1. DirkBelig's Avatar
    Living in the post-Apocalyptic cow town of metro Detroit has meant three years of slow 3G* and over two years of not having 4G despite paying the original "EVO Tax" and now that AT&T has lit up the LTE, I'm thinking it's time to jump ship. However, as I've been with Sprint and am used to how things work with them, I have several questions that I'd appreciate real-live Detroiters with similar habits and usage areas to provide some enlightenment about.

    • This is probably the most complicated question: I go to Toronto at least once a year for a four-day weekend. With Sprint's Canada roaming add-on, for a pro-rated $3 per month (costs me 60 cents) I get 20 cent per minute calling (one-third of the usual 60 cent rate) while in the Great White North. The people I usually meet up with all have cell phones and I've always relied on texting to coordinate meetups, etc. Texting was free and immediate with Sprint, but if I'm on Google Voice that means needing a data connection and other than coffee shops, there is darn little open and free wifi to be found in Downtown Toronto, so I'm SOL unless someone has a suggestion.

    If I unlock my phone, are their reasonably priced pay-as-you-go/prepaid SIMs I can use or is there a pro-rated rate for partial month's usage of AT&T texting or what? Surely someone from Detroit or Buffalo goes to Canuckia. What do you folks do?

    • Texting on AT&T is a fraking ripoff at $20/mo. considering a heavy month for me is probably less than 300 texts. I was thinking of using Google Voice for texting, but is it possible to absolutely block incoming texts from coming over the carrier? I want to keep my old phone #, but if text mailing lists like free Redbox codes are pointing to that number, I don't want to get tagged for incoming messages. My searching has only found things about blocking particular numbers like stalkers, not globally. Is this doable online when I have an account or will I need to call customer support?

    • How have speeds been, both for the new LTE and the old 3G/H+ networks? While I get in the ballpark of 1100 kbps down and 750 kbps up around my home, work is a disaster with 325 kbps down/100 kbps up typical and slower common. (I live in Berkley; work in Allen Park/Dearborn; and my g/f is on the East Side/Grosse Pointe area.) ANSWERED

    • How hard is it to stay under the data cap? I average 1.5-2 GB per month on Sprint's slow-*** slow pipes, so I figure I'll go higher on a decent connection. I plan on using wifi as much as possible (home, g/f's, bars I hang have hot spots), don't do much if any streaming other than the odd YouTube video (i.e. not likely to consume a lot of Pandora or Netflix), and can impose data caps via ICS. Not that huge a concern.

    • Does the Amazon App Store for Android work on the GS3? I know AT&T were dicks about allowing outside markets on their phones, but it appears they've backed off. Have they and are other sources like Getjar, etc. allowed? ANSWERED

    If I think of anything else, I'll add on here. Thanks in advance!

    * Yeah, yeah, unlimited data. What good is having an ocean to drink from but only a coffee stirrer to drink through? Gimme the fire hose and let me worry about cutting myself off!
    10-03-2012 03:27 AM
  2. SenseMonkey's Avatar
    If you jump ships,you wont regret it. I jumped from sprint too a 2 months ago. And Love at&t. Where i live,theres a blanket of lte so i dont worry about dropping a lte signal unless im deep inside a building and even so i get a decent hspa connection. On let you can expect anything from 8Mbs down to 30. Fastest i've ever got was 24 but i average (at my home) 12Down and about 8 or so Megs up. Its really good comparing to sprints 3g and wimax. I've been cery happy with their lte and go'ing over is easy is you download huge data files or stream music or spend your existance watching hd youtube videos all day. If you dont,you can easily stay under 5Gb. And almost all their coverage map is covered by their hspa network(s) so speeds under 1Mb are Rare. So with at&t,having a data cap isnt so bad if you arnt one of those data hogs who want to download movies and download huge games and such. At&t is far > then sprint. If you jump ships you wont regret it friend.

    Sent from my S3(:
    10-03-2012 07:34 AM
  3. DirkBelig's Avatar
    Thanks. That was the least of my worries, but it's good to have it confirmed.

    Anyone got anything on the other points, particularly Canuckian travel?
    10-03-2012 10:19 AM
  4. cgardnervt's Avatar
    I left Sprint about 4-5 months ago and I love it! ATT offers much better speeds and all around better coverage for a little bit more money. ($10 extra for me.)

