iPad use in Greece

Old Jun 22nd, 2011, 09:51 AM
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iPad use in Greece

Hi everyone,
Just curious if anyone can report on the ease of use of the iPad in Greece?
Specifically if I should pick up an iPad with 3G or just wifi?
Would I be able to buy a sim card at Athens airport before heading off to Crete, Santorini, and Naxos for my iPad?
Would using the 3G be more beneficial or does it not matter much as most of our accommodation has wifi?
Thanks in advance for any advice!
Cheers,
CC
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Old Jun 22nd, 2011, 10:23 AM
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I did not take an iPad but used my iPhone on wifi last month without problems. We were in Crete, Paros, Nafplio and Athens.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2011, 10:37 AM
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I used my iPad with free wifi only. I did pay for data usage on my iPhone which can be very expensive if you go over your limit. Since we had wifi in our apartment and hotels I used the free connection whenever possible.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2011, 10:47 AM
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Dunno, but I will be bringing my wifi-only iPad with me to Greece in August. Unless you plan to use the 3G feature at home, it probably isn't worth the extra expenditure for a wifi + 3G iPad. It's easy to find sim cards in Greece, but the iPad uses a micro-sim, and I'm not sure they are readily available without a contract.

The last two summers I brought a netbook with me to Greece, and had no trouble finding free wifi in island hotels and cafes. Some high end Athens hotels (e.g. Sofitel) have outrageous wifi charges, so a 3G connection might be an advantage in those cases.

BTW, I just returned from a trip back to the US, and enjoyed having my iPad with me. It was easy to get online, and I even liked the virtual keyboard.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2011, 04:23 PM
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Thanks all. Did some additional searching on some other iPad related forums and it certainly doesn't seem easy with the Sim card option...good to know that Wifi is still a good option!
cheers,
CC
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Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 05:51 AM
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Wifi has become so wide-spread that many hotels have dropped their internet computer service (free or for fee) in favor of wi-fi only... no machines to service. Some of them will offer a laptop if you do not have your own device.
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Old Jul 17th, 2011, 11:54 AM
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Just asked a question on another post about WiFi because I'm debating whether to get the Ipad or B&N nook before our upcoming trip. I'm glad to read that WiFi is pretty commonplace, so bringing a digital device is very doable.

Heimdall, I'm looking forward to hearing about the experience using the ipad in Greece this summer.

Has anyone use a Nook color for travel? Any thoughts about Nook vs Ipad? I'm going back and forth on what I really want, but am having a difficult time making a decision.

I do love the idea of the Ipad, but it seems awkward for carrying it around - while the nook is much more portable, but lacks the capabilities of the ipad. As I said in my other post, I can't decide if I want a reader with web capabilities or a computer with reading capabilities. Thoughts/feedback welcome, especially for use with travel (it's a travel forum after all!).

Paule

Paule
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Old Jul 17th, 2011, 12:38 PM
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Hi progol,

I'm very happy with my iPad, and the iPad 2 should be even better. The new model is a bit slimmer and lighter, and has a faster processor.

As I wrote above, I brought the iPad with me on a family visit back to the US, and found it much nicer to travel with than a netbook computer. It takes little room in a daypack, and is easier to use on an airplane, IMO. You can download all your apps, songs, and podcasts from iTunes, and download books from Amazon through the iBooks app. The touchscreen is great, and games are easier to play on the large screen than on an iPod or iPhone. If you have an iPhone, you can charge both devices from the iPad charger.

That said, I will also take my Sony Reader Pocket Edition with me, as I prefer it for reading. The e-ink doesn't wash out in bright light, and it is easier to hold when you are lying down (I read on the beach). ;-)

I like the Safari browser, and find it easy to surf the Internet with the iPad. The virtual keypad takes a little getting used to, but no worse than the tiny keypads on most netbooks. Having already tried the iPad on wifi networks away from home, I'm confident it will work well in Greece. I'll be there in six weeks, so will let you know then.
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Old Jul 17th, 2011, 01:43 PM
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Progol-

I took a NOOK to Greecw with me this year and was happy to have it, but don't expect to be able to download any books while you're in Greece, as the wifi signals may not be strong enough to connect you to whichever source you attempt for downloads. I know that B&N certainly wasn't accessible.
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Old Jul 17th, 2011, 03:23 PM
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Heimdall, You're a little ahead of me on the digital curve -- have not yet moved into the " pps, songs, and podcasts" thing yet -- more slowly weaning off communication the way we 50-60 somethings (and older) grew up with.

