there are a lot of workarounds with this "my tablet is my phone" solutions.
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 08:28 AM   #6
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I'll be doing the same thing when the Retina iPad mini is released. Google Voice, iMessage, and Skype will give me most of what I need. I'll also be paying $6/month for a Canadian phone number that redirects to Skype (virtufon.com). The number may never be used but I need something to put on resumes and school forms. Going to look into Skype voicemail otherwise having a number may do little good.

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How do you take a call when you are walking? Seems like there are a lot of workarounds with this "my tablet is my phone" solutions.
Headphones or Bluetooth.
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 08:41 AM   #7
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I think it's a great idea. My problem is just the logistics of it. I make about 2000 minutes worth of calls a month. +75% of the time, I'm on bluetooth and the phone is in my pocket. The iPad needs to be able to be on my person at all times without carrying it in a backpack. It's just a bit too big for pants, meaning I'd have to wear some type of bag all the time or some other option. When I'm not talking on the phone, I'm on the internet or apps, which is why i want the bigger screen and better battery life. If I can find a way to attach it to my belt without looking/feeling like a complete idiot, I'm in.

I have an unlimited plan with my VZ iP5 so I'd just pop the SIM in the Mini and roll. Does anybody have any experience how this would effect my VZ bill? From what I've gathered, it will not drop the unlimited, but does VZ keep charging for the talk and text like it was a phone?
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 08:46 AM   #8
Skika
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Originally Posted by mikeoui View Post
I'll be doing the same thing when the Retina iPad mini is released. Google Voice, iMessage, and Skype will give me most of what I need. I'll also be paying $6/month for a Canadian phone number that redirects to Skype (virtufon.com). The number may never be used but I need something to put on resumes and school forms. Going to look into Skype voicemail otherwise having a number may do little good.

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Headphones or Bluetooth.
So you are always wearing headphones? Or you have to pick them up and put them in, also what about vibrate? You are depending on sound with the iPad.

A whole mess in practical use, at least for me it would have been.
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 08:50 AM   #9
mikeoui
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So you are always wearing headphones? Or you have to pick them up and put them in, also what about vibrate? You are depending on sound with the iPad.

A whole mess in practical use, at least for me it would have been.
You're definitely right there. I rely on vibrate a lot with my phone; I almost never have the sound on.

That said, I personally make and receive very few phone calls so there is not as much urgency to responding to incoming communications. I'll be more likely to just leave the device in my backpack until I get wherever I'm going and then just leave it out where I can see and hear it when I'm at home or wherever (like I do with my phone now). I may miss a call or text if I'm in transit somewhere, but it's a small price to pay for me. I'll be saving $56/month over what I pay now. That will pay for the new device in a year (I don't upgrade every year; I bought my current iPhone 4 after waiting in line for 12 hours on launch day in 2010).

One thing I haven't figured out is what I will do about carrying it around. I'm in graduate school now so I have a backpack at most times, but I have a feeling the iPad will stay home when I go to the bar and such. That will be an adjustment for me, but I figure they survived before cellphones existed.
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 10:54 AM   #10
DisplacedMic
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Originally Posted by doug in albq View Post
Simple, yet a bit too convoluted for most people.

iPad Mini (Verizon LTE) + Google Voice + VOIP phoning app (Talkatone).

Double bonus because I have bad eyesight and iPhone screen is too small for me.

Sans all the jokes about carrying it around...I leave it in the car often. Or, Bluetooth/WiFi the free personal hotspot to my old iphone 4. Mini is wrapped in an Otterbox Defender and sometimes just carry it around like a small book. Fits in the pocket of most of my cargo shorts/pants...

Not doing much conventional phoning, anyway.

Done. For $20 bones a month.
sorry to threadjack, but i clicked on that link and the article on laptop cable magnet made me laugh out loud...so awesome

ok continue
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 05:33 PM   #11
617aircav
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Originally Posted by Tilpots View Post
I think it's a great idea. My problem is just the logistics of it. I make about 2000 minutes worth of calls a month. +75% of the time, I'm on bluetooth and the phone is in my pocket. The iPad needs to be able to be on my person at all times without carrying it in a backpack. It's just a bit too big for pants, meaning I'd have to wear some type of bag all the time or some other option. When I'm not talking on the phone, I'm on the internet or apps, which is why i want the bigger screen and better battery life. If I can find a way to attach it to my belt without looking/feeling like a complete idiot, I'm in.

I have an unlimited plan with my VZ iP5 so I'd just pop the SIM in the Mini and roll. Does anybody have any experience how this would effect my VZ bill? From what I've gathered, it will not drop the unlimited, but does VZ keep charging for the talk and text like it was a phone?
So you will be paying for Verizon minutes and text but not using them?
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 06:03 PM   #12
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So you will be paying for Verizon minutes and text but not using them?
Yep. I'd move to the lowest minute plan. Plus the data pkg. totally worth it for the amount of data I use. I'd be saving from what I spend now.
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 10:19 PM   #13
doug in albq
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Also, before I went to the Mini, I had both and iPad 1 and then iPad 2. I have been using the iPad since the first week the device became available. I am hooked on the device and think it is superb.

