Using iPhone 4 without cell phone service... what features won't work?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Astro7x, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    #1
    So my brother upgrade from AT&T to Verizon and said I could just have his iPhone 4! Very nice... I have no plans to join AT&T just yet (have a year left on my Sprint contract, I am not so quick to just pay the ETF like he is), but until then I want to use the iPhone 4 like a glorified iPod Touch.

    Besides the obvious like Texts, Phone Service, etc... what features can I expect to not work on the iPhone 4 without a cell plan activated on it? I'm mainly curious about the GPS. Can I use the compass with Geocaching applications? Will it add GPS data to the photos that I take? Can I still make Facetime calls?

    I use an iPod Touch 3G already. I assume I can just plug this thing in an restore using one of my iPod Device backups and everything will magically work, right? When I lost my iPod Touch 2G I was incredibly surprised how simple it was to get back up and running with a new device, no neededing to install everything again or anything like that!
     
  2. macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #2
    My testing shows that yes, GPS will work!
    FaceTime is Wi-Fi only, so it'll work as long as you have Wi-Fi.
    Compass relies on accelerometer+gyroscope+digital compass. It is separate from the GPS.

    The only thing that won't work is the Maps.app. You need an internet connection for you to see the map, because it's downloaded real-time from Google Maps. As long as you have a Wi-Fi signal, though, Maps will work. Most navigation maps will not work, unless they're 5GB and have all of their maps offline, or connected via Wi-Fi.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    #3
    That sounds great! I'm use to Maps not working having a iPod Touch, and that's fine and expected.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    #4
    Now I'm just confused...

    I was using the iPhone 4 under the original settings, and FaceTime worked fine! Now I restored the phone to my iPod Touch settings, and FaceTime seems to be missing completely. Restored back to the original iPhone settings, and FaceTime is still gone completely.

    Did I screw myself here and now I can't get FaceTime on it? Because I've read that you need to activate FaceTime in order for it to work, and in the settings under FaceTime is says "Waiting for activation..."
     
  5. macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #5
    You might need a working SIM to get it up and running again. Not sure.
    But it will be more or less like your iPod Touch. (but I think you figured that out already)
     
  6. macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #6
    Yeah, activation requires the SIM. You could always hacktivate it, though.
     
  7. macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #7
    It seems like he is talking about FaceTime exclusively though.

    Wow, I love how my Mac gave me a red line under facetime but not for FaceTime Screw you, Apple. xd
     
  8. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    #8
    Well I think I just might have to Jailbreak.

    One of the reasons my brother gave me his iPhone 4 was so that we could do FaceTime. We tried it after the cell phone service was deactivated, so you can only imagine that disappointment when I've seen the feature disappear.

    I've read about this being a common problem too when people have restored from a 3GS backup
     
  9. macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #9
    You will not need a SIM card to FaceTime. In fact, you won't even need a SIM card at all after the activation (or hacktivation) is complete.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    #10
    How do you do that? The phone was activated with AT&T service at one point, why would it say "waiting for activation..." below the FaceTime option in settings.
     
  11. macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #11
    Then it hasn't been activated. A Wi-Fi feature does not require activation.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    #12
    But everywhere I am reading it says that it DOES require activation. It sends Apple an SMS. It makes sense, because how do you call somebody w/ FaceTime on an iPhone4 if they don't have cell service? It's tied to the phone number, which is not active. Not an E-mail address like on a Mac or iPod Touch.

    http://img854.imageshack.us/i/photof.png/
     
  13. macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #13
    Like I said, hacktivate it. Or after activation, enable FaceTime first then pull the SIM out.
     

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