Cellular

A Cellular Apple Watch?

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This morning I left on my bike ride and ended up leaving my iPhone at home. I have a Series 2 Apple Watch, which means it has GPS and is capable of recording all the details of my bike ride without being connected to my iPhone, but if I got into any kind of trouble I couldn't call for help. So I rode back a mile or so get my iPhone. That got me thinking...what if my Apple Watch had its own cellular connection?

  1. I would be able to make emergency phone calls with my Apple Watch when out on a run. Currently I don't take my iPhone with me.
  2. I could go out on bike rides with just my Apple Watch. If I had mechanical problems or got into trouble I could just use my Apple Watch to call for help.
  3. I wouldn't need to carry my iPhone in my pocket at work. It could stay in my messenger bag or on my desk. All urgent phone calls and text messages would still be delivered straight my wrist and not having the iPhone at all times would lead to less distraction.

There are a lot of strong rumors out there that Apple might release the 3rd generation of the Apple Watch before the end of 2017 and it might have cellular capability. While not a game changer I do think it would be a nice feature to have and could lead to less reliance/distraction from your iPhone.

Fixing an iPad That Keeps Dropping Cellular Connection

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I'll follow up my last post, which was probably the longest I have ever written, with what will probably be one of my shortest. I've had my iPad Pro (12.9" 128 Gb LTE) for just a little more than a year now. From day one with my iPad Pro I have had cellular connection issues. While I was using the iPad it would typically keep a connection with the cellular network, but generally within a day or two I would wake my iPad up and it would show that it didn't have a cellular connection. I tried everything to fix them problem, including restoring the iPad to factory conditions...nothing worked. A few weeks ago I finally resolved myself to the fact that I most likely had an iPad with a bad cellular antenna. But just before I called Apple I checked in with the new Apple Support iOS App that I wrote about a few weeks back. One of the things the app suggested for a bad cellular connection is to remove the SIM card from the SIM card tray, inspect the SIM card for any debris and then re-seat the SIM card. When I pulled out the SIM card I noticed a very tiny black speck of debris on the SIM card. Not believing for a second that the little speck of nothing that I just blew off the SIM card would have any impact on my problem, I re-seated the SIM card and turned on my iPad Pro. I haven't dropped a cellular connection since.

Sometimes the most frustrating problem can be solved with the most basic of actions. Apple's new support app just saved me several hours of troubleshooting with someone from tech support because I was able to quickly scan all the possible remedies and try the ones I had not tried up until that point. So if you are dropping the cellular connection on your iOS device try that tip and check out the other possible fixes via Apple's iOS Support app and it might just save you some time.

A Good Choice of iPad Cell Carrier

Late last year I wrote a post about why I made the choice of switching from a full-sized iPad to an iPad mini and explained why I chose the 64 Gb capacity and Verizon as the cellular carrier. I just wanted to follow up on that post with a quote from one of my favorite movies, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: 

"You have chosen wisely"

I am still grand-fathered into the AT&T unlimited data plan on my iPhone, so it didn't make sense for me to go with a shared data plan when I bought my LTE iPad. So the choices were a pay-as-you-go plan from either Sprint, Verizon or AT&T. My earlier post detailed out the cost differences between these options, but the real decision for me was based on coverage. I looked at all the places I traveled to for work and compared the coverage between Verizon and AT&T. Well, my trip out to Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) last week was all the proof I needed that I made the right decision. I had LTE coverage almost everywhere I went, even when driving between Lompoc and Solvang where I totally lost all AT&T coverage. The Verizon LTE coverage even held up when I was out on the remote edges of VAFB, just like the Verizon LTE coverage maps indicated.

Not having AT&T LTE coverage near my home also played into my decision to go with Verizon, but as it turns out, just a few days after purchasing my iPad AT&T flipped a switch and the area around my house now as AT&T LTE. I have to say that I do use LTE on my iPad when I am out and about close to home just about as much as I do when I travel. Being able to do work while waiting on my daughter at soccer practice or at my son's basketball practice is a HUGE time saver for me. But in the end choosing the carrier that had the best coverage for me when I was out of town and traveling for work was the right decision to make.

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