iPad Air info please

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island
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iPad Air info please

Post by island »

Thinking of buying an iPad Air this weekend. Not interested in any other tablet so would appreciate keeping the focus on the iPad. We have wireless at home and we have iPhones with cellular plan thru ATT and not changing carrier.

For the iPad I keep debating: storage space 16GB or 32? WiFi only or add cellular plan?

WiFi seems to be everywhere so think that will be sufficient as does lower GB since not a gamer, but I don't know, am I missing some finer points?

Imagine primary use will be surfing the net, responding to Boglehead threads, email, texts, propping it in my kitchen for online recipes, saving sites to favorites, online shopping, taking it on travel where most hotels have WiFi, listening to Pandora.

Avid reader, but never used a tablet or eReader because I still have a large stash of books to read, but imagine I will want to give it a whirl if I have an iPad. Most likely download books from the library, but may purchase if I fall in love with the format. Will I need more than 16GB for library downloads or if I start purchasing e-books?

Don't want to pay for features I wont need, but also don't want to scrimp on features that will cause the device to be slow or ineffective because my knowledge is limited regarding every thing it can do.

If using it like a computer I would like a case with a keyboard that I could prop on a table. When reading obviously don't need a keyboard, but would still like it protected with a lightweight cover I could fold back or open like a book. Is there a case/cover that fits the bill for both?
Any must have features, accessories, etc?
I read it doesn't have a USB port, do you see that as a negative?
Lastly, any recommendations on where to buy or is the price the same everywhere?

I have some days off this week and have the time to investigate options and was hoping you could point me in the right direction and give me some tips from your own experience.
Appreciate any guidance from you experienced tech heads. Thanks!
Snapper
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by Snapper »

Just got one to replace first gen ipad. It is awesome. Very thin and light. Screen is amazing. You will want a case or cover of some sort and if you type a lot get a Bluetooth keyboard. Lack of USB port is not relevant. You would not use it. I bought directly from Apple as price was very close to other stores. I should disclose we are fanatical Mac people and have been since the first ones came out in the 80s.
snyder66
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by snyder66 »

I do not own one. But, I would suggest getting as much memory as you can afford.
Snapper
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by Snapper »

A couple more things. 16 gig is a great plenty. Unless you are doing a lot of video I would not pay for more. As to cases they all pretty much allow you to prop them up at a table. Check styles and reviews at Amazon. We have two iPads and do not use a phone data service. It is pretty rare when you want to use it where wifi is not available. And it is the best e reader. Your Kindle will be quickly set aside. In summary I would go 16 gig wifi only. That should hold you until the next big innovation when you will want a new one!
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island
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by island »

Snapper wrote:Just got one to replace first gen ipad. It is awesome. Very thin and light. Screen is amazing. You will want a case or cover of some sort and if you type a lot get a Bluetooth keyboard. Lack of USB port is not relevant. You would not use it. I bought directly from Apple as price was very close to other stores. I should disclose we are fanatical Mac people and have been since the first ones came out in the 80s.
Snapper great info. Can you please tell me did you purchase 16GB or ? Wireless only or additional cellular plan? Those are the 2 thinks I'm still debating. Thanks.
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island
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by island »

Snapper wrote:A couple more things. 16 gig is a great plenty. Unless you are doing a lot of video I would not pay for more. As to cases they all pretty much allow you to prop them up at a table. Check styles and reviews at Amazon. We have two iPads and do not use a phone data service. It is pretty rare when you want to use it where wifi is not available. And it is the best e reader. Your Kindle will be quickly set aside. In summary I would go 16 gig wifi only. That should hold you until the next big innovation when you will want a new one!
Looks like we were both writing at the same time and you answered my burning questions! Appreciate it.
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pteam
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by pteam »

I just upgraded to the ipad air. It's amazing and the new size is significantly smaller yet uses the same size screen. Wifi only is what we've had for years and works fine. Also the battery last longer in tests, the battery takes hours less time to charge, and it's a lot faster too. If you had an older ipad the resolution will be much greater.

