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Ipad Air 2 - Is cellular data plan needed?

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by pfarrell, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. pfarrell

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    I am new and researching what to buy.

    I am now between the P3 Adv or the Yuneec Q500+ but am leaning to the P3. From what I have read it seems like the P3 would be a lot more fun to fly in addition to doing a great job of photography. Having fun flying is important to me.

    Biq question now for me now is regarding my iPad Air 2. I have the model with both wifi and cellular, but I do not want to pay for a data plan. I also have a iPhone 5 (not the 5c or 5s) which I do have a data plan and I use the iPhone to share the data plan with the iPad so I have no need for an additional data plan for the iPad Air 2.

    From my research it is unclear if an active data plan is needed for the iPad Air. I have read that the cellular option is needed on the iPad Air 2 but have not confirmed that a data plan is needed or not.

    Can someone please confirm if the iPad Air 2 needs to have an active data plan with At&t, Verizon or whoever or if just the capability of a cellular is all that is needed.

    If an active data plan is needed, does this mean that it will not work if I am in an isolated area with no cellular/data coverage?

    Also, will the iPhone 5 work. I believe I have read that it had to be a 5s or 6.

    If neither device will work with the P3 adv than that could tip it to the Yuneec.

    thanks in advance for any and all help.

    Pat
     
  2. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    You can fly your Phantom in the middle of the Sahara Desert or the Pacific Ocean.
    There is no need for an internet data connection at all for flying.
     
  3. pfarrell

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    Thanks for the quick reply...I read on this forum that in order to use the iPad Air 2 that it must have both wifi and cellular. It did not clarify if a data plan was needed or not. Maybe just being the model with cellular includes GPS or something else that is needed and the data plan is not required.

    Just wanting to confirm before I buy the P3 and then find out my ipad or iphone will not work.
     
  4. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Wifi only Ipads don't have GPS but having a GPS enabled tablet will only affect your ability to do follow-me flights and reset your homepoint to the location of the tablet (for flights from a moving boat etc).
    These sorts of things probably only account for 1-2% of all flying so it's not much of an issue.
    And cellular data isn't needed for 100% of flights.
     
  5. pfarrell

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    Thanks for your help. This makes more sense now.

    Do you know if a iPhone 5 (not the 5C or 5S) will work?

    I've read that the P3 more responsive and faster which I would think results in being more fun to fly?

    Do you concur?
     
  6. MADrone

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    I use an iPad Air 2, and AT&T only charges 10$ a month to share data plan. I use the iPad daily for everything else, and usually it is connected to wi-if, so using it for live map feeds during flying and other incidental non wi-if use it only uses <100 meg per month. To me, 10 per month for that is a good deal.
     
  7. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    I'm not an Apple user so all I can go on is what DJI show in the specs:
    Recommended Devices
    • iOS: iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air 2, iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 3, and iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular. This app is optimized for iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus.
    More responsive and faster than the Yuneec?
    Yes, by a long way. The Lightbridge control is a spectacular improvement beyond anything using wifi for control.
    Having 50% more speed is a great bonus too.
    Use the search feature here to see what users of both say about the comparison.

    Just search for Yuneec and you should find plenty.
     
  8. Oso

    Oso

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    To answer your questions:
    No you don't need a data plan for your current cellular Air 2. The GPS functions in the tablet work without need for data. A data plan could be useful at times or useful for some less used features or if those specific features happen to be important to you. For the most part however a data plan is not needed. Check this out for a high level summary:
    Tablets and phones that work well with DJI GO | Page 21 | DJI Phantom Forum

    Regarding the IP5 question. Historically it would not work or even download from the App Store, so people used work arounds with jail broken phones. However, I think it was at the end of October or so that people could suddenly download directly from the App Store to older Apple devices. I have read that some have had success with using the IP5, but I'd have to think that it wouldn't be a great experience most of the time. Maybe in a pinch only.
     
