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How To Turn An Apple iPad Into an iPad 3G

written by John Chow on April 22, 2010

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The new Apple iPad 3G comes out in the US at the end of this month. It cost $130 more than the WiFi only iPad plus you have to pay for a data plan that cost $14.99 to $29.99 a month. That means a 16GB 3G iPad with an unlimited data plan would cost $1,288.88 for the first year of ownership. That’s a pretty hefty price to pay over the $499 WiFi only iPad. However, If you already own an iPhone, there is a way to turn a WiFi only iPad into a 3G iPad.

For Jail Broken iPhones Only

The magical app that pulls this off is call MyWi. MyWi turns your iPhone into a 3G wireless HotSpot. When you’re at a location with no WiFi and you want to surf the net with your WiFi only iPad, just fire up your iPhone, turn on MyWi and log your iPad onto it. Your iPad will be connected to the Internet using the 3G of your iPhone. Since the iPhone becomes a wireless HotSpot, any other WiFi enabled device can log onto it and use it. MyWi offers 40bit and 105bit WEP security to prevent others from accessing your WiFi HotSpot. Since my iPhone goes wherever my iPad goes, it’s like having an iPad 3G for the price of an iPad WiFi. Plus I don’t have to pay for an additional data plan.

The main problem with MyWi is it’s not available at the iTunes store (and probably never will be). You need to jail break your iPhone in order to get it. Jail breaking an iPhone isn’t that hard to do but it can be intimidating if you’ve never done it before. The program I use to jail break my iPhone is call PwnageTool. Once your iPhone is jail broken, you’ll be able to download and install MyWi. The rest is extremely easy. MyWi cost $9.99. This a very small price to pay when you consider the savings you’ll get over the cost of a 3G iPad with data plan.

The following video shows the MyWi app in action. For the step by step on how to jail break the iPhone, check out this guide at iClarified.com. Thanks to Gary Ng at iPad In Canada for the refresher course on iPhone jail breaking.

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{ 52 comments }

Steven April 22, 2010 at 11:59 pm

You neglect to mention how crappy the battery life is on the iPhone when 3G is active. I have a Mophie Juice pack which is suppose to add on a couple extra hours of battery life and even then it sucks. Having your 3G running an active wifi will suck the life dry. You might as well not bother.

John Chow April 23, 2010 at 12:04 am

If you watch the video, I did mention that. And I’m able to get about 2 hours of life out of MyWi on the battery only.

Profit Addiction April 23, 2010 at 12:40 am

That’s crazy John. You should look into getting it bullet-proofed ;) Maybe those Zagg invisible shields?!

John Chow April 23, 2010 at 12:55 am

Zagg is sending me some Invisible Shields. I have them on my Macbooks. They work really well.

College To Careers April 23, 2010 at 7:45 am

Haven’t seen one in use yet…may have to look into it since my macbook comes today!!!

Simple April 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm

I had the invisible shield on my iphone for about 5 months. It works great, I dropped by phone a few times and no scratches!

But the problem is that it starts collecting dust and eventually starts to peel off at the corners a little, which makes it even dirtier.!

Gary April 23, 2010 at 12:05 am

MyWi is awesome. It turns your WiFi iPad into a 3G version like you said. But, battery life will suffer on your iPhone so make sure you use a backup battery pack! ;)

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog May 23, 2010 at 2:33 am

I do not think that John will use this too often.

This one also need time.

Aira Bongco April 23, 2010 at 12:17 am

I see that the buzz is slowly growing on the new iPad 3G. Apple does it again. After releasing one product and getting the people to buy, they release another one. I wonder if there will be an iPad 3GS. But nice little tweak there John. Have not tried MyWi yet for myself though.

Irish Garden Home April 23, 2010 at 3:02 am

Nobody worried here of voiding the warranty on the iphone? SY

John Chow April 23, 2010 at 8:45 am

Warranty? Na. If something goes wrong, just do a factory restore. Also, the money you save on the iPad 3G and 3G data plan can more than buy a brand new iPhone. :)

Irish Garden Home April 23, 2010 at 12:30 pm

You have a point with that! SY

Net Age | Web Design April 25, 2010 at 12:51 am

Heheheheheh! That is real maverick advise, John! Are you still going to be friends with Apple after all of this :-)

We love Apple giveaways and would like to see lots more of them here.

Ms. Freeman April 23, 2010 at 6:12 am

Did I miss the post that you announce that you are giving a iPad away.

iPad, iPad we want an iPad contest!!!! :)

John Chow April 23, 2010 at 8:46 am

I have a few iPad contests coming up. Keep an eye out for them.

College To Careers April 23, 2010 at 12:02 pm

We are all on edge waiting for them john :-D

Irish Garden Home April 23, 2010 at 12:31 pm

International ones? Pretty please!!! SY

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog April 24, 2010 at 2:02 am

I think you should put such contest now.

As this one is the great time to do so.

Free Picks April 24, 2010 at 12:20 pm

oh really?? i am waiting of them

Aman@BullsBattleBears April 24, 2010 at 4:40 pm

sweet…wouldn’t winning an iPad to play around with.

drt April 25, 2010 at 6:52 pm

You may try your luck by checking my site. There is a link to an iPad giveaway site.

Entries may be submitted from 12:01 am EST on April 21, 2010 through
 11:59 pm EST on April 27, 2010.

Good luck.

