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View Full Version : Do many apps require 3G or is WIFI good enough?




chipmac64
Feb 20, 2012, 04:11 PM
I'm thinking of buying my first iPad but haven't decided if it will be a discounted iPad2 or the new one. I was pretty set on just getting a WIFI only version. Are there many popular apps that users are using that require an internet connection that makes buying a 3g version a must. I have an android phone and I notice that even many games need that data connection just to upload high scores or use openfeint. So if I buy a WIFI only model will I be limiting myself too much as to which apps I can run?



Dweez
Feb 20, 2012, 04:16 PM
I've got a wifi only version and am very pleased with it as I've got a good wifi setup at home, which is where I work. When traveling I make use of wifi hotspots, hotel wireless, etc.

drummingcraig
Feb 20, 2012, 06:28 PM
I am sure there are some games that do require an internet/data connection in order to play, however they would be few. The vast majority of games do not require any constant internet access to enjoy.

There are however, quite a few games which make use of both in-app purchases as well as Game Center or OpenFeint and both of those require an internet connection. BUT...that would just mean that you would need to wait until you were around wifi to either post a high score or upgrade the game with a purchase. You could still play the game without wifi.

Long story short, you will be just fine without a 3G or 4G (if you buy the iPad3) model and opting for the wifi only variant. Take that extra cash and use it to buy apps.games. :)

chipmac64
Feb 20, 2012, 08:28 PM
Thanks. That's what I figured. I'd just rather save the money from the 3G version and bump up the storage to get a 32GB WIFI instead of a 16GB. I don't want to hinder what I can and can't run because I'm limited to needing an internet connection and be searching for WIFI just to run an app that on a desktop wouldn't normally need net access then wish I had 3G for always on access.

drummingcraig
Feb 20, 2012, 08:39 PM
No you should be fine with the wifi only version. As long as you bear in mind that there are of course, some apps that are designed with a data connection in mind (Dropbox for one comes to mind, and other cloud utilities), you will be fine. I haven't really seen too many games that require constant data access aside from a couple Call of Duty style RPG's.

niuniu
Feb 20, 2012, 09:16 PM
Lots of places have Wifi too these days in public. Even McDonalds I think.

Stuff like using your iPad as a GPS device obviously you can't do, but you don't seem interested in that anyway :)

chipmac64
Feb 21, 2012, 01:17 PM
You see that's part of my quandary in making my final decision; even though I've looked at the app store to get an idea of which apps interest me there might be ones I haven't thought of until I have the iPad in hand. Having GPS is good for maps and weather but location based services could also be useful for some as yet unknown need. Can apps that need location services use WIFI location to function or is the GPS of the 3G models needed?

drummingcraig
Feb 21, 2012, 01:22 PM
You see that's part of my quandary in making my final decision; even though I've looked at the app store to get an idea of which apps interest me there might be ones I haven't thought of until I have the iPad in hand. Having GPS is good for maps and weather but location based services could also be useful for some as yet unknown need. Can apps that need location services use WIFI location to function or is the GPS of the 3G models needed?

You'll have the GPS location support in the wifi model. So if you're near wifi you'll be able to pinpoint your location on Google maps for instance. However any app which requires GPS AND data would not work without the constant data connection.

I think one important thing you should consider, is that worst case scenario...say you purchase a wifi only model iPad only to discover months later that you really need the 3g coverage, you could always pick up a personal hotspot device and use that. Certainly not as sexy (or possibly cost effective) as having the 3g iPad but it is certainly a failsafe plan.

chipmac64
Feb 21, 2012, 04:07 PM
Being that this will be my first iPad right now I'm leaning towards a 32GB WIFI only. If I find that hot spots are hard to come by or that a 3G connection is something I feel is warranted later on I can always upgrade. Now if I don't feel compelled to get a new iPad3 I could change those plans and pick up an iPad2 32GB WIFI+3G at a discount but something tells me that the iPad3 will win out.

initialsBB
Feb 22, 2012, 07:20 AM
Do you have the possibility to share the data connection of your cell phone ? Check your contract. I ditched the 16 GB 3G+wifi iPad to get a 32 GB wifi model. I use the internet connection from my iPhone via iOS tethering, and this works really well.

chipmac64
Feb 22, 2012, 10:20 AM
Do you have the possibility to share the data connection of your cell phone ? Check your contract. I ditched the 16 GB 3G+wifi iPad to get a 32 GB wifi model. I use the internet connection from my iPhone via iOS tethering, and this works really well.

