iPad 3G Data Usage for September

Despite my iPad crashing and needing to be restored, I managed to use 18.3GBs of data for the month of September. Bringing my total data usage for the year to 84.3GBs, I’m feeling pretty positive about breaking 100GBs total by the end of the year.

It will be interesting to see if my data usage decreases now that I’m also using the Droid X, which depending on data speeds I will most likely be using to tether to my laptop instead of the iPad.

iPhone vs. Android – Part 1: Acquisition

This series offers a comparison of the iPhone vs. Android experience.

First, a little back story. I’ve owned several iPhones over the years, but all the while have kept a cheapo Alltel/Verizon phone with which to make actual phone calls. And while AT&T has improved the data network quite a bit over the years, I’m ready to move onto something more reliable. That and consolidate to just one phone.

Naturally, since Palm/HP and its webOS has handsets made for midgets and Blackberry’s are about as user-friendly as a porcupine, I decided to go with Android, specifically the Droid X. Over the next few weeks I plan on chronicling the process of switching from iOS to Android.

iPhone
This part of my experience might be rather skewed, as I never bought an iPhone anywhere near launch. Never waited in line, even for an hour or two, in fact my first iPhone was mailed to be almost 6 months after they were originally released.

That said, the one time I did acquire an iPhone in a retail environment, it was actually rather pleasant. Three months after the iPhone 3G was released I decided on a whim, to go pick one up for work, I pulled into the local mall, walked into the AT&T store and then approached one of the six employees aimlessly wandering around the store and asked for an iPhone. Moments later one was brought from the back, and I walked to the counter to active it. A few simple questions, and I was all ready to go, and out the door. Total time spent: 15 minutes.

Droid X
Admittedly the odds were not in Verizon’s favor when I walked into the store to purchase my Droid X. Even though I fully expected to have them mail the actual handset to me, I was making the trip anyway because I needed to move my current phone from Alltel to Verizon, as well as add my phone to my wife’s Verizon account since she gets a lovely discount for being an employee of the local hospital.

I cleverly planned my appointment to coincide with the commencement of tailgating for the football game that afternoon, in hopes that there would be fewer people on the store. It kind of worked, I only had to sit around for 20 minutes.

After my “short” wait, I got my new phone ordered in about five minutes. One guy told me it’d take seven days to get the phone, another staff member said just two days. I wasn’t able to move my account over until the new phone arrived however, since my old phone was an Alltel handset.

In the mean time I was left dreaming of my new toy, suddenly my iPhone seemed sluggish and bulky, even though the Droid X dwarfs the iPhone.

Actual time for the phone to arrive? Four days.

Thankfully it arrived earlier enough in the day for me to head back to the Verizon store. After a  two minute wait, they moved my account and activated my phone in about ten minutes. Much faster.

The victor?
I’m going to call this one a tie, since if I’d ever bought an iPhone this close to launch there would’ve been some extra waiting involved.

90+ Days Without Voice Service

It’s been well over 90 days since I last paid AT&T for voice service on my cell phone and started using an iPad SIM and a SIP solution to make calls from my iPhone. Things have been good, great in fact., that is until I recently ran into a major issue with my setup. A brief recap, I use Google Voice for my phone number, I then have a SIP number setup with IPKall which is connected to my pbxes.com account, which in turn is setup with Acrobits Softphone on my iPhone.

Last week, for whatever reason, IPKall let someone else register the same number as me. So randomly my phone wouldn’t ring through, or if I didn’t pick up when someone called, the caller would ring through to this other guy. Kind of a major issue.

After some back and forth with IPKall, I got a notification from Google Voice that someone using the same number as me had successfully added it  to their Google Voice account. Great.

At this point instead of trying to resolve things with the folks at IPKall who were being less than helpful, I called up the guy who had registered my number and explained the situation.  Oddly enough he used my own tutorial to setup his account, in the end he was very understanding and we eventually got the number transfered back to me. I should note that the number I registered in the tutorial is not actually the number I’ve been using from IPKall, so this guy had no way of purposely registering the same number as me.

Now I’m looking for a more reliable SIP number provider, even if I have to pay a few bucks a month I think it’d be worth it to ensure that my number doesn’t randomly get handed out to someone else. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know in the comments.

60 Days Without Voice Service

Its officially been sixty days since I last made a phone call on my iPhone that wasn’t over VoIP and life is good. Not only do I have $200+ extra dollars in my bank account but I haven’t had a dropped call either. I’d say all things considered, my iPhone 3G is aging rather well.

Since my last update, I’ve used 803 minutes of talk time and 649 text messages. 90% of my calls were incoming, so I wasn’t really bothered by the indirect method required for placing a call. The only real change I’ve made to my setup is I’ve switched over the to G.729 codec for calls (both over WiFi and 3G) with good results, though it does require an in-app purchase from Acrobits Softphone but it seems to be worth it so far.

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