Image by Lyn Millett via Flickr
New phones, new phones, new phones. Finally, the iPhone is available on the Verizon network. That was the big news swirling around many tech circles this week. Of course, the Verizon iPhone has been rumored for years. But it's finally here.
Plenty has been written about it already. The new feature that intrigues me the most is that it seems they're going to start making it easy to turn your phone into a personal hotspot. "Tethering" (using your phone and the cellular network as an internet connection for other devices) has been possible with phones for a while. Droids, I'm told, are good at it, as well as offering hotspot functionality. Tether was disallowed it on the iPhone, unless you were willing to jailbreak your phone. But that's been changing. And the Verizon phone is apparently going to make it straightforward.
So, if you're stuck somewhere without an open wifi connection, and want to use your laptop, it should be easy with the new iPhones to share your cellular connection with your laptop. Of course, there are issues about data limits and caps. I've seen suggestions that Verizon is going to offer unlimited data (at least for now), whereas AT&T started putting limits on data usage awhile ago.
I had been considering getting a Mifi hotspot for awhile, but if the iPhone Hotspots work well, then that will mean I don't have to do that. In general, for me at least, phone-based hotspots would mean that there's little need to pay for 3G cellular access in other devices like iPads and Kindles.
So, will I switch back to Verizon? For my typical commute and patterns, I haven't had a lot of trouble with AT&T. And I've also heard that AT&T phones will be getting the hotspot capability for their phones as well in the next OS update. And I've also heard that the iPhone 5 may be announced this summer. So my strategy is just to sit tight and see if Apple announces new phones in a few months. Then I'll have to compare costs/plans to decide which carrier to use. Cost will be a factor. But if there's a plan that offers unlimited data, that'll be hard to resist.
And now my 1.5 year old iPhone is looking and feeling realllly old and creaky! But I can wait.