LOL I wish. My cell phone is supplied from my job and its a Droid2 Global. But using my cell's data plan for personal reasons on my phone I try not to over do it, tethering it to my personal iPad would probably sent up a red flag. This is one reason I've toyed with the idea of buying a 3g iPad; I currently have the luxury of not paying my own cell phone bill + data plan. That's money that I can apply to a data plan for the iPad. Then again if I don't need to spend it it's more gas money in my pocket.

spaghetti head
Feb 22, 2012, 10:25 AM
Does a GPS app that uses downloaded maps require 3G? I know some of my iPhone GPS apps work without a cell signal. In fact the maps app knows where you are without a signal, it just can't show you.

takeshi74
Feb 22, 2012, 03:18 PM
You'll have the GPS location support in the wifi model. So if you're near wifi you'll be able to pinpoint your location on Google maps for instance.
No, the WiFi model has location services. It does not, however, have GPS. They're two entirely different things. Location services can use GPS but it does not have to use GPS. GPS does not use WiFi. WiFi is one method of determining location (among others).

Does a GPS app that uses downloaded maps require 3G?
If it has features that requires 3G (e.g. traffic, etc). Depends on the app. You can't make a broad, sweeping generalization that is true in every single situation.

I know some of my iPhone GPS apps work without a cell signal. In fact the maps app knows where you are without a signal, it just can't show you.
Right. GPS doesn't need cellular coverage (otherwise a lot of standalone GPS units would be useless). It relies on GPS satellites to determine location. Without data Maps can't download map data so your location info is useless in such situations.

spaghetti head
Feb 22, 2012, 04:01 PM
Without data Maps can't download map data so your location info is useless in such situations.

Not completely, I can bookmark a place in Maps, and then see where I was once I get a data connection.

ReallyBigFeet
Feb 23, 2012, 09:17 AM
The prevalence of "connectivity required" really depends on the app you need/want to use. The obvious example is streaming video/sound. No connectivity = no streaming.

There are also a lot of games that are multiplayer and either have no support for single-player/offline capabilities or the offline game is AI only and not the same thing (Shadow Era is a good example).

But look at your needs first, then decide which option works better for you. I have had both WiFi-only iPad 1 and iPad 2's and have never felt the need for 3G on either device. Then again, I always have a personal WiFi 'bubble' around me via my MiFi so I get the best of both worlds.

spaghetti head
Feb 23, 2012, 10:23 AM
If it has features that requires 3G (e.g. traffic, etc). Depends on the app. You can't make a broad, sweeping generalization that is true in every single situation.

Does Navigon require 3G?

chipmac64
Feb 23, 2012, 03:33 PM
The prevalence of "connectivity required" really depends on the app you need/want to use. The obvious example is streaming video/sound. No connectivity = no streaming.

There are also a lot of games that are multiplayer and either have no support for single-player/offline capabilities or the offline game is AI only and not the same thing (Shadow Era is a good example).

But look at your needs first, then decide which option works better for you. I have had both WiFi-only iPad 1 and iPad 2's and have never felt the need for 3G on either device. Then again, I always have a personal WiFi 'bubble' around me via my MiFi so I get the best of both worlds.


Good to know. I wasn't aware that there was a prevalence of multiplayer games for the iPad. I have no need to stream A/V so that's not an issue but that is one of the things I might change my mind about after owning one for a while.

That's what I'm most concerned about; the types of apps I don't foresee myself using until I own one and then all of the possibilities present themselves to me after the fact. I guess I'm leaning towards being one of those owners that would like to have 3G if the needs arises but doesn't see himself using it regularly so doesn't want to pay the upfront costs.

Ashka
Feb 23, 2012, 09:59 PM
First iPad wifi only.. ended up in hospital and would have been bored silly if my son hadn't lent me his 3G iPad..

iPad2 with 3G used for 5 weeks traveling around the UK. Maps app plus GPS was great. Great for traveling around New Zealand too for that matter..