    #8 Oso, Jan 3, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
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  9. pfarrell

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    Thanks again....never I have received such knowledgeable and quick responses on a forum. Looking forward to this new activity.
     
  10. pfarrell

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    Excellent...thanks for your advice.
     
  11. Oso

    Oso

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    You're welcome. Cheers.
     
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  12. MrMcfly

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    The P3 is an aerial photography platform first and foremost. To photograph with the P3 you'll find that speed and
    responsiveness aren't really as necessary than in say a fpv racing UAV. It's very stable, and it will get up to
    about 35 mph in straight line flight, but it doesn't have a super fast yaw rate, because its intended purpose doesn't
    require it. I have a micro drone that costs 1/10th of the P3A, and is more 'fun' to fly (and cheaper to fix)...
    The P3 is a great platform and is lot's of fun to photograph with. This is just my $.02.... YMMV.

    The P3 has greater range than Typhoon, and less geo-fencing restriction (for now anyway), which commands greater responsibility. ;)
     
  13. BenDover

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    I have the iPad 2 air with cellular data capability as well. No data plan for it. Works great except if you are not near a wifi source and you are flying where you have not downloaded the map of the area, you cannot switch to the terrain view that shows the satellite view. Not a biggie, you can fly without it.
    You can however, swap your SIM card from your ip5 to your iPad Air for the time you fly to have that capability. You just need the little tool that ejects the sim.


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  14. BVC

    BVC

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    You do NOT need cellular data to use the P3.

    However things to remember. Wifi only iPads do NOT have GPS chips in them. You would need an iPad with a cellular chip inside (however the tablet doesn't need to be active on any carriers network).

    A Samsung android tablet has built in GPS chips regardless if wifi only or Wifi + LTE

    The reason why internet is important is for google maps on your pilot app. However you could be somewhere data isn't avail and of course this feature is useless no matter how hard you try when away from a tower (if you don't cache maps ahead of time).

    Nice thing about GPS chips is you get the ability to see on your "radar" the direction the bird is pointed in relation to which way you're pointed. And of course the other features like follow me and yada yada.


    If you don't want to drop $$$ for an iPad with cellular to make the most of the P3 I highly recommend a Samsung tablet with Android and hotspot data from your cellphone to the tablet. This in the end will save you roughly $120/yr in data access fees on a dedicated tablet + the added cost to have an "LTE" cellular connected tablet.

    Nothing against apple products.. I actually prefer apple products over crappy android but I use what works best while saving serious $$. iPad is a solid option though :)
     
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  15. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    The radar display gets its input from the recorded homepoint plus the compass and gyros in your tablet and the GPS in your Phantom.
    It works just fine without GPS in your tablet.
     
    richa likes this.
  16. richa

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    ImageUploadedByPhantomPilots1451872456.347244.jpg
    ImageUploadedByPhantomPilots1451872472.086758.jpg

    Chip under A7 is not enough fast ,So you can not use iphone5 and even old iPad mini1
     
  17. Erroll

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    Those who say you can fly without cellular are correct. However, without it you can't get satellite imagery if you are out of WiFi range. I believe one absolutely needs to have satellite imagery for any serious outdoors flying. Before you even start your motors you should have a good look around to ensure that you know the terrain you are about to fly over. This imagery shows you obstacles, hazards, buildings, possible outs for landing, approaches to your subject, elevations and many more - all things you should be looking at when planning a mission.

    You certainly shouldn't even contemplate a long distance run without consulting the satellite imagery!

    Several of the third party apps such as Litchi and Airnest rely on your device having satellite imagery. You can cache maps while you are within Wifi range, but you would have to cache maps for all the apps you intend to use. They don't stay cached for long and if you want to film in an unplanned area, you are stuck.

    Some of these third party apps also expect you to be connected to the 'net before you can fly with them.

    The Air 2 with Wifi and cellular (and barometer) is ideally suited for this application, and the cellular option is really not a lot extra.
     
    #17 Erroll, Jan 4, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016