- Upgrade your existing smart phone and transfer everything you need from the old one such as pictures and contacts. Move over your SD card, if necessary.
- Restore your old phone to factory defaults so everything is erased and put back to good working order.
- Go through the boot process and setup a Google account as well.
- Install and configure Pinger for free texting. You'll also be issued a phone number so others can text you. Calling may be possible through Pinger as well but I prefer the app below.
- Purchase a few dollars ($10 is plenty) of VoIP Phone time from a provider online. I used www.voipvoip.com. It costs less than 2 cent per minute and can be shared among multiple devices.
- Install and configure Sipdroid for calling. Voipvoip.com has turorials to configure your specific device with their service.
When your tween/teen is traveling with camp or sports sometimes it's important for them to be able to text or call when away from wifi. In that case, we have just added a basic phone to our plan for $10 per month without the data plan that they can share. Whichever one needs that capability takes that phone with them on the trip. It may be a little inconvenient at times but most of the time they're happy with their wifi smart phones and we're happy not having to pay for two additional data plans each month.
If anyone has other ideas to share on this topic I'd love to hear them. If someone can provide information from the iPhone world that would be helpful, too.