iPad 3G Ships, Has Gotchas

By  |  Friday, April 30, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Apple started selling the 3G version of the iPad today, and folks are discovering that some apps behave differently on 3G than Wi-Fi. YouTube, for instance, delivers lower-quality video, and the ABC app won’t play at all. Presumably somebody’s still worried that AT&T’s network won’t be able to handle the deluge of data.

I don’t have a 3G iPad and don’t expect to get one anytime soon. Clarification: I do use my iPad on 3G all the time, because  I have a Verizon MiFi wireless hotspot. As long as I remember to charge it, it works just great–and because it’s turning 3G into Wi-Fi, iPad applications don’t dumb themselves down. I also get to pay Verizon one price for Wi-Fi that works with all my computers, my iPad, and my iPhone. Recommended.

 
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11 Comments For This Post

  1. joe c Says:

    Wait … hasn’t YouTube ALWAYS switched to lower res when on 3G? That’s how it’s always seemed on my iPhone since first gen.

  2. stepleon Says:

    If the charging comment was related to the Mifi grab a couple of these and a short cable and you will really have a portable access point that lasts

    http://us.kensington.com/html/15458.html

  3. Khürt Says:

    I think video over 3G has always been “limited” in this way. I considered going the MiFI route but the data plan is three times what AT&T charges. And no. I’m not bringing my iPad and a laptop with me everywhere I go just so I can justify the MiFI.

  4. Weirdsci Says:

    Doesn’t the MiFi cost about the same per month as I already pay for my iPhone, doubling the cost of accessing the internet?

  5. Mike Says:

    Instad of a MiFi, you can also use any Symbian phone; they’re actually cheaper, more compact, and you get a free voice phone with them. Oh, and they tether via USB to your laptop.

  6. Harry McCracken Says:

    I love the idea of Wi-Fi tethering via phone (it’s one of the things I like about the Palm Pre on Verizon). In this case, I got the MiFi in part because I was already on contract with Verizon and was able to get it as a cheap upgrade to my USB EVDO adapter.

  7. kevin Says:

    In the US, I think the mifi is $40 for 250MB or $60 for 5GB per month, AND $50 for the device with a two-year contract on verizon ($175 termination fee) or $270 for the device with no contract. The prices might be slightly cheaper for Sprint.

    Even if I could use it across multiple devices, I’d be limited by the cap. To justify it, I’d have to get and use a phone with wifi that didn’t require a data plan to use alongside the iPad wifi and a laptop.

  8. Ulf Hednar Says:

    Where are the “Gotchas?”

    Please enumerate.

    And, I’m being totally serious.

  9. Harry McCracken Says:

    Totally serious answer: There are apps that don’t behave the same over 3G as they do over Wi-Fi.

    –Harry

  10. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    The iPad 3G is limited in a few ways from Wi-Fi, but that is actually a feature because the 3G monthly bandwidth is unlimited. With Mi-Fi, the data you can request is unlimited, but there is a 5GB monthly cap then a meter starts. So if you try to download an iTunes movie iPad tells you to wait until you’re in Wi-Fi, but you can surf 20 hours per day knowing that you’ll never pay more than $30 per month. Mi-Fi can support multiple devices, but it’s twice the price of the iPad 3G plan and has a contract and a measly 4 hour battery.

    It really depends on who you are and how you work. To me, $1 per day to just have my iPad on 3G all the time with 9 hours of 3G browsing per charge is ideal. I never considered the Wi-Fi only iPad. iPad has replaced my notebook browser and email and such, so I can actually work just fine on my notebook without an Internet connection, and mostly use it in Wi-Fi anyway.

    The 3G in my phone is also unlimited and has a 10-hour battery, so a Mi-Fi is just not a good fit for me.

  11. Moiz Saleem Varind Says:

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