iPad mini Solution for traveling grandma

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Lemontwist, Dec 15, 2014.

  1. Lemontwist macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2014
    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
  2. Jimpilot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2014
    DFW, Texas
    I would consider an IPhone 6+ if she can handle the size. She gets cellular Internet and the phone's camera.
  3. Lemontwist thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2014
    There is no way she would ever be able to work it. She likes and wants simple in everything.
  4. Jimpilot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2014
    DFW, Texas
    I understand, my wife is the same way. I haven't found an answer yet.

    Let me know if you find something.
  5. melman101 macrumors 68030

    Sep 3, 2009
    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.

  6. KeepCalmPeople macrumors 65816


    Sep 5, 2012
    San Francisco Bay Area, California
    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.
  7. Wrathwitch macrumors 65816

    Dec 4, 2009
    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.
  8. donnaw macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2011
    Austin TX
    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.
  9. duaneu macrumors 6502a

    Jun 19, 2010
    Bellevue, WA
    T-Moblie also has good iPad data plans that are easy to start and stop, if she's in an area the gets good reception from T-mo.
  10. rigormortis, Dec 21, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014

    rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    with t-mobile you get unlimited music streaming on paid iPad plans ($20 or more) just like you would get on a phone plan of $50 or more

    starting 1/1/15 , the same 1 gig plan $20 plan will be eligible for roll over data as well. you get 10 gigs of free data too, on a phone , you need 3 GB $60 at least go get roll over data

    whatever she does not use gets rolled over.

    if you don't want to pay for t-moble, you still get 200 mb of free data a month just for asking

    music freedom list

    with music freedom, the app is white listed and any music does not go against your high speed data limit. some data , like for thumbnails, lyrics, is used.

    playing music in a web browser or using wifi hotspot is not covered.

    if you use up your high speed data on a paid plan, the speed is slowed down till the next month
    if you use up your free high speed data, the data is shut off entirely, until the next moth

    any cellular iPad will work on t-mobile. if it does not come with a sim card, you might have to pay $6 ( amazon) or $15 ( t-mobile store ) for a new sim card. when buying sim cards dirt cheap online, like from amazon or eBay, bug them for the expiration date. they need to be activated before the expiration date.

    it is recommended you buy iPad air, iPad air 2, iPad mini retina 2 , or iPad mini retina 3 for t-mobile because they have the LTE channels that t-mo runs on

    if you buy an older one, it might only work on HSPDA+ (4G), which is okay too , its just slower

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