There are pros and cons to both the full size iPad and the Mini, and we all know what they are. But the full size is a bit heavy, love the smaller size and do not mind zooming in on websites if I have to.

Hugely invested in apps for iOS. Mac user for over 20 years.
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Old Aug 30, 2013, 03:08 AM   #14
midwestfisherma
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Sounds like a great alternative for people who aren't on the phone constantly.
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Old Aug 30, 2013, 04:50 AM   #15
Ddyracer
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Just wait till the nexus 7 LTE comes out. Now that's portability
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Old Aug 30, 2013, 05:54 AM   #16
jamesschmidtke
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I've been doing this for a while now (stolen iphone 5) and talkatone is not super reliable and doesn't work so well. Google voice works pretty great on the comp tho. The real prob is if you aren't on unlimited data, I don't talk too much and poof my 3 gb is gone just using talk atone. The bluetooth headset is a good idea, but I'm afraid it will make the talaktone quality even more delayed and robotic as I use a hardwired iphone cable and it's still problems. I may end up getting a note 3 as my company won't replace my iphone but will subsidize an android
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Old Aug 30, 2013, 09:18 AM   #17
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I tried this for about two months. But, I took the sim out of my ipad mini and put it into my iphone.

Call quality was pretty terrible honestly, regardless of the voip app used. Serious latency issues. People on the other end couldn't understand me about 40% of the time. It was especially bad when I was driving.

I switched to AT&T Go Phone for only $60 per month. More expensive, but crystal clear as a phone.
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Old Aug 30, 2013, 10:34 AM   #18
ctyrider
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Been there, done that. Voice over Wireless Data - unreliable and generally poor quality. iPad as a phone - cumbersome and doesn't work in many situations.

Overall, it's just too cumbersome and not worth an aggravation over having a normal phone.
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Old Aug 30, 2013, 10:50 AM   #19
oldhifi
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I am waiting on the new ASUS PadFone Infinity

http://www.asus.com/Tablets_Mobile/PadFone_Infinity
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Old Aug 30, 2013, 11:09 AM   #20
macizcool
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You could always get an Obi to use at home, and then just use the wireless data when you're out and about.

http://www.amazon.com/OBi100-Telepho...1&keywords=obi

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Props to the OP though for working the system! Wireless carriers are a scam.
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Old Aug 30, 2013, 11:15 AM   #21
macsation
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I am waiting on the new ASUS PadFone Infinity

http://www.asus.com/Tablets_Mobile/PadFone_Infinity
OMG, this thing looks A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

Will it have AT&T LTE?

Last edited by macsation; Aug 30, 2013 at 11:26 AM.
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Old Aug 30, 2013, 12:06 PM   #22
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Boy, a lot of posts putting down the concept by ignoring the fundamental concept that the idea is NOT for everyone. OP says he doesn't need to make many calls, so 2000-voice-minutes-per-month guy and other are probably not good candidates for this option. Those who value pocket-ability enough to pay the much greater toll are also not candidates for this option.

Where it works is for those that don't need that much 24/7 phone (voice) service (the mostly text & data people especially). It works for those that need to be able to call back but not necessarily to be immediately on call for inbound calls (though it can receive inbound calls). It works for those who don't mind carrying the bigger form factor- who have a bigger pocket (like a suit pocket), backpack, laptop or other case. It works for those that want to carry the least load possible (so they don't need an iPhone and an iPad).

Most importantly though- for those where it does work- it offers a HUGE cost savings vs. an iPhone. $20/month times 12 months = $240/year. In my own case, I only need cellular data for this just a few months each year so my bill will end up at about $80 for a WHOLE YEAR! Wifi works well enough for the rest of the year. Do I feel like I'm missing anything vs. an iPhone? Not a thing (for my personal situation).

I appreciate the "must be able to make & receive calls anywhere at anytime", heavy voice users, pocket-ability and so on. If that's very important to you, this idea is obviously not for you. For me, it's not important enough to pay about $1,000/year for those benefits.

It's a very good solution if most of your "cell phone" use is texting & data with only some voice needs. When you do need voice, it can be as good as Skype (in fact, Skype is an app I tend to use to make outbound calls to landlines & mobile). Call quality is as good as Skype tends to be. Talkatone is quite good for inbound calls, texts, etc. too. If you'd rather pocket about $750 or more each year than give it to AT&T, Verizon, etc and this fits your needs, it's a great way to go.

Last edited by HobeSoundDarryl; Aug 30, 2013 at 12:12 PM.
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Old Aug 30, 2013, 12:52 PM   #23
oldhifi
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OMG, this thing looks A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

Will it have AT&T LTE?

what I have read, it will have LTE

suppose to be out Sept-October
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Old Aug 30, 2013, 01:42 PM   #24
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Yep. I'd move to the lowest minute plan. Plus the data pkg. totally worth it for the amount of data I use. I'd be saving from what I spend now.
The cheapest voice plan is $40, thats a lot of money to be throwing away.
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Old Aug 30, 2013, 01:48 PM   #25
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The cheapest voice plan is $40, thats a lot of money to be throwing away.
No, the cheapest plan is the 65+ Plan for $30 and the unlimited data for $30. $60 for an unlimited LTE data plan is pretty sweet in my book.
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