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Cellphones Apple

Turning an iPod Touch Into an iPhone 175

Posted by kdawson
from the at&t-not-best-pleased dept.
David Burnett recommends an eWeek article on the leading contenders to make an iPhone out of an iPod Touch. Of course your newly phone-capable iTouch needs no activation and no binding carrier contract, just Wi-Fi. One of the companies working in this space, JaJah, is bundling the software with back-end services such as billing, so that carriers — or anyone really — can offer free-calling iTouch phones.
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Turning an iPod Touch Into an iPhone

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  • Re:"Just needs wifi" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by defenestr8 (1002010) on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @06:08PM (#26804715)
    that's interesting, considering that 1) free wifi seems to be more and more prevalent where i live; and 2) no, it wouldn't really be "worse" since you wouldn't be paying for it. other than that, spot on.
  • by TinBromide (921574) on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @06:18PM (#26804887)
    I love the itouch for being all the good parts of the iphone minus the badparts (the crappy phone quality coupled with a crappy network and contract, [never met any serious phone users who praise the iphone's phone quality, uptime, and availability]). Why turn a really cool internet appliance into a kludge-phone?

    I love my ipod touch for cooking, I bring up the browser, look at a recipe, and its right there next to the stove. I love my ipod touch for games when i'm bored on the go. I love my ipod touch for movies on the go. I love my ipod touch for being 99.95% as useful as an iphone near a free wifi hotspot.

    I also love that it can do all of the above without drawing one nano-watt from my real phone's battery.

    PS. the ipod touch does not have a built in microphone or ear speaker, why kludge a microphone attachment onto a beautiful internet appliance/ebook reader/gaming device/portable movie device?
  • by mbaer (1099749) on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @06:26PM (#26805025)

    True. I have a first generation iPod Touch and it hasn't got a mic. However, people have managed to get an external mic working with it, just google for touchmod, these guys have done awesome stuff! They also have made a VOIP client for the Touch, quite some time ago.

  • Re:"Just needs wifi" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tony Hoyle (11698) * <tmh@nodomain.org> on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @06:39PM (#26805199) Homepage

    Even paid wifi is becoming scarce here... with 3G being so prevalent and laptops being offered cheap/free with 3G dongles the use of wifi is dropping.. there's no money in running a hotspot any more. Both starbucks have shut down their Wifi and the only one left is Costa Coffee at £5/hour.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @06:48PM (#26805321) Journal

    Yeah right. Try finding a McDonalds between Harrisburg and circa Uniontown PA, along the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76). Out in the mountains it's hard to get just a "normal" cellphone signal, much less Wifi. I think some of ye who make comments like "a McDonalds every 1/2 mile" never leave further than 25 miles from the city. Try driving across North America sometime and you'll see LOTS and LOTS of open space, with, shocking, no technology. I named the PA Turnpike. There's also the wide-open stretch between Richmond and Charlotte. Or the isolated Interstate 81 corridor... which could be nicknamed Redneck Alley.

    Off-topic:

    How do I get my Iphone, Ilaptop, Iwhatever to receive Shoutcast radio while I'm driving in my car? I was thinking maybe I could cancel my satellite Sirius-XM and just go with "free" internet radio.

  • Good enough. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PeanutButterBreath (1224570) on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @07:55PM (#26806201)

    It wouldn't be as convenient as a an iPhone, but it would me much more convenient than finding a pay phone (remember those?) and much cheaper than the convenience of a cell phone.

    It wouldn't be worse than an "old days" cellphone with limited coverage because you wouldn't be paying for the (false) perception of convenience. You could, conceivably, get the same shitty service for free.

  • Re:"Just needs wifi" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by aaarrrgggh (9205) on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @08:14PM (#26806463)

    Paid wifi is dying because they charge too damn much for it! I bought an unlocked $250 3G dongle because it would pay for itself on a two week trip.

    The traditional telco model of paying off your infrastructure after 6 months of service and making pure profit until the end of days is why high speed internet is such a mess in the first place. These paid providers need to switch to a pricing model where they keep closer to a 30% margin over operating costs or they will become completely irrelevant.

  • Re:"Just needs wifi" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MrCrassic (994046) <deprecated AT ema DOT il> on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @08:52PM (#26806907) Journal
    It's not even about that. This "hack" essentially gives you VoIP service, while also:

    A) Making it easier for someone to listen in on your call,
    B) Kill the battery life and
    C) Not make it into a reliable phone.

    If you can't dial 911 in a jiffy in an area that cell phones can cover just as well, then it's useless for emergency situations. Then again, I don't think that this was what the article was attempting to advocate.
  • Already there (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kilodelta (843627) on Tuesday February 10, 2009 @09:20PM (#26807231) Homepage
    I use fring on my Touch and it works great through my Skype account.

    Already have the external mic kit for the Touch so that was the first bit. Got it from sparfun.com
  • by profplump (309017) <zach-slashjunk@kotlarek.com> on Wednesday February 11, 2009 @01:52AM (#26808731)
    If the power is down for weeks you're still counting on a generator to run your phone, you're just paying the phone company to run it for you. It's not like they've got a 600-hour battery backup.

    Second, if you're really worried about availability, you could keep a spare battery pack around to plug into your router/ATA when you needed to make an emergency call -- most of them run at 5V or 12V DC, so it's trivial to make a backup that would last long enough for several emergency phone calls, would have weeks of standby time, and could left out-of-the-loop to avoid premature draining but still be easily switched on in an emergency, all for under $50. Not to mention the 12V power source and fuel-powered recharging system available in your car.

    Or you could get a radio -- CBs don't require any license. And in an emergency would probably be willing to face the FCC in order to use restricted comm channels. Or get a satellite phone, which has its own battery, a car charger, and doesn't require any local ground infrastructure of any kind.

    Heck, you could even light the signal fire at Amon Din to call for aid from Rohan.

    I'm not saying it's unreasonably to have a land line, but it's far from the only choice for emergency communication.

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