Given Wifi but NO AT&T signal, how can I make my iPhone ring? Skype?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by bollweevil, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. bollweevil macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2008
    Hello All,

    I currently have a 1st generation iPhone, not jailbroken, on AT&T. I love it. Sadly, I spend about 20 hours a day encased in metal buildings which block the cellular telephone signal. These buildings have excellent Wifi, which I am always connected to. Now, how can I make my iPhone ring when somebody wants to call me? My ideas:

    1. [Near ideal, if possible] An iPhone Skype client that runs continuously in the background and/or receives push notifications
    I don't care about battery life, I want a phone that rings when someone calls it, whether it is in my pocket or I am fiddling with my Calendar app or whatever. Make my phone ring, please, for the love of god!

    2. [Acceptable, if possible] iPhone VoIP client that can only receive calls while in the foreground. (Google Voice client would be ideal, Skype client acceptable)
    This is an acceptable compromise if there is absolutely no way to make my iPhone ring if the client isn't in the foreground. In this case, someone can send me an email saying "open your Skype app", then I will open it, then they will call me and it (iPhone) will ring. Or I can "place call" in Google Voice and then open my iPhone Skype app and then my iPhone will ring, I will pick up, and I will hear the dialed number ringing. Success.

    3. [Ideal, probably impossible] Google Voice client continuously running on iPhone
    This would involve a hypothetical "Google Voice client" that installs on the iPhone (perhaps it needs to be a jailbroken iPhone), and then runs continuously in the background or alternately receives push notifications when I receive a call, so it can ring even from the background. When my Google Voice number receives a call, it will ring my telephone (AT&T, when I have signal) and it will simultaneously ring my VoIP phone (maybe Skype, when I have Wifi but no AT&T). When I call out, it will seemlessly use VoIP from Skype or AT&T depending on Wifi and cell signal availability. Maybe it would even seemlessly transition from one to the other? I am dreaming now.

    4. [Not good enough] The 3G Microcell thingy
    It looks like this would work perfectly, but it is too expensive and I would only have it in one location (say, my bedroom or my lab). I want my phone to work in any of the many metal-encased-Wifi-enabled rooms that I frequently occupy.

    Does anybody have any other ideas? I am willing to Jailbreak my iPhone, but would prefer not to. I currently have a 1st gen iPhone, but I would like to buy a 3GS, would that influence any of these solutions, or the ease of Jailbreaking?

  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I think the only one of those you can get without jailbreaking is to install the VOIP app (Skype, etc) and run it in the foreground -- and callers would have to call your Skype-In number (in Skype's example, I think they offer some different subscription plans, and having a SkypeIn number costs $5-6/mo).
  3. bollweevil thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2008
    Option 1: Does anyone know if this is possible? What if I jailbreak the iPhone, what VoIP-over-Wifi app will run continuously in the background? Is there a continuous Skype option, or a Google Voice option even? Thanks.

    Option 2: mkrishnan says option 2 is possible as-is, which is good. My question is: Can I use the iPhone's Safari to go to the Google Voice web page (I already have Google Voice) and "place call" and then quickly open the Skype iPhone app before Google Voice decides that my phone isn't ringing?

    Good, at least option 2 should work. I want to look into option 1 before I start investing time and money in option 2 though, because option 1 would be much preferred.
  4. MustBNuts macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2009
    If you jailbreak, you can then, via Cydia, install Backgrounder and Insomnia which will 1) keep skype running as a background process, and 2) keep your your phone from going into a sleep mode and therefore cutting you off.

    I can only imagine that continual use of these will be a battery drain, but hey, it's something.

    Hope this helps,


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