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Tablet with cell service or no cell service

NSFlyer

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Hello from Nova Scotia Canada. I am new here.

I have DJI Mavic Mini and looking at getting an iPad. Will be buying new. I understand the cost with extra options and extra storage, that is not a concern. My question relates to the need for or not need of cell service / a data connection to the web.

Based on what I see available in the store. They have ones with cell or no cell service. I'm in an area with limited cell service and will be going to remote parts of the province with little to no service. I understand that cell service is not needed to fly (I think based on the sort of the same question asked in other threads) - but what is the benefit of having an iPad or tablet for the purpose of flying the drone. Other than you have a data connection per connectivity to the web. Which I will not require in my application.

If someone has some insight to share, maybe I'm missing it. I would think the iPad would allow for the satellite connection and a cell or data connection would not be needed.

Yes I am new.

Thank you
 
I understand that cell service is not needed to fly
Correct.

Cell service gives you the ability to use features that require Internet access (none of which are required to fly). For example, you'll be able to see the maps while you're flying. If you need the maps though, you can download and cache them on your mobile device before you head out to fly.
 
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Correct.

Cell service gives you the ability to use features that require Internet access (none of which are required to fly). For example, you'll be able to see the maps while you're flying. If you need the maps though, you can download and cache them on your mobile device before you head out to fly.
Ok great to know, so true. Makes sense 100%. Either used a cached map app or a LIVE map app - perfect, 1 item now to the list to know. Thank you so much.
 
Get one without cell service , save some money , start the app at home , map view , scroll around the map to cache it , close the app , DO NOT POWER OFF YOUR IPAD , or you will lose your cached map , you will enjoy the larger screen of an Ipad versus a phone , Ipad mini 4 owner here .
 
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Get one without cell service , save some money , start the app at home , map view , scroll around the map to cache it , close the app , DO NOT POWER OFF YOUR IPAD , or you will lose your cached map , you will enjoy the larger screen of an Ipad versus a phone , Ipad mini 4 owner here .
Thank you. Yes, I've used the cached maps for many cycling journeys on an android, so yes - I can see the benefit of this. Seems maps is the item to consider thus far. I was looking at the iPad mini's and figured based on cost, I will jump to the iPad, seems the larger viewpoint vs. a phone is ideal. Thank you for the comment and have a safe time.
 
I have always used iPads, and they have all been WiFi only. I generally connect to my phone's hot-spot at my flight location if I want the map, but most of the places I fly, I am so familiar with that I don't bother with the map. Or, as mentioned above, but just to be clear, you can cache the map ahead of time in the Fly App while you do have internet access, such as at home. You just have to know the area you plan to fly, and you will want to zoom in and out to cache all zoom levels you may want. Then, you will want to leave the app running in the background, because if you close it - or shut off the device - it will dump the cached maps.

Also, two other things to consider if you go with a tablet versus a phone. You will need an adapter that fits your remote. I use a Mavmount which you can search for information about both here on the forum and online. You may be able to find cheaper options, but if you want solid and trusted and proven, that is the one. You will also need a longer data cable - if the original Mini uses one. I'm not sure, as I don't own one. But if it does connect to the remote via a cable, you will now need one of the proper type that is about 12 inches long...Thumbswayup
 
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You have a choice of setting your home point either from the spot your drone takes off from or to the location of your controller,say if you are in a car or boat. You will need a gps capable tablet if you plan on launching and moving to have your drone follow you.
It is my understanding that a tablet without cell (activated or not) also has no gps. I have read that a tablet can be connected to a cell phone or other device via hotspot, but will not share gps to the drone.
I am no expert on this, but you will want to understand how all the pieces communicate. You don’t have to have cell service on a tablet enabled to get the benefit of gps.
 
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I should learn to proofread...the important point is the tablet needs the cell connectivity (with or with out activation with a cell service) to have gps capability.
 
I use my non cell tablet tethered to my cell phone wifi connection. You can save money that way.
 
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You have a choice of setting your home point either from the spot your drone takes off from or to the location of your controller,say if you are in a car or boat. You will need a gps capable tablet if you plan on launching and moving to have your drone follow you.
Except that for some still unknown reason, that feature won't work with iPads.
 
