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Thread: TextNow Free Talk/Text on Sprint

  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by e.mote View Post
    Phone service needs to be completely reliable, if nothing else. Even if the problems reported here are resolved, and reliability improves, a 90% reliable service is still worthless.

    And if you already have net/cell access, there's already a better (no-ad) solution, GV/Hangouts.
    I find the first part of this statement misguided or perhaps a bit comical. What phone service is 100% reliable? A traditional cell phone carrier, and even traditional POTS, has issues. Nothing in life is 100% guaranteed, except that we'll all die someday and pay taxes.

    I would argue, however, that the TextNow Unlimited Nationwide Talk and Text service is not as reliable, or even close to being as reliable, as Google Voice or the stand alone TextNow app paired with a data SIM from T-Mobile. Probably any data SIM paired with TextNow, Google Voice, or any VoIP application would be more reliable than the current version of the TextNow Unlimited Nationwide Talk and Text service.

    But for a cost of $0 per month, the new TextNow service is not worthless. If you can deal with some (or perhaps more than some) hiccups, it has a place in the market for those who would otherwise have nothing or at least opens the door for cellular-like service to those willing to deal with the drawbacks of VoIP services. It may not be the most reliable but it's not useless. The new service has hiccups that need to be ironed out and it is my hope this service will only improve with time.

    And please remember, anyone using a data only SIM on a cellular device (or any activated or unactivated cellular device) can call emergency services by dialing 911 from the native phone dialer. The call will connect to any available tower the phone can access for emergency services.

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by schippma View Post

    And please remember, anyone using a data only SIM on a cellular device (or any activated or unactivated cellular device) can call emergency services by dialing 911 from the native phone dialer. The call will connect to any available tower the phone can access for emergency services.
    Great point. I activated an old iPhone 5s I had sitting here with the new service. It wouldn't connect reliably to the data network until I did a full phone reset for some reason, but now it works fine. $0 for the service provided (and an active SIM like you mentioned) is hard to complain about.

  3. #78
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    >P*ssing on adware apps for their potential data-mining privacy issues is one thing, but then offering up any Google product as an alternative seems almost comical.

    Thanks for letting me amplify.

    The short answer is, no, I do not equate Google products with adware, for the obvious reason that I don't get ads shoved in my face. I'd wager that's the main reason why many here use GV, or any Google products.

    What's comical is to say, I use Google products, therefore, any adware is OK. It's not only comical, it's downright ignorant. I hope you aren't saying that.

    The longer answer is that, yes, Google does use consumer data as a basis for its business. But as a publicly-traded company, for which the revenue sources are spelled out in its 10Ks, and as the most scrutinized company on earth, it has to be very scrupulous with what it does with said data.

    I can be reasonably confident that Google does not suck up my address book and sell the data, or sell my real-time location data. I have no such confidence with overt adware which has zero revenue source, and is trying to find revenue any which way it can.

    The reality is that Google products are integral to using the Internet, and not only Google, but the entire Internet economy is predicated on monetizing user data. To forswear from all such is to foreswear any net use, ie be a Luddite. It's not a realistic proposition. So, to a large extent, Google's (and other) "free" products are a necessary evil.

    I do what I can to limit Google's reach into my life. I don't use Google Chrome or its office products. I don't normally log into my Google acct, but only when needed. I erase cookies and block trackers. Etc.

    Reality is never black or white, but in shades of gray. It's not all or none, but some. It's up to you to discern how much of "some" is good for you.

  4. #79
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    >What phone service is 100% reliable?

    Residential phone service is reliable enough, that you can expect 100% of your calls/texts to go through when you make them. It's a poor cop-out to say that nothing is perfect, so we can't tell "good" from "bad." We can, and do. Well, OK, some us can.

    It only takes one missed important call to ruin your day, or even your life. For me, that happened when I was missing the doctors' calls when my father had bypass surgery. I was using VoIP (Republic Wireless), trying to save a buck. Not after.

    >I would argue, however, that the TextNow Unlimited Nationwide Talk and Text service is not as reliable, or even close to being as reliable

    No argument from my end.

