Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Thrifty iPad Tips

I can't believe I haven't yet told you about my exiting new toy! This year I treated myself with my Birthday money to a shiny new iPad Mini.

Whilst purchasing an iPad isn't thrifty (although in my personal experience, Apple's excellent customer service and the durability of their products do make a case in their favour) there are definitely thrifty ways to make the most of it, once you've made the initial investment. Here are my 5 thrifty iPad recommendations:

1. Buy from John Lewis

They're the same price as the competition, but offer a 2 year warranty (standard is 1 year) and you can 'Click and Collect' from a Waitrose store if you don't live near a John Lewis. Also if you have a cash back credit card which favours department stores, you may be able to benefit on this pricey purchase.

2. If you go for a 3G iPad make the most of a competitive market for data plans

Don't tie yourself in to a long contract as prices are falling rapidly. Use Quidco to get cash back when you sign up for a data plan and take advantage of any offers, e.g. recommend a friend on Giff Gaff. Also call your mobile phone company to see if they can tack a data plan onto your existing contract. Work out what you'll use a month with this handy calculator and check what it'll cost you if you go over your allowance. Sign up for balance reminders to keep on top of your usage.

3. Make the most of free apps

The iTunes store has a category for free apps, so check for a free alternative before you pay. Most paid-for apps have a free version with less functionality, check if this is sufficient for your needs before paying out. If you visit Starbucks, you can also pick up a free 'Pick of the Week' download.

If you already have an iPhone, you can download these same apps for your iPad, so don't duplicate.

4. Buy the right accessories to maximise your iPad

A lot of the reason for my decision to purchase was that I travel fairly frequently for work. When I'm in the car, I usually use my phone as a sat nav, but the screen is really too small and the older my phone gets, the slower it has become and the worse the effect of the sat nav app on the battery. Instead of spending £100 on a Tom Tom or similar, I've just invested in a windscreen mount for my iPad and use this free sat nav app.

I've also invested in a Bluetooth keyboard so I can use my iPad Mini productively on the train (and don't worry, you do get used to the tiny keyboard, in fact I'm typing this post on it now!)

I would also advise buying a decent case to protect your iPad from knocks and falls. I have this one which is ideal, acting as both a cover and a stand and looking very pretty at the same time.

5.Shop around

Apple Store prices can be eye watering for iPad accessories so shop around! The same goes for downloads- you don't have to use the Apple Store. Amazon mp3s are cheaper and are compatible with iTunes and I also find the Kindle store cheaper for books etc.

PS Apologies for the lack of photos, my camera is broken and I can't use the iPad to take pictures of itself (maybe that's its one drawback?)

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