We also have 16gb and it's fine . That will be just fine for books, if you download a lot of movies to the ipad then you might need more space but you can just delete the movies your done with.

Also don't buy the $80 case from apple but get like an $8 from ebay or amazon. Just get a case that covers the front and back.
Snapper
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by Snapper »

One more thought. You can more than save the cost of the ipad the first year with subscriptions. Things like your local paper, WSJ and many other publications are much cheaper on digital subscriptions. We had a hard time making the adjustment to no paper but after using the mobile version are sold on it. Always on time, never late or wet, and one quarter of the cost of physical delivery.
sandburg
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by sandburg »

We have the 16gb. iPad with Wi-Fi only. Our next one will have the maximum amount of memory though. I regret not buying the 64gb.
mhalley
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by mhalley »

I found I needed the 32mg one, stepping down from the 64gb ist generation, ymmv. I think the only reason I would get one with a cell phone included would be if you find yourself with a lot of time to kill in areas where there are no wifi access. Keep in mind you have to pay for a data plan. (The only exception being if you already are a t-mobile customer, they say you can get 200mb a month for life if you buy it from them, but there may be caveats involved).
http://bgr.com/2013/11/04/t-mobiles-fre ... -attached/

Later on if you decide you really need it where there is no wifi, you could always buy a wifi hotspot.
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island
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by island »

sandburg wrote:..... I regret not buying the 64gb.
Hi Sandburg. Can you please explain?
How did having the 16 instead of 64GB impact your use? What tasks would have benefited from more?
Thanks.
jebmke
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by jebmke »

island wrote:
sandburg wrote:..... I regret not buying the 64gb.
Hi Sandburg. Can you please explain?
How did having the 16 instead of 64GB impact your use? What tasks would have benefited from more?
Thanks.
I think the key will be how you use it. Apps take up quite a bit of space these days but the real memory hogs are music, pictures, and videos.

Just as an example, I have over 32g of music on my home computer. I don't store all of it on my phone but I do port quite a bit to the phone. In my case, I have a 32g SD card on the phone for extra space. I don't know if Apple devices have a slot for SD cards. If so, that is an option to expand later.
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jackholloway
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by jackholloway »

I have a roughly half full 128G retina iPad mini, but I also tried the air. The air was very cool, but I wanted something a bit lighter.

The ram is useful - I have dozens of movies, gigabytes of books, and scads of pictures. I could certainly cut it back, but it is very convenient not having to plan which movies are coming on an international flight. Further, I can backup photos to it while I travel without having to cull first.

As far as wifi vs cell, tmobile gives 200M of data free, and after exceeding the cap, they just throttle. This lets me use my iPad as a backup nav device.
Gleevec
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by Gleevec »

I have the 16gb iPad air and it is amazing. You may need to use dropbox/google drive/sky drive/flickr for cloud storage, but everything else can go on HD with no trouble
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BTDT
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by BTDT »

FWIW- If you find yourself in a 'wifi-poor' area, you can use your iPhone as a hot spot
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harrychan
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by harrychan »

Get the 32 GB. 16gb is grossly insufficient. Lots of apps are quite large in size and they became even bigger with iOS 7. Do not get one with cellular. Instead, go and get a freedom pop WiFi modem where you can get 500mb free per month. If you add enough friends, you can increase that to 1gb a month for free. That's what I have now. There is a group on deal for freesompop for $18 shipped I think.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
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walkabout
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by walkabout »

I have a 16GB 3rd gen iPad. I wish I had at least 32GB. Actually, 32GB would probably be sufficient.

When I upgraded the os to iOS 7, I needed 3GB+ free space to be able to download the update. I had to delete some stuff to make room.