    >But for a cost of $0 per month, the new TextNow service is not worthless. If you can deal with some (or perhaps more than some) hiccups, it has a place in the market for those who would otherwise have nothing

    The "target market" is smaller than you think.

    Sure, "free" will always get some folks to try, but I'll wager that all of the folks here on HoFo have already had cell/net access, for free if that's what they wanted. FreedomPop is still kicking, and FreeUp (w/ real cell voice) was around. For those in financial need, SafeLink is an option. Folks who don't have ANY net/phone access would not be the ones frequenting this or any online forum, or seeing any online ads.

    That, and as has been pointed out to you multiple times, paid, and reliable, phone service is a now only a few dollars a month. Those who can't afford that nomimal amount should qualify for SafeLink.

    If you want to spend time as a beta tester, that's of course your choice. But to justify an unreliable phone service as something "worthy" and "having a market" is, to use your words, comical and misguided.

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    For me this has some value:

    1. Once you sign up for the sprint service the numbers are recognised for authentication eg you can use the number to sign up for a google voice number. Without the sprint activation textnow numbers are recognised as strictly voip and not useful. I don't know why there is this difference but this opens up various use cases over a standard voip number.

    2. You can change your number if you get a bad one or need to change your number regularly. Useful for throwaway numbers to avoid spam. But yes this is available with the wifi textnow version.

    Edit 3. You can get unlimited overseas calls for free to some countries but it is the same with the wifi only plan

    I don't see it as a replacement for a regular cell line but it is nice to be able to use that sprint phone that is just sat in a drawer doing nothing. Now that tello is requiring more top ups etc from their paygo plan I have several sprint phones that will eventually be phased out of rotation.

    I don't really see this service creating some revolution or being that popular but it is what it is and with any free service will last as long as it lasts. So use it for as long as it does and enjoy.
    Last edited by UltGladiator; 02-05-2020 at 08:58 PM.

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    i've been playing around making a few calls with my device and today it has been nearly 100% reliable, all the call completion issues i was having 2 days ago seem to be gone. i did have a PRL and profile update on my phone and suspect that had something to do with it.

    i don't really understand all of it but believe sprint provisioning is a little different than most carriers and setting baked into the handset firmware itself determine things related to how data connects(perhaps via proxy's) and that this goes beyond APN settings.

    anyways for a 100% free service that does not require a credit card i'm impressed and is super easy to activate, i could see this being a real treat to some people who have no phone service at all or have been using strictly Wifi for calling.
    Last edited by robbyrobby; 02-05-2020 at 07:59 PM.

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by UltGladiator View Post
    For me this has some value:

    1. Once you sign up for the sprint service the numbers are recognised for authentication eg you can use the number to sign up for a google voice number. Without the sprint activation textnow numbers are recognised as strictly voip and not useful. I don't know why there is this difference but this opens up various use cases over a standard voip number.

    2. You can change your number if you get a bad one or need to change your number regularly. Useful for throwaway numbers to avoid spam. But yes this is available with the wifi textnow version.

    3. You can get unlimited overseas calls for free. Textnow usually requires credits for overseas calls.

    I don't see it as a replacement for a regular cell line but it is nice to be able to use that sprint phone that is just sat in a drawer doing nothing. Now that tello is requiring more top ups etc from their paygo plan I have several sprint phones that will eventually be phased out of rotation.

    I don't really see this service creating some revolution or being that popular but it is what it is and with any free service will last as long as it lasts. So use it for as long as it does and enjoy.
    Free calls to overseas? Is that only specific countries or only to other TN users?

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by boherez View Post
    Free calls to overseas? Is that only specific countries or only to other TN users?
    Nevermind it is just select countries eg UK, Spain, Sweden. Looks like it is free with the wifi only textnow ayway. Free to landlines etc not just to other TN users.

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by e.mote View Post
    >What phone service is 100% reliable?

    Residential phone service is reliable enough, that you can expect 100% of your calls/texts to go through when you make them. It's a poor cop-out to say that nothing is perfect, so we can't tell "good" from "bad." We can, and do. Well, OK, some us can.

    It only takes one missed important call to ruin your day, or even your life. For me, that happened when I was missing the doctors' calls when my father had bypass surgery. I was using VoIP (Republic Wireless), trying to save a buck. Not after.