    I say try it out! You wont regret it!
    10-03-2012 10:28 AM
  5. jsntrenkler's Avatar
    I too enjoy at&t I have been with them for about 4 years and they have been great.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2
    10-03-2012 02:35 PM
  6. SenseMonkey's Avatar
    Payin' $45 for 5Gb of data,unlimited talk and text lol.

    Sent from my S3(:
    10-03-2012 03:12 PM
  7. Angelsnecropolis's Avatar
    Note: I'm not in Detroit nor have I ever had anything but AT&T so not sure if i'll be helpful or not.

    Q: Staying under Data cap: Well that's a very subjective question because everyone's data usage habits will very. I just installed Onavo Extend which pipes some data thru a VPN network in order to compress data and therefore use less of it. When I was on a 2GB indv plan it was 10$ per extra GB over. Now that I'm on a 6GB family plan it's 15$ per GB over. Also, to easily check your data usage thru AT&T you can call *3282#. I have the app Tasker setup to call this number automatically each day so that I get a daily text of my data usage. Tasker is also setup to have data disabled by default and every 10 min it'll turn data on for 1 min (essentially to check emails and stuff) and then disable it again. Also, every 5 min Tasker will turn wifi on and then if connected to a wifi network (say at home or at gfs house), it will turn mobile data off and keep wifi on. When not connected to wifi anymore it turns wifi off. This helps saves some data and battery life by automating some tasks that I'd have to do manually instead. But Tasker isn't a free app.

    Q: Texting plan/options: There are several free texting apps you can install however most of them require that the other person have the app installed as well (Go SMS Pro, Whatsapp). Some apps allow free texting to any number. For example Heywire states "We give you a real US number that you can text any number. The person you are texting DO NOT need to have HeyWire, you can text them directly to their normal phone." I've not used HeyWire or a similar app but it's got a 4.3 star rating. I assume that by "giving you a real US number" it means you won't be able to use your existing number for texting and rather you would have a separate phone number just for texts. If I recall correctly you would need to setup a Google Voice number to also use their texting. These services will most likely use Data instead of going thru your service provider.

    Unfortunately, the only way to block texts from incoming completely (that I know of) would be to disable texting thru AT&T directly. Any other apps only stop a text from showing as being received though they are still going thru the network. For GoPhone rates you can go here to see what their plans are Prepaid Cell Phone Plans & GoPhone Prepaid phone plans from AT&T. Also, I don't believe you 'll need to unlock your phone to use a GoPhone sim card. You just have to install the SIM card and call 611 to talk to ATT. They'll tell you if the phone is compatible with their GoPhone plans and basically enable it. I've done this between phones before. But if you're using a Sprint phone then you will need to call Sprint and request they give you the unlock code to use with ATT. But I believe you must have your phone for at least a year or two before they will allow you to unlock it. Not exactly sure on that one.

    According to the ATT site roaming text charges in Canada are:
    25 per message sent
    20 per message received

    Hope those details provide some assistance.
    10-03-2012 07:00 PM
  8. DirkBelig's Avatar
    Thanks for your reply, but most of my concerns are with using SIMs and handling texting in Canada. Granted, this is a minor thing that only matters 4 days a year or so, but it's a concern. Roaming text charges? Yeesh. I've been spoiled by Sprint, but getting a few free dollars of roaming texts aren't worth suffering the other indignities.

    I've tested using Google Voice as my texting method on my current phone and think I've got it figured out to use Handcent with it.
    10-03-2012 07:34 PM
  9. DirkBelig's Avatar
    * Does the Amazon App Store for Android work on the GS3? I know AT&T were dicks about allowing outside markets on their phones, but it appears they've backed off. Have they and are other sources like Getjar, etc. allowed?
    10-04-2012 11:22 AM
  10. mfriedman79's Avatar
    * Does the Amazon App Store for Android work on the GS3? I know AT&T were dicks about allowing outside markets on their phones, but it appears they've backed off. Have they and are other sources like Getjar, etc. allowed?
    AT&T stopped disabling the "Unknown Sources" option on their phones so you can install the Amazon Appstore application or any other APK you find on the phone. I personally keep this setting checked to allow unknown sources, but also run Lookout to scan app's I sideload prior to install to maintain some level of safety.
    DirkBelig likes this.
    10-04-2012 03:08 PM
  11. DirkBelig's Avatar
    Thanks. That's what I thought, but wanted to confirm. I've got HUNDREDS of free A'zon Apps (I swing by the site daily on a computer and if it's not crap or kiddie game, I hit the buy button and then never download it), including a handful of must-haves that I'd hate to lose.
    10-04-2012 03:14 PM

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