The iPad has quickly become a tech phenomenon. Within a year, it has almost resulted in the death of the net book and the birth of the tablet computer. True, others came before, but the iPad is the first tablet to become a mainstream hit. Apple wisely created a variety of models for you to chose from including those with wi-fi and those with wi-fi and 3G. The 3G models cost an extra hundred dollars, and many will ask if it is money well spent.
Both have their benefits. The wi-fi only model can connect to the internet anywhere that has an open wi-fi server or if you have the password to log onto the server. This is a wonderful idea as wi-fi is becoming more readily available. It also does run a hundred dollars less, and the iPad isn’t necessarily cheap, so saving money is always a plus.
However, having 3G definitely has its benefits also. 3G allows your iPad to log onto the internet even if you aren’t near a wi-fi hotspot. I personally think this is a great idea as the iPad becomes much more useful with the internet and there are some places where you just can’t get wi-fi access. Road trips and when in certain businesses readily spring to mind as times when a 3G network is preferable. Also, unlike most 3G devices, the iPad doesn’t require a contract, but instead allows users to sign up for a month at a time.
Fortunately, a new option has now arisen. My new favorite app is the “Cobrowser” app. It is available for $3.99 in the App Store. The cobrowser app allows people who have an iPhone and an iPad to share their 3G connection. If both devices have the application downloaded, you can turn on the bluetooth connectivity on both and launch the app. Your iPad will ask if you want to join a session with your iPhone. Click yes, and then your iPhone will similarly ask if you want to allow the iPad to join the session. Once again click yes, and you will get a browser that is very similar to Safari on your iPad and iPhone. Everything you do on one device will appear on the other device also. If you mainly rely on your iPad, your iPhone will ask if you want to follow the links clicked. Otherwise, you can click links or enter web addresses on the iPhone and have them load on the bigger iPad screen.
Apple has wisely allowed people to have multiple options on the iPad. If you want to just rely on wi-fi, you can save money. If you don’t have an iPhone, and want on the go internet, you need to buy the 3G model. On the other hand, if you have the iPhone and the iPad, the cobrowser app, you can just buy the wi-fi model, spend 4 dollars on a decent app, and still have the internet on your iPad when you are on the road. Like the BK says, have it your way. And if you want to know, when I finally got to buy my iPad, I settled on the wi-fi only and cobrowser option. So far, I have no regrets.