Trust me, I'm not doing this because I want to, because of some 'minimalist' ideal or desire to disconnect from online life. No, plain and simple, I went in the pool last week with my 64GB iPhone 6 in my swimsuit pocket. Stupid. Idiotic. I should be ashamed. Etc. Mostly, though, I just feel dumb.
I'm one month from the end of my 2-year Verizon contract and there appears, once again, that a new iPhone, the 7, is to be announced and delivered in September about a month from now. So, I was planning to upgrade and still do, but now don't have (1) use of my old iPhone until then and (2) won't get any trade-in money for my old iPhone. Apple will "swap" my damaged iPhone for a comparable one (not sure, however, how comparable) for $299. I can buy an android phone to use until mid-September but that will still be $100 or more. Most used iPhones I'm seeing on Craigslist are over $100 and those under that amount I question. If I can find someone with an old 'made for Verizon' iPhone (version 4 or newer) who would consider loaning or renting it to me for this period, I could simply insert my old SIM card and be back in business! I could do the same, presumably, with an Android phone.
What I have decided to do, assuming none of the above happens, is try living with just my iPad Mini3. Though my cell phone is more and more becoming my primary phone -my wife and I use our home phone very little anymore - I actually make and receive very few phone calls, preferring TEXTing and e-mailing instead. Admit it, what percentage of your cell phone usage is accounted for with making and receiving calls? Very small, I suspect. Over the past 9 days when I have had no smartphone in my pocket I have observed several things: previously, at any opportunity I would check my iPhone when I had it. I now realize how often I did that. I will try to remember this when I once again have a smartphone in my pocket and resist the urge to check it so frequently. I've discovered that there is life without a cellphone! The things I miss not being able to do, however, besides checking e-mail and Facebook have been mostly: checking a location in Maps; looking up something using Google; checking the time (I no longer wear a watch); and taking pictures and videos. The last one was huge during this past week, especially, as we were watching our two youngest grandchildren while their parents were on a trip. I wanted to keep our shared photostream full of pictures for them, but couldn't! On the positive side, I read two novels on the Kindle app on my iPad!
So, what to do? How to proceed so that I can still be reached via my cell number? I do occasionally get new clients from their calling my cell instead of e-mailing me and I want to make sure that's possible during the time I wait for the new iPhone 7. Google Voice was one suggestion, Skype was another. I have never used Google Voice, but I have, in the past, used Skype a lot. I didn't have a Skype number, but do keep credit in my account so I can call relatives abroad or numbers here in the US when that's been necessary. Since I'm already familiar with Skype, I decided to go with it. I set up a number in our local area code area and paid a bit over $19 (US) for three month's use. Once I had that number, I was able to log into my MyVerizon account via a web browser (this doesn't work using the MyVerizon app) and set call forwarding for my iPhone number to the Skype number. Now, when anyone calls my cell the call will be routed to Skype and if my iPad is connected to Wi-Fi, Skype on my iPad will alert me that I have a call! Slick! If, however, my iPad is not connected to Wi-Fi the call will go to voicemail on Skype. Skype is then supposed to send me an e-mail alert when someone leaves me a voicemail but, so far in my testing, this hasn't happened. What does happen, though, is that a 'badge' with number of messages appears by the Skype icon on my iPad. For this reason I've moved that icon to my iPad's Home screen.
I am thinking that this won't be too difficult except when I am out and about. That's when I count on my phone to be in touch. All the other things I do on it I do mainly because of carrying the iPhone in my pocket. My iPad isn't that handy, especially in the summer when I'm not wearing a coat with big pockets. Over the past week I have realized, however, that I don't "need" to do all the checking I typically do. And I can use my iPad to accomplish the things I want to when I'm in wi-fi range. So we will see how this goes.