I took the plunge and added “personal hotspot” service to my AT&T iPhone and it seems pretty cool, but I’m not sure of the best way to tap into the personal hotspot wifi with my new iPad 2. I’m a bit afraid to just mess things up. Got any tips?
I’m so used to poking around and experimenting with gadgets and technology that I forget not everyone approaches their latest gadget as a puzzle to solve. No worries, that’s why I’m here! You’re in luck, too, because I too signed up for an AT&T personal hotspot capability on my iPhone the day it became available too, mostly so I can always get online with my wifi iPad. It also works with laptops, of course, but that’s another story…
The trick with the personal hotspot is that you have to monkey with both the phone and the device you want to get online, in the right order, to get the iPad or other device online as efficiently as possible. Once you’ve done it once, however, your iPad 2 will remember the hotspot name and password, so when it shows up as a potential connection, the device will automatically select it and proceed, no human intervention required.
To get started, however, grab your iPhone. That’s step one. And on your phone, go to “Settings”…
Since you have the Personal Hotspot capability enabled on your iPhone, it should be displaying the “Personal Hotspot” option right on the general settings screen. If not, go to “Networking” and it’s accessible from that point too.
Tap on “Personal Hotspot” and it’ll show you a surprisingly informative screen:
If you’re thinking “okay, I get it. I need to turn on my hotspot” you’re exactly right. Slide the status switch from “OFF” to “ON” and note that it also displays the password needed to access your hotspot…
Cool. Now, put your iPhone 4 (or whatever it is) down and pick up your iPad 2, then tap on “Settings” -> “General” -> “Network” on it…
Tap on “”Wi-Fi” and it’ll show you all the networks it can find in the local area, hopefully including your own personal hotspot:
Note that my personal hotspot, “iDave 4”, shows up with two interlocking circles, which is apparently the icon of a personal hotspot on iOS devices. I didn’t know that. Did you?
Tap on the appropriate network and it’ll ask for your hotspot password (but only once!)
If you’ve entered your hotspot password correctly on your iPad, it’ll then show a blue checkmark next to the wireless network name:
Sweet! You’re online!
Btw, if you look at your phone, it’ll show you that someone’s connected to your Personal Hotspot:
That’s all there is to it. Next time you need to go online, you’ll be able to enable your Hotspot on your iPhone and by the time you pick up the iPad 2, it’ll be ready to go.