What is a virtual phone number and how to connect it on your Apple device

Devendra Chande

In anticipation of Apple’s launch event in early fall, many people are already making plans to buy new devices from their favorite brand. Apple is expected to unveil the new iPhone 15, Apple iPad Air 2023, Apple Watch 9, MacBook Air at this presentation. The new devices will feature a new M2 chip, as well as a host of internal innovations, among them of course a chip for a virtual sim card. Surprisingly, most new and existing Apple devices already have the chip incorporated into the device’s system. So now is a great time to take a closer look at the new iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watch and explore their functionality! With that in mind, in this article we will learn more about virtual phone number and what its benefits are. The most important question is how to connect a virtual number on Apple devices.

Some insights

There is information that the iPhone 15 may not have a slot for a physical sim card, users will be able to connect only a virtual version of the sim card. The main advantage of this innovation is enhanced protection from moisture and reduce the number of slots in the case, because no longer have to use a special needle to unlock the slot for a sim card. Therefore, we should understand what a virtual SIM card is and prepare for such an innovation from Apple.

What a virtual number is?

A virtual number is a phone number that works over the internet. The user can receive calls to this number even if there is no internet connection. When a virtual number is connected, the user gets phone numbers cell phone for any purpose. In order to use a virtual number, you will need a device with Internet access and the appropriate program for a smartphone, laptop, tablet or other device.

How a virtual phone number works

A virtual number works using voice data transfer: when someone calls a virtual number, the call is first routed to a cloud telephony server, and then the server redirects the call to the phone. If the phone or device is unavailable, the call can be routed to voicemail or another phone number. To start a virtual number, you need to set it up in the personal area of the app you have chosen. You can use any number of virtual numbers for different countries and pick any available tariffs.

Advantages of virtual numbers:

  • Savings. A virtual number is cheaper than connecting or purchasing a regular physical SIM card. Also, a virtual number does not require roaming charges or fees for using communication in other countries. This is convenient for those who often travel or work abroad.
  • Fast connection. To connect a virtual number, you only need to download the operator’s application, decide a tariff and pay for the virtual number. You do not need to visit the office of the mobile operator.
  • Simple settings. In order to set up and manage tariffs, you only need to open the personal cabinet of the application. You can also use it to manage forwarding, view analytics, and make monthly payments.
  • Privacy. You can use a virtual number to register on various sites that require confirmation of the phone number. It is also convenient for those who do not want to disclose their personal data.
  • A virtual SIM card works on different devices: smartphones, tablets and computers, without the need to transfer the SIM card. This allows you to stay in touch anytime and anywhere.

Speaking of the advantages of a virtual number, you also need to be aware of the disadvantages:

  • A virtual number requires a stable internet connection.
  • If you have a negative balance, the virtual number will be disconnected, so you should always pay attention to whether you have a paid tariff.
  • You may be sold an old virtual number that was recently used by another person. Therefore, you may receive calls from strangers, but this can also happen with your regular number.

How do I set up a virtual number on iPhone?

First, you need to make sure that your smartphone supports virtual number connection. To do this, your phone must be later than the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, or iPhone XR models, and you must have at least iOS 12.1 installed.

There are two ways to set up and activate a virtual number on Apple. In Apple devices for the US market, engineers are more likely to make smartphones with two chips to connect a virtual card, so US iPhones are more likely to have two chips. Therefore, you can set up a virtual number as a second SIM card associated with your phone. So let’s take a look at all the ways to connect a virtual number, the estimated connection time is about two minutes.

First method. Download a third-party application to install a virtual phone number. Choose the number you are interested in, tariff and pay for the virtual card. After the purchase, a QR code will appear in the app. Scan the QR code and go to settings, then Mobile/Cellular Data, add mobile/cellular data plan, scan the QR code provided by your cellular carrier. When the notification “Cellular data plan detected” appears, tap on the notification and tap “Continue”.

Second method. If you can’t scan the QR code, add a cellular data plan in your phone’s settings. Go to settings, then “Mobile/Cellular Data”, “Add a mobile/cellular data plan” and tap “Enter data manually” at the bottom of the iPhone screen.

How to set up a virtual number on iPad?

iPad owners from iPad Pro 3rd generation onwards can register a virtual SIM card for their device for mobile internet. This allows you to get online when there is no Wi-Fi hotspot available.

  • When registering eSim on your iPad for the first time, go to Settings > Cellular Data > Customize Cellular Data. Registering another eSim on your iPad, go to Settings > Cellular Data > Add New Rate.
  • Select an operator. If the desired carrier is not displayed, contact them for an eSIM card.
  • Select an eSim plan and create an account, or add your iPad to an existing plan.
  • Click the “Confirm” button.
  • The eSim should activate within a few minutes.

As you can see, connecting a virtual sim card to Apple devices is very easy and takes minimal time. There are also a few nuances to connecting a virtual phone number to your Apple device:

  1. If you want to use two different numbers on the same device, make sure your iPhone is not tied to the same network provider so that you can use two numbers from different mobile carriers.
  2. You can’t use multiple virtual numbers at the same time, but you can switch between them in Settings, Mobile/Cellular Data, then select the plan you want to use and tap “Activate this eSIM”.
  3. You can rename each eSIM responsible for the virtual number to distinguish them from each other. To change the name, go to “Settings”, “Mobile/Cellular Data”, click on the eSIM, then on the “Rate Plan” label and select the new name.
  4. To delete a virtual number, you need to go to “Settings”, “Mobile/Cellular Data”, click on the plan you want to delete. Deleting an eSIM from your phone does not mean canceling the tariff plan, so we recommend you to terminate the tariff first.

Thus, Apple, following the current trends, prefers to embed a virtual sim card chip in its devices to add new features to the gadgets. Accordingly, using a virtual phone number is a modern and easy way to stay in touch. This method of communication is also very economical and has many advantages over the classic connection of a physical sim card with a phone number. However, when connecting a virtual number to your Apple device, pay attention to the nuances of connecting and using a virtual number.

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Devendra is a full-time writer at ConsideringaApple and he is fond of new things in the tech world. He loves to read novels and write poems. This adventure-seeking guy is a hodophile who has an aim to explore all the beautiful mountains, oceans, cultures, traditions, and foods this world has to offer. Since the release of the first iPhone, he believes in Jobs' vision and praises every Apple product.
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