I should learn to proofread...the important point is the tablet needs the cell connectivity (with or with out activation with a cell service) to have gps capability.
Almost all Android tablets have built-in GPS receivers. (There are one or two odd Samsung models that don't.).
 
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Except that for some still unknown reason, that feature won't work with iPads.
Not sure of your comment as it relates to the MM and the Fly App. But as mentioned above 4G Ipads have a GPS RCV'r and WiFi only do not. So that is the biggest reason. I flew both a iPad Mini 2 and now a Ipad Pro with 4GLte and the feature works fine Also as mentioned no need to have any service connected as GPS just works anyway:)
 
I only saw one advice to use your smartphone's wifi hotspot and connect your non-cellular tablet or phone to it in the field, and I'd like to second that.

I turn on the hotspot on my Pixel or Samsung smartphone, leave it on the dashboard or in a jacket pocket, and regularly use an iPhone with no SIM, an iPad with no SIM, or old Nexxus tablets.

That works fine for getting a connection to Litchi or DroneDeploy to download stuff in the field. If there are plenty of bars in LTE territory the image uploads to DroneDeploy work OK, too.

I don't like flying with a device that's going to get phone calls or texts...
 
But as mentioned above 4G Ipads have a GPS RCV'r and WiFi only do not. So that is the biggest reason. I flew both a iPad Mini 2 and now a Ipad Pro with 4GLte and the feature works fine
If it works for you, you are in a very small minority.
For the last two years, users of Apple devices (with GPS receivers) cannot get follow-me or resetting the homepoint to the controler's location to work.
They get a message advising that the GPS signal is weak, despite the device having full GPS signal.
 
Don’t know the cost of an iPad I hate the things but have you thought of getting a Smart Controller ?
An iPad Mini with probably about 1/3 larger screen (7.9 vs 5.5) the screen size of a smart controller, depending on new or used is probably less than half the price of the Smart Controller. While the debate over the price of the value of the Smart Controller was in another thread when it was finally upgraded to work with the MA2, for twice the cost or more, the only advantages as I see it are the brighter screen and perhaps being able to control more than one drone if you owned more than one. While everyone has their own reasons for owning one, they are significantly overpriced IMHO....
 
I have always used iPads, and they have all been WiFi only. I generally connect to my phone's hot-spot at my flight location if I want the map, but most of the places I fly, I am so familiar with that I don't bother with the map. Or, as mentioned above, but just to be clear, you can cache the map ahead of time in the Fly App while you do have internet access, such as at home. You just have to know the area you plan to fly, and you will want to zoom in and out to cache all zoom levels you may want. Then, you will want to leave the app running in the background, because if you close it - or shut off the device - it will dump the cached maps.

Also, two other things to consider if you go with a tablet versus a phone. You will need an adapter that fits your remote. I use a Mavmount which you can search for information about both here on the forum and online. You may be able to find cheaper options, but if you want solid and trusted and proven, that is the one. You will also need a longer data cable - if the original Mini uses one. I'm not sure, as I don't own one. But if it does connect to the remote via a cable, you will now need one of the proper type that is about 12 inches long...Thumbswayup
Thank you for the details. I have a running list now of these mounts and been doing all sort of review/ checks. I will look at the one you mentioned 100% + yes.. the cable seems short for the mount type application. So I have a list of these also. Thank you again +10 for all the information. Looking now at Mavmount -- thank you.
 
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Don’t know the cost of an iPad I hate the things but have you thought of getting a Smart Controller ?
Yes when I was in the store and all hyped up on getting this unit, I saw a box demo.. but none in stock. The other part to this is, having the iPad adds some value to when I'm meeting with clients per the work I do for them, so it adds value for showing some of my work relating to web items/ development. But, yes I did consider, thank you.
 
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You will also find some very powerful iOS Apps such as Affinity Photo for image editing and LumaFusion for video editing. I do it all just on my Mini 5, and because of the larger screen, the flight experience is better for sure.
 
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You will also find some very powerful iOS Apps such as Affinity Photo for image editing and LumaFusion for video editing. I do it all just on my Mini 5, and because of the larger screen, the flight experience is better for sure.
Apps are definitely next. I will check these 2 out 100% -- thank you!
 
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