iPad mini My new phone is my new iPad Mini. Replaced my iPhone.

Discussion in 'iPad' started by DelMac, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. DelMac macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2012
    Hey guys. I know a few people have been wondering about replacing their iPhone with a new iPad Mini which is exactly what I did. There aren't many people who've done this so far so I thought I'd give a small account.

    I had an iPhone 4S with ATT with 450 min (39.99) grandfathered "unlimited" data (30.00) & grandfathered 200 txt (5.00) = $75+10 tax so about $85 a month. With my iPad Mini, I now pay for a no contract ATT 3GB data plan (30.00) & Line2 which includes unlimited minutes & txts through VOIP (9.99) = about $41 tax included. I'm very happy with the savings and have had no problems with the Line2 service. I wasn't using my phone much for calls anymore and the 200 txts was seriously limiting my txt usage even though I had WhatsApp installed. My data usage hovered around 3GB or less a month, depending on if I worked from home or not so all this made my decision a bit easier.

    Now the user experience. It's definitely different carrying the iPad Mini around in my hand at all times like a book especially since I've had some sort of phone in my pocket since 1998. I bought a nice black leather Yoobao Executive case for it so it doesn't even look like I'm carrying a Mini around unless I have my Apple earbuds attached to it while I'm talking. I may purchase a bluetooth headset for it though so then it'll be even less noticeable. As far as carrying it with me everywhere, it does have it's limitations that I can easily work around. Really the only places I don't take my Mini is to a bar/club or Six Flags but I had stopped taking my iPhone to those places anyway for fear of losing the phone. And I'm not into using your phone when out on a date or at a bar/restaurant. I'd rather engage in conversation & making eye contact with a person rather than looking down at my device. So my iPad Mini stays in the car on those occasions. I know you can come up with all kinds of situations where I would need a phone/my iPad Mini in a hurry or to check up on something but really it's not that hard to make it work. I'm 31 so I do remember what life was like before cell phones. I can do without it for an hour when necessary. BUT if I REALLY needed a phone for those times when I couldn't have my Mini with me (like on a jog), I could easily purchase a cheap Tracfone and it would still be nothing compared to what I was paying with my monthly plan.

    As far as the iPad Mini's operation goes, all I can say is it works flawlessly like every other Apple product I've bought within the past year. I hate to oversimplify but it really is my iPhone but bigger, making it more efficient for ME. YMMV.

    I know there's more I could cover like how great navigation is with it, or the longer battery life, etc.. but I'd like to have other people experimenting with the iPad Mini as their phone to comment (you have to have it to know how nice it works as a main mobile device) or anyone with questions :)
  2. LWP777 Suspended

    Sep 20, 2010
    I'm confused. So now you have no way of making a phone call?
  3. kevroc macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2011
    You could have done the same setup with the iPhone couldn't you? I mean doing it with the mini is pretty cool, but from a cost savings standpoint using your existing phone would work as well. And if you unlocked your iphone you could always pop in a cheap prepaid sim if you just had to have cell service.

    I've been doing some experimenting with the Obi 110 / Obi app and it's pretty cool, need to look into line2 some more though, thanks for the post.
  4. Jnardis macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2010
    I was thinking of doing the same thing, but haven't had the best experience with Line 2 on my iphone 5 so I was nervous to switch. Plus I think it's too big for everyday use (my phone goes everywhere with me so I'm a different boat).
  5. DelMac thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2012
    Hey Kevroc. Yea I guess I could have done it with my iPhone but my father was wanting my iPhone so I gifted it to him. And I couldn't resist the iPad Mini with no contract :)
  6. DelMac thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2012
    Oh no, don't tell me that. I'm a new customer to Line2, lol. What kind issues did you have with them? I'm hoping I don't have issues with them, otherwise I'll have to look for a new VOIP service.
  7. PracticalMac macrumors 68030


    Jan 22, 2009
    Houston, TX
    I guess he is using FaceTime, Skype, Yahoo! Messenger, HeyTell, or other apps.
  8. MrXiro macrumors 68040


    Nov 2, 2007
    Los Angeles
    why pay for line2 over using GV Phone app for free Google Voice calls?
  9. DelMac thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2012
    I'm using Line2 VOIP for txts and calls although I do use FaceTime and Skype but for video only.


    Hey MrXiro. I'm still new to not paying AT&T for voice calls so I'm still testing out any company that I can make good VOIP calls on. I had read good things about Line2 but if I can get the the exact same features from the GV phone app, then I'll jump on it. Thanks for the question/tip;)
  10. MrXiro macrumors 68040


    Nov 2, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Ah yeah. It does text and calls via your Google Voice Account.

    The only thing you can't get is Picture Messages... so no more sexting with the young hotties... unless they have imessage or facetime. :p

    Go get a free Google Voice account and GV Phone app. All free.

    -From your friendly neighborhood cheapskate.
  11. Jnardis macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2010
    You can use GV over 4g? I wasn't aware of that. That's why I use Line 2 for my work number so it's always connected even w/o wifi.
  12. MrXiro macrumors 68040


    Nov 2, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Yeah, There are two or 3 apps that do it. What it does is it goes through the Gtalk API and essentially it creates a Gtalk account on your phone within the app and lets you make and receive calls.

