Better telephone experience, better value for money
Replacing the iPhone mobile telephone capability cost $39. Walmart sells a small mobile telephone that fits the little sub-pocket in my jeans, and works really, really well. It was part of a package called StraightTalk which costs $30 monthly for 1,000 minutes, and 1,000 text messages, delivering a three hundred per cent increase in my minutes and a much better telephone experience. The service runs over the excellent Verizon network.
Getting StraightTalk was easy - first you select a phone in a Walmart store (I chose a simple small flip-phone with bluetooth). You then take it home and set up the service - I chose to have StraightTalk bill my debit card monthly, and I transferred my AT&T number (in under two hours).
Google Voice (GV) is a game-changing telephone service that provides a free telephone number, free text messages, free USA telephone calls and dirt-cheap international calls. I use my GV number as my office number, and found it worked really well with Straight Talk.
GV provides a host of advanced features that blew AT&T/Apple away. I especially like including emailed voice messages sent as audio or voice transcribed (or both). Google Voice and StraightTalk are a highly potent combination, that is simple to use:
• Outgoing GV calls made from my iPad or computer (via GV Mobile + App or browser), mean I call my contacts directly - my Apple Address Book & Google Contacts automatically synchronize. Such calls ring my new mobile, which when answered, automatically ring the the contact.
• Incoming calls to GV ring my mobile phone and/or any other phone(s) I nominate. An incoming GV text is automatically forwarded to my mobile, as is a notification of voice mail, I pick up with a pin code from my GV number. I also have my Google calendar (which automatically synchronizes with my Apple calendar) text notify of events 60 minutes before the scheduled time.
When I substituted GV’s voice for the standard Verizon voice mail - it took three clicks!
I already extensively use an iPad, with the Apps. from my iPhone and more - Apple allow an installed App to appear on all of your IOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch). The iPad of course has email, internet browser etc. - mine only connects through Wi-Fi because I just could not bring myself to pay for another lousy and expensive AT&T 3G service.
Like most people I have Wi-Fi connectivity through my home, and is usually available in most of the places I regularly visit, be they offices, hotels or other folks homes. In addition Starbucks and McDonald’s have free Wi-Fi, as do an increasing number of other places including local libraries. I rejected the idea of buying an iPod Touch for its portability - I tried it and it worked well, but I really prefer my iPad.
Next page: Virgin Mobile Mi-Fi
All irrelevant if you live outside the US
My initial outlay was a bit of a shock, but I just bought my iPhone outright, and got a cheapy contract with excellent coverage. The overall cost is less than going for one of the subsidised deals, certainly less than a load of unintegrated gadgets, and I'm not locked into any long-term contract.
So wait, you're advocating replacing one device that does everything with.... 4?! All so you don't have to be "tied into a contract"? I hope no one pays you for this kind of advice. ROFL
Shame you get raped on the charges...
... as over here £35 a month is pretty much all you need and you can get an iPhone on a great network!
Basically this is another AT&T is crap article isn't it? It's just that as the iPhone exposed that crapness, it seems to get tarred with AT&T's stinky brush.
Were are the non-american-at&t centric articles eh?
In the USA your cell providers really screw you!
I pay so much less per year in the UK and all my minutes are bundled as well as unlimited internet.
I bought an unlocked Android Nexus One when they were released and that has now allowed me to negotiate my contract down further, from good to silly good.
Personally I think you are perhaps missing a trick not using your cell phone as a mifi point, my Android does it comfortably. even if it is slightly against the terms of service to use a phone teathered I figure the little I do it won't hurt.
Still, I feel sorry that you are being so screwed. When I renegotiated my contract they said I was a high-tier customer, so I could have any phone for nothing *and* I pay half your rental for a passable service.
My sympathies to our American cousins.