If AT&T were a regular human being, they'd be that sleazy car salesman that talked to you into buying a car you don't even need.
AT&T has begun testing Microcells in two states. You hook one of these babies up in your house and you'll piggyback onto your internet connection to get a better AT&T signal in your lead box of a house. How much would you expect to pay for such a great service, free? Wrong, stupid. Get ready to pony up $150.
Sure the thing looks like a large modem built in the 70s, but you'll get some sweet coverage inside your crappy apartment! BUT, if you want unlimited calling, get ready to ALSO throw down $20/mo. Hey man, this is AT&T's world of crappy reception, and we're just living in it. Way back when I had the original iPhone, I pretty much had negative service. I might as well have lived in an underground bunker. But as soon as I got the 3G and now the 3GS, I don't have to worry about that, apparently my podunk town is a hotspot of 3G connectivity, who knew?
Anywho, it's pretty funny that a phone company wants you to pay so that you can use your own internet to get a better signal. And what's even funnier, is that a lot of people will pay up when this rolls out to the masses.
We am dumb.
Ok, maybe not.
But they sure give that impression.
Ever heard of Google Voice? Pretend for one second that you're a very busy professional and you have an office, home and cell phone. And it's very hard for everyone to get in touch with you at the right place. So you get a new phone number;KL5-867-5309 through Google Voice. You can now give that number out, and have it forward to all of those numbers. You can even set certain contacts and groups to only ring certain phones. For instance, that friendly woman I met at the bar the other week will only ring to my cell phone. But when my boss calls that number, it will ring all 3 of my phones. When the CFO of my client that I spilled the cake on calls me, she can ring my office line(which I never answer). You can also forward text message to different phones too. Cool, huh?
If you want to be able to respond to your friends and co-workers using that number, you can download the Google Voice App for your Android or BlackBerry phone. That way you can send texts from your Google number and even make calls too. All over your existing network.
Want to be able to do that on your iPhone? Tough marbles. The app was out for a day or so and then Apple decided to pull the plug. There was even a third party app that was approved by Phil Schiller himself that was yanked after a few days. Sadface.
If you dig deep enough on the internets, it looks like AT&T is to blame. It's not the first time that the phone company has cut down a perfectly good app. They told Apple that the Slingplayer app, which streams television, could only use Wi-Fi, and not AT&T's 3G network. It looks like they're not that keen on another company coming in and copying the company that Apple partnered with. (They seem to be fine with it on their other AT&T phones, just not the one that is the face of their company.)
But lets say that it wasn't AT&T's doing, and it really was Apple's decision. Lets also say that instead of Google Voice, it was Microsoft Voice. Would you really approve an app from your main competitor that replicated features on your own phone? I'd give that a swift kick in the pants too. While I'm at it, I would complain about those pesky ads they've been showing bashing my laptop prices. Oh wait, they did that already.
Suck it up people, this is AT&Ts world and we're just living in it.