You all know that cellular+WiFi models of iPad family contain a SIM slot to use cellular internet (EDGE, 3G etc) on these devices. But unfortunately Apple never included the phone.app in them. According to Apple, iPad is not designed to make/receive phone calls and send/receive SMS/MMS. It looks really awkward when you are holding your iPad against your ear to listen the call. But even then if you want to enable phone.app on your iPad, here is how you can do.
Update: This app doesn’t work on newer devices like iPad Mini, Retina, Air yet. For these devices check out the VoIP apps mentioned below.
- You need an iPad (WiFi+Cellular) first generation. This method will not work on iPad 2 or 3. However, the work is being added and 70-80% work has been completed.
- A SIM card which you can use to make/receive calls. The SIM which comes pre-loaded can not be used for making calls because that on that SIM only internet services are enabled.
- Redsn0w software to jailbreak your device.
How it Happens in 3 Simple Steps:
Step 1: First of jailbreak your iPad 1 with the latest version of Redsn0w. The jailbreak method is mentioned in this separate post.
Step 2: After you have jailbroken your device, launch Cydia and add the following repo
Step 3: Now search [Ac!d]TelePad tweak from Cydia.
After the tweak is installed, you will see a fully functional phone.app on iPad. Launch it and use your iPad as iPhone.
Difference Between PhoneItiPad vs [Ac!d]TelePad:
PhoneItiPad is the first app released on Cydia which turns your iPad into iPhone. We don’t know exactly what’s the difference between PhoneItiPad and [Ac!d]TelePad in terms of coding and underlying source, but apparently the big difference is that former is a paid app whereas the latter is free. PhoneItiPad will cost you $20. Moreover, PhoneItiPad is not updated for a long time and it won’t work on iOS 5. PhoneItiPad alternative [Ac!d]TelePad is worth installing on your iPad.
Calling Option for newer Devices like iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad Retina:
The above mentioned discussion is about iPad first generation. I don’t think the newer devices will get this feature. But who knows, iOS 7 jailbreak is already out and may be someone dives into software and hardware hacking of these new models and finds out something practical. Until we find a way to use our SIMs to make and receive calls on iPad Air and iPad Retina, here are few VoIP options in which you have to install an app and use the internet either from Cellular network or from any WiFi source
Skype is one of the best application and comes first in mind whenever we talk about internet calling. It lets you make free audio and video call from you iPad to any device which can run Skype. The latest version also allows you to send video messages, share photos etc. You can also call landline and mobile numbers and send SMS after purchasing the credit. Download Skype for iPad.
FaceTime is a pre-installed feature for these new devices. With activated FaceTime, you can make video and audio calls to any iOS and Mac device which supports the FaceTime. However, it won’t work on other devices other than Apple’s.
It is also a good option. It lets you create new accounts to manage the credit and buy minutes. In-app purchases make it a hassle free app. Another feature, which is absent in most other such apps, is the ability to record the calls. Download WePhone.
A good app if you want to do conference calling. You can talk with 20 callers at a time. It also supports call forwarding. The subsciption is on. monthly basis. You also get unlimited texting for few countries. The complete list of features can be found on official Line2 App Store page.
Besides these there are many other applications available in the App Store which can give you original phone-app like experience on these larger devices. If you are using any other app on your iPad, please share it with our readers.