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Old Dec 15, 2014, 07:38 AM   #1
Lemontwist
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Talking Solution for traveling grandma

I want to get my mom an iPad mini to stay connected with her grandkids when she is visiting her sister in California. She is there 4 - 5 months of the year. There is no internet where she is at. Honestly the only features she would ever use are FaceTime, messages and possibly the camera, although after 4 years she still doesn't know how to use the digital camera I bought her.

I was going to buy one with cellular (she is on my Verizon plan for her flip phone.), but that seemed like a waste of money when she wouldn't use it for over half of the year. Looking for best and cheapest option. Thanks
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Old Dec 15, 2014, 08:03 AM   #2
Jimpilot
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Originally Posted by Lemontwist View Post
I want to get my mom an iPad mini to stay connected with her grandkids when she is visiting her sister in California. She is there 4 - 5 months of the year. There is no internet where she is at. Honestly the only features she would ever use are FaceTime, messages and possibly the camera, although after 4 years she still doesn't know how to use the digital camera I bought her.

I was going to buy one with cellular (she is on my Verizon plan for her flip phone.), but that seemed like a waste of money when she wouldn't use it for over half of the year. Looking for best and cheapest option. Thanks
I would consider an IPhone 6+ if she can handle the size. She gets cellular Internet and the phone's camera.
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Old Dec 15, 2014, 08:28 AM   #3
Lemontwist
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There is no way she would ever be able to work it. She likes and wants simple in everything.
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Old Dec 15, 2014, 08:50 AM   #4
Jimpilot
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There is no way she would ever be able to work it. She likes and wants simple in everything.
I understand, my wife is the same way. I haven't found an answer yet.

Let me know if you find something.
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Old Dec 15, 2014, 09:05 AM   #5
melman101
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Why would it be a waste of money?

Buy the cellular model straight out. Then sign up for a pre-paid plan for those 4-5 months. And then cancel the plan for the rest of the time.

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Old Dec 15, 2014, 10:07 AM   #6
KeepCalmPeople
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Why would it be a waste of money?

Buy the cellular model straight out. Then sign up for a pre-paid plan for those 4-5 months. And then cancel the plan for the rest of the time.

Mel
Agreed. If she has no internet access for half the year (but presumably cellular data access) then getting a cellular iPad mini is the best choice, failing that a Mobile Hotspot. Given that she needs/wants a simple solution, the cellular iPad is it. Go prepaid month-to-month or see if Verizon will suspend service for a few months each year.
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Old Yesterday, 05:03 AM   #7
Wrathwitch
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I don't know what kind of data plan you have but it would have to be unlimited. Streaming via Facetime on cellular would cost a MINT (at least here in Canada).

I think the mini would be a great idea tbh, however phones work great for communication and I am sure your mom is quite comfortable with it.

I am sometimes guilty of trying to "enlighten my parents" with things that I feel would make their lives easier, only for them to still resort to pen and paper. It's what they are comfy with, but I have taught my mom how to use the ipad and she loves it, dad loves it, and facetime is her favorite thing.

As far as it being expensive for only 4-5 months use, well she is your mom and if she is worth a bit of cost to make her happy and you can do it, nothing should be holding you back.
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Old Yesterday, 11:57 AM   #8
donnaw
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I don't know what kind of data plan you have but it would have to be unlimited. Streaming via Facetime on cellular would cost a MINT (at least here in Canada).

I think the mini would be a great idea tbh, however phones work great for communication and I am sure your mom is quite comfortable with it.

I am sometimes guilty of trying to "enlighten my parents" with things that I feel would make their lives easier, only for them to still resort to pen and paper. It's what they are comfy with, but I have taught my mom how to use the ipad and she loves it, dad loves it, and facetime is her favorite thing.

As far as it being expensive for only 4-5 months use, well she is your mom and if she is worth a bit of cost to make her happy and you can do it, nothing should be holding you back.
I've use FaceTime here in the states and the data usage isn't bad. Skype is a bit lighter but not by much. And switching to voice only uses almost nothing.

OP, I'm a 'traveling grandma'. Get her a cellular iPad. Get her an ATT data plan. She can go month-to-month, canceling several months at a time with no issues.

If all she does is FaceTime and some surfing, 3-5 gigs a month will be fine. She can start with just 1-2 and see how it holds up and can buy more if she likes.

As I said, Skype uses a bit less data than FaceTime. I used both to talk to my husband, who worked overseas, for years. If she doesn't like to use too much data and talking is all they do, switch to voice only. I used to switch the camera on and off all the time during calls.
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