iPod touch 5G

While the iPod touch might be dwindling in sales, it remains one of the best and cheapest portable media players on the market. I like to think of it as a gateway product to the iPhone nowadays, which is exactly what it was for me. I received the original iPod touch as a Christmas gift over six years ago, upgraded to the second- and fourth-generation models, and eventually moved on to an iPhone.

I haven’t looked back since, but I know there are quite a few users that rely on the iPod touch as their day-to-day device. That inspired me to write this guide on how to turn an iPod touch into an iPhone, something that is more possible than you might think. For the purposes of this article, I am assuming that you have at least a fourth-generation iPod touch running iOS 6 or later. Some of the apps and accessories listed work with older devices and iOS versions… 

 Best VoIP Apps for iPod touch

Google Hangouts app icon

Google Hangouts is the best option for iPod touch users looking to make phone calls for free. After signing up for a Google Voice number, you can use it with this app to make free calls in the United States and Canada. International calling is available based on per-minute rates. Hangouts can also be used for sending instant messages, photos, videos and even video calls, making this pretty much the ultimate solution for iPod touch owners.

Perhaps best of all is that Hangouts is a cross-platform app for iOS, Android, Mac and PC, allowing you to catch up with your conversations on different devices. Voicemail and voicemail transcription is also available for free, which is something that a lot of carriers often charge for on iPhone. Hangouts is available on the App Store for free.

FaceTime iOS 7FaceTime is another good solution for iPod touch users, but it restricts you to using the Apple ecosystem. You can make free audio or video calls with the app over Wi-Fi, but only to other iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac users. Google Hangouts is probably the better choice here, considering it’s cross platform, but you might prefer the stock experience of FaceTime if you only plan on talking with other Apple users.

Skype App IconYour iPod touch is not a smartphone, but using a VoIP app like Skype over Wi-Fi offers nearly an identical experience. If you are on a low budget, consider inviting as many of your friends and family to install Skype on their device. This way, you can make free calls with those people using the app. Otherwise, you will need to purchase Skype credits from Microsoft to make calls to regular landlines and cell phones.

Fortunately, the pay-as-you-go-rate is as low as 2.3 cents per minute when calling most places worldwide. Subscription rates are also available: $2.99 per month for unlimited calls in United States and Canada, $7.99 per month for unlimited calls in North America, and $13.99 per month for unlimited calls worldwide. Skype is free on the App Store.

Talkatone app iconTalkatone is an app that iPod touch users should also consider for sending and receiving phone calls and SMS text messages for free using Google Voice. The app provides you with a free United States local phone number with unlimited incoming calls and up to 20 minutes of outgoing calls for free, with the option to purchase additional minutes as needed.

It’s important to note that third-party Google Voice support is ending on May 15th, but Talkatone will still serve a purpose for iPod touch users since it provides unlimited Talkatone-to-Talkatone calls for free. Linking your Facebook account or carrier phone number can earn you extra minutes and features. Talkatone is free on the App Store, with premium features available.

Other recommended VoIP or calling apps for iPod touch

 Accessories

MorphCase iPod touch

MorphCase is a hardware option for turning your iPod touch into an iPhone, available for both the fourth and fifth generation models. The accessory, which launched on Indiegogo a few years ago, adds a microphone and speaker to an iPod touch to improve the quality of calls made with one of the apps above over a Wi-Fi connection. MorphCase is available for $45 for both the iPod touch 4G and 5G models through its official website.

iPod touch FreedomPop

If you still have a fourth generation iPod touch, the FreedomPop Sleeve Rocket is essentially a cellular hotspot case for your device. It provides access to the FreedomPop data network, which gives your iPod touch up to 4G data speeds in the United States without signing a contract. FreedomPop wireless plans range from 500 MB per month for free to 4 GB for $28.99 per month. The FreedomPop Sleeve Rocket is $93.99 on Amazon.

