CES 2015: AT&T unveils LTE case for Wi-Fi iPads

If you ever wanted to buy a cellular iPad but couldn't wrap your head around forking out an extra $130 for LTE functionality, AT&T has you covered.

Here at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the #2 U.S. wireless carrier announced a new case that gives Wi-Fi-only iPads the ability to connect to its high-speed 4G LTE network.

It's basically a case with an integrated mobile LTE hotspot and it's available in several editions, including versions for the iPad Air and iPad Air 2, as well as all three generations of the iPad mini.

The best new features of iOS 8

Admittedly, the myriad of new and useful capabilities that Apple's just-released iOS 8 brings to your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad are going to prove hugely popular with mainstream users, to say the least. With iOS 8, Apple is appeasing harsh critics who'd frequently point out that Android is capable of things iOS cannot do, and then some more.

iOS 8 opens up Apple's mobile operating system to third-party development to a much greater extent than ever before. And stemming from relaxed policies, iOS 8 boosts on-the-go productivity with deeper inter-app sharing while implementing some of the features our Android friends have grown accustomed to, but in a typical hassle-free Apple fashion, things like third-party keyboards, custom actions, photo editing extensions within the context of Photos and Camera apps and way more.

And though evolutionary rather than revolutionary, we have no doubt in our minds that iOS 8 is going to significantly improve the functionality of Apple's mobile platform, and perhaps even give some folks less reasons to jailbreak.

To celebrate today's release of the free iOS 8 software update, we proudly present you this detailed overview of more than two dozen iOS 8 features we think you're going to fall in love with at first sight.

iOS 8 gains intelligent Instant Hotspot feature

iPhones and iPads have long had a feature called Personal Hotspot for tethering your cellular data connection to a Mac or another device over Bluetooth, USB or Wi-Fi. To setup the personal hotspot, users had to navigate to settings and toggle on the feature. Then, the device would appear as a Wi-Fi network or under network services in settings if connected using USB… 

Several users complaining of Hotspot issues in iOS 7.1

Folks having trouble with their Personal Hotspot feature in iOS 7.1 aren't alone. A number of users have been complaining of tethering issues since installing the latest iOS update, as evidenced by this 16-page thread in Apple's support forums.

Specifically, the problem seems to occur when trying to save custom APN settings in a device's Cellular menu. Apparently you can enter information into the text fields, but the values don't save and any attempt to make a connection errors out...

TetherMe jailbreak tweak updated with iOS 7, ARM64 support

Good news this afternoon for jailbreakers: another popular tweak has been updated to support iOS 7 and A7 processors. That tweak is called TetherMe, and it allows you to—you guessed it—tether your cellular iOS device to a non-cellular device.

Though it's not mentioned nearly as often as MyWi, its functions are very similar and it's much less expensive. Users can choose to share their iPhone's Internet access with other devices over USB, Bluetooth, or via your standard Wi-Fi hotspot...

Despite smaller battery, iPad Air still lasts 24-hours as LTE hotspot

As noted by iFixit in its recent teardown, the iPad Air's battery is noticeably smaller than its predecessor (32.9 Whr vs. 43 Whr). But thanks to the efficiency of the A7 chip and other internal mods, it still gets great battery life.

In addition to Apple's usual claim of 10-hours of web-browsing, moving-watching, etc, a weekend test by the folks over at AnandTech shows that the newly-released tablet can still last for more than 24 hours as an LTE hotspot...

Good deal: 40% off FreedomPop LTE hotspot with free service

What if I told you that there was a device you could buy that would give you LTE Internet access for your iPhone, iPad and up to 8 other devices without you having to pay a monthly fee? Well there is, and it's called the Spot by FreedomPop.

You've probably heard of FreedomPop before—it's the crazy startup backed by Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom that offers free Internet to folks who buy its devices. And for a limited time, you can get their LTE HotSpot at a great discount...

Default iOS hotspot passwords can be cracked in under a minute

You may want to reconsider using a default password iOS provides for hotspot functionality as researchers at a German university warn of the weaknesses that let attackers crack any default iOS hotspot password in under a minute. Although Windows Phone uses even weaker passwords and some Android vendors weaken their device's security by modifying the Wi-Fi-related components, Apple's problem is that iOS generates "random" hotspot passwords using a dictionary of only 1,842 different entries...

What Batterygate? The new iPad lasts 25+ hours when hotspotting

When used as a personal hotspot only over Verizon's 4G cellular connection, the new iPad gets more than 25 hours of run time, AnandTech found out in their battery life testing published this morning. This is better than your average MiFi device by at least a factor of five. Matter of fact, it gets exactly an hour less in hotspotting tests compared to WiFi benchmarks, which falls in line with Apple's official specs.

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime beats Apple's third-generation tablet when hotspotting in Normal, Balanced and Power Saving profiles. With that in mind, the ability to use your iPad as a personal Verizon hotspot for more than 25 hours is certainly welcome news in a string of negative reports alleging issues with the tablet's much-improved 42.5Wh battery.

How to use the new iPad’s hotspot tethering

One of the best things about choosing a Verizon flavored iPad over its AT&T counterpart is the fact that Verizon makes tethering your data free.

Right out of the box you can start tethering your iPad's fast LTE connection to another iPad, iPhone, Mac, PC, whatever.

Inside we'll take a look at how to setup the personal hotspot feature on your new iPad, along with a little test drive...

Verizon to offer $20 1GB data plan for 4G iPad with free hotspot support

There was certainly some confusion earlier today regarding what the carriers' plans are for the new iPad's hotspot feature. The tablet, for the first time, will be compatible with high-speed LTE networks. And it will be to share the connection with up to 5 other devices.

As of right now, AT&T, one of the largest carriers in the US, has no idea when or if it will support the feature. But Verizon, on the other hand, has confirmed that its four data plans, starting at $20 per month, will all include free hotspot support...

Neither AT&T nor Verizon supporting 4G iPad hotspot yet [Updated]

Among the slew of new features Apple announced in its latest iPad yesterday was the personal hotspot. Just like with the iPhone, you'll be able to use the new tablet to share an internet connection with up to 5 devices.

This becomes even more appealing when you consider that the new slate is capable of 4G speeds — which is up to 10 times faster than 3G. But don't get too excited. It appears that there is confusion among the carriers...