My big space eaters are:
Messages (iMessage - I'm not real big on deleting messages, so they build up)
Photos (mostly from PhotoStream, not from photos taken with iPad)
Apps (not really a ton of apps, but taken together, they do end up taking up a fair amount of room)
Magazines

Some apps, like WAPO, take up a tremendous amount of room (1+ GB)

I don't even have any music, ebooks (I use Kindle for that), or audio books or podcasts (I use iPhone for that) on the iPad.

Bottom line, when I replace my current iPad, I will get a 32 GB one.

My iPad is wifi. I typically use it at home, in hotels, or when visiting family (who have wifi).
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Kenkat
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by Kenkat »

I have an iPad 2 16GB with Verizon cellular service (I am on it right now in fact). I've had mine for about 2-1/2 years.

What you will need will depend in large part in how you use it. I still have nearly 8GB free on mine. I don't keep any music on it, though, as I use my son's old iTouch 32GB for that (he got an iPhone). I also only download videos when I know I am going to need to watch them, such as on a long plane flight, so don't ever have too much there either (I guess I am a planner). I mainly use email and browse the web, with occasional use for apps or games. I probably have maybe 40-50 or so installed. I also download free ebooks from the public library but those typically take very little space and don't stay on the device that long.

I do really like the cellular service. I don't use it a lot (I only have a 1GB plan at $20/mo), but it is nice to always be connected - in the car, at the airport (free wifi is hit or miss), at the pool on vacation, etc. You may be able to tether to your iPhones too - I'd check with AT&T on that as well - although a direct connect is probably more convenient.

In terms of covers, I just like the Apple Smart Cover. Very thin and light. I've never really understood the appeal of having this nice lightweight portable device and then sticking a bulky, heavy case around it. It also functions somewhat as a stand although I use mine a little differently than the Apple standard by folding it over double. I am probably in the minority here on cases though and you do need to exercise some care as the Smart Cover doesn't really provide any back or side protection. I carry it in a soft sided electronics bag when I travel.

In terms of keyboards, I have the Apple Bluetooth keyboard. I use it less than I thought I would although it does come in handy when I am using the Citrix desktop remote app to get to my Windows desktop at work. Otherwise, the on-screen keyboard typically works fine. I also don't miss the USB port - there's lots of ways to use cloud services like Drpobox or Evernote or Box to get things to different places. Just takes a little getting used to.

Finally, on price, they are all pretty close. You might be able to get a $25 gift card to somewhere like Target or Best Buy if you time it right, but prices are all pretty close for the most part.

Good luck - I find mine to be an amazing device!
letsgobobby
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by letsgobobby »

agree, new iPad air is phenomenal. Much faster, charges seemingly in minutes (not really, but you can see the charge meter ticking up steadily), almost light enough to read like a Kindle, great screen. we have 16 GB and it is enough - we put a movie or two on it for the kids on a plane trip, then delete it when we get home.

My only complaint is that Safari seems less stable than on the older version. It seems to crash about once a day. Fortunately it restarts at exactly where it left off, so it's not a big deal, but it's annoying.
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Timoneer
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by Timoneer »

island wrote:Thinking of buying an iPad Air this weekend. Not interested in any other tablet so would appreciate keeping the focus on the iPad. We have wireless at home and we have iPhones with cellular plan thru ATT and not changing carrier.

For the iPad I keep debating: storage space 16GB or 32? WiFi only or add cellular plan?

WiFi seems to be everywhere so think that will be sufficient as does lower GB since not a gamer, but I don't know, am I missing some finer points?

Imagine primary use will be surfing the net, responding to Boglehead threads, email, texts, propping it in my kitchen for online recipes, saving sites to favorites, online shopping, taking it on travel where most hotels have WiFi, listening to Pandora.

Avid reader, but never used a tablet or eReader because I still have a large stash of books to read, but imagine I will want to give it a whirl if I have an iPad. Most likely download books from the library, but may purchase if I fall in love with the format. Will I need more than 16GB for library downloads or if I start purchasing e-books?
For your described uses, 16 GB is plenty on the iPad. You would only need more if you wanted to store tons of media on your device, such as movies, videos, and lots of music. eBooks do not take up much space. With cloud storage becoming more popular, the additional memory is rarely needed.

