Is it possible to use the iPad 2 as a kind of oversized mobile phone for everyday use?

  • Using the 3G functionality available in some models?
  • Using VoIP through WLAN?
  • Using other means?
  • With or without additional gadgets like headsets

and I mean not just theoretically possible, but really feasible with decent audio quality and a pleasant experience even for long calls.

Does anybody have experience with this?

  • It's not designed for this, use iPhone.
    – user11792
    Oct 9, 2011 at 16:38
  • @user yeah, that may well be the conclusion - but I'd really like to know whether there is a chance to do this on a pad. The phone is too small for everything else I want to do besides telephony.
    – Pekka
    Oct 9, 2011 at 17:39
  • 1
    Plus it's fun just using a bigass phone.
    – Dante
    Oct 10, 2011 at 9:31

2 Answers 2


There are numerous possibilities outside Skype.

First; the iPad fully supports the three ring headset that Apple sells. Both the stock Apple Earphones that ship with every iPhone, and even the Apple In-Ear Headphones. Meaning that you can use third ring microphone for any/all input methods. And, of course, all iPads have built-in speakers and microphones, so you can even use it in a "Speaker Phone" style of use.

If you have access to a Asterisk or similar SIP PBX server, then you have access to a myriad of Softphone applications, many of which are very capable and support all the latest features (namely backgrounding) including 3G calling where applicable. Take a gander at AppShopper.com's list of results when searching for "softphone".

While not an official recommendation because I haven't used it personally, I do give a nod to Counterpath's Bria app, because I've used Counterpath's SIP clients on the desktop for years.


As long as you restrict yourself to Skype it might just work. The recent Skype update brought Bluetooth support so you could just use a headset to make phone calls.

Ordinary phone calls are not possible though, even on the 3G models (they only support data connections).

  • Or you can use FaceTime too. Rumors are that it may also be activated in 3G in iOS 5. Jailbreaking may also be an option to enable it on 3G but I'm not sure if that only applies to the iPhone. In any case, it'll be cumbersome to manage no matter how you fenagle it.
    – user10355
    Oct 9, 2011 at 20:44
  • Skype works very well with the iPad over WiFi. I was on a very long call and ran down the batteries on my iPhone and Blackberry (+backup battery) before giving my iPad a sideways glance and thinking,"I wonder..." With an iPhone headset (QC15 in my case) it works wonderfully.
    – Art Taylor
    Oct 10, 2011 at 3:51

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