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Turboboost910

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 22, 2013
6
0
Hey all. I'm getting ready to head home from Korea, and will be time to get a new phone as I turned my service off before I left. So, I was debating hard on getting another iPhone (love it) or an ipad mini. I wish the iphone had a bigger screen, but my iPad 4 is way too big to carry around. I love the weight of the Mini and it fits perfect in back pockets.

I hardly EVER use a phone for phone calls, and I text more often than not. But I do need a phone for work purposes. With this in mind, I will also hardly ever use 2GB of data, so the base plan should be sufficient for me on my grandmothers shared plan.

I know there are a couple of apps out there that give you phone numbers and VOIP features, so is there anything i should be concerned about before I dive in and do this? Anything that I should be aware of before going this route, as opposed to a dedicated phone? I've done some researched and just want to make sure I make the right choice before committing to the service.

Also, do I need to get on a contract (Verizon) to use this, or is it a pay by month for data kind of thing?

Thanks!
 

rritterson

macrumors 6502
Jul 10, 2008
357
1
DC USA
In rural parts of the country, I will lose data long before I will lose the voice channel. (AT&T) That means that there are many places I could make a call but not use VOIP.

Aside from that, the mini isn't really designed to be held up to your face, so unless you are carrying a headset, you'll be on speakerphone 100% of the time. I'm sure you thought of that already though.
 
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herdnerfer

macrumors 6502
Feb 12, 2011
345
11
Saint louis, MO
You will need a pair of ear buds with a built in mic to make any decent phone calls, those apps that give you a phone number are great for making calls and texting, but you pretty much cannot receive phone calls at all.
 
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Turboboost910

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 22, 2013
6
0
How does the app not receive calls? I will be in the Tuscon area, so should not have any connectivity issues, and will be using wifi whenever i'm in the house and 4G when I'm out. The listing claims full phone functionality.
 
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PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68040
Jul 6, 2007
3,357
2,874
Do some test voice calls and find out how much data VOIP uses. That 2GB/mo may not hold up once you add throwing voice packets around.
 
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herdnerfer

macrumors 6502
Feb 12, 2011
345
11
Saint louis, MO
How does the app not receive calls? I will be in the Tuscon area, so should not have any connectivity issues, and will be using wifi whenever i'm in the house and 4G when I'm out. The listing claims full phone functionality.

The apps just weren't designed to receive calls, I know with google voice the only way to receive is to have the calls forwarded to another phone #.
 
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donnaw

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2011
1,134
6
Austin TX
Well, you can install Skype and set up an account and get a Skype number but it will cost you depending on how many calls you get/call. You could try that for a month or so to see how it works out for you. I'm betting though that you would be better off getting a cheap dumb phone for about $25/month and using the Google thing to forward to that number. But you still have to deal with the ear piece issue.

My husband works overseas and is out of the country for months at a time. We went the cheap dumb phone route for him because it's so much cheaper. Like you he doesn't make many calls but does text a bunch.

There are options for you that won't tie you to a contract. Try them out and see what works (or doesn't). It's easy to change over if you need to.
 
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Pezbaby

macrumors newbie
Nov 15, 2013
12
0
The apps just weren't designed to receive calls, I know with google voice the only way to receive is to have the calls forwarded to another phone #.

This isn't true. Maybe the apps you know about weren't designed to receive calls, but with google voice and google hangouts, one can definitely receive calls from any phone.
 
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coolbreeze2

macrumors 6502a
Sep 24, 2009
861
500
I used Talkatone on my iPad Air until I tried Google Hangouts. With both you have to setup Google Voice first. Both allow you to send AND receive calls like a normal phone. Google Voice provides the phone number and even lets you choose from a list of phone numbers. The great part is that it's all free as long as you are using Wi-Fi. My back up plan when I'm somewhere where there is no Wi-Fi is to purchase a small amount of data from a carrier for the iPad. The iPad Air works with ALL carriers despite the rumors that say it doesn't. All the carriers allow you to purchase data without a contract and open/close account whenever you want.

I stopped using Talkatone because their servers go down to intermittently too frequently. Not only does Google Hangouts does not go down but the call quality is unbelievably clear!!

Texting is also included and free. If you use Talkatone you will not need any other application for texting. If use Hangouts you will need something like GV Connect. I hope I'm wrong and you don't need an extra application to text with Hangouts. But I don't see any other way. All the applications I mentioned are free and in the App Store.
 
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Pezbaby

macrumors newbie
Nov 15, 2013
12
0
so does anyone have positive reviews of these apps on an ipad?
I got rid of my phone service two weeks ago and have been using the mini since.

I am happy with google voice and hangouts. There are some annoying features, like when someone texts you, the notification comes as their phone number instead of name for ID (but in your text log, it will store under their name as long as they are listed in your contacts.) Also it takes a few seconds to load up when you want to use it.

These are minor inconveniences since I rarely use the phone and most of the people I text use iMessage, so I didn't even need to tell most people that I got a new number.

So far the adaptation from iPhone life to mini life has been pretty easy and seamless.
 
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coolbreeze2

macrumors 6502a
Sep 24, 2009
861
500
How do I use Hangouts for Text Messages?

PezBaby: I have looked everywhere but I don't see where I can use Hangouts for texting. Please tell me!!
 
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