Communication Technology questions

I’ve been at my old farmhouse in Southern Idaho for nearly two weeks working on some projects, and right after I get here, my cell phone died. Not wanting to take time away from my projects to drive to Logan or Pocatello, I’ve just gone without a phone (we got rid of our land lines here and at home some years ago).

Doing so has caused my to think a lot about how tied we all are to technology for regular communication. I don’t any sort of subscription Television service at the farmhouse, but I do have reasonably good internet, and have a good laptop with me.

That has allowed me to continue the most critical communication since my phone died, keeping in touch with my wife and son in Portland, and mother in assisted living. I have good skype and Alexa video options with all three and have a computer with me.

I have the computer to check email, and to use the internet for reading all the news services I normally consume, Utefans, and to stream video if i want to watch something in the evening.

having recently retired, and with the pandemic, I’m not socializing nearly as much as usual, so I may be missing some texts, and calls, but probably nothing critical.

Here are my questions:

  1. Do any of the cell phone providers, offer any means of sending or receiving text messages via email? I have a MAC and an iPad, that I could normally use to check iMessages, but both are at my home in SLC.
  2. My cell phone provider is Verizon, and either they or apple provide a service which attempts voice recognition of my voicemails and displays the results on my phone. I wonder if it would be possible to have these voicemail recognition results emailed to me.

Really, I’ve been getting so much done. and communicating to the critical people without much trouble, that I’ve hardly missed the phone. However, I may actually be missing a lot of important stuff.
The services I’m asking about would easily fill in until I leave and get back to SLC to pick up a new phone. Also, during the years I commuted via airlines, having these two services while in the air (or overseas) would have been a fabulous option.


You can use messaging services like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, etc. I have used those when out of the country. The only issue is whoever you want to communicate to also has to be subscribed and have the app or access.

iMessage works on Macs and iPads, but you’ll be alienating all your Android using friends.