Those of you with an LTE iPad...

Discussion in 'iPad' started by alanderp, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. alanderp macrumors regular


    Sep 15, 2016
    Hey all,

    Picked up a 12.9” iPad Pro a few days ago only to find out it’s much too big for my usage and liking, so I’ve decided on getting the 11” version to accompany my 15” mbp instead. Unfortunately, my new dilemma is choosing between the 64gb LTE model (cloud storage with internet access 24/7) or 256gb wifi only model (storing everything local with chance of no wifi or not wanting to hotspot)

    My usage is primarily media consumption as well as note taking + digital book storage to finish up my last couple years in college as a business major.

    I’m able to add a $25/ month unlimited data for a tablet with my phone plan, but I was just wondering, for those of you with the LTE iPad, how often do you find yourself actually needing the data? I know some folks get the LTE version just to have LTE as an option and for the accurate GPS, but in all seriousness, how often will you need GPS on an iPad if you have an iPhone? (serious question)
  2. DoubleFlyaway macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2017
    For me it’s a luxury. Obviously I could tether. But I use the iPad more out and about if I don’t have to bother. Today, cheering up my daughter at the doctor by streaming videos, browsing while I ate lunch, etc.
  3. Eugr macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2018
    Serious answer - there are some specific use cases where you want to have built-in GPS on iPad. For instance, I’m a pilot, and I use my iPad in the cockpit as a secondary source for navigation and for approach charts. I usually connect to external GPS, but it’s nice to have a backup.

    If it wasn’t for this use case, I’d be fine with WiFi-only iPad.
  4. alanderp thread starter macrumors regular


    Sep 15, 2016
    I forgot about this, besides this answer haha!
  5. Freakonomics101 macrumors 68000


    Nov 6, 2014
    I like having the data access in case there’s no Wi-Fi around. As far as tethering goes, that uses up more power on my iPhone. I get a gig of data for free every month on the AT&T network from FreedomPop so it’s quite nice to have the data access.
  6. Patriks7 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2008
    I guess the answer depends where you live. When I got my last iPad (~5 years ago?), I got it with LTE since wifi wasn't as readily available in the places I would to take it to. And I wanted to use it as a GPS in the car, but that was in the days of the tiny screened iPhone 4. My current iPad, which I got just recently, I decided to go for the route of no LTE and higher memory, since pretty much everywhere I go there is some sort of wifi and my iPhone XS screen is plenty for GPS. Also, personally I would never do it for the $25/month, biggest reason I went for it with my last iPad was that I got 20GB for 3€/month.
  7. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    LTE was a life saver for me when the hurricane came though. No electric or WiFi but We still had LTE and is was nice keeping track of the outside world with my iPad. Would not have an iPad with out it.
  8. Mabus51 macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2007
    I use the LTE often as I’m pretty mobile in my line of work. I find public WiFi to much of a security risk and tethering to much of a battery drain. Plus if your on the phone tethering is slow and an even bigger drain on the battery.
  9. DNichter macrumors 604


    Apr 27, 2015
    Philadelphia, PA
    I just use my phone when needed and have always gone WiFi only. I don’t see a reason to spend more.
  10. flur macrumors 68020


    Nov 12, 2012
    I live in the middle of nowhere and having the LTE when we lose power at the house is super helpful. Also, I travel fairly often and it saves me from constantly buying WiFi access, and it’s a bit more secure than an open WiFi network. If I lived an always-have-WiFi-access life, I don’t think I’d bother to pay for the one or two times the LTE is more convenient. But as I quite often find myself without it when I need it to work, I went with the LTE. (Also, I only pay $10/month on my plan, which makes it an easier decision).
  11. Lobwedgephil macrumors 601


    Apr 7, 2012
    I use my LTE data everyday, but that is my use case. For you, looking for media consumption, etc. The bigger storage may benefit you more, assuming you have wifi everywhere you need it.
  12. tivoboy macrumors 68040

    May 15, 2005
    Frankly, I've had LTE on my last two ipads, and it's nice to get something like the tmobile 5GB for 10$ for five months (one time 10$ fee) for the times when I'm not in a wifi bubble, but frankly I've used it probably 2-3 times A YEAR in the past 2-3 years. This round, I tried the 11" but didn't like the form factor and FaceID as lock/unlock. So, getting a 10.5" instead I could only get a deal on the NON LTE models. Wifi models were like 500$ for a 64GB and 624$ for a 256GB model (my preference). If I wanted LTE they were just not on sale and would have been nearly 300$ more (not the usual 125-150$ premium). I'm fine with it, I always have my phone and of course there is tethering there.

    If one REALLY needed the more accurate GPS and wanted the device to be truly independent then of course LTE makes sense to have, but it can be a pretty significant premium just to have a few times a year.
  13. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    You can put in a FreedomPop sim, right? 200MB/month for free - pay as you go for extra. 200MB is plenty for the occasional email check here and there.


