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iPad

Royal Tunbridge...
posts: 21
reviews: 6
iPad

We are going to the US for three weeks this summer, and I'm wondering what is the best thing to do to be able to use the iPad for maps and information etc. whilst in the middle of nowhere.

I presume we'll have to buy some kind of sim card for it ? ...Is there a special one I would have to buy, would it cost much, would it work out in the wilds of Arizona?

I hoping that one of you clever people out there may be able to help me. We're coming from the UK by the way, and niether of us know that much about 'gadgets' !!!

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney
posts: 11,820
reviews: 30
1. Re: iPad

Yes, you'll require a micro-sim card for your iPad. As for connectivity in the middle of 'nowhere' you'll have to check with whoever your service provider will be.

Also make sure you inform the service provider that you'll be using it in the US, and shop around to compare rates.

Edited: 5:38 pm, May 10, 2013
White Beach...
Destination Expert
for Tasmania
posts: 729
reviews: 53
2. Re: iPad

For maps, we bought the tomtom app for Europe. This way you don't need wifi or 3G as the maps are loaded on the iPad and the satellite reception is independent of these. A sim is useful for info but using it for maps like googlemsps sucks data usage fast. I don't know what deals are in US but Europe is expensive to get unlimited.

Syracuse, New York
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, West Bay, Syracuse
posts: 2,406
reviews: 64
3. Re: iPad

Also, mobile coverage in the "wilds" of Arizona is really spotty - I suppose it depends just how into the "wilds" you are really going to be getting. I seem to recall that on the drive from Page up on the Utah border to Flagstaff with a detour through Hopi country I didn't have cell service (not even phone) for large chunks of it.

If SatNav is your concern, then definitely buy or rent one.

You can check coverage for the major providers at their websites:

Verizon: verizonwireless.com/wcms/consumer/4g-lte.html

AT&T: www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/#…

Sprint: http://coverage.sprint.com/IMPACT.jsp?

WiFi hotspots also become your friend on trips like that!\

Hope this helps.

Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Travel Gadgets and Gear
posts: 9,802
reviews: 195
4. Re: iPad

Assuming you have a GSM iPad T-Mobile and AT&T are your choices (not Verizon). Be cautious of coverage maps on the websites as they are more restrictive for pre-paid SIMs. Frankly, as noted, a far better idea is just spending $100 on a GPS unit here in the USA that doesn't require a continual connection. You'll find trying to get a broadband data signal in remote areas both expensive and unreliable.

Good luck.

Royal Tunbridge...
posts: 21
reviews: 6
5. Re: iPad

Thanks very much for all your help. I think maybe a satnav and my old maps are the way to go !!!

Montreal, Canada
posts: 25,489
reviews: 457
6. Re: iPad

Many misinformed comments above. Google maps don't suck data fast as said above, you just turn off the data. It works off the GPS satellite.

I often use Google Maps as my GPS and it worked fine driving around Shanghai, in remote areas in China as well as in the Southwest US, giving me turn-by-turn directions, all offline.

I used my iPhone last fall driving the national parks from South Lake City down to San Francisco and in many areas, cell signal was non existent. But the GPS always worked, even in the middle of the desert. It does eat up your battery though, so better get a car charger. It is also better to give specific destinations. When I entered "Death Valley National Park', it was taking me to the park but not the entrance.

You need to be online to download your route. You can do this with the hotel wifi or use data for a very short amount of time. My service provider back home was offering a special roaming package of 100MB for a good price.I was only using data to get my emails and some news when there was no free wifi and to download the "maps". I was actually expecting more places to have wifi in the US. Even the San Francisco airport, next to Silicon Valley, does not have its own wifi network.

The best thing is for you to get familiar with google maps before you leave. Enter destinations, get the itinerary and turn off data. If you know ahead of time where you will go, you can enter (bookmark) these places on your laptop in your google account. No need to find the addresses and enter them later. Save time and avoids mistakes.

White Beach...
Destination Expert
for Tasmania
posts: 729
reviews: 53
7. Re: iPad

Ok, I agree you can download routes and directions but what I meant was that using the maps feature of google maps (rather than just having a route planner with directions) is what sucks data. I don't always know ahead of time where I'm gong and personally like to look at a map so I can see other features. Fr me it works better to have a sat nav with all maps available at all times.

Montreal, Canada
posts: 25,489
reviews: 457
8. Re: iPad

Sure, but in my case my iPhone is already paid for, so no need to buy another device. Similarly, if you already have a GPS, you may as well use it.

No need to plan so far ahead. I just do it as I leave the hotel. Or I turn on data for about one minute while sitting in the car. But if you have your hotel bookings already, you may as well enter them.

Edited: 4:21 am, May 26, 2013
Syracuse, New York
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, West Bay, Syracuse
posts: 2,406
reviews: 64
9. Re: iPad

Google maps to cache a route works fine as long as you stick to that route and don't get lost. I agree that the GPS itself doesn't need a data plan. The trouble is, the one time I ABSOLUTELY need updated maps is if I get lost, or take a bit of a detour. Then Google Maps without a dataplan falls flat on its face.

I tend to like to take detours if something interests me whilst travelling, so I would need either printed maps, a satnav/GPS with maps built in, or a data plan.

Montreal, Canada
posts: 25,489
reviews: 457
10. Re: iPad

Of course that depends on your needs and situation. There is no universal solution.

Edited: 4:08 am, May 28, 2013