Moving forward I will be posting blog entries here illustrating my adventures in "no carrier" land. That is, I want to abandon the cell phone service/providers and see how hard it is to get by on just a portable device with some kind of voip product on it.
What I have figured out so far:
1. The google "talk" app for my iPhone will not work without functioning phone service (the explanation is long and dumb, feel free to go look it up, but once you are out of cell service, wifi does not kick in and save the day, therefore: fail)
2. Skype's newly released "Skype wifi" will only work over Skype-approved wifi connections, so the idea that you can make calls from your home wifi network or one at a local coffee shop are probably nix.
I am not surprised that cell providers and mobile apps are coming loaded with these snags- it does not make sense for them to allow their users to obviate use of their toll services.
I strongly suspect that "All of this, and more, can be yours for the small fee of: hacking your device", but I'd like to avoid that path if possible, as most regular users are not going to be too keen on all that.
My goal is to discover a way to use my iPhone with no service contract, and load a voip client on it, and, in a fairly wifi-connected city, see how much of a hassle this is. And tell you about it here.