24 Aug Wi-Fi…ght it: 5 Quick Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Wi-Fi Only Tablet
Just because your Wi- Fi only tablet lacks cellular network connectivity, doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get a lot out of it.
To get the most out of your Wi-Fi only tablet, you don’t have to confine yourself to your home, Cafe’s, shopping centres or other public areas with Wi-Fi connection. To find out how, follow these quick tips below!
You can tether your phone to act a wireless modem for your tablet, by using your phone’s built-in tethering ability. Telstra offers tethering to most 3G and 4G devices (referred to by Telstra as a ‘personal hotspot’). However, take note of the fact that tethering your phone will use the data allowance included in your data pack (if you have one) or you will be charged pay as you go rates if you do not have included data or if you exceed your data allowance. If you plan on tethering your phone, it is recommended to ensure you have a data pack applied (if you do not have included data in your plan), as Pay As You Go rates are high. Currently, Telstra do not charge an additional fee for tethering.
As an alternative to tethering (particularly if you do not want to exhaust your smartphone’s data allowance), a mobile hotspot may just be the solution for you.
A dedicated mobile hotspot will be more effective than tethering your smart phone, as in most cases you will experience faster speeds and more reliable coverage than a tethered phone’s connection. The other benefit of choosing a mobile hotspot, is that tethering is a battery drainer, whereas mobile hotspots usually deliver a substantial amount of hours of battery life.
Telstra offer two solutions for Mobile Hotspots, which are available through Phonenomena:
Preload Magazines and books + Read It Later
One of the main attractions for purchasing a tablet, is its suitability to function as an eReader. It’s lightweight (and thus ultra portable), has a large, well lit screen and allows you to store tons of reading material without needing to lug around a heavy bag.
With that being said, a great way to ensure you always have something to peruse over while commuting to and from work is to try preload some eMagazines and books onto your Wi-Fi only tablet, so you can read at your leisure without an Internet connection.
Zinio, free to download for both Android and iOS tablets allows you to subscribe to hundreds of magazines (in full color), which you can download before you travel outside of your Wi-Fi zone. You do have to pay for the subscription and many of the magazines offered by this app are merely PDFs of the print versions, rather than interactive, touch screen optimised apps, but for magazine lovers, this proposes a great way to get your fix on a Wi-Fi only tablet.
If this isn’t enough for the avid readers out there, or for those of you who prefer reading Web pages rather than magazines or books on your tablet, ‘read it later’ apps might just be the thing for you.
Pocket (formerly ‘Read It later’) lets you save Web pages from your computer, by email, or directly from select apps to a special ‘Read It Later’ list. Once you have saved something to your list, you can open it from any of your devices, assuming that you’ve connected to the Internet long enough for your list to update. Pocket is available for free on both Android and iOS.
Making Calls And Sending Texts
Just because you don’t have a phone or data plan doesn’t mean that you can’t send text messages or make calls!
Though many of you would question the reason for needing to use a tablet to text or call (afterall that is what a phone is for), texting/ video calling casually can end up saving you money on your monthly bill with a Wi-Fi tablet.
More often than not you will find yourself using your Wi-Fi only tablet on.. well… Wi-Fi, which makes using Pinger (formerly TextFree) for Android and iOS, a handy app to have around. This free app allows you to send unlimited text messages and picture messages, in addition to unlimited talk time for free to anyone around the world with the app. By free, Pinger is referring to the fact that the app does not utilise any call minutes from your monthly plan, but rather makes use of data. Of course, if you use the app using the cellular network rather than Wi-Fi, you will end up chewing through your data, but for those with plenty of access to Wi-Fi this app will be a great, as great savings will be had for your monthly phone bill.
The other option is to use video chat service such as Skype (Android and iOS) and FaceTime (pre installed for iOS), which, while once again essentially providing a free way to call a friend or family member, does use data, making a Wi-Fi connection very favourable.
Share Files Between Devices Wirelessly
While usually tablets aren’t used extensively for productivity purposes, there will be times where you will want to transfer files between your tablet and computer or even between devices. Sending files wirelessly is among the easiest ways to accomplish this.
You can use apps such as Wi-Fi files for iOS or WiFi File Explorer Pro for Android to allow you to transfer files between your tablet and your computer via a Wi-Fi connection. This presents a much simpler and convenient way as opposed to emailing files to yourself.
The other option, of course, is to use syncing apps such as SugarSync (Android and iOS) and Dropbox (Android and iOS), which will automatically sync your selected files with all of your devices when you are connected to the internet.
For the Wi-Fi only tablet users out there, share your tips for making the most out of your Wi-Fi only tablet!