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Really dumb question

Discussion in 'iPad 2 Forum' started by RetiredProf, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. RetiredProf
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    RetiredProf iPF Noob

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    I used to tell my students there was no such thing as a "dumb question," but the one I'm about to ask may sound really *dumb* to some electronics experts. However, I hope respondents will just make this a "teachable moment" for us both.

    Here goes .... For an extensive research trip to Europe late this summer, I need a computer (e.g., writing, language translators, maps, GPS) that can also perform as a phone. I will get a local GO-SIM card for economical phone use, and I know the I-Pad 2 with 3G can also take a SIM. BUT ... communication will *not* be economical if I have to buy a second SIM for a cell phone.

    SO ... is there any way to make the I-Pad 2 with 3G *act* like a phone -- and I don't mean by using Skype, but rather, by using some sort of VOIP???
  2. mugsydean
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    mugsydean iPF Noob

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    My girlfriend did something with her ipod touch, where she plugged a tiny mic (they make these for this purpose) into her ipod touch then she used voip software to make calls. There are several voip like apps, though for some you might have to "jailbreak" your device.

    She would make her calls over wifi in the coffee shops or hotels.

    heres a link to the mic that she plugged into her ipod touch.

    Buy.com - Switcheasy ThumbTacks Microphone for iPod Nano 4G, Touch 2G - Red
  3. sjleworthy
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    sjleworthy Super Moderator Staff Member

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    you can use skype as a voice only voip app. skype, without video, is a standard voip to the land line alternative in the uk here.
  4. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    I am a retired Prof too, so I'm about to give what is probably a dumb answer.

    As you're probably aware, Skype is VOIP. The downside of using Skype, of course, is that your iPad would need to be switched on for you to be able to receive Skype calls. If you go on to the Skype Forum, you'll see a lot of discussions that iPad and iPhone users are having with Skype disconnecting under iOS4.2 (and presumably iOS4.3).

    The iPad's multitasking OS is not strictly multitasking in the sense that we've come to understand with the PC. It's more of a 'task switcher' that moves apps in and out of memory and saves the 'context' of the app when it's re-instated. As a result, only certain functionality for 'background' apps is enabled and that's strictly controlled by iOS. Skype Forum users seem to agree that background Skype 'disconnects' after a while. This is because iOS removes 'dormant' apps from memory entirely to conserve memory and simply remembers their context. Only recently active apps are maintained in the main iPad system memory (RAM).

    A further problem is that, when the iPad is in 'Sleep' mode, it disconnects WiFi and only keeps 3G active - hence your iPad can receive email when in 'Sleep' mode.

    So all of my rambling hasn’t got us very far - except that could make calls with Skype - and you knew that already! Do you have an iPhone? If so, if you upgrade to iOS 4.3 (available March 11th) you’ll be able to set up a WiFi hotspot on your iPhone. So you could

    (a) Put your (one) SIM card in the iPhone - make and receive calls on that ‘phone.
    (b) Set up a WiFi hotspot on your iPhone (it’s in the ‘Settings’ menu under iOS 4.3)
    (c) Use the iPad to access the Internet, maps, planning etc via the iPhone hotspot
    (d) Use the GPS on the iPad - OK, it’s on the same ‘chip’ as the 3G, but the 3G doesn’t need to be on an active data plan for the GPS to work.

    Well, I told you it was probably a dumb answer! Twenty-five years as a Professor and now an IT consultant ;-(((. From ‘hero to zero’

    Enjoy your vacation and your iPad. If you’re visiting Scotland bring coats, scarves, gloves, warm clothes, umbrellas, Wellington boots, midge cream....but no need to bring whisky.......or haggis.......

    Tim
    Scotland
  5. sjleworthy
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    sjleworthy Super Moderator Staff Member

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    are you sure? my 1st gen ipod Touch receives emails via wi-fi in sleep mode.
  6. RetiredProf
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    RetiredProf iPF Noob

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    *not*dumb at all!!


    Tim in Scotland --

    Your answer is actually quite precise and opens up a whole new topic for me to explore since I will need to recalculate from a financial standpoint. I was going to buy *EITHER* an iPad2 *OR* an I-phone. Sigh. But your work-around is really quite ingenious, at least to my mind. I've been actively wrestling with these electronics issues for several months now, and I must say I end each part of the problem mentally exhausted. :-(

    I'm off to the calculator ....

    BK in Ann Arbor

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