Tips about buying and using the iPad 2

  • The "3G" models of the iPad 2 are available in separate versions for Verizon (which uses a CDMA network) and AT&T (which uses a GSM network). Decide which network you want to use first, and then buy the appropriate version. They are not interchangeable!

  • The Personal Hotspot feature in iOS 4.3 requires an appropriate contract from your wireless provider. Make sure you really want it before spending the extra money on the contract.

  • The white version of the iPhone has been delayed repeatedly, allegedly because the white casing allowed too much light inside the device, affecting the camera. You might want to wait until users comment on whether or not this is a real problem before you buy a white model.

  • Your existing iPad's case may not accommodate the iPad 2 because the latter is thinner and has a flatter back. If it does actually fit, you might use a hole punch on the back of the case to provide a camera opening. Take time to line this up correctly before punching.

  • The front-facing camera is VGA quality. If you want to take higher-quality photos, use the rear-facing camera.

  • Many of the features that were announced will also work with your older iPad, so it's not a given that you have to upgrade. If you're satisfied with your original iPad and don't need cameras, FaceTime, and mirroring, maybe you can sit this one out.

  • The original iPad has been out one year. Apple's product schedules are pretty regular, so expect an iPad 3 to be announced in another year. By then, 4G/LTE technology may be available, along with other enhancements like more memory and a Retina Display. If you already have an iPad, do you need to upgrade every year, or is every other year going to give you more bang for your buck?

  • In addition to cellular data, the 3G models have Assisted GPS. If you plan to use location-aware apps, even if you don't plan to use a 3G data plan, you may want the 3G version.

Sell your old iPad

If you have an original iPad and plan to upgrade to an iPad 2, you have several options. You could always hand it down to a family member or try to sell it via eBay or Craigslist, but you might want to avoid the hassle and uncertainty. Several firms are willing to buy your used gear outright, including,,,, and

May-June 2011
iOS Devices
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