Sunday, March 18, 2012

New iPad Gotcha

Yesterday, my wife bought the iPad 3 new iPad for me.

Today, she surprised me by buying the top of the line MacBook Air for me - I am loved, but I digress.

The new iPad has a very nice display - I definitely noticed the higher resolution right off the bat - and it runs snappier. It's just a bit heavier than the iPad 2, yet, significantly lighter than the iPad 1.

Data Plan Gotcha
There's one big gotcha. Don't simply swap the micro-SIM cards, like I did, to move your data plan to your new iPad. At best, that might work for a little while.

Traditionally, a mobile device's phone number and its wireless service is attached to the SIM card. But, with the new iPad - since we don't care about our phone number - the attachment is through the e-mail account associated with the data plan.

Also, the micro-SIM in the new iPad is a 4G specific micro-SIM. I tried swapping out the micro-SIMs and I ran into problems. The AT&T service displayed next the bars at the top of my new iPad screen showed 3G instead of either 4G or LTE. Time to call AT&T.

Doing it Right
If you're upgrading from an iPad 2 to the new iPad, you should probably call AT&T (1-800-332-0500) to make sure everything goes smoothly, especially if, like me, you've been grandfathered into AT&T's unlimited data plans.

The two AT&T customer service reps who I dealt with were stellar. They knew exactly what they were doing. Both of them told me that swapping the micro-SIM cards wouldn't work and took the time to explain how the process works. This level of service was a far cry better than someone simply parroting my problem, "So, you say that you're having a problem with your iPad?" and then reading a trouble shooting script over the phone. I felt like I was talking to an Apple employee on the phone who fully understood my problem. Hat tip to AT&T. I have yet to try my new iPad on LTE, but the rep told me that it's amazingly fast.

So, the bottom line is that I still have my unlimited data plans (yes, I know about the AT&T data throttling on both my iPhone and iPad) plus my wife is now the proud owner of my iPad 2 hand-me-down. She's the best.

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