I'm leaning toward the Ipad for now, though I plan to get an e-reader eventually. Since I have more than enough guidebooks (paper!) already. It will be nice to have the Ipad to download photos on a daily basis, too (I can use it for that, right?).

brotherleelove, thanks for the feedback. I'm leaning more toward the Ipad now. It didn't dawn upon me to consider downloading the books when I'm traveling -- which is more about my limited use of digital devices than anything else.

Paule
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 12:06 AM
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Yes, you can indeed download photos from your camera or SD card to the iPad, but you need a special adapter (iPad Camera Connection Kit), as the iPad has no USB port. The kit consists of two small connecters, one for the camera USB cable, and one for the SD card. They cost only about $30, so no big deal.

That brings me to one of the shortcomings of the iPad: you still need a regular computer with iTunes installed to sync the iPad. That's not a problem for travelling, though, because you can sync before you depart, and won't need to do it again until you return from the trip. If you've ever had an iPod, you will know how that works.

I seldom listen to music, but have hundreds of free podcasts downloaded to iTunes. Among them are Greek language lessons, TV and radio programs, digital photography lessons, and many more. You get hours of free entertainment with podcasts. There are lots of apps (miniature software programs, some free and some costing a few dollars each). The apps can be games, currency converters, maps, etc.
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 12:09 AM
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BTW, I am one of those 60-somethings, but a bit of a gadget freak.
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 02:17 AM
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Heimdall, many thanks for the information about the iPad -- I don't have an iPod but I do have AppleTV, so I've already learned to sync my network items. I'll trust you that it works for travel, though I don't quite get why it would away from home...

I'll have to look at the podcasts; it's all been a bit overwhelming trying to absorb all the changes. I haven't even moved into the app territory yet, and just thinking about that.....

Paule
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 08:27 AM
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progal, if you are near an Apple store visit them for their free classes on your iPad. You can learn so many helpful and new things about your iPad. They're fun and they're free! And, if you bought the Pro Plan you can make a one-on-one appointment for an hour of help just for you and your questions.

Heimdall, I am married to my own gadget freak.
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 09:10 AM
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When we rented a place w/o no wifi signal I would go into the nearest village and ask a cafe owner if I could log on to their
wifi - in every instance they agreed as long as we bought a drink
or meal. Worked out well - not as convenient as our room, but
got the job done.
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 09:32 AM
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If iPads have a usb port you can buy a Cosmote "Internet On The Go" modem from the Germanos Store at the airport (or in one of many locations in Greece) and purchase as much refillable time as you think you might use on your trip. I did this for those times when I couldn't get a strong enough wifi signal to get online, and it worked perfectly.
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 10:19 AM
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Paule, iPads use the Safari browser, Apple's equivalent to Microsoft Internet Explorer. Wherever you have a wifi signal you can connect to the Internet, just as you do from your wireless network (if you have one) at home. Some of the apps, e.g. Google Earth, need a wireless network, while others can be used without one.

Immimi, that's exactly what I did before the hotel I stay at on Antiparos got a wifi router. Most cafes on the island have their own networks, and give out the password to their customers. Some of the high-end hotels in Athens, e.g. Sofitel, charge an outrageous fee to go online, while others, e.g. Cypria, have free wifi in the lobby.

Lee, unfortunately iPads don't have a USB port. All they have is a docking port, exactly the same as on the iPod and iPhone. The docking port is used to sync with a computer, connect the charger, connect the camera kit, etc. If you think you may need to go on the Internet through a cell phone network you should buy the iPad with wifi + 3G. Then you will have to find a microsim from Cosmote or another provider to put in the iPad. The US military exchanges in Europe sell unlocked 3G iPads, but I'm not sure what is available in the States.
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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 12:00 PM
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Thanks for the info and suggestions everyone. After I purchase my next camera (thinking panasonic lumix dmc-LX5), I'll be getting ready to get the iPad. I'm convinced. The e-readers will have to wait, however, and I'll "make do" with the iPad.

Beachgirl, I live in NYC and am a happy 10 blocks away from an Apple store. I'll be making a visit there soon!
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Old Jul 19th, 2011, 11:13 AM
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I am headed to Greece at the end of August and asked myself the same question. I used to travel with a netbook but wanted something lighter. Decided on the color Nook and i love it, especially the $249 price. I do not need all the Ipad bells and whistles, and i love the ease of downloading books, including free ones from the library. With the long plane and ferry rides, i will need lots of books. The wireless internet access, with the easy email app, is very convenient. I will also have a GSM smartphone with me if wireless is unavailable.
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Old Jul 19th, 2011, 11:52 AM
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Lee and Heimdall: If you buy the iPad Camera Connection Kit, you will have a USB port on your iPad by using one of the adapters.
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