My New Phone is an iPod Touch

Category: Gadgets , Telephony

I had myself talked into buying a new phone, and was eagerly checking out the latest phones, smartphones and PDAs. But something happened on the way to the phone store...

ipod Touch phone

My New Phone: Not a Phone!

I've had an LG Voyager for about a year, and I'm generally happy with it. It has a touch screen interface, as well as a full keyboard when you flip it open. (See my Voyager vs iPhone article.) Call quality is excellent, it can browse the web, take photos and videos.

So why get rid of it? I had two reasons. First, it doesn't have wifi. The Voyager can only go online via my Verizon data plan, which relies on the cellular signal. The $15/month is no biggie, but the signal is not always great, so sometimes browsing is slow. With a wifi-enabled phone, I could phone surf at high speeds at home, in Starbucks, or any place where there is a free wifi signal. And secondly, I wanted a bigger screen. The Voyager's is only 1.5 x 2.5 inches, which is a little cramped for most websites.

I was about ready to choose from the Samsung Omnia, the Samsung Saga, or the HTC Touch. They're all slick Verizon phones with wifi and have larger screens for web page viewing. But as I said, something happened on the way to the phone store. My wife had been suggesting that we get an iPod Touch to replace her ancient iPod Shuffle. So I bought one at the local Apple Store, and on the way out I realized that the iPod Touch is everything I wanted in a phone, but without the phone.

It's got wifi, web access, and a nice big 3.5 inch touchscreen. It provides easy access to iTunes, YouTube, maps, email, weather and thousands of other applications from the App Store. I've downloaded free games, a fitness tracker, and even the Kindle book reader for my Touch. In a nutshell, the iPod Touch is everything that's cool about the iPhone. So it can't make phone calls or take pictures. I already have a phone that I like, and it can do those things.

Why Not Just Get an iPhone?

Yes, I have to carry two gadgets around instead of one. And that seems to beg the question: why not just buy an iPhone, if you love the iTouch so much? The main reason is that iPhone users are locked into using AT&T. Their calling plan costs a minimum of $70/month, and that's for just 450 minutes and pay-as-you-go texting. (Unlimited text messaging costs $20/month extra.) You can move up to 900 minutes for $90/month, 1350 minutes for $110/month or get unlimited talk time for $130/month. And the Family Plan is no bargain either. It's double the price for the second line, and then you pay $10/month for additional lines.

I have five phones on a Verizon family plan, and using the iPhone on the Verizon network is simply not an option. It would cost me about $90/month EXTRA for the iPhone, to get a calling plan similar to the one I have now. Since I already have a phone, it would make more sense to hot-glue the iPod Touch to the back of my Voyager. I didn't actually do that, but it's an option.

Oh, and it turns out you actually CAN make phone calls from your ipod Touch! This Lifehacker article describes how to turn your iPod Touch into an iPhone and make phone calls. You don't have to be a hacker, and there's no soldering iron needed. Just a bit of VOIP software and a microphone that plugs into the sync/charge port. But of course you can only make phone calls where you have wifi internet access, and as far as I can tell, you cannot receive incoming calls. Also check out Jajah and TruPhone for options when it comes to making VOIP calls over wifi devices.

So for now I'm happy with my Verizon phone and the iPod Touch. This combo meets all my needs for calling, mobile web access, PDA functionality and even gaming. Of course, your comments are welcome...

 
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Most recent comments on "My New Phone is an iPod Touch"

(See all 22 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

Bootch561
05 Mar 2009

I'm ready to go with the iPod Touch but need to find out how to sync Lotus notes to the Touch calendar.


Posted by:

Derek
05 Mar 2009

I couldn't agree with you more Bob... I refuse to pay almost double the cost just to have an iPhone. I've found that I can get a wifi signal just about 50% of the time, if not more, where ever I'm at with my iTouch. For the times I can't connect, its not a huge deal. I mean come on, where were we 20 years ago when we didn't even have cell phones... We survived!


Posted by:

camerams
07 Mar 2009

My Palm T/X has WiFi, which is why I bought it in the first place. I have a Verizon family plan, as well, without a data plan (in fact, data is blocked on my family's phones) and an LG nV2, which I happen to love. So, I can connect to WiFi, get my email, etc. wherever WiFi is free and I have a phone that is perfect for me. No big deal carrying around both devices - I even have a separate MP3 player with a radio so I can listen to NPR.


Posted by:

Steve
07 Mar 2009

Bob, I am also impressed with the IPod Touch. This little device is so powerful and user friendly, I decided to go buy a new Mac instead of a PC. I am very impressed with Apple- and I have been a PC user for over 20 years!


Posted by:

niles
15 Mar 2009

Apple would sell a ton more iphones if they didn't compel people to subscribe to AT&Ts pricey phone plans. I love Apple products but the iPhone is one I'll stay away from. It will be an iTouch for me.


Posted by:

Nancy
25 Mar 2009

I could have written this article myself. Except for the expensive pricing of the AT&T plans. Which I didn't even know about. AT&T service just doesn't work at my house well. In fact no one except Verizon does. I love my Itouch. I switched from the Palm to the Itouch. Couldn't be happier.

BTW, Bootch561, Notes will not sync. :( Nothings perfect I guess.


Posted by:

Tonz
25 Mar 2009

Hey Bob, I have a similar combination of a BlackBerry Curve and an Ipod Touch. One advantage of two devices is I can talk on the phone and email/text/surf simultaneously!


