With all the hullabaloo surrounding the release of the iPad2 in the US, and the iOS4.3 update, a significant feature upgrade to older devices has been overlooked.
In all the reviews and posts on Apple’s iOS4.3 update, I don’t remember reading anywhere that it allowed first-gen WiFi iPads tethering to ye olde iPhone 3GS.
If, like me, you have a first-gen WiFi-only iPad, and your old faithful 3GS, you can now share your iPhone’s 3G connection across both devices via Bluetooth tethering.
This is a real boon for me, and those like me, who went with the WiFi iPad because they have wireless networks at home and the office, but would like web access on the train or bus commute in between. When you reach either end of your commute, you can then recharge your devices.
- Only one 3G plan needed
- No need to pay more for a 3G iPad.
- Also works for iPhone 4
- Reasonably fast connection (about the same speed as WiFi tethering.)
- You can grab a new ebook onto your iPad when you’re caught short with nothing to read, and don’t feel like reading on your iPhone!
- Bluetooth connection sucks your battery on both devices, especially when transferring data.
- Don’t expect Wi-Fi-like speeds. It’s kinda sluggish, but workable.
1. Update both devices to iOS4.3. This involves plugging your devices into your computer with iTunes installed and following the prompts.
2. Turn on the new “Personal Hotspot” via “Settings” – look for the linked rings symbol
3. Pair your devices. Place your devices close to each other, turn both devices’ Bluetooth on (via Settings/General/Bluetooth), make sure they both have names (in my case “Jason’s iPad” and “Jason’s iPhone” – I know – I was up all night coming up with those). I have found that sometimes you need to turn off Bluetooth and then on again on either device if they don’t immediately connect. It’s no biggie though.
4. When your device is marked “Connected” in e Bluetooth settings, you are good to go. You could also have a pulsing blue headset on your iPhone marked “Personal Hotspot: 1 Connection”. It’ll also appear on your lock screen (see pic). Apparently you can have up to five devices tethered to one iPhone in this way, but I haven’t tried more than one.
Give it a try - you may even be able to ditch one 3G plan!