AF78-MarqueBlack

If you are going to be using your iPod touch as a smartphone, you’ll want to avoid using the built-in microphone and speaker — they don’t sound very good. A portion of the money you are going to be saving each month on not paying a cell phone bill should be invested towards a nice pair of Bluetooth or wired headphones with an in-line microphone and volume controls. Jim gave the Audiofly AF78 Marque Black headphones ($199.95, pictured above) a strong review last year, but there are much cheaper options on Amazon if that isn’t within your budget.

AT&T Mi-Fi

Last, but not least, are the mobile hotspot accessories that many carriers sell for connecting an iPod touch or other devices to cellular data by connecting over Wi-Fi. I’ve saved you the trouble and linked to the mobile hotspot purchase pages for the four major carriers in the United States: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. Many carriers in Canada and other countries also sell mobile hotspots: Bell, Rogers, Vodafone, O2 and more. Prices start at around $50 plus the cost of data-only plans.

Ultimately, an iPod touch will always have its shortcomings compared to an iPhone. But if you are looking to save money by avoiding a monthly cell phone contract, the apps and accessories outlined above will go a long way towards maximizing the use of your iPod touch. If you have any tips of your own on how you can turn your iPod touch into an iPhone, be sure to share them in the comments section down below.

  • David Gitman

    Isn’t whatsapp for iPhone ?

    • Yes you are completely right. Sorry about that

      • David Gitman

        Yay you replayed me ^^
        You made my dream came true twice!

      • jocastro

        SMH

      • Derp

        The ass kissing is disgusting, right?

      • David Gitman

        What do you want from me, I am happy that a popular site admin answered my question . Go away

      • iPhone5s

        It seems like you are the ass kisser lol.

      • onesimpleclickk

        *Replied

      • XboxOne

        Are you a dusty PS2?

      • Butch Danes

        You, Sir, are a complete loser. “Yay you replayed me?” and “a popular site admin answered my question.” Are you serious? Your life must be going places when you have to resort to getting happiness from an online blog hoping the admins will reply to your comments. Keep living the dream, my friend. I only wish I could be like you.

      • David Gitman

        Yeap
        I don’t care what you think

      • Butch Danes

        I give you that much. Who cares what someone online thinks of me. But really though. I don’t know how old you are, but if you’re young then it’s understandable. If you’re older, you should start caring what people think as it does not look good on you especially if you tell people to “go away” online as that’s a very childish thing.

        You need to get out more as your life must be amazing just sitting at home waiting for people to reply back to you. Go outside and enjoy life. Don’t be such a loser who has to rely on the internet for happiness.

      • David Gitman

        I am 20..its just made me happy that someone popular replied me..

      • Rock Smith

        Is that 20 months.. thats what you sound like mentally.

      • Matthew Jenkins

        These jerk offs who were ripping on David… Shut the hell up. Leave him alone! Grow up. We’re not in high school anymore. Just be cool. Easy.
        Mean people suck!

      • Indeed

      • Jeremy Cote

        You’re trolling, right?

      • Softie

        He can do whatever he wants, who are you to tell him what should make him happy or not. You are the loser who needs to get more out of your own life and stop telling people how to live.

        P.s. I think you are foolish for telling him what to do, maybe you should take your advice and care about what I think as it does not look good on you trying to police online forums where you can express opinions anonymously or not.

      • Kuje

        Lolol i was like whaaaa

      • Elias Chao

        What about WhatsPad?

      • David Ruiz

        You can activate WhatsApp on iPod Touch 5 without jailbreak, making a backup from an iPhone via iTools and then put it in your iPod Touch.

      • Matthew Jenkins

        What does what’s app do besides let you text?

      • Elena NoOne

        you can also make voice- and videocalls now.

    • I did not know that to be honest. I’m surprised but have removed WhatsApp from the list above. I think there is a jailbreak tweak for getting WhatsApp on iPod touch though.

