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Old 03-27-2012, 07:14 PM
 
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I'm over 50, have very little family and few friends so really my needs for a cellphone have been just for emergency, out of town use.
But I do like to vacation and travel around rural areas and do not like having to look for a wi-fi spot to look up phone numbers for hotels, directions etc. Plus, when going to visit my one remaining relative, 87 yr old mother, she does not have wi-fi.
So I've contemplated a Pad of some type with 3/4G but then I still have the cellphone I have to top up all the time whether I use it or not. So I contemplated a smartphone but it all seems so complicated!
Ive read some tech reviews but the reviews and recommendations cater to their audience, i.e. young, tech savvy urbanites. Most reviews thing Pads with 3/4G are stupid. Maybe if you're in the city and also have a smartphone

Currently I have a netbook which suits me fine and works with wi-fi except for places without wi-fi like my mothers. But it certainly is cheap.
I read an article today on the new Galaxy Note. Sort of a large smartphone to make it more pad like. I don't think I'll buy one right away since they are going to change the OS and I'd like to see at least one price drop. Plus some of the actual user reviews don't measure up to the magazine reviews. But I feel like the time is coming when I'll end up with a smartphone - mostly to google with, or a pad if they ever take 3g/4g seriously. (I would love a pad that I could also call/text with.

So how does it work? What do I consider? What pitfalls do I avoid? I have only a few questions and I know there is more to know that that! Is there something coming I should be aware of? What is "unlocked"?

This may be more expensive than I realize

questions are:
1) data plans: If you don't use your monthly data quotient does it roll over the to the next month?
Are there any pay as you go options like with cheap cellphones?
I would benefit more from a yearly data quotient or something since I will use data when vacationing 2ce a year and quarterly weekends at mothers. My useage won't be heavy - but not sure what gigabyte number is considered heavy? I mostly google/surf. Maybe some apps, the occasional picture. I'd like to listen to the occasional audio book or read something when stuckin an airport. But all these things are just once in awhile, but useage is bunched into travel. Plan recommendations?

1) I looked at at&t and verizon maps. They look sort of the same to me. I have no idea what carriers to consider. Live in the midwest. Want rural coverage anywhere in the US where I vacation.
2) I imagine I'll be buying my device outright? Does that change what carrier I can look for?
3) Android/PC OS vs. Apple. I think all the apps I want are for Apple and that will probably continue so this is a serious drawback. I'm a birdwatcher and a lot of the bird id, song id, bird location finder apps are all apple.
But I've been working in a cubicle on a MS Office computer for so many years that I find I get frustrated with the differences in Apple. I know I know its supposed to be so intuitive. Maybe I'm just too old but I'm not a power user, hell I'm not really that much of an interested user. I don't want to explore a new OS and I can't remember all the little changes unless I use them all the time. Reasons I should reconsider?

Thanks,

Last edited by Giesela; 03-27-2012 at 07:57 PM..
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,968 posts, read 14,097,430 times
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Well I applaud you for doing research beforehand and for your open mind re: Apple vs Android tablets.

To your questions:
1) Your data limit does not roll over. Keep in mind the 2GB limit that VZW and ATT offer is suffificeint for most but the "hungriest" data consumers. Would you use it as a GPS? That's a big data sucker. If not you can probably get by easily with a 2GB data plan.
VZW was offering double data (4gb for the 2gb price). Good deal. Not sure if still available.

2) VZW's network is slightly better in rural areas. Both ATT and VZW are pretty decent though for coverage in the midwest.

3) As of right now there are very few apps that are exclusive to either device. If it's on an Apple, the same app or one that is very similar is also available on Android. This may change, but for now Apps are the last thing I would consider when getting a tablet.

To confuse you more re: pricing.

A WiFi ONLY iPad is $499 from Apple.
A WiFi + 4G iPad is $629 from Verizon.
So you pay $129 MORE for the ability to have data anywhere then have to pay for the data.
The sole advantage in this model, imo of course, is that VZW offers month-to-month plans for the $629 iPad. In other words you can get just one month of data and cancel it with no problem afterwards and use wifi until you travel again.

With Android it's kind of the other way around. A Xyboard with no data plan is $699. Sign a 2 year contract for data and the price drops to $529. But no month to month option.

