Ditching iPhone for iPad only

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Mr. Donahue, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. Mr. Donahue macrumors 6502

    Mr. Donahue

    Sep 17, 2014
    so I've been thinking of ditching my iPhone 6 two years or so from now and picking up an iPad Mini 4 with wifi/data when since its expected to release this year.
    Now for phone calls I was simply gonna get a Light Phone which is an unlocked prepaid phone.

    I have t-mobile now.

    Now I want to keep my same number for the dumb phone which won't be a problem. My wife has an iPhone so iMessage will work for most of the people I text with except my sister she has android but I think I can use other apps? Not sure tho.

    I know what's app needs a phone number right?
    Oh well.
    I really wanna make this work. Any thoughts?
  2. Cribbing macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2012
    I did this about 2 years ago and it has been great. I use google voice for a phone number which is what I give everyone who wants to talk with me on the phone. I then pay $2.99/month for a Skype phone number which is where I receive all my phone calls from (I setup google voice to forward all calls to my Skype number). If somebody wants to message me from an iOS device, they can use my email address. If they are on android, they just text my google voice number and the sms gets sent to my email inbox (just reply to the email and the text goes back to them).

    I went from a $80 phone bill/month to a $33/month bill for my ipad. It works well for me considering I don't talk on the phone often and there are certainly times where I am not reachable when I don't bring my ipad with me. But it works good enough for me. I won't ever go back to a phone. I will say that this won't work for everyone. You are the only one that can determine if it will work for you.

    I currently use an iPad air, but I will likely upgrade to the iPad mini 4 when it comes out so I can gain a little in portability.
  3. Mr. Donahue thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mr. Donahue

    Sep 17, 2014
    So great to hear it works out for you.
    Yes! The more I think about it the more it makes sense. I'm excited to go this route and save a little while I'm at it.
    Thanks for responding.
  4. kb12252004 macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2013
    I've experimented with this setup quite frequently in the past with a range of combinations (iPod Touch + mobile data modem; iPad mini 2 w/cellular, iPad Air 2 w/cellular) and found it worked well, as long as I was getting a 4G LTE signal and not 3G. With 3G, the call would drop if the signal strength was less than 2 bars. The pre-paid flip phone would then compensate. There are other minor quirks I also experienced. For instance if I had music playing and a call came in, the music would continue to play until I stopped it (as opposed to Facetime calls, in which the media stops to accommodate the call similar to an iPhone). I also use the ear pods and mic frequently; and was not able to begin or end the call from the headset, nor did Siri work with my chosen app, Talkatone. None of these issues are a big deal, but it might be worth experimenting just to be sure you're fine with these compromises. Another thought -- currently, I have a used, inexpensively purchased iPhone 5c with Verizon pre-paid service (unlimited talk and text, with 2GB 4G LTE data, with TETHERING) for $45 month. Given that you already own an iPhone, you may find a pre-paid monthly plan from your chosen carrier to be your most cost effective option. Hope this helps.
  5. Hal~9000 macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2014
    You don't need a phone at all anymore once you get a cellular iPad.

    Simply sign up for a free Google Voice # and download the Google Hangouts app to your iPad to make / receive both calls and SMS via cellular data or WiFi.

    I'm curious, if you already have a Google Voice # then why not simply forward calls & sms to the Google Hangouts app which can make/receive unlimited calls and text from your Google Voice # for free?

    I agree. I got the iPad mini retina from Walmart on a great deal two weeks ago ($265 for 16gb cellular version with $17 cashback) and I can't see myself ever going back to using a phone.

    The ability to simply pay for data only (which you can use can make/receive calls and sms) and the larger screen really makes for a much more enjoyable experience from my portable device.
  6. Mr. Donahue thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mr. Donahue

    Sep 17, 2014
    I've cut myself off from google a couple years ago. I didn't like their mail or how I needed an account for YouTube, the ad tracker started around that time and it all started to rub me the wrong way.

    So I didn't even know about Google hangouts. My wife just asked where have I been apparently she uses it at work a lot.
    So ....yeah! Okay. I guess I don't need a phone then?

    Really hope I can keep my number though. I've had it for years.
    I'll look into this.

    Thanks for the feedback everyone.
  7. east85 macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2010
    It's perfectly feasible to go this route. I currently have used Google Voice for about 4 years now just by itself. More recently they integrated Google Voice functionality into Hangouts. This is where things start getting more user friendly, in my opinion. If someone rings my Google Voice #, Hangouts will ring on my Tablet, my iPhone and my MacBook if I have Gmail open in a tab. I also receive texts on all three, including MMS. This might seem chaotic, but I tend to put one of my devices on mute most of the time.