    Sure, "free" will always get some folks to try, but I'll wager that all of the folks here on HoFo have already had cell/net access, for free if that's what they wanted. FreedomPop is still kicking, and FreeUp (w/ real cell voice) was around. For those in financial need, SafeLink is an option. Folks who don't have ANY net/phone access would not be the ones frequenting this or any online forum, or seeing any online ads.

    That, and as has been pointed out to you multiple times, paid, and reliable, phone service is a now only a few dollars a month. Those who can't afford that nomimal amount should qualify for SafeLink.

    If you want to spend time as a beta tester, that's of course your choice. But to justify an unreliable phone service as something "worthy" and "having a market" is, to use your words, comical and misguided.
    For the first part of your statement, residential phone service, just like cellular phone service, has issues. It is not fail proof to "100%" as you claim. Missing an important call is not going to ruin my day, especially since I get missed call notifications for all my calls and if someone leaves a voicemail, I get another notification. With Google Voice, and also the TextNow service, I get missed call notifications, voicemail notifications, and an email sent to my primary email address when someone leaves a voicemail. So if an important call is missed, I would know about it immediately and can call back.

    I do not pay for a "traditional phone service" since the VoIP set-up I have currently is better than a "traditional phone service." If I have no cellular connection, I can connect to WiFi and immediately start calling and texting. The service can be used on multiple devices and platforms which is also a plus. While the new TextNow Unlimited Talk and Text SIM plan has kinks, it works perfectly fine on WiFi and is sporadic when off WiFi. And I have confidence the TextNow SIM service will only improve with time.

    I still do not understand your complete negativity towards the service, and the importance in the market. You clearly do not like VoIP services and you have your own reasoning as to why, which is perfectly fine. We all have choices which is better than the alternative. I just hope you will one day see the importance this service serves to those who would otherwise have nothing (SafeLink serves a specific target market, requires paperwork for approval/re-approvals, and misses others entirely), or, to those more patient and tolerant.

    Some people like to save money in the areas in our lives that can be controlled and phone service is one of those areas. In my 9-10 years of using VoIP as a cellular service, VoIP is just as reliable as a "traditional phone service" and in some cases, more convenient and versatile.

  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by e.mote View Post
    >P*ssing on adware apps for their potential data-mining privacy issues is one thing, but then offering up any Google product as an alternative seems almost comical.

    Thanks for letting me amplify.

    The short answer is, no, I do not equate Google products with adware, for the obvious reason that I don't get ads shoved in my face. I'd wager that's the main reason why many here use GV, or any Google products.

    What's comical is to say, I use Google products, therefore, any adware is OK. It's not only comical, it's downright ignorant. I hope you aren't saying that.

    The longer answer is that, yes, Google does use consumer data as a basis for its business. But as a publicly-traded company, for which the revenue sources are spelled out in its 10Ks, and as the most scrutinized company on earth, it has to be very scrupulous with what it does with said data.

    I can be reasonably confident that Google does not suck up my address book and sell the data, or sell my real-time location data. I have no such confidence with overt adware which has zero revenue source, and is trying to find revenue any which way it can.

    The reality is that Google products are integral to using the Internet, and not only Google, but the entire Internet economy is predicated on monetizing user data. To forswear from all such is to foreswear any net use, ie be a Luddite. It's not a realistic proposition. So, to a large extent, Google's (and other) "free" products are a necessary evil.

    I do what I can to limit Google's reach into my life. I don't use Google Chrome or its office products. I don't normally log into my Google acct, but only when needed. I erase cookies and block trackers. Etc.

    Reality is never black or white, but in shades of gray. It's not all or none, but some. It's up to you to discern how much of "some" is good for you.
    Certainly it's all shades of grey. And I wasn't saying Google was adware, but it is a potential privacy risk.

    I was really taking issue with your statement "I consider any adware app that potentially mines my personal/location data to be malware. It would be hard enough for me to install such on one (throwaway) device, let alone multiple devices. My privacy and personal data are worth something..."

