My temporary setup: AT&T GoPhone + iPad + Google Voice

You may have seen a Tweet from me mentioning that the backlight on my iPhone 3G finally kicked the bucket. I used it for two weeks and couldn’t stand it anymore, so I started thinking about alternatives.

I’ve got an old Motorola AT&T GoPhone I bought back when I was doing a lot of biking and needed an expendable backup phone, but I hate using it for two reasons: (1) it doesn’t have any of my contacts, and (2) I hate texting with the tiny numeric keypad. However, it dawned on me yesterday that I haven’t even been using my phone for most of my texting in the last several weeks. More often than not I’ve used the excellent free Google Voice service on my recently-mobile-data-plan-enabled iPad. It further dawned on me that I can do almost everything I do with my phone on my iPad instead, except for actually making and receiving calls.

So, I’ve dusted off that old GoPhone and swapped my SIM card in there. When I need to make a call now, I bring up Google Voice on my iPad, click Call, choose the contact, and instruct Google Voice to ring my cell phone. It’s actually a great little setup and I’m sure it will serve me fine until Apple finally decides to release iPhone 5.