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Guide to Using your iPhone Without Service

written by: luis84•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/20/2011

Many cellphone and smartphone users cringe at the sight of no service. iPhone users have no need to worry with a full-featured suite of applications to allow normal functionality of the iPhone, off the cellular grid. Make and receive calls and messages without a single bar.

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    No Service, No Problem!

    The iPhone is a state of the art smartphone in many ways. Similar to many other smartphones, the iPhone is capable of using wireless internet services, Wi-Fi.

    Wi-Fi enables the iPhone to transmit data over wireless hotspots, home networks, your business network and anywhere else wireless service is available. Thousands of Wi-Fi connection spots known as hotspots are available throughout the world. Wi-Fi hotspots can be commonly found in every major city, libraries, restaurants, cafes, bars and even gas stations. Many iPhone users already have and use Wi-Fi in their homes for transferring data on the iPhone and other wireless devices such as a laptop. For more on this check out iPhone Wi-Fi Tips.

    The iPhone's ability to connect to Wi-Fi makes it both possible and plausible to use the iPhone in places where no service exists. Not only is it possible to place and receive phone calls without service, it's also possible to send and receive SMS and MMS. Let's take a closer look at how to use the iPhone without service.

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    Calling Without Service

    Learning how to use the iPhone without service is quite easy. The first important thing is to learn to make and receive calls. There are several different programs which will enable you to make calls without service on the iPhone. The choice is yours as to which you will use. These programs rely on a Wi-Fi internet connection to operate when there is no service available.

    iCall - iCall is a free program for the iPhone offered by iCall, Inc. Downloading and installing the iCall software on the iPhone will enable users to make calls without a cellular network connection. Calls are routed through the internet using VoIP technology. Calls on iCall work just as a regular call would, only without the internet. The iCall service is free for outbound calls. Additional plans can be purchased for reasonable prices enabling both an incoming telephone number and calling to over sixty countries.

    Skype - Skype for the iPhone enables calling without service. Users who are familiar with Skype on the computer will be pleased to find it functions very similarly on the iPhone. The program works just as the regular iPhone dialpad does, including all major features such as callwaiting, hold, mute and three-way calling. Skype on the iPhone always allows users to hold conversations over compatible Bluetooth headsets. The Skype service is free for calling other Skype users. Service to allow incoming calls and outgoing calls to regular landline phones is not free and requires a monthly subscription.

    TruPhone - TruPhone is a wonderful application for the iPhone that enables calling without service. Calls placed via TruPhone are very cheap, cheaper than on-network minutes. Calling is available to USA and International landlines for a fixed price or a per call price. The TruPhone application is very well designed. All major calling features are present in the TruPhone application and the sound quality is superb. This application truly exemplifies the iPhone's ability to function without service.

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    SMS, MMS and E-Mail Without Service

    The iPhone is completely capable of performing all messaging options independent of service from a cellular network. There are a wide variety of programs available to make this process easier and more manageable.

    Skype - Skype, as mentioned above is capable of both calling and messaging without service on the iPhone. Inside the same Skype application used for calling, there is a messaging tab available. Text messages sent via Skype are very cost-effective. Individual messages must be paid for or alternatively a package with messaging can be purchased. Skype is capable of both local and international messaging without service on the iPhone. For more info check out our Skype for iPhone review.

    Textplus - A free application by Pinger, Inc. which allows users to send messages without service. This application functions just like the regular iPhone text messaging application except without service. Messages can be both sent and received free of charge using Textplus. There is a paid version of the application available which will remove the ads from the application.

    E-Mail - Nothing is required for e-mail without service on the iPhone. Simply connecting to a Wi-Fi network will automatically enable you to both send and receive e-mail with no service using the built-in mail application on the iPhone. If you're not sure how then check our guide on How to Configure Email on the iPhone.

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    Without Service The iPhone Lives

    Without service on the iPhone users can expect very few limitations so don't panic if you've got no bars, as long as there is Wi-Fi available you're fine. In fact, calls and messages are typically cheaper using applications that function without service.

    The functionality of many of these applications is better than the default iPhone applications and some even offer special features that users want but have yet to find in regular iPhone default applications. Placing calls, receiving calls and of course, messaging are all very possible, very easy and quite functional without service on the iPhone.