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How can I ditch my carrier and just use Wi-Fi?

The dream: Keep your phone in airplane mode, forever.

Michael Short for Recode

When Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone in 2007, he famously teased it as "three devices": An iPod, a phone and an "internet communications device" — maybe the clunkiest three words ever uttered at an Apple keynote.

On this week's episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask, Recode's Kara Swisher and The Verge's Lauren Goode question whether your smartphone can be just an internet communications device. Can you stop paying for AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile and only use Wi-Fi to do all your talking and texting?

That raises the question, of course: What if you're somewhere without Wi-Fi? Kara and Lauren are joined this week by Steven van Wel, the CEO of Karma, which makes a portable hotspot called KarmaGo. Technically, the device is turning Sprint's cellular data signal into a Wi-Fi network, but van Wel said the whole point is not having to think about where your data is coming from or how much you're using.

And he should know -- his iPhone spent four years without ever leaving airplane mode.

Thank you to Steve, Michael, Jon, Kitty, Caleb, Adrian, Geno, Ish, August, Neville, Rafael and everyone else who sent in comments and questions about Wi-Fi calling. You can tweet your questions about any tech topic to @LaurenGoode with the hashtag #TooEmbarrassed. And be sure to follow Lauren, @KaraSwisher and @Recode to get alerted when we're looking for questions about a specific topic.

You can listen to Too Embarrassed to Ask in the audio player above, or subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn or Stitcher.

If you like this show, you should also check out our other podcasts:

  • Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher is a weekly show featuring in-depth interviews with the movers and shakers in tech and media every Monday. You can subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn and Stitcher.
  • Recode Media with Peter Kafka features no-nonsense conversations with the smartest and most interesting people in the media world, with new episodes every Thursday. Use these links to subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn and Stitcher.
  • And finally, Recode Replay has all the audio from our live events such as the Code Conference, Recode Media and the Code Commerce Series. Subscribe today on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn and Stitcher.

If you like what we’re doing, please write a review on iTunes — and if you don’t, just tweet-strafe Kara and Lauren. Tune in next Friday for another episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask!

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