I do suggest that you get the cellular model, because GPS comes bundled with it. Even if you don't ever sign up for cellular service, you can use the GPS capability for free. I find it invaluable when I travel. Not just for road navigation, but many travel related apps work more smoothly by knowing automatically just where you are.
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Boglenaut
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by Boglenaut »

I used airline miles to get my daughter an iPad Air. She had filled up her 16 GB iPad 2, so I got 32 GB for her.

I have trouble getting a good morning paper since my WSJ subscription ran out, so I use her old iPad 2 (now mine) to read USA Today, Bogleheads, etc with my breakfast.

The iPad 2 is perfect for me as a light user. She's a heavy user so the iPad Air is great for her.

I have a work cell phone and most restaurants I go to have WiFi, so WiFi only is fine for me.

By the way, the best case I found was at Brookstone. Very clever and efficient design at a good price. But I wanted one without a keyboard. If I am doing heavy typing I use my PC still.
Draak
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by Draak »

32Gig fully consumed with apps for me & the kids (mostly games). 32 is the minimum I would recommend, but for myself I will go up to 64 on the next iPurchase.
TRC
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by TRC »

If you plan on keeping a lot of videos on it, go big. We have a 16G Ipad 2, but I'm constantly rotating my workout videos on it (P90X, T25, Insanity, etc) and am always running out of space. I'm contemplating getting the 64 or 128 so I can keep all of my videos on it without needing to add & remove them. If it weren't for my videos, I'd be fine with the 16.
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stickman731
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by stickman731 »

Get the 64GB storage with WiFi only. I just replaced an IPad2 with 64GB, Wifi and Verizon cellular with a new IPad Air 64GBwith WiFi only.

I never thought I would use the memory in the old one but I consumed 48GB with apps, music and videos. I paid $30/month for the cellular but hardly used it - cancelled it after one year. WiFi is everywhere these days even in airports you can get 30 mins free.

On the apps side, I highly recommend two AppAdvice and AppsGoneFree (alert you to apps that are free for the day).
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papiper
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by papiper »

It was only mentioned in one post, but I have the phone network enabled model in my iPads just to have a GPS chip inside. I have never activated the phone network, so there are no monthly bills, but the GPS allows many apps to use a lot more features. Just a few fun ones are:

yelp - restaurants nearby and directions
Geocaching (especially with kids)
driving around with Zillow and seeing the home prices live as you go past them
large driving screen for directions
Old Guy
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by Old Guy »

I bought the 64gig wireless. I dl tv shows for my wife to view when we are on an airplane. Otherwise I would have to talk to her.
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stickman731
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by stickman731 »

Old Guy wrote:I bought the 64gig wireless. I dl tv shows for my wife to view when we are on an airplane. Otherwise I would have to talk to her.
LOL - That is the best excuse ever only if she does not see your post.
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Boglenaut
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by Boglenaut »

papiper wrote:It was only mentioned in one post, but I have the phone network enabled model in my iPads just to have a GPS chip inside. I have never activated the phone network, so there are no monthly bills, but the GPS allows many apps to use a lot more features. Just a few fun ones are:

yelp - restaurants nearby and directions
Geocaching (especially with kids)
driving around with Zillow and seeing the home prices live as you go past them
large driving screen for directions

I have the WIFI version (no GPS). It knows where I am within about 30-50 feet (it was actually kind of creepy at first, but they make it clear what app are using it and when, and simple user controls to turn it off and on for each). I don't think I could use it for real time driving instructions, but I could use it for getting directions, "Find my iPad", seeing where I am on a map, and most other location-based apps.

I think it does this by the WIFI networks it is detecting.