    My contacts are all organized with Google (contacts.google.com), on both of my iOS devices contacts are synced from Google in settings. Hangouts has access to my contacts so dialing out is as functional as any other application.

    Originally I had thought to myself that the cellular iPad Mini would be a good candidate as a phone replacement. I wrote about it here a lot, actually. It worked out for me for about a year, but I finally just got tired of messing with bluetooth solutions and none of them seemed to play well with Hangouts on iOS. Eventually I bought a brand new unlocked iPhone 4S on the cheap. I don't need the newest technology, I just need it to work, is my thinking. Now I answer my phone like everyone else.

    I pay $29.99 a month for unlimited LTE on my iPad with AT&T through a grandfathered solution, but this sim lives out of a hotspot. This is where it gets weird and I may sacrifice simplicity for savings. My phone and tablet are almost always on airplane mode with Wi-Fi enabled. I just use the unlimited LTE sim in a small hotspot device that lasts upwards of 14 hours on a single charge. So in my bag I have my MacBook, my iPad, my Phone and my small hotspot. The only inconvenience to my setup I can think of (or redundancy) is carrying my hotspot and Phone with me when I just want my phone. It seems silly, but really I hardly notice. It's a bit easier to carry around than just the iPad in retrospect. My iPad has a the free 200mb for life from T-Mobile (sim) in it, just in case, but I rarely ever use it.

    Sorry if this is long winded, hopefully you can pull out some relevant information from all this.
  8. Cribbing macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2012
    In my experience, google voice just didn't work all that well for me. Skype is infinitely better. google voice calls sometime continue ringing even after answering. Sometimes the calls would come in without a notification. Voice quality is terrible. It's just not a good experience. I tried doing google voice by itself for a few months, and I just wasn't happy. Skype is easily worth 2.99/month.
  9. adam9c1 macrumors 68000


    May 2, 2012
    I have Google voice. Sometimes only the ringer on my mailbox rings but not my phone.

    I would have looked at it more,
    ie ditching phone but I'm on a family plan between me, wife and parents.

    I'll be switching to the new T-Mobile plan and have it all for $10 less than currently.
    My parents barely use their phones and they pay $15 per line.
  10. Mr. Donahue thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mr. Donahue

    Sep 17, 2014
    Wow.. Thanks for replying.
    I am definitely starting to see all the different options and ways to approach this.
    I'm glad I'm not the only person who has thought of this and It pleases me to know this route is working out for people.
    Very cool !
  11. ackmondual macrumors 65816


    Dec 23, 2014
    U.S.A., Earth
    Somebody I knew did this. Sold the iPhone, and got an Ipad and "dumbphone" from doing so. Quadrupled his phone's battery life :cool:
  12. adam9c1 macrumors 68000


    May 2, 2012
    What's the cost for monthly service for dumb phone?
  13. thelawnetwork macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2014
    If you're getting rid of the great freebies Google gives away for tracking, you'd probably better take a really close look at your Apple devices and also what you have running there. The ROI for me for Google Voice alone was worth it and also having the security of not losing my phone number to who knows what phone provider that has its own policies (like all the MVNOs you hear about too.) Not disrespecting your decision but you'd be utterly shocked to find out how much Apple knows about you too, especially if you're using all of their integrated services.
  14. ackmondual macrumors 65816


    Dec 23, 2014
    U.S.A., Earth
    While I'm not going to pretend that Google's that true to their "do no evil" motto, I'm sure Apple craves info and harvests it as much as any of the other large corporations.
  15. Mr. Donahue thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mr. Donahue

    Sep 17, 2014
  16. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    No I can't ditch my iPhone 6+ because whenever I go I take it out and use FaceTime with my friends for 5 minutes. I can't do that with iPad Air or Mini... too big to hold.
  17. colodane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2012
    In my case, I use an LG clamshell phone with a pre-paid plan from Verizon. Love the phone - with my light usage, I only need to charge it once every couple of months.

    Verizon has several different pre-paid plans. The one I selected charges you 99 cents for each day you actually use the phone. Then it is 10 cents a minute for any calls actually made or received on the phone. I forward incoming calls to my Google Voice number and usually deal with them on my iMac, iPad or iPod Touch via the supplied email transcription.

    With my usage pattern (when traveling or for convenience) I'm averaging about $5 a month in total charges, which seems reasonable. Nice thing about these pre-paid plans is that there are no taxes or fees added.

    I'm not into texting and not sure about what the charges are for this. I would assume there is some sort of per text message charge also.
  18. Centris 650, Aug 4, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015

    Centris 650 macrumors 6502a

    Centris 650

    Dec 26, 2002
    Near Charleston, SC
    You guys have inspired me to try this. Currently using my wife's iPad Air (mine isn't cellular) with google voice through google hangout. If I stay with this I can see I'll need to invest in some Bluetooth earbuds. A couple of questions:

    1) What do you use for texting? I know I can use iMessage for contacts using Apple devices but what about everyone else? I guess I could use Facebook and but I know that there will be someone (probably a business) that will need to text me through SMS.

