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mobile plan decisions.

So i'm dealing with an interesting multi-pronged problem as it relates to my mobile devices.

some background first:

i have two mobile phones. One is my work phone, which is an iPhone under AT&T. one is my personal phone, which is a basic phone on Verizon. My Verizon plan is a 700 minute Family Plan - i pay for my own line as well as the lines for my mom and my dad. I have visual voicemail with that plan, as well as unlimited text messaging.

Recently i discovered that my personal Verizon phone was eligible for upgrade, and i was contemplating this because the battery life on my phone is starting to deteriorate. I've long-since held an opinion that i don't need a data plan for my personal phone because everything i need from a data perspective is covered by my work phone and i didn't want to personally pay for what was essentially duplicate functionality.

Then i became a Google Glass Explorer. While i have Glass bluetoothed to my iPhone, the functionality of Glass is limited on iPhone versus an Android phone which has a companion app that allows for greater functionality. The dev team has stated that an iPhone companion app is in development, but they said that about Ingress for iPhone many months ago too.

i've also been looking at tablets in the past few months with the intent of using one to essentially replace books and my music paper scratch pad. It was something i was waffling on because i still go back and forth about whether or not i think tablets are Actually Useful.

With the release of the new Nexus 7, i put some serious contemplation into buying the upcoming 4G LTE model and getting a T-mobile contract that would allow me to link it to Glass and use Glass to its fullest. I started to go this route because i figured that it would be cheaper than trying to upgrade my plan on Verizon - a tablet only contract with little frills probably isn't terribly expensive. It also gave me the option of starting to play Ingress with the invite that i have stored away somewhere (assuming that it's still valid).

When i started to look further into Verizon's new plans since my Family Plan is now legacy, i discovered that if i don't want to add data to my plan and do the whole Share Everything thing, i would lose Visual Voicemail as an option - a feature that i've come to rely upon a great deal. It was through this that i discovered that due to some sort of lawsuit or something regarding Verizon tethering fees that happened a year or so ago, Verizon's Share Everything plan charges per device but doesn't charge extra for tethering.

So there are two options that are running in my brain. One is: leave my Verizon plan alone and hold on to my current phone and current Visual Voicemail thing until it dies, get the new Nexus 7 with a separate phone plan. Other is: upgrade my Verizon plan to a Share Everything (which will make my dad happy because he wants a smartphone), nix the need for getting a Nexus 7 at all and just get an android smartphone instead (because a tablet would be an extra $30/mo for that device's access to 4G) that i can tether to Glass. If i feel the need to get a tablet in the future, get a wifi only model.

Second option seems to make more sense now, but it will likely add another $70-100/mo cost on top of what i already pay. Option 1 might end up being better if the monthly cost is low enough and i don't mind dealing with the bulkiness of lugging a 4G tablet around with me that tethers to Glass. The 4G nexus 7 will likely be out when i come out of band camp, so i'll look into it then.


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March 2017