3G and Email

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by WannaBeMac, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. WannaBeMac
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    WannaBeMac iPF Novice

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    I have two questions:

    First, is it possible to make a non-3G iPad to one with 3G?

    Second, does the email program on the iPad function like any other regular email program (like Outlook or Thunderbird)? I ask this because I downloaded Thunderbird to my laptop and tried using my Gmail account(s) with it and it downloaded everything onto my computer so that I could not access my Gmail through a browser anywhere but on my laptop. Can the email program on the iPad be set up to leave my existing emails where they are and also access them through that program?
  2. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    Welcome - the direct answer to your first question is 'No' - you cannot upgrade a non-3G iPad to 3G directly. However, having said that, you could purchase a small external unit known as a MiFi - mobile WiFi - that communicates with the Internet over 3G and then broadcasts that connection using WiFi. The iPad could then pick that signal up and use the MiFi to collect email, surf the net etc. These MiFi units are becoming very popular these days. They're typically the size of a box of kitchen matches and are completely self contained - they contain a rechargeable battery and a SIM card for, say, AT&T and you, of course, have to buy a data plan from that service provider to cover the cost of the data you're using. Typically a MiFi can support up to 5 concurrent WiFi connections.

    In response to your second question the answer is that the iPad' native Mail app can be set up to either leave the original emails untouched when it downloads them or it can be set to remove them as it downloads them - it's entirely up to you how you configure it. It's pretty much like Windows Mail or Outlook Express in that respect and, if you're familiar with those programs, you'd feel at home with it.

    Please don't hesitate to contact us again if you have any further questions or concerns - we'd love to hear from you. Stick around and enjoy the Forum

    Tim
    Scotland
  3. PCUK
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    PCUK iPad Fan

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    You can use a mobile phone to broadcast an ad hoc wifi network which more or less does the same job as the 3G Ipad.
  4. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    Good point, yes - if you have an iPhone4 with the latest iOS or a newish Android phone - you can set it up as a WiFi hotspot and avoid the need to purchase a MiFi. Thanks for that suggestion...

    Tim
    Scotland
  5. zorah
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    zorah iPad Junkie

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    However, for people like me who would contemplate using my iPhone 4 as a hotspot with my Wifi iPad, forget it, as I would have to forfeit my grandfathered iPhone unlimited data plan that I've had since 2007 and which I use regularly.
  6. DrHouse
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    DrHouse iPad Junkie

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    That's what your cell provider told you? Just compare with other providers and then go back to your provider telling them that you would like to upgrade your phone but don't want to loose your data plan. At first they will tell you it is impossible. That's where you bring others offers and that you are ready to go with another provider since whatever you do, for upgrading your phone, you will loose that plan... They are pretty easy to scare...

    In a normal use of an iPhone, you will use about 1gig of data per month. For a heavy use, it can go up to 5 or 6 gigs per month. I have a 6 gigs data plan, and I was almost able to bust it only once. And that included tethering a bit, movies streaming, etc...

    Your old iPhone can have an unlimited data plan, but look how much data you are using in a month, and compare that to actual data plan. Unlimited is worth nothing if you only use around 1gig per month...

    VicoPad addict!
  7. zorah
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    zorah iPad Junkie

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    Yep. I did a quick chat with them and the rep told me I would have to forfeit the unlimited. It was informal, and I was making an inquiry only. My current usage bill serves no purpose as I'm in my new billing cycle. I can't tell real well based on last month's records as there are other phones and texting factored in and it's hard to discern at a glance, but I went online and it looked like it read something like 46,511 KB used of data. (it did not list it in MB like the iPhone app lists it, and I am also unclear if this is including text messages as a form of data, as this is a copy of the actual bill itself online) So far this month, I have used 0.2 MB of data according to my ATT bill pay app. (only shows current billing cycle which I'm just a little into). Hence, if it meant the living end to me to tether with my iPhone as a hotspot, I might inquire again. This was also before the iOS update, and in anticipation of it. Maybe I could get a rep that plays ball and let's me keep the grandfathered plan too. Then again, truth is, I really don't need remote web access like this with my iPad. My iPhone fills in the gap, and when I'm out at seminars for work, it's usually a free Wifi spot anyway, so most of this is just for the simple fact of wanting to be able to do so more for the sake of because I can, not because I HAVE to. It's probably best that I leave well enough alone.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2011
  8. DrHouse
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    DrHouse iPad Junkie

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    Man, that's 46 MBytes per month... (rounding of course...). I can do that in 30 min of regular usage ;)

    Yes, it may be unlimited, but you are not using it at all... I would say don't bother with that plan since you're not able to use it in a meaning fashion. Probably just doing emails and social networking?

    This is probably an old data plan over edge giving you a speed of a 56k modem... It would not be interesting having your iPad connected to it anyway as the bandwidth is probably not fast enough.

    Maybe you could get a mobile hotspot that you could use for your iPad, and laptops at the same time if you really want mobile connectivity.

    VicoPad addict!
  9. zorah
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    zorah iPad Junkie

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    What's so funny is that I use my iPhone every day to check e-mail at work and pay bills as I don't do personal stuff on my work computer. So I feel like I use my iPhone a lot, LOL. Could just be a perception though. But like yesterday, I was out and looking for a particular lunch spot and was searching all over the spot in the city and was thankful to have it. Again though, I really don't use my iPad out in the field with 3G much-there tends to be a Wifi spot anyway, or I'm in close quarters where I'm just as glad to be carrying my phone. Getting back to the idea of just wanting to be able to have one unlimited data plan just because I CAN not because I NEED to, LOL. But I always feel like I use my phone all the time, and I do, but I guess in short bursts mostly. Well, my netbooks and laptops never had 3G either, so I certainly will live. But it's a good point that if I want to, I could change plans and from a practical sense, it would not matter based on my usage pattern.
  10. WannaBeMac
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    WannaBeMac iPF Novice

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    Sorry it's taken a few days for me to get back here. Thanks for your suggestion Tim. I will keep that in mind. I don't have a smart phone so the first suggestion would be the way to go. And I got things sorted with my email as well.

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