    2) Portability-How are you men carrying around your iPad mini? Do you just not take your iPad into stores and restaurants?

    3) Data Usage- Are you seeing a drain on your data?

    Thanks for all the information!
  19. addictzz macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2012
    First of all, thanks to OP for bringing this topic up. This is one of the reason I want to get an iPad. I find that having both iPhone & iPad is a bit redundant. And the cost-saving from having to pay for 2 data plans are gladly welcome.

    So a google voice number & Skype phone number works with normal cellular network? Ie. they can receive and make calls to normal phone number?
  20. nj-morris macrumors 68000


    Nov 30, 2014
    I'm thinking of trying out the Samsung Galaxy/iPad combination. I already have an Air 2, and thinking of getting an S6 (Edge(+)) in October. I've heard that :apple: are planning on bringing their own apps to Android, like they're doing with :apple:Music, so hopefully I'll still be able to use things like iMessage and FaceTime.
  21. silverblack macrumors 68030


    Nov 27, 2007
    My brought my iPhone 6 plus as my only screen to my camping trip last week, and it worked out really well. The screen was big enough for me to catch up with emails and watching a few TV episodes, yet small enough that I have it with me 24/7. I can't imagine take an iPad, even a mini, everywhere I go when I need to stay connected.
  22. dyn macrumors 68030

    Aug 8, 2009
    Old skool setup :) I used to have something like that in the very early smartphone days and it was very annoying. My PDA managed all my contacts, calendar and so on. That meant I had to get my PDA out, look up a phone number, get my phone out and dial it. Luckily it was a Nokia that came with some software where you could do some basic management of contacts which made it a bit easier.

    Making an appointment was easier because you don't have to take the phone off your ear and fiddle with it to open the calendar app, you just did that on the PDA controlled by your other hand. Of course this is not a problem when using a headset/carkit. This also means that both the phone and the PDA had to be operated with 1 hand. The PDAs back then were a lot smaller than the iPad mini, they are similar in size to the 4" iPhones which means you could easily hold them in 1 hand and operate them in one hand (although iOS lags in one handed mode compared to good old PalmOS).

    Using 2 devices isn't always as handy as just 1 device, especially in times when you need to operate it with 1 hand. Remember that when being on the phone you can't simply use Siri, you want to mute the phone and thus you are switching between devices in a similar way as when you have 1 device where you have to switch between the phone app and the calendar app.

    All in all, it was really unhandy so I bought a smartphone the very first moment I could and never looked back. Handling 2 devices is too cumbersome so if it is possible do it all on 1 device. Since the iPad and iPhone are nearly the same this is very easy to do. The only thing you need is a good VoIP (or similar) service with an app for the iPad and a good data connection that allows (both technical and from a contract point of view, most countries don't have net neutrality) the use of such an app/service. In reality the data connection is always the problem. It's either crappy, limited in speed, limited in amount of data per month or it doesn't allow VoIP services (and the like). Same for wifi, it doesn't play well with VoIP (if you stay put it will but once you start moving around you run the risk of a dropped connection). That means you are either stuck with a very unhandy setup with 2 devices or you are stuck with a smartphone. The iPhone 6+ is a rather large phone, if I were you I'd go check it out to see if it is big enough.
  23. nia820 macrumors 68020


    Jun 27, 2011
    I had a android iPad combo for 3 years. I think it's an excellent idea. You'll have the best of both worlds. I now have an iPhone 6 plus as my primary phone but sometimes I think about going back to android as primary phone.

    Google hangouts doesn't require a phone number. Just a gmail/ google account. You can text, video and voice call
  24. Cribbing macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2012
    I've been using Skype over LTE on my iPad for two years and rarely have problems with a phone connection. It wasn't any worse than using a regular cell phone for me. Skype has been awesome. Other VoIP services might not be as solid over a cellular radio. I make calls in the car while moving all the time with my iPad and Skype has been solid. When you save so much money by moving to an iPad only data plan, it is worth the cost of paying for good VoIP service than using one of the crummy free VoIP services. I still pay $50 less per month than I paid when I had an iPhone on AT&T. Unlimited Skype is cheap and then you also have to pay a yearly fee to have a regular phone number that Skype will use. Still way cheaper than an iPhone plan.
  25. Scottsoapbox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2014
    While it was true that the iphone access charge was $40, hasn't it dropped to $20 at the major carriers? Tablets at Verizon are $10, so is this all done to save $10 a month?

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