How to share an iPhone Personal Hotspot to iPad

How to share an iPhone Personal Hotspot to iPad
Quick Mac Tip, 01 May 2011

Stuck needing Internet on your iPad, but only having WiFi? If you have an iPhone with the latest iOS update and your service provider offers it, a Personal Hotspot may be the answer. Personal Hotspot replaces Internet Tethering.

This guest Tip is written by Jo Fothergill.

Jo Fothergill. Jo Fothergill is a primary school teacher working with 8 & 9 year old students in New Zealand. Having spent the last 30 years playing with computers, Jo has spent the last 8 years exploring all that is Mac.

With the latest updates to iOS I’m happy that I didn’t get a Wi-Fi + 3G iPad as I can use my iPhone’s built in Personal Hotspot to provide the connection.

A real life test of Personal Hotspot

Go to the Personal Hotspot setting on iPhone.

Go to the Personal Hotspot setting on iPhone.

I tested this on the fly while I was away at an all-day workshop. I suddenly needed to access a PDF that was stored in one of my Dropbox folders.

I could have used my iPhone to access the file but it’s rather large and lots of text so I did the next best thing.

Turn on Personal Hotspot

First I turned on my Personal Hotspot on the iPhone: SettingsPersonal HotspotOn

Personal Hotspot - on or off.

Personal Hotspot – on or off.

Turn on iPad Bluetooth

Then I turned my iPad Bluetooth ON (SettingsGeneralBluetooth) and as my iPhone was already listed all I then had to do was pair with it.

Turn on iPad Bluetooth and connect to the phone.

Turn on iPad Bluetooth and pair with the phone.

Personal Hotspot: 1 Connection

At this point the iPhone shows that it’s connected with a pulsing blue band at the top of whatever screen you’re on.

The Hotspot is on and has one connection.

The Hotspot is on and has one connection.

Meanwhile the iPad displays a couple of chain links near the top left of the screen.

I was then able to access the PDF I needed via my Dropbox. This time I marked it as a Dropbox Favorite so that I could access it again without the hotspot connection.

This connection is only as good as your 3G phone connection. I have an iPhone 3GS and find that it works ok for email and low graphic pages and for accessing my Dropbox.

Chain links show the iPad is connected to the Personal Hotspot.

Chain links at top left of the screen show the iPad is connected to the Personal Hotspot.

Quick Summary

  1. Turn your iPhone Personal Hotspot on.
  2. Turn your iPad Bluetooth ON and connect to your iPhone.
  3. Access the internet as needed.
  4. Don’t forget to disconnect and turn Bluetooth OFF on both devices to save battery.

Miraz adds: remember to check with your Phone service provider whether Personal Hotspot is available for you and what charges are involved.

Do you have a favourite tip for using a Personal Hotspot? Tell us in the Comments. Could you write a guest MacTip? If so, contact me.

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  1. jackie Mager said:

    A huge thank you for the info and description in dummie terms…(me being a dummie) I bought a iPad 2 wifi only and when i read about how u do it if u are not in a wifi spot….i thought….Im laughing, this is great and certainly saves money..

  2. Jo Fothergill said:

    Good to know about the iPhone 4 being able to act as a Wifi hotspot. (Now all I have to do is get a 4!)

  3. KiwiGraham said:

    A little bit of extra info….

    For the iPad to be able to tether to the iPhone via Bluetooth the _iPad_ needs to be running iOS 4.3 or later. Any version of iOS on the iPhone is able to offer a Bluetooth connection point.

    On the iPhone 4 the personal hotspot option includes WiFi (ie. it acts as a mini WiFi network and router) and any iPad or other device can connect to that in the same manner as connecting to any other WiFi network.

    • Miraz Jordan said:

      Thanks for that additional info, Graham.

      I recently used my iPhone as a hotspot for my MacBook Pro. That worked very nicely.

Comments are closed.