College To Careers April 23, 2010 at 7:42 am

I guess I’m starting slow…I’ve always been a PC type of guy, but I will be getting my first apple comp today…Mac Book Pro. We’ll see how that conversion goes…

Irish Garden Home April 23, 2010 at 12:34 pm

You will love it! I changed to Mac last year and never looked back -the time I save now because I don’t have to defragment, scan, update etc the windows machine. A Mac just works, without more maintenance work then backing up data and emptying the trash bin ;-) Welcome to a wonderful new world without registry worries, SY

College To Careers April 23, 2010 at 6:07 pm

hahaha, thanks! That’s what I keep hearing. And thanks for the reminder…haven’t defraged in a while :-)

Local Internet Marketing April 27, 2010 at 10:35 am

Good luck with the switch. It took me about a week or two to get used to the different keyboard shortcuts and configuration menus. After that, I never looked back.

bbrian017 April 23, 2010 at 7:44 am

John just so you know I’m extremely jealous because I simply love the ipad but don’t think they are available yet in Canada. Or maybe they are but I haven’t been following. I don’t think I’m allowed to get one anyways the wife barely let me get the iphone.

John Chow April 23, 2010 at 8:47 am

The iPad won’t be available in Canada until the end of May. I had my shipped up from the US.

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog April 25, 2010 at 12:08 am

Yes many people cant wait to till May and they manage to get it any how.

This is the charm of this gadget.

Matt Ringstad April 23, 2010 at 9:01 am

I didn’t see the ‘real’ need for jail breaking my iPhone until now. Thank you John for the relevant post.

Local Internet Marketing April 27, 2010 at 10:38 am

I agree. I think I’ve been avoiding any articles about jailbreaking so I wouldn’t know what I’m missing. But of course I’ve stumbled into this one and now I need to start rethinking it…

Investment Izzy April 23, 2010 at 9:14 am

AWESOME! I’ll definitely have to do this when and if I ever get my ipad!

Joe April 23, 2010 at 10:50 am

What ever happened to paying for thing instead of just taking them?

Your iPhone data plan does NOT include the right to tether devices to it at this point. While I hope AT&T changes it in the future, what you’re suggesting is a violation of the agreement between you and AT&T.

How about just paying for your internet access?

John Chow April 23, 2010 at 2:22 pm

I’m not on AT&T. I’m on Rogers and they allow Internet tethering. As a matter of fact you can tether an iPhone to your Mac with USB on a Rogers iPhone without jail breaking it. Since the iPad doesn’t have USB, I had to do the MyWi option but I am not in violation of any TOS.

Local Internet Marketing April 27, 2010 at 10:48 am

I have my iPhone on Vodafone and was pretty surprised to learn you still can’t tether in the US. Insane!! I’d have a hard time caring about breaking an agreement with AT&T knowing they have a monopoly and they’re not missing a chance to screw their customers. I say this because they’re limiting what you can do, but their service isn’t any cheaper (or better) than what you can get on iPhones in other countries.

I have a feeling when iPhone service is opened up on other carriers, people aren’t going to forget what they were forced to put up with.

d3so April 23, 2010 at 11:21 am

Since your bending the rules to get 3G on your ipad, might as well bend the rules a bit more and get MyWi for free!
Neat trick, I tether my connection to my laptop and it’s been decent.

John Chow April 23, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Na, I believe in supporting people for their efforts. $10 here and there isn’t going to put you in the poor house.

College To Careers April 23, 2010 at 6:08 pm

unless you’re already there…lol

d3so April 23, 2010 at 10:50 pm

lol true. You can do alot with $10.
But I was being sarcastic lol. But I am a pirate and proud to admit it and I know alot on net savvy people are as well but are ashamed :P

Irish Garden Home April 23, 2010 at 11:49 pm

So, you are proud that you steal??? SY

John Chow April 24, 2010 at 1:14 am

I hope a future employer never reads your comment. I would never hire you.

eman April 23, 2010 at 1:36 pm

It’s funny I came across this because I have MyWi and tried using this on my friends iPad, only to have my phone’s battery (less than 10%) die at the most critical moment : Trying to watch Modern Family with the ABC app.
Better luck next time. Thanks for reminding me costs benefits. I’m getting my wifi iPad soon.

Bradley Nordstrom April 23, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Tankyou!Now I don’t have to pay a fortune on my iPad just to go on the internet using my wireless.

Fede April 23, 2010 at 3:34 pm

WOW! So cool and easy!

AffiliatePaying April 23, 2010 at 11:38 pm

Excellent post! Thanks for sharing John!

Jeff April 24, 2010 at 5:49 pm

I think you should put such contest now.

As this one is the great time to do so.

negative scanner April 25, 2010 at 8:26 pm

“$1,288.88 for the first year of ownership”

Wow, that’s incredibly steep! If they sell many, it just shows the power of the brand in my mind.

Pretty nifty trick with the iPhone!

I & O April 25, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Hey John,

Battery life is not the only issue I face the hanging of the iphone when 3G is activated…. this whole combination becomes pathetic..

Local Internet Marketing April 27, 2010 at 10:52 am

For everyone talking about battery life, I’d take a look at the Richard Solo iPhone chargers and power skins. Especially the 3000 mAh iPhone assistant.

It’s bulky but if you’re doing this regularly, and it’s just sitting off to the side while you’re on your iPad, it’d be worth it.

Local Internet Marketing April 27, 2010 at 10:55 am

For those worried about battery life, I’d check out the Richard Solo iphone accessories, especially the 3000 mAh iPhone assistant. Bulky, but worth it if you’re going to do a lot of 3G tethering.

Sorry if this was a double comment, the first one didn’t seem to go through…

ZK @ Web Marketing Blog April 24, 2010 at 2:00 am

Surprise to see why Apple do not consider this.

As this kind of things can lower their sales of 3G model

fas April 24, 2010 at 11:52 am

Agreed, give credit where it is due.

Net Age | Web Design April 25, 2010 at 12:48 am

They want the money, honey. That is why you have to jailbreak your phone in order to bypass the controls they’ve put in place to maximise their income. They’ll never willingly relinquish that.