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2019 iPad mini with a Mavic Mini?

RavenManiac

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So I was in the process of purchasing a 2019 iPad mini 64GB tablet for use with my new Mavic Mini when I was informed by Verizon Wireless that I would require a $20/mo. Tablet Line Access Fee. While I struggled to justify $120/yr. for cellular service just to fly my Mavic Mini, $240/yr. is too much.

So what's the alternative?

Can I simply buy a 2019 iPad mini 64GB standard Wifi model and connect it to my iPhone X via a mobile hot-spot when flying or is that a problem? Thanks in advance for your help.
 
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DanMan32

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You could need internet in the field if you get caught in an authorization zone (OK, can't do that yet with a mini), or want to get map data.
But the WiFi only does not have GPS hardware. That too isn't imperative, but has its benefits.
You don't have to have cellular service with a cellular capable iPad. It will still work, just that if you need internet, you'll need to do so via Wi-Fi.
 

RavenManiac

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My biggest concern is if the Mavic Mini goes down I want to be able to locate it. Will I get GPS data and maps if I connect my iPad mini to my iPhone X using a mobile hot spot?
 

DanMan32

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Find My Drone will still show the AC's location, and best effort of your location based on what iOS location services can provide by other means. The main thing is knowing where the AC is.
 
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Stevee7270

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I just bought a ipad2 mini for $75 for my Mavic mini arriving weds, meanwhile I am flying my bosses Mavic pro and loving it, may regret not getting the heavier Mavic but waiting on the pro 3
I thought ipad2 mini was not compatible with the DJI FLY App?
 

Robert Mitchell

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So I was in the process of purchasing a 2019 iPad mini 64GB tablet for use with my new Mavic Mini when I was informed by Verizon Wireless that I would require a $20/mo. Tablet Line Access Fee. While I struggled to justify $120/yr. for cellular service just to fly my Mavic Mini, $240/yr. is too much.

So what's the alternative?

Can I simply buy a 2019 iPad mini 64GB standard Wifi model and connect it to my iPhone X via a mobile hot-spot when flying or is that a problem? Thanks in advance for your help.
"Can I simply buy a 2019 iPad mini 64GB standard Wifi model and connect it to my iPhone X via a mobile hot-spot when flying or is that a problem?"

Yes you can, works perfectly. But as stated above, Cell and GPS not required on your device. Only for "follow me" type operations. You can cache your maps in advance.
 

raymacke

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Yes you can, works perfectly.
When I tried a WIFI only Mini IPad using a hotspot from my Motorola G6 Play phone I could not get the Aircraft Orientation indicator to work. Also, Find My Drone knew where the aircraft was at but had no idea where I was at. I could walk in any direction and nothing would change so there was no way it could direct me to the downed AC. Maybe I was doing something wrong. This was my first experience with any Apple device. But that was my experience. I upgraded to a cell/wifi Mini Ipad 4 and everything works fine. I have no cell plan and have the cell service shut off in the settings. I did stick in an old sim card to stop the message popping up on the tablet.
 

RavenManiac

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I would love to be able to purchase an iPad mini 5 with cell/Wifi AND not have to purchase cell phone service, but that doesn't seem to be an option. :(
 

KhanSW

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I would love to be able to purchase an iPad mini 5 with cell/Wifi AND not have to purchase cell phone service, but that doesn't seem to be an option. :(
Buy an unlocked lte version from swappa

You will pay less for a lightly used version and can add cell service later if you desire
 

DanMan32

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When I tried a WIFI only Mini IPad using a hotspot from my Motorola G6 Play phone I could not get the Aircraft Orientation indicator to work. Also, Find My Drone knew where the aircraft was at but had no idea where I was at. I could walk in any direction and nothing would change so there was no way it could direct me to the downed AC. Maybe I was doing something wrong. This was my first experience with any Apple device. But that was my experience. I upgraded to a cell/wifi Mini Ipad 4 and everything works fine. I have no cell plan and have the cell service shut off in the settings. I did stick in an old sim card to stop the message popping up on the tablet.
That's because your original iPad does not have GPS hardware. The WiFi only models don't.
I saw in the fly app that it has provision to try and work around that issue for Find My Drone by using native location services. However location services without cell or GPS use known WIFi SSID locations via a database populated by crowd sourcing.
 

RavenManiac

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I really appreciate all of the responses that have been posted.

To make sure I'm clear on this, ideally what I need is to find an iPad mini (4 or 5) with Wifi+Unlocked Cellular for the primary reason of the built-in GPS. There is no need for cellular service. If I get this GPS-enabled device then I will have the functionality I'm looking for, including iPad orientation and Mavic Mini triangulation should it go down.

Is that correct?
 

Robert Mitchell

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When I tried a WIFI only Mini IPad using a hotspot from my Motorola G6 Play phone I could not get the Aircraft Orientation indicator to work. Also, Find My Drone knew where the aircraft was at but had no idea where I was at. I could walk in any direction and nothing would change so there was no way it could direct me to the downed AC. Maybe I was doing something wrong. This was my first experience with any Apple device. But that was my experience. I upgraded to a cell/wifi Mini Ipad 4 and everything works fine. I have no cell plan and have the cell service shut off in the settings. I did stick in an old sim card to stop the message popping up on the tablet.
Not sure why your aircraft orientation wouldn’t work as that comes from your aircraft, not the device. Mine does.

As for it knowing YOUR location, Im pretty sure that the location service doesn’t transfer through the hotspot.

But if you have a GPS enabled device with you, why cant you use that to direct you to the aircraft, instead of the IPad?

The reason I tether in the field is to get map data and unlock access, not location of the Ipad.
 

LivinLarge

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Be aware that the Fly app does not fill the screen as the aspect ratio of the tablet is 4:3. The video feed is 16:9 so it fills widthwise but has black bars top and bottom. The best thing about the iPad mini is that it fits in the arms. If you buy the model with GPS, it is very expensive. For my old eyes, the Mini4 was not bright enough. The Mini5 is slightly brighter at 500 nits.
I bought a Samsung 10.5" tablet instead. It is very bright and the apps fit the screen well. Of course it needs a mount.
 

DanMan32

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Actually location services on the iPad might be able to get location from the tether, but not likely directly from the hot-spot GPS. Location services has other ways to approximate location.
One way is to scan the area for the identity of WiFi signals. Through crowd sourcing, the location of static WiFi sources are in a database. The database may also have the location of the hot-spot recently reported.

Currently the orientation indicator is looking only at a local GPS hardware, but in other areas, such as Find My Drone, there's an option to Use Other Maps. Granted it isn't going to be very dynamic or precise as it would if you had GPS on the device.
 

RavenManiac

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Be aware that the Fly app does not fill the screen as the aspect ratio of the tablet is 4:3. The video feed is 16:9 so it fills widthwise but has black bars top and bottom.
That sucks! Given the multitude of devices use to fly DJI drones, I'm surprised they don't allow you to set the aspect ratio.