Posted by:

WTK
25 Mar 2009

My wife gave me the 'funnest iPod ever' for Christmas. It is a blast. I like the apps that sync with Google calendar and email. I gave my wife the Kindle for Christmas and with the new Amazon app I can read the books on the iPod. The contacts list syncs with Microsoft Address books so they back up each other. I keep lists of important possessions and that can be backed up through email. So far I've used it for a lot of things except music. My wife's 10 year old Sony PDA is slowly giving up and after seeing what the touch can do she thinks it would be a good replacement for the PDA.


Posted by:

Vadim
26 Mar 2009

You may just as well get Nokia 5800.
Busically, it is like iPhone only the price two times smaller and there is no lock to a provider.


Posted by:

Robert
09 Dec 2009

How can I move my contacts from my Voyager phone to my Ipod Touch 3G?


Posted by:

Andrew
06 Jan 2010

i'm doing exactly what you are with an Ipod Touch and a Verison cell.

differences ive seen from the Ipod Touch and IPhone are:

The Iphone has a built-in camera,
internet every place with a phone signal,
and a built in Microphone which even the larger Gigg Ipod touches also have (16g+ i believe.
The Ipod touch may only reach its full potential when in WIFI range but its worth not paying 1,000+ a year as apposed to a flat $200 for an 8gig Ipod touch with nearly all the same capabilities.

A good friend of mine has an Iphone, we have all of the same apps, accept for the camera app and Iphone built-in call and text.

He can record audio with his with the "Voice Memos" app and so can i but only with earphones W/ the built in mic (sold at the Apple store and Bestbuy)sold for about 25 to 30 dallors.

I can Make FREE calls when in WIFI range with the free "VoIP" app (you need earphones with built-in mic for this), I can send and receive FREE text messages with the free "textPlus" app.

He pays for internet, pays for calls, pays for texts.
I get them all for free when i have a WIFI signal.
THE IPOD TOUCH IS THE WAY TO GO!

Imagine what you could do with the extra $1000 you'd be saving by going with Itouch as apposed to the Iphone (right about now i feel sorry for the Iphone user for all the maney they could be saving.

Ill be swimming in a pool of Chocolate pudding with all the money im saving!
hmmm i there's probably an App for that on my Ipod touch. ;D


Posted by:

Melanie
24 Mar 2010

My dad got rid of my phone. So I just did what you did. I got the iPod Touch, so now, I pretty much have a phone, without the calling feature (which I barely used on my phone anyway), and my dad doesn't have a clue that I have a phone! I love the Touch. :)


Posted by:

John K.
29 Apr 2010

Great article! I recently purchased an iPod Touch 32gb from my local Best Buy, purchased a great little LG slider (for calls, text, and pics) and down graded my smartphone plan to a reg plan with the least amount of mins (I hate talking on the phone but it is a necessary evil). Now I carry two devices, my iTouch and my phone, and I ended up shaving almost $100 off my cell phone bill!

And surfing on the web with wifi is so much more enjoyable than before with my smartphone and tower signal.

iPod Touch + dumbphone = wave of the future (no more smartphones and save money)

Thanks for the article.


Posted by:

mar
07 Jul 2010

hi, this may sound stupid, but is there a usb port in the ipod 32gb or higher? a friend said there might be, and if there is maybe I could plug a magic jack in it?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Even if there is/was a USB port, it wouldn't work.


Posted by:

ahmad
06 Nov 2010

Ok things changed a lot with Itouch 4.o. It has two cameras. You can get free phone number from Text free and text now. Unlimited free texting and your own number. THey even let you make almost free phone calls. THere are others like I call and second line. You just need apples little headphone with built in mic. Face time works great, so if your friends has Iphone 4 or Itouch4 you can make free video calls. The only limitation is still you rely on WIFI. I would say I can do a lot more done in my itouch than on my laptop. I have mutilingual keyboard, try hooking up to more keyboard in your laptop or buy stickers stick and peel it,. In Ipod it comes for free with just a touch of finger. It is truly magic gadget


Posted by:

Murray Storm
08 Dec 2010

I have an IPhone that was a gift; it has no SIM card but it does give me lots of WiFi access at home, which is real good for an old retired guy.
Now I have discovered some APPS in the APPS store that will allow free out calls from my IPhone to all over the USA, but I need a SIM card. Where can I just acquire a SIM card w/o having to sign up to a phone service like ATT&T or any other server?
Thanx for your thoughts.


Posted by:

Tom McCrea
31 Dec 2010

I have a 8 mb ipod touch and a set of ipod earbuds w/inline mic(apple). I have pinger.com(text free)installed and all I have to do is bring up the keypad on screen,dial the number and I'm good to go...so far free.Texting is also free. I understand that down the line that Ad's will be used to earn phone minutes but for now I am a freebe phonewise.


Posted by:

amie
03 Jan 2011

see, but here is the thing, Android systems are better, and very cool and updated every second, i suggest you try one, I lived with apple for 2 years and hated my life, and now I am on android systems and simply love it


Posted by:

leah
04 Mar 2011

i have just bought a ipod touch can i recieve texts and calls on it??

EDITOR'S NOTE: You want the app called Textfree With Voice. See http://www.pinger.com/content/home.html


Posted by:

Shane Jones
05 Jul 2012

I have just got the new Galaxy S3 and need to know how to sync the phone with my Lotus Notes Calendar. Lotus Notes is and IBM product used for emailing etc. KIES for Samsung phones does not have the option to sync with Lotus notes it only has a G mail account of MS Outlook.


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