    I think another app is called Talkatone



    I would stick to texting from the Google made Google Voice app though as GV Phone sends hidden links in it's text messages to your contacts.
  13. aleni macrumors 68020

    Jun 2, 2006
    there is now way i could live with the mini only. i might get a cheap android phone, and turn the cellular data, so it's being used only for making calls and sms only.
  14. Medic311 macrumors 68000


    Jul 30, 2011
  15. marcperrot macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2012
    I was considering doing something like this. I recently ported my personal number to Line2, but I still have an iPhone 5 with my work number. When I finish at the job, I think I'm going to do what you're doing and get a data plan and an LTE iPad mini, but I'm going to hold onto my iPhone 5 and pop the sim card from the iPad mini into it if I'm going places where I don't want to bring the iPad mini.
  16. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    Most of us need a phone in their pocket at all times. I could never do it. I'm not sure the benefit of using the iPad Mini besides saving money, but at least it's do-able for you OP.
  17. Jnardis macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2010
    Wow - That;s awesome. I always saw my balance of 10 cents in the upper right corner so I assumed I would have to pay to make calls over 4g.
  18. MacIke macrumors regular


    Sep 6, 2003
    The Frigid Wasteland of MN
    I hate my phone.

    As I get older the less I like talking to people on the phone. And my (non-iphone) phone is not good to listen on as I get older.

    I prefer my iPod Touch over my phone. I only give out my google voice number now. I get the message and either text or email people from iPod Touch.

    I have an iPad Mini Verizon coming and am so happy. Granted I would rather have an iPhone as a tablet but that is not going to happen thanks verizon.
  19. rmhop81 macrumors 68020


    Apr 4, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    so what do you do when someone wants to call you and they ask for your number?
  20. solo118 macrumors 65816

    May 16, 2011
    Google Voice gives you a local number, it works great!

    By the way, I would at least have a prepaid backup phone, just to keep in your pocket for emergencies. Or you can use something like Straight talk, Simple Mobile for really cheap monthly plans around $40
  21. corvus32 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    Google is about collecting and storing data, and then using that data to make a profit.

    That's what they do, so of course they want you to use their "free" services.
  22. pzingz macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2012

    I really had the idea of keeping track of 2 gadgets and like this idea. thanks
    If one wants maximum coverage I assume I would need the cellular. When I get the iPad I have the option of AT&T or Verizon for the cellular. Will they provide that if I have no phone with them? my plan with AT&T is past 2 years so am free to do what I want.
  23. HobeSoundDarryl, Dec 6, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    I'll add my 2 cents here. Same story about wanting to boot the cell phone bill but still have some capability of mobile phone. I bought the Mini, set up google voice so that I would get a free inbound and outbound phone number, and installed the free Talkatone app. I've been a long-term Skype user and pay them the $30 or so dollars each year so that I can call any landline or mobile number for no additional charge. I've been doing that for years and the call quality is almost always better than I've ever experienced on any cell phone.

    Talkatone leverages google voice to yield inbound and outbound calls. I use it for inbound only, preferring the higher quality of Skype outbound when I want to call someone back. This works really well. Ear buds + microphone, iPad Mini, Talkatone and no $100+/month bill whether I use cell service or not.

    Like some other posts in this thread, I don't really use it for much voice communication. In fact, when I've had mobile phones, my work is such that I don't want the interruptions most of the time... so just about all inbound calls will go to voice mail. I'll check that voice mail and then call back those that are not telemarketers, etc.

    Here's the kicker (for me): do I really need to have always-on LTE? So far, the answer is no. I downloaded the great jiwire free wifi app which shows me nearby free wifi locations (from an onboard database). When I'm without a connection for longer than I like, I fire that up, go to the nearby free wifi source, check messages, etc and call anyone back right there. This is working great so far. I haven't even had to activate the LTE. I'm around free wifi most of my day anyway.

    Unless something changes, LTE will be just an emergency backup (when I really need to connect and there is no nearby free wifi to be found). The way my situation is, I'm guessing I'll buy some LTE about 2 times a year.

    So, I could have stuck with iPhone and $100+/month ($1200/yr) and not really use much of that service at $1200 per year, or I could switch to this combination and maybe spend $100/yr in total. $1100 in savings every year... and I don't feel like I'm really missing much.

    "What R U Doing?" texts are not important (to me) to get in real-time. I rarely have an emergency stand-by calling situation (and if I do, I know it- so I can be sure I'm at a free wifi location).

    For anyone who doesn't really need real-time, always-on connections, this can work well. If you turn off your ringer a lot of the time so that you can focus on your work, many of your calls are going to go to voice mail anyway (just like mine). Then you check when you are ready to deal with them (just like I do) and call back those that need to be called back (just like I do). If you spend much of your time in free wifi zones (work, home, etc), VOIP software will simulate real-time cell phone inbound and outbound just fine. Free unlimited texting. Etc. It's almost the iPhone experience minus giving someone like AT&T $1100/year. Why give AT&T or Verizon $1100/yr for too much "What R U Doing?" and similar?

    What about the 911 argument? My thinking goes that if I'm conscious enough to dial 911 on a cell phone, I'm probably conscious enough to turn on LTE and then dial 911 via Skype or Talkatone. Yes, that's one more step in such an emergency... but then again, I've been an adult for a long time now and I've had 911 emergencies zero times so far.

    What about the carrying it around problem (vs. the more pocketable iPhone)? I'm in a suit most of the time and suit pockets are plenty big enough for the Mini. In other words, I get the hands-free benefit too.

    Obviously, this is not a "for everyone" solution. But it is something that can work well for those in similar situations to my own. Especially if you don't need much real-time exchanges, this can be a great way to go for those around wifi most of their day. $1100 or so savings each year would buy an upgrade every year rather than just giving that money to AT&T or similar.
  24. Boob macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2012
    A tablet cannot replace a smartphone for myself, as well as many others. If it works for you that's great but the phone specific features are important as well as the size that lets me carry it almost anywhere.

    But I love using both my iPhone and iPad. One cannot replace the other.

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