One free texting app, TextPlus (Android, iPad, Kindle Fire) lets you text any U.S. or Canadian number for free. Similarly, Pinger's Textfree (Android, iPad, Kindle Fire) lets you text to tons of countries for free, and it has the added benefit of giving you a real phone number so you can pretend that you really have a phone (and so your friends can text back to a phone number, instead of to an email address).
7. Load Up on Tablet-Optimized Offline Games
Mobile games are hot these days, but the hottest ones always seem to require a constant data connection. You can't play social games such as Zynga's FarmVille or Words With Friends unless you're connected to the Internet, which is fine unless you happen to have a Wi-Fi-only tablet and you're in a Wi-Fi-less area.
To deal with that situation, try some tablet-optimized games that don't require an Internet connection--many games in the action/adventure, hidden-object, and puzzle genres don't. Titles worth checking out include the gorgeous puzzle game Osmos HD (Android, $3; iPad, $5); Shadowgun THD (Android, $5; iPad, $5), a third-person outer-space shooter; Dead Space (Android, $7, iPad, $10), a first-person horror survival game; and Empress of the Deep (Android, $4; iPad, $5), a hidden-object game.