    Nov 14, 2018
    I bought an LTE Mini 4 and used it for about a year. It was convenient not to have to look for Wifi or connect via hotspot, but I found when I took my iPad with me, my iPhone was never far behind. Pretty much pointless to high two LTE devices within reach at the same time. I canceled the service on the iPad and started using hotspot. After a while connecting became second nature and I saved some money each month.
  15. DoubleFlyaway macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2017
    I will add... sometimes I leave my phone at home and go out with my iPad and my watch. If I could drop the phone service all together, I’d consider it.
  16. flur macrumors 68020


    Nov 12, 2012
    I would too.
  17. BaddAdvice macrumors regular


    Jul 9, 2016
    I like having my media locally so I can watch/listen to things while on planes (I find the wifi on flights spotty at best), so I opted for the 256gb model. Also, my mobile bill is expensive enough already.

    Plus, aren’t all the LTE models bent out of the box? ;) I’ll be down the hall if you need me......
  18. sparksd macrumors 68000

    Jun 7, 2015
    Seattle WA
    I have LTE on my 10.5 and use the T-Mobile 5GB/150 days/$10 plan. Having LTE is convenient and I don't care to tether. The GPS comes in handy at times when using the iPad as a nice, large-screen mapping device. It's all worth it to me.
  19. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    Honestly, I don't like using my phone for web browsing, etc. Screen is just too small even on the Plus/Max models and I prefer the more squarish aspect ratio on the iPad. Only thing I use my iPhone for is camera and calls.

    I don't think I'll pay $25/mo for service, though. I'm currently paying $10/mo which isn't so bad. It does suck that there are rarely any deals on LTE models, though (apart from carrier contracts/installment plans).
  20. Wags, Dec 12, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018

    Wags macrumors 6502a

    Mar 5, 2006
    Nebraska, USA
    Much easier to have LTE when need it. Better than tethering. Need to decide/match the value of plan and how much you use.
  21. gnomeisland macrumors 6502a

    Jul 30, 2008
    New York, NY

    I really like the occasional, necessary access LTE gives me. If a monthly subscription were a requirement I probably wouldn't get LTE. However, the T-mobile plans are perfect and LTE saved me enough times when I just had my LTE iPad mini that it is almost a requirement in my mind. GPS is also really nice, IMO, as I prefer to do trip planning and research on my iPad whenever possible.

    While certainly a luxury, I justify LTE on an iPad like I did buying a laser printer. I rarely print anymore but when I do, I need to do it NOW, with good quality, and no fuss. Sure, inkjet is cheaper (and better at some things I print) but because I wasn't printing consistently enough, ink was drying out and every time I needed to print something I wasted a lot of time and mental energy. My laser printer is big (residual downside) but I no longer remember the cost because the convenience and reliability has saved me so many times. Small leverage points, big savings over time.

    Just prior to buying my new iPad I was traveling and ran out of data on my LTE mini. I decided I would tether during the trip and (while it has worked flawlessly in the past) it turned into a nightmare. It was likely a software fix that may be patched now with the latest iOS (or just an issue with my aging iPhone 6) but regardless, I plan to keep this iPad for 4-5 years and the extra $130 is quickly paying for itself in those saved moments of time/frustration.
  22. Rhonindk macrumors 68040


    LTE was handy to have, especially traveling. Couldn't always count on hotel and other wifi and utilizing my phone as a hotspot was spotty at best, based on location, usually when I needed it most. Found myself using it (iPad LTE) frequently.

    Now, could I do without it? Yes. It is a convenience for me. Still, as things go, it is a pretty nice one to have.
  23. tgara macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2012
    Connecticut, USA
    This is a good point and one I forgot about when storms put out the electricity in my area for about a week. Had LTE on my iPad and I could actually get work done and stay in communication with the electric service.

    I'll always get the LTE version. It removes one friction point of tethering, etc. which makes a big difference IMHO.
  24. sosumi99 macrumors 6502


    Oct 27, 2003
    Huge fan of the LTE option. I find tethering to be unreliable (and rate-capped even when it works) and the public wifi hotspots in coffeeshops so slow as to be unusable. I use my iPad for a lot of productivity tasks (marking up contracts, edits with the Apple Pencil, email, chat, etc.), and I would never get another iPad for such uses without LTE.

    (I would probably be very happy with a Pixel Slate too, but they don't have an LTE version, so that's a no go for me)
  25. Silver Idaten macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2015
    Stratford, CT
    When I got my new 10.5 Pro, I also brought back my old iPad line from the graveyard of T-Mobile Prepaid. It’s great not having to worry about tethering or finding a WiFi connection anymore.

Share This Page