Using iPad without Wi-Fi access
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: Thanks for your very thorough review of the iPad Wi-Fi. I’m in the elderly category, and therefore have little knowledge really of the iPhone or iPod touch, although I’ve had an iPod for 5 years. Your review naturally addresses the general populace, but as a senior I have a question that perhaps a younger person would not have: If one buys the Wi-Fi version, will one be able to use most apps without Internet access, or do most of them require Internet? I’m interested in playing games or entertaining myself somehow on long car journeys, for example. I have wireless Internet at home, so that’s covered. I’m assuming Safari does not work without an Internet connection, so web surfing is out, but I am unsure about the apps.
A: The good news is that you generally only need Wi-Fi access to do those things that actually need Internet connectivity. Obviously applications such as Safari and Mail fall into this category, as do the iTunes Store and App Store. Calendar and Contacts can be synced over USB from iTunes or transferred wirelessly via Apple’s MobileMe service, but even in that case a constant connection is not required to actually use these apps but merely to transfer data to them.
The built-in photos, videos and iPod applications do not require any Wi-Fi access at all. Instead, content is loaded on from iTunes via a normal iPod-style USB connection to your computer. In fact, you’ll find that for media content, the iPad syncs with iTunes in much the same way that your iPod already does, and all content is stored locally on the device.
Using the iPad for reading works in much the same way. Although iBooks and Kindle Books are initially downloaded to your device over Wi-Fi, once the download is complete they’re stored on your iPad and you don’t need any kind of Internet access to actually read them.
Likewise, the vast majority of games do not require any kind of online access at all. Some games offer additional features such as online scoreboards that you can use if you’re connected to the Internet, but these are not required to actually play the game. There are a few exceptions to this, such as multi-player games that require online access and some of the newer games that are more focused on social networking aspects that single-player enjoyment.
The bottom line is that most of the iPad functions that require Internet access are pretty obvious by their very nature: Checking e-mail, opening web sites, downloading new applications, and so forth. If you’re not concerned about doing those sorts of things while away from home you should be able to happily enjoy your iPad.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple partners with SAP for mobile enterprise solutions
- Apple adds Accessibility section to its online store
- LAPD hacked into iPhone 5s for murder investigation
- More details emerge on Apple Music overhaul
- iPhone tops Time’s list of most influential gadgets
- Kohl’s integrates rewards system with Apple Pay
- Apple hires ex-Nest exec to aid in health initiatives
- Apple loses exclusive ‘iPhone’ trademark in China
- Apple to reveal ‘sweeping changes’ to Apple Music interface at WWDC
- Apple releases fourth developer betas for iOS 9.3.2, tvOS 9.2.1
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt with HomeKit support
- ClamCase ClamCase Pro for iPad mini 4
- Brydge BrydgeMini II Keyboard for iPad mini 4
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)