iPhone, iPad with 3G
You don’t have to worry about this if you’re using a Wi-Fi connection, but cellular data plans are another story. If you browse the Web a lot, you’ll want to check your data usage periodically. AT&T and Verizon offer different types of data plans. Here’s a comparison of data plans and price, and how you can check your usage (as of early March, 2011):
AT&T data plans (monthly charge):
- $15 for 200MB of data.
- $25 for 2 GB of data.
- $45 for 4 GB of data.
- $20 for tethering one other device (already included in the $45 data plan).
Verizon data plans (monthly charge):
- $29.99 for unlimited data.
- $20 for 2 GB of tethering (up to five devices +$20 for each additional GB). Apps to check data usage: The easiest way to check your usage on the 3G iPad and the iPhone (the iPod touch only connects via Wi-Fi) is to download the free data usage apps from AT&T and Verizon:
- MyAT&T (free, app2.me/2538).
- My Verizon Mobile (free, app2.me/3670).
Open the apps to see a complete breakdown of data and voice usage, minutes used, and other features such as the ability to enroll in paperless billing and pay your bill through the app.
On your iPhone, you can open Settings>General>Usage to see your call time and data usage.
Different cellular data networks: Edge, 3G, and 4G
When your iPhone or iPad Wi-Fi + 3g connects to a cellular data network, it accesses one of these:
EDGE (2G): This is the slowest, but it’s also the most widespread. This network compliments AT&T’s 3G network whenever it is not available. You device will connect to EDGE when a nearby Wi-Fi signal or 3G network isn’t available. EDGE doesn’t allow you to multi-task (i.e., use the phone and surf the Web at the same time), but it will at least give you a signal.
3G: Both Verizon and AT&T use 3G signals for the iPhone and the iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G. Speed tests on the iPhone from CNET showed Verizon’s average download speeds are faster than AT&Ts, even though AT&T’s top speed is almost twice as fast as Verizon’s. However, AT&T may cover some areas better so you should check area coverage maps before choosing a wireless provider.
Note that the faster 4G networks are being deployed, but as of March of 2011, 4G was not available for iOS devices on any carrier.