Make Your iPod Touch
A Lot More Like An iPhone
Did you know that you can, quite easily, turn an iPod Touch (which is not a cell phone), into a mobile WiFi phone?
I bought one of these recently and have been working hard to extend its feature set. (Rather limited by the iOS restrictions though.)
What’s unique about the iPod Touch – and different than the iPod Classic – is that the Touch is essentially an iPhone with no phone components. That means that it runs almost all of the iPhone apps.
[On a side note: I swear if Apple users knew how terrible that keyboard is, compared to Android’s SwiftKey, they’d riot in the streets. Fortunately, they will get SwiftKey keyboard in iOS 8 in the future.]
You will want to combine Google Voice + Google Hangouts with the build in iMessage. (iMessage is for messaging between iOS devices only. It’s handy but does not replace real SMS if any of your friends have Androids.)
You can learn more about setting up GV and GH on your iPod Touch, click here. (I’ll talk more about the amazing power of Google Voice in an upcoming post, stay tuned.)
Then you may potentially want to combine that stack with “Text Now” (or “Text Me” if you’re Canadian) in order to have a fall-back number/system in place. This could come in useful if you have days (like I did yesterday) when Google Voice text messages were letting me know that they were having network trouble.
Given that iMessage is the only communication app that the NSA still has problems reading – it’s probably your safest bet for keeping your (or your child’s) messages out of the hands of strangers. (Do not attempt to use the service that lets Android connect to iMessage because those messages get routed through an unsafe Chinese server.)
This is not a true phone replacement if – like me – you’re regularly outside of WiFi reach.
However, for those that live in busy cities or are frequently in WiFi access, this becomes not only a real convenience but a great way to replace some of the “minutes” you are paying your cell provider for.
(And, of course, you don’t need an iPod Touch, you can set up these/similar apps on your Android or iPhone as well.)
I’m really pleased so far with my decision to add an iPod Touch to my collection so that I’m better able to report on iOS apps for you here on the blog. (Though this actually decreases the odds I’ll leave my android phone, because I honestly like it better.)
This could be an interesting alternative to giving a child or teen an iPhone for a time, as long as you understand that it will be of no use to them to call you if they get in trouble while walking home from the school/store/etc when they don’t have WiFi. It also is not useful in the event of a power outage, fire, or other disaster as your WiFi will not work.
~ Kim ~
Security: Please keep in mind that as with ANY WiFi device, when connecting to unpassword-protected WiFi access points, that ones passwords/etc become very public. You need to install a VPN such as Avast SecureLine in order to mitigate some of those risks when you are not using your home password-protected WiFi.