They try hard to confuse people.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:36 AM
 
7,375 posts, read 13,088,413 times
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Iphone>droid

You can wait for the new iphone in october wich will be 4gLTE or you can buy the iphone that is out now which is on 4g as well but not 4GLTE. Just so i dont confuse you, 4gLTE is faster than 4g, and the 4G phones out now arent actually 4G. They are more like 3.5G
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:58 PM
 
8,110 posts, read 11,974,472 times
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ok, so monthly useage doesn't roll over - that's a pisser.
I would probably use GPS on my travels I would want the whole directioss thing - is their voice? - so......2gb not enough when traveling

Does Verizon offer month to month for anything other than the iPad? And I have read some forum posts from some pretty frustrated users with the new apple and verizon but hopefully that will get better

What about other carriers? Sprint?

What about an unlocked device - can I buy the Verizon month by month data?

And the response so far discusses iPad....what about going smartphone instead? Galaxy Note phablet?

Apple vs. Android in terms of apps....yea I don't know about that. Pretty much every bird watcher out there talks about their bird watching apps in terms of apple apps for their iphone. THere is an Audubon id app for android but that seems to be about it vs. maybe 7 or 8 easy for apple.
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skel1977 View Post
Iphone>droid
lolno
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:09 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,188 posts, read 30,576,437 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giesela View Post
I would probably use GPS on my travels I would want the whole directioss thing - is their voice? - so......2gb not enough when traveling

Does Verizon offer month to month for anything other than the iPad? And I have read some forum posts from some pretty frustrated users with the new apple and verizon but hopefully that will get better

What about other carriers? Sprint?

And the response so far discusses iPad....what about going smartphone instead? Galaxy Note phablet?
Many people will tell you that while smart phones can come in handy as a GPS device, they tend to not be very practical for day-to-day GPSs for most... mainly because of the data use. It's still easier in many cases to just buy a dedicated GPS unit for your car for that use - the Garmin models for as little as $80 these days are good deals, especially if you belong to Costco.

I honestly think that the iPhone might better suit you based on what you're talking about. Ease of use, specific apps you want to use, etc. I would vote for Verizon as the carrier, though. AT&T as a second, but it can be spotty or more garbled at times, and Sprint has the lesser of the three coverage areas in some spots (most of my siblings use Sprint and are constantly complaining about it). I've not heard of anyone being frustrated from Verizon with the iPhone simply because it's on Verizon. Well, other than the fact it's a 3G phone, and while yes, AT&T's 3G service is a bit faster, again, Verizon usually wins in terms of overall coverage and call quality - if you're talking about the new iPad, I can't comment on that.

Verizon's list of data packages for all tablets should you think of that route, etc... Plans - Verizon Wireless (http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/plans/?page=mobileBroadband - broken link)
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:03 PM
 
8,110 posts, read 11,974,472 times
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So if I go Iphone, I don't need the latest one right? I can go with say the last model? What is that the 3? They are all the same size I think. Do they come with specific..........options or something?

The other contender I think will be the Galaxy Note - can I get the same verizon when I need it month data package?

Btw the Iphone and Galaxy Note I think it will come down to

Apple Apps vs. less frustration with not apple OS which I'm much better with.
Cost
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,968 posts, read 14,097,430 times
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No, you do not need the latest one. The 3GS is the oldest iPhone you can get right now. Anything older won't run well and isn't offered by any carrier.
They come standard.
In my opinion you cannot compare an iPhone to the Note.
The Note is HUGE compared to the iPhone.
Yes you will need to sign a data cpontract with the Note... or the iPhone for that matter.
Niether offers month-to-month data.
If the Note isn't toi big for you and you are willing to sign a data contract then I would suggest you get that from what I have read here.
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:01 AM
 
7,248 posts, read 5,748,859 times
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Quote:
Many people will tell you that while smart phones can come in handy as a GPS device, they tend to not be very practical for day-to-day GPSs for most... mainly because of the data use.
Well, you could just buy a GPS app (e.g. Navigon) that stores the maps on your phone. Navigon's is particularly nice because you can download only the states you want, so you don't waste a bunch of space storing map data for places you'll never visit.
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Old 03-30-2012, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,715 posts, read 16,721,499 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantagreg30127 View Post
Many people will tell you that while smart phones can come in handy as a GPS device, they tend to not be very practical for day-to-day GPSs for most... mainly because of the data use. It's still easier in many cases to just buy a dedicated GPS unit for your car for that use - the Garmin models for as little as $80 these days are good deals, especially if you belong to Costco.
Completely disagree with that. Google Maps/Navigation doesn't use that much data and blows the socks off stand-alone units. With XM livetraffic you can get close, but that's $10 a month vs free. As far as data use... I've used 200 MB this billing cycle on Google Maps/Navi (ends in 4 days).
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