iPad 3 and mobile Internet access…

As you may know, I backed off from a contract for a 3G iPad 3 with a mobile Internet account, because I had no idea where I’d use it, and just went for the plain-vanilla wi-fi version instead. I did, though. wonder if there was actually a way to connect it to the Web.

My smartphone (HTC Desire S), has a “Portable wi-fi hotspot” function (plus a data account), but as the iPad refused to connect via Bluetooth to my mobe – Apple isolationism, I assumed** – I had little hope that it would connect to the Internet through it.

**As I was trying to connect Bluetooth to Bluetooth, not Apple to Android, I can’t see any other reason why iPad would say my phone is “unauthorised” and bin the connection – I thought universal connectivity was Bluetooth’s USP. Maybe not.

Anyway, as I’m unlikely to be able to get out of here for at least a couple more weeks, I was in no hurry to test my phone’s hotspot function. Last night, however, sleep being elusive after I’d put my PC to bed and turned off the router, I gave it a try.

Initially, the iPad recognised the connection, but I couldn’t connect because, by default, it offered a log-in screen asking for information I didn’t have. However, by ignoring that screen, and tapping “HTC Portable Hotspot” (the words, not the arrow to the right), it offered a simpler screen just asking for a password, which my phone gave me, and I was connected. (The numeric password is far too simple, though, and needs to be changed.)

It’s slower than my home connection, naturally enough, but perfectly serviceable for what I need when I’m away from home, which is access to Twitter and email. I still don’t know when I’ll get to use it, but at least, if/when I do, it won’t be costing me any extra.

So, the bottom line, before shelling out an extra £100 for a 3G iPad (4G is coming but it’s not here yet), and extra for a mobile data account, check to see if your smartphone has a mobile hotspot facility first,** it’ll save you a lot of cash.

**Maybe they all do – I have no idea. And the above might also apply to my Android tablet – must check that out tonight.

And before anyone gets the urge to say Yeah, well, we all know this – this isn’t for you, it’s for iPad newbies, like me.

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