The Comunicano Daily for Monday December 30 2013
The Comunicano Daily for Wednesday December 31 2013-End of The Year Edition

Commentary on A Month Without iOS

VC, angel, blogger Brad Feld wrote a very passionate post about his plan to move for a month from iOS to Android on his blog this past week.

A day or so later VentureBeat picked up the post and reposted it, and the Twittersphere picked up on it adding greater social amplification. Feld's post has resulted in over 155 comments, further cementing in my mind that Android and iOS remain the hot topics/tickets in mobile, while Microsoft gets a light passing mention in the post and comments while Blackberry wasn't even thought of. Reading some of Feld's comments I had to jump into the conversation as I've now spent almost two solid months outside the USA, traveling to Thailand, Australia, France, Portugal and the UK, using both my iPhone 5S (Euro Model), iPad Air, and current Android devices-an HTC One and Nexus I've been using both platforms since their respective launches so I do have a perspective. So, I weighed in with a comment. It's so relevant to VoIPWatch readers  I'm reposting it below:


I have done something similar the last 50 days or so on the road in Thailand, Australia, France, Portugal and soon the UK before heading back to the USA on Saturday. The "something" is I ran both iOS and Android on multiple devices-a EU version iPhone5S, a globally endowed HTC One, my iPad Air and a Nexus7. Part of the experiment was based on the move last summer of the business over to GoogleApps and a steady shift away from Microsoft to cloud based services and apps....I found I could live very well on the Nexus and HTC One for Apps, and most of what I needed to do via Basecamp, with WhatsApp, Skype, etc. I did find that iMessage is beginning to dominate with many colleagues and friends, and that apps like DRAFTS kept me going back to the iPad as well as the fact that the Zagg case/keyboard combo allows me to ditch the Mac Book Air 90 percent of the time when I'm out the hotel or houses I'm renting. I also found the camera on the iPhone5S to be about the sharpest around.

Now on to your comment about SIMs frustrating you. This is something I've made both a game and a mission the past 13 years. That being to always have local SIMs dating back to when I was traveling to France 4 times a year and I actually bought a Nokia phone, signed up for a contract and opened a bank account there to accomplish it before prepaid even existed.

Between clients Gigsky ( for data and Truphone ( for voice, text and data, I'm pretty well set on the global roaming, but I still have sought to know enough about the local SIM market to be able to advise friends of their options.

For starters, I'll agree a few years back, and each time Apple comes out with a smaller SIM, the market for SIM cards goes haywire. A great deal of the problem you and I first experienced would have likely been around the time Apple first went micro the whole industry was caught off guard, and with the runaway demand on the iPhone4's back then, and the delayed international roll out, the best selling idea was to carry your own SIM card cutter..That's what The Phone House went out and bought so visitors to countries they operate in could get a SIM cut down that worked in the 4 and 4S'. I saw the same mentality with regard to the 5's and 5S' as well as iPads. They're cheap to buy on Amazon and a useful throw in your bag in case you can't find the right SIM.

Next is buying a SIM---It really varies. In the UK getting SIMs and Topping up is a snap. Same in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Portugal and Spain. Spain does want proof of ID (your passport) before you get a SIM, but The Phone House stores are great for helping and avoiding language barriers. In Portugal, Vodafone at the airport is a breeze, but I prefer Optimus for data on iPads and the Nexus because the offer an enhanced 4G service on prepaid. TMN has amazing plans, the best voice network and best coverage so it's a toss up between them and Optimus. Down in Australia I found OPTUS to be the best on iOS and Android hands down, but my LTE/4G mobile broadband modem from Telstra couldn't be beat when on a train or in places where the WiFi was saturated. It was a godsend, and worth the investment.

Over in New Zealand I used both Telecom NZ and Vodafone with stellar results, simple pick up the SIM at the airport in Auckland and never had an issue the week I was there. In Thailand True move is the hipper carrier and again, the airport stand just outside baggage claim had me up and running on iOS and Android devices in no time at all. France used to be a breeze on SFR and Orange, but they've made changes to their plans. I've also found that #3 Bouygues Telecom is a rapid challenger, and has the best 4G network in the country. I switched over to them on my Android HTC One and have SIM's to use on my iPhone and iPad for my return in February. Once you learn the steps to activating the plans it's a breeze...UK I have SIM's with Vodafone, T-Mobile and 3, and am going to move my T-Mobile over to their new EE prepaid plans on Thursday with what is called double fast broadband. A tip with T-Mobile is you can set this up to charge your American Express card if you register an UK address with AMEX. That's all of a phone call, and then you can renew whenever you need to, keep some money on the SIM (they don't expire it for a long time) and have your numbers.

I'll admit most people don't travel the amount I have the last 8 or 9 years, nor do they visit the same countries enough to warrant having all these SIMs..but with the iPad and Nexus 7 becoming almost attached to my hip, knowing which operators offer what, and being able to use both devices for VoIP calls sure allows me to stay connected everywhere. The really big benefits come when I'm using GoToMeeting or WebEx as their apps work very well on both platforms and when you have really fast mobile broadband, you can be in many places getting work done, without worry or concern. That is reason enough for me to have local SIM's vs. trying to find a WiFi hotspot that's quiet..

If I can help you out with this, hit me up...

Andy Abramson
Comunicano, Inc.


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Thanks for weighing in with the long thoughtful comment. Super helpful to me, especially the international stuff!

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