Does free wifi exist to make the iPod Touch worth it?
March 31, 2009 12:17 PM Subscribe
Is an iPod Touch really a viable alternative to the iPhone? Details inside, of course.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty to Technology (19 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
My boyfriend and I are looking at getting either iPhones or basic phones and iPod Touches. But I don't want to pay over $130 a month for voice plus data service on two iPhones.
However, I'm concerned that the iPod Touch will not really be as useful as it might seem--is free wifi really so prevalent that we could use it as reliably as the 3G network for internet access while we're out and about? We live in New York City, so I feel like this should in theory be possible, but I've noticed that unsecured wifi seems to be disappearing--for example, there is no open wifi signal in my apartment building, whereas two years ago I had my choice of open signals. There are a few cafes in our neighborhood that offer it, but it seems like the point of having a wifi-enabled device is that you shouldn't need to know where to go pick up a signal, you'd just be able to do it. I can't imagine anything more frustrating than needing directions or something and seeing only a list of secured signals that I can't access. (Ok, I can imagine one thing about as frustrating and that's paying a $130 bill to AT&T each month.)
I may be a little biased; I've had a Treo for the last two years with a data plan, so I'm used to having internet access anywhere I can get a cell phone signal. Right now the iPhone monthly cost is the sticking point for me and it seems like there's such a convenient alternative...but I'm suspicious that free wifi is just not as readily available as cell towers are, so the iPod Touch would wind up being a completely useless toy in my purse AND I'd have to carry a regular cell phone. (I am not interested in the iPod Touch for its mp3 capabilities; I'm one of those weird people who doesn't really care about music and I don't have an iPod at all right now.)
We are definitely looking to upgrade phones, and going back under contract with AT&T is fine, although of course not being tied to a contract would be a bonus. So far the only choices we've really looked at are iPhones vs. basic phone/iPod Touch, although I guess we could consider upgrading my Treo to the Pre or a Blackberry. We're just all "Oooh shiny" at the iPhone and its multi-contact touchscreen. But I'd like to keep our total bill at $100 or less, if that's remotely possible. I get a discount through my job, 11% or 15% (I can't remember, although the $130 estimate above does include that discount).
Did anyone else go through this decision process? Are there AT&T plans that are cheaper than what I've been able to cobble together? Any other solutions I'm not looking at?