Now the thought of ditching your Smartphone for an iPad probably sounds crazy at first, but think about it this way…why not? When was the last time you used all of your talking minutes? How much per month are you paying for your cell phone and data plan?
Reason #1 – Calling Plans are Expensive
Most Americans don’t use their cellphones for making calls anyway. Instead we use apps and tools to manage our lives and stay connected to the rest of the world. Instead of talking to our friends and family, we send messages in FB and Twitter, email, and text to stay in touch. For those who need a more personal touch, video chatting apps like Skype, Google Talk and Facetime give us a face to face connection that is even more personal than phone conversations.
The newest phones even make it harder to make a phone call. Some phones you have to go through several screens before you get to the application to call someone, and handset designs are no longer made to hold it up to your ear. I can’t tell you how many times I accidently hang up on my firneds when my cheek touches the screen on my phone.
Research shows that 90% of US households have a cell phone, with many of these homes replacing their landlines. However voice minutes have ceased to grow. What are they all doing instead? Texting.
The number of texts sent by the average user increased by 50%, as texting, emails and streaming finally surpassed voice data on cellular networks.
Unlimited calling plans started about 10 years ago and ran a person $100 per month. Now unlimited calls cost is somewhere around $60 per month. Granted most plans also include unlimited SMS and some data usage with that fee. But the bigger question is why are we paying for unlimited calling, when no one makes any phone calls anymore?
Reason #2 – iPads are Awesome
Some other reasons that the iPad is great:
- It has a larger screen when compared to a Smartphone.
- It nearly eliminates the need for a laptop too, if you carry one of those around every day.
- The battery life is considerably longer than your Smartphone.
- It’s a great device to sit down on the couch, on the go, or in bed to get what you want done quickly.
- There are thousands of apps that work on the iPad.
So How Do You Do It?
So here is what you do. Track how much you talk currently every month and downgrade your calling plan to fit that. You might even want to downgrade your phone to something that actually has calling as its primary function. Then just use your iPad for all the fancy internet connected work you need to do and only use your phone for phone calls.
If you want to be a little more radical and ditch the phone altogether, there are apps you can use to do that, more or less.
Skype: First of all there is Skype where you can make video and voice calls to other skype users for free, or call non-users for a monthly fee that is far less than what you would pay a cell carrier.
Tru: Tru App lets you make calls and send texts anywhere in the world for much cheaper than you could with a smartphone. There is a flat connection fee, but after that it’s just 2.1 cents a minute anywhere. That beats most calling cards.
Fring: Fring is a great app that lets you do group video calling. You get free video chat for up to 4 friends, the app works across platforms (and boarders). So you can talk with a friend in Spain on his android and another friend in Hong Kong on their Nokia.
Line2: Line2 is an interesting app that can make calls over WiFi, 3G or 4G connections, all while using the same phone number.
TextNow: This app is all you need to replace the SMS function on your smart phone. The only catch is that you have to use a different phone number to text with, but once you get over that you can send texts and pictures like you would with your phone.
Once you get a hang of these apps, and maybe a sweet bluetooth headset to connect to your iPad you’ll be ready to try cutting out your expensive smartphone. This idea might not be for everyone, but for those of us who are already using the iPad more than our phones the time to move on has arrived.
Author – Greg Buckskin writes about technology and the internet for Comcast.USDirect.com.