    I guess I'm confused; adware apps (e.g. TextNow) that potentially mine data are malware, but non-adware that mines the same data (Google) aren't? Just using Android places a lot of your data in Google's hands, so you have to decide if you can trust them. (And I agree that they are likely more trustworthy than a relative unknown like TextNow, if only because Google has more to lose if they betray our trust.) I would guess, all things being equal, that ad supported software *has* a revenue stream (ads) mannting the need to sell my data less likely than software like Google that has no ads, and therefore no potential revenue stream other than selling my data ("in aggregate", of course!)

    Having said that, TextNow works fine if you disable the app permissions for location data and access to contacts, so there's not much for them to mine if you don't want to let them access it. (Of course shutting off access to contacts forces you to dial by actually dialing a number, or to launch the app for another app, like from the contacts app directly.) I don't really have much of a dog in this fight- the only reason I ever used TextNow at all, was because back when they first launched they were one of the few text/call apps that worked on Windows Phones (my platform of choice at the time).

    But I get it. Any app or service presents us with privacy choices to make, and the tradeoffs between convenience and privacy can be difficult. Personally, I'd rather see a few ads than have my data mined, given the choice, but as an Android user I accept that Google has an uncomfortable level of access to my data, and I really miss my Windows Phones! (While I realize with Windows Phone, Microsoft also had an uncomfortable level of access to my data, I trusted Microsoft more than I trust Google. Mostly because Microsoft was too unfocused to actually use any mined data for anything!)



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    i have been testing on 2 phones past couple days. i have no idea why but my first day it simply was not reliable at all but for the last 2 has pretty much worked flawlessly, at least as can be expected for over the top VOIP on cellular data. all usage for last 2 days has been via the free sprint connection.

    having played around and used freedompop, ringplus and others i think if this offering is kept as is it will have a significant impact.

    the big key that would make this work in many instances where freedompop or ringplus's service would not is the very simple signup without need of a credit card. while to most credit card many seem simple and virtual cards, etc could offset risk the many people i run into who over the past years have been relying on VOIP apps over wifi mostly are also living a life outside the banking system. if this service sticks around i could see many of them seeking inexpensive sprint phones to move to this and have something much closer to mainstream cell service.

    it also seems a nearly perfect mechanism for a quick temporary 'burner line'

    now if textnow's business model is to have people signing up for paid addon's such as data plans see a struggle, but if they can survive on the ad revenue and keep the simple signup with no credit card, other phone number for verification, etc. i see gradually increasing base of users that will keep coming.

    the 1yr freedompop SIM may be better for many people especially because of the included data but its not as easy to obtain especially for someone who ma already have an old sprint phone lying around.

  12. #87
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    >Personally, I'd rather see a few ads than have my data mined, given the choice, but as an Android user I accept that Google has an uncomfortable level of access to my data, and I really miss my Windows Phones!

    Wow. So you would say that, using adware is better than using Google's.

    It says enough about you that you would place your trust in any adware more than you do Google, or that you automatically assume that adware is just about ads and not mining, or worse.

    Good to have that cleared up. OK, then.

    PS: Not to fret. Your trusted MS has more than caught up. Check out the Windows telemetry component sometimes, if you still use a Windows PC.

  13. #88
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    >I still do not understand your complete negativity towards the service, and the importance in the market. You clearly do not like VoIP services and you have your own reasoning as to why

    In args like this, it's easy to get pigeonholed into "you're all this or all that," eg "oh you're so negative." In reality, I agree with what UltGladiator said, that VoIP can be a useful adjunct to an existing voice service.

    That's how I have mine set up. I have a core number of minutes, supplemented by unlimited VoIP minutes for outbound calls via GV, using the literal pile of FP SIMs sitting in a corner. That's the plan anyway. The reality is that I have never even made a serious dent in my voice minutes, and the FP SIMs are just collecting dust. I'm with the majority in that I just don't talk much on the phone anymore. Text is just so much more convenient. So any time I hear somebody tout B-BUT VoIP gives you unlimited talk! I just laugh.

    But you're right of course. I AM negative about the TN service. Why should I give a rat's patootie about unreliable service when I'm awashed in RELIABLE services that I don't even use? Oh, wait, we have to think of all those poor, bereft folk who have nothing but their loincloth! And who are...around somewhere. I'm not quite sure where, but I'm sure TN will reach them via telepathy. Or something. HEY! Maybe TN ran a SuperBowl ad! OK mebbe not.