I didn't think to get a GPS one and then not activating the phone carrier. Clever idea!
atomicrc11
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by atomicrc11 »

You can't add the mobile carrier later so I always purchase an iPad with the mobile carrier included. I find it very useful and now that I have T-Mobile for my phone service I get 200mb of data free each month and can buy a pass to get more high speed data should I want it. I don't get LTE since I have an iPad 3rd Gen that was originally AT&T, but I still get HSUPA+ which gets me quite good speeds. iPad are always unlocked, so if you were to get a GSM version it would work on AT&T or T-Mobile in the US or any GSM carrier in the rest of the world.

As for size, I would go with 64gb. I have the 32gb version and it is adequate. The issue I run into is that hotel WiFi is terrible and it makes it difficult to download things from iTunes or off my Tivo once I've watched all content but have not yet returned home. However, if you're OK with swapping out shows/movies more often, then you should be all set with 32gb.
TravelforFun
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by TravelforFun »

sandburg wrote:We have the 16gb. iPad with Wi-Fi only. Our next one will have the maximum amount of memory though. I regret not buying the 64gb.
My first iPad broke so I got a Galaxy Tab 3 and really like it. It has an SD card slot so you can increase its memory if needed. Light weight, gorgeous display and bogle-cheap.
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island
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by island »

Wow everyone thanks for all the replies. Since I never had a tablet before I don't know the full extent of it's capabilities so it really helps to hear how you use yours.

-Didn't think about app storage. You guys use a lot of apps? What are some of your favorites? Didn't imagine I'd use many, certainly no games other than Words with Friends, but again don't know what's out there beyond Yelp and Google. But even with that, what's the advantage of using an app like Yelp other than just typing or using voice recog to put yelp.com in the browser? Just a time saver of a few seconds?

-Exercise videos. Forgot about those. I had some back when we had VCRs and DVRs hooked up to the TV. Will be interesting to see what the options are for downloading on an iPad. Great idea. There go my excuses. :wink:

-Good point about being able to use GPS with the LTE version even without purchasing a plan. Have GPS in my car, but find it a pain to set up or look at and never use it. Siri guides well on my phone, but haven't used it long distance.

-Use my iPhone as a "hotspot" to link to my iPad instead of having LTE and GPS on my iPad? I don't even know what that means!

-If I buy it from T mobile I'd get 200MG of free data a month? Hmm seems like there's got to be a catch somewhere.

Will have to put some more thought into GB needs and wifi only.
Appreciate all your input and if you have anymore thoughts, please share! Thanks.
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by abuss368 »

We bought the 16 GB over a year ago and love it. I would however buy the 32 GB next time. There are a ton of applications and other items that we had to delete to upgrade the iOS7.0.04 software recently.

I wrestled with the Wi-Fi or Cellular option for a long time. We purchased the Wi-Fi option and have no regrets. Most folks I talk with that have purchased the cellular option have said they would not buy it again and have never used it.

After a while it became clear to me. If we need cellular access, I simply make our iPhone a Hotspot and connect. The strange part was the clerk at the Apple store recommended the same thing (and probably should not have)!
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by abuss368 »

I will add, you will not regret it. More Apple products are in our household now than Windows and they "just work". The older I get, the more I realize I have no interest in cut, copy, paste, devices not working or connecting. I want simplicity and I am willing to pay for it.

iPhones, iPads, and now Apple iTV. The products are incredible and work! The next items will be another iPad Air, the Backup/Router Time Capsule, and a MacBook Pro. Then Windows is officially gone.
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
atomicrc11
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by atomicrc11 »

You get 200mb of free data from T-Mobile with a qualifying line of service. If you have kids, put them on T-Mobile and you get free 200mb of data for your tabled and probably save a good amount of money over Verizon or AT&T.
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by abuss368 »

atomicrc11 wrote:You get 200mb of free data from T-Mobile with a qualifying line of service. If you have kids, put them on T-Mobile and you get free 200mb of data for your tabled and probably save a good amount of money over Verizon or AT&T.
Good to know.

Thanks!
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Re: iPad Air info please

Post by abuss368 »

Continuing to learn the Apple iTV since Christmas. Love it. So easy to use and the picture quality is great!
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