      • David Gitman

        Yeah whatspad and I even do a Method without jail breaking! But you need iPhone with whatsapp on it to work.. My method worked on my 7.1.1 iPad 3 ^^

      • Kuje

        Derp was right haha

      • David Gitman

        you wut

      • mordechai eliyahu

        a cydia tweak called whatspad.. but i think thats for a ipad

      • David Gitman

        Both iPad and ipod

    • ozonostudio

      there’s a jailbreak tweak for that

    • Matt Dowdy

      WhatsApp can be downloaded from the app store on an ipod without any problems. My daughter has it on hers along with viber and to activate them both we used our land line telephone number (as she doesn’t have a mobile phone number) and that works well for her

  • A’s Network

    FreedomPop also has their own VoIP app, and they also have hotspots with free service too. Nice article by the way.

    • Interesting, and I’m glad you like it.

      • A’s Network

        Thanks 😉

    • Dani Hayes

      In my opinion, Freedom Pop is the best. Google Voice only let’s me call other Google Voice numbers. Freedom Pop lets me call any number.

      • soundmanbrad

        I can call any number with google voice within the United States

      • A’s Network

        A FreedomPop phone can call and text canada for free too!

  • Framboogle

    Or you could just buy an iPhone

    • I don’t think this is an option for many iPod touch users

      • jocastro

        i agree with framboogle… iphone are cheaper now than ever… no excuses!!!!!!!

      • The only way you can get an iPhone for cheap is because you are getting a subsidized price by locking into a usually expensive two-year contract. iPhones cost between $549 and $849 unlocked, while an iPod touch is generally $200 or less.

      • jocastro

        its called craigslist or eBay. i know i sold a bunch of iPhone and iPads… hombre..

      • Chris

        If you already have a iPod touch and need a temporary phone line, then this option looks good. Assuming that you have wifi signal at your house or work place. However, mobile hot spots aren’t cheap. Mind as well get a regular phone for long term plan.

      • Yahn Carlos

        Iphone on craiglist can go both ways, there’s alot of other hotspot service for like $30

      • Ever heard of “eBay”? It’s not in your local Apple store for sure…

      • Well sure, if you want an older and used iPhone. You could just buy a used iPod touch as well for like as cheap as $50 depending on the model. It’s all about personal preference. If you want an iPhone, get an iPhone. This article for people with an iPod touch for whatever his or her reason is for owning one.

      • So, I invite you to buy an iPhone in Argentina for, about, 1500 US dollars. Then you might reconsider the iPod Touch.

    • Umut Bilgiç

      Oh! Framboogle is back !!!

  • ProfessorX1®

    Enjoy your all new conversion. Plus, the iPod touch 5G has the iPhone 6’s design and thiness. Enjoy your sneekpeak at the iPhone 6.

  • @dongiuj

    How turn you iPhone into an iPod in japan. Finish your contract.

  • Andy

    I just wish Apple added GPS to iPod touch.

    • There’s not much use for GPS on WiFi only device

      • Andy

        What do you mean? You can add location data to photos and there are offline navigation apps like TomTom.

  • Jonathan

    Google Hangouts and Google Voice are the best. Hangouts for chatting with Gmail friends as well as calling numbers, and Google Voice for unlimited texting!
    How is Google doing all this for free?

    • Framboogle

      Because they are stealing your info while doing this.

    • felixtaf

      Hangouts sucks. Google killed the GTalk for this crap. It started with G+ BS.
      Atleast its getting better now.

  • Bfomguy13

    The only true calling apps I know about are ibtphone (limited comparability) and konect from cydia which connects to a phone using bluetooth. Unfortunately though both of them cost money.

  • iThinkergoiMac

    I’ve always thought that an iPad mini would make a better iPhone replacement than an iPod Touch, if a bit more expensive. Built-in 4G LTE is really helpful for that so you don’t have to manage a separate device. Use a headset and you’re golden.

  • Sounds like a good deal, what happens when Apple gets hold of this idea?

  • Jayy

    Yeah the iPod touch is a gateway device, I had a blackberry when i got my iPod touch 4th gen, and I found myself doing everything on my iPod vs my actual phone “My blackberry curve” soon after i got my first iphone which was the iPhone 4 🙂

  • Boss

    How do you get cellular onto a ipod 5