iPod Touch replacing cell phone?

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by JRoDDz, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. JRoDDz macrumors 68000


    Jul 2, 2009
    I'm curious how one goes about replacing their cellphone with a Touch? How do the logistics of this work? I have wifi nearly everywhere. Do you use Google Voice or some other service? If using Google voice, does your iPod Touch ring like a normal phone? What about texting? Do you use iMessage exclusively or some other service? If this is feasible, I would like to get away from paying for a cell phone.
  2. Derwinator macrumors member


    Oct 21, 2008
    VoIP options for iPod Touch

    There are many options for making calls via a WiFi connection on the iPod Touch. A quick search on the web will help you find more info. I suggest looking at the app Talkatone combined with a Google Voice phone number. Paired with a bluetooth headset you'll be set to call away.
  3. 3dflyboy1 macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2011
    California, USA
    It's possible, but nowhere near as convenient as an actual phone. But it sounds like the necessary internet connection isn't an issue for you. I think it would be fun just to try it out! I have an old iPod touch and bluetooth headset... :D
  4. Photography macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2007
  5. o12 macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2012
    I do this. Here's my setup:
    • Callcentric Dirt Cheap DID – $2.95 / month. If you don't need 911 service you can say you live outside the U.S., otherwise 911 service adds a dollar or two per month. Free incoming calls. Outbound calls cost something like $0.018 / minute I think.
    • CounterPath Bria – SIP client. There are some free apps for this, but I found Bria very much worth paying for. Acrobits is also good.
    • Google Voice – for text messages and free outgoing calls. You can use Google's website for initiating calls and sending messages (SMS works via email too) or something like GV Mobile +, which is pretty handy.

    It's worth noting that this setup is country independent; if you're ever abroad it will work just the same and without any extra fees.

    I've been doing this for several years now and at least for me it works out quite well. I'm usually either at home or work, or don't have anything urgent enough going on that it can't wait an hour or two. WiFi hotspots aren't that hard to find and everybody around you has a cell phone anyway. Not having a cell phone makes you use your wits a bit more, which I enjoy. Yes, once in awhile it's truly inconvenient, but not as often as you'd think.

    So I pay $2.95 / month, sometimes a few cents more if I make some outgoing calls not using Google Voice. Compared to paying, say, $80 per month for a cell phone, that's a savings of over $900 a year.

    If this all sounds too extreme, there are a few alternatives:
    • If you have an iPad with a data plan, you can either run your softphone directly on it, or use it as a WiFi hotspot. Voice calls don't use that much bandwidth.
    • If you have an iPhone or buy a used one, unlock it and put it on a prepaid plan. Use your VoIP setup for most calls, but you'd still have cell service if you needed it. I used to use T-Mobile. You have to buy $10 of time every 3 months to keep your account active. That's an extra ~$40 / year, but it might be worth it for some people.
  6. o12 macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2012
    Yes. Though in order to use GV you need another phone number as well. A GV number can't receive calls directly; it just forwards them to another phone. So you'll need to get a phone number from someplace else, like Callcentric or one of the many other SIP providers.

    Softphones typically have several settings for receiving calls. The most reliable method is to have the app always running in the background. This does use extra battery power, though not a drastic amount. Acrobits has an interesting setting where you can receive calls via push. It'll launch / wake up the app and start ringing. That uses very little extra battery power but I found it wasn't completely reliable: maybe 1 or 2 calls out of 10 would go straight to voicemail.
  7. Tortri macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2010
    I haven't used Talkatone but I personally use skype which is $60 for the year to make phone calls.. so once people call me on my Google Voice number Skype will ring(well really any number you added to google voice will ring if you want). Now I don't make that many calls so when someone does call they leave a voicemail and I just call them back if I want thats just me though.

    As long as you have access to wifi all you need is Google Voice and phone service (talkatone, Skype). iMessage and Google Voice for texting(GV can NOT receive picture/video msgs, only text msgs)
  8. Algus macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2014
    When I was in college I used a Playstation Portable of all things to make phone calls! It had Skype, which was pretty cutting edge in 2004-2005, and of course since I was commuting between home and school, I always had a wifi connection. It was a little spotty back then because there wasn't wifi everywhere like there is now but hot spots were springing up pretty quick.

    I liked it quite a bit. I didn't have the money for a good phone and contract and it worked better than a no contract phone.
  9. mrvmyster macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2015
    Yes, download MagicJack from the app store for making phone calls to any phone in the US, you can use this if you are out of the country as long as you are on wifi. For messaging I use WhatsApp to other WhatsApp users, or use Pinger for texting to anyone. Good luck.
  10. colodane macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2012
    If you have wi-fi most of the time, Google Voice / Hangouts can provide acceptable phone service if your needs aren't heavy duty. For me, however, the biggest disappointment is the dismal battery life of the iPod Touch 6G. Really sad that they couldn't have made it 2 mm thicker and charged $10 more and achieved a 8 to 10 hour battery life. This is the penalty we pay for Apple's obsession with thinness.
  11. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    Google Voice and Hangouts are by far the best end to end solution for using an iPod as a phone.

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