Any minutes-based iPhone plans?
I currently own a simple pay-as-you-go, minutes-based cellphone (Tracfone). You can purchase varying amounts of minutes for the phone, and it usually comes out to about $22 for 90 days. I live in a very hilly rural area where cellular coverage is spotty at best and I am very mobile. I've come to find cellular service to be unreliable and not worth more than a cheap minutes-based service. Verizon Wireless dominates most of the area in these hills with their (insufficient) tower-coverage.
Because cellular service is unreliable here, I have very little experience with uber-mobile networking culture. I occasionally receive useful text messages but I never send any. (My Tracfone only has a simple phone keypad, so I never tried to send a message with it.) I only occasionally use my cellphone for voice-calls; some calls for business, some for personal conversation. I tried setting up a voice-mailbox with Google Voice so I could check my voice-mail through a web-browser, but Tracfone and Google Voice don't work together well.
I also own an old, first-generation iPod, which is getting worn out.
I was thinking about getting an iPhone, and wondered if there was a plan available that would allow for a cheap, minutes-based service so I could replace my Tracfone and my iPod at the same time. Does such a plan exist?
MY CURRENT CELLPHONE:
Tracfone Motorola C139 or similar open-face model (minutes-based, pay-as-you-go)
MY CURRENT CELLULAR USAGE:
- Personal: send/receive some voice calls, rarely receive text messages
- Business: send/recieve voice calls
Verizon voice-phone and internet DSL connection
MY COMPUTER HARDWARE
late-2012 iMac, Airport WiFi connected to DSL (share w/ another person's laptop)
THINGS I WOULD LIKE TO BE ABLE TO DO WITH A NEW IPHONE:
- send/receive voice calls occasionally
- send/receive text messages
- connect text messages to my e-mail address
- tie my cellular voice-mail to an internet-based service like Google Voice, so I can check voice-mail via a web-browser
- use WiFi to check weather radar, e-mail
- use iPhone as a calculator
- use iPhone to scan-in purchase receipts, invoices, etc. and store and relay these to my iMac for records-keeping
- use iPhone as a music player/iPod
- use WiFi at home to relay iPhone's camera-photos to e-mail and/or Instagram
- use iPhone as a voice-recorder to take voice to-do notes for later action
Is this possible? Is there an iPhone plan that would work on minutes, and be able to function on local cell towers?