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Today, it's almost impossible to do anything worthwhile without technology. We use it for work, and  for communication with friends and family. From the moment we wake up until the time we go to sleep, our lives revolve around tech.

Tech devices like smartphones have become so ingrained in our lives that it's almost inconceivable to think of life without one. Smartphones has made lives a lot easier, whether you