    OK sorry I'm chuckling along here, and I probably shouldn't. Here's my real stance on VoIP: That ship has long sailed. Hit an iceberg. And sunk. And had a movie made where Kate Winslet got nekkid.

    VoIP made business sense when the avg cell phone bill was still over $50-60. That's when Repub Wireless made some noise. Now, it's living on the fringes of "free" because not only is its cost advantage gone, but its technical merit is also gone.

    Voice is now just data, and cheap. VoIP is part and parcel of phone service, but in other names--VoLTE, wifi-calling. The difference between the carriers' paid VoIP and your "free" is that yours is unprioritized. The "free" providers don't spend any money on fast prioritized servers, or any QC. It's only "best effort." That's why it's free. It has been and will always be less reliable than paid service.

    So, when you tout "but MY VoIP is better than traditional phone service," then hooray for you. But I doubt you can claim the same for anybody else.

    As for the new TN service, well, good luck to Derek Ting & co. I hope it works out. But as the saying goes, hope isn't a strategy. Success will take a bit more than the handful of fans sticking up for it in forum threads. Or folks who want to use it for "burners." Yep, some FINE business models there.

    This doesn't mean (free) VoIP doesn't have a use. It does, of course. We're using it. But it's fringe. The inherent unreliability limits its use case, anecdotal testimonies notwithstanding.

  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by e.mote View Post
    ...This doesn't mean (free) VoIP doesn't have a use. It does, of course. We're using it. But it's fringe. The inherent unreliability limits its use case, anecdotal testimonies notwithstanding.
    QFT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by e.mote View Post
    But you're right of course. I AM negative about the TN service. Why should I give a rat's patootie about unreliable service when I'm awashed in RELIABLE services that I don't even use? Oh, wait, we have to think of all those poor, bereft folk who have nothing but their loincloth! And who are...around somewhere. I'm not quite sure where, but I'm sure TN will reach them via telepathy. Or something. HEY! Maybe TN ran a SuperBowl ad! OK mebbe not.

    OK sorry I'm chuckling along here, and I probably shouldn't. Here's my real stance on VoIP: That ship has long sailed. Hit an iceberg. And sunk. And had a movie made where Kate Winslet got nekkid.

    Voice is now just data, and cheap. VoIP is part and parcel of phone service, but in other names--VoLTE, wifi-calling. The difference between the carriers' paid VoIP and your "free" is that yours is unprioritized. The "free" providers don't spend any money on fast prioritized servers, or any QC. It's only "best effort." That's why it's free. It has been and will always be less reliable than paid service.

    So, when you tout "but MY VoIP is better than traditional phone service," then hooray for you. But I doubt you can claim the same for anybody else.

    This doesn't mean (free) VoIP doesn't have a use. It does, of course. We're using it. But it's fringe. The inherent unreliability limits its use case, anecdotal testimonies notwithstanding.
    I wasn't trying to argue with you. I like when others can enlighten me on their stance as to why we don't see eye to eye on an issue. That's why I gave you my reasonings on this subject.

    I definitely see your point. The new TN SIM service is definitely not as reliable as Google Voice. Personally, I would not use it as a primary line of communication.

    However, I do use Google Voice paired with a T-Mobile data SIM as my only line of communication and have been for years, along with 4 other people on my data only family plan. I have found this service to be extremely reliable, convenient, and much cheaper than a "traditional" phone plan. If Google Voice is ever cancelled, I would probably cry, as I would have to look at other options. Both the TN and Talkatone apps work similarly and seem to be as reliable as Google Voice when paired to a T-Mobile data SIM, but I enjoy the ad free experience of Google Voice.

    I still see the new TN SIM service as an important service for those who would have nothing otherwise, to those underserved by federal/state programs, and/or to those who do not mind dealing with phone issues. My father in law loves this new service but he admits it has problems (he also has a backup home phone service). But for a cost of $0, even when away from WiFi, is a big deal to have the option to make and receive calls and texts. And if TN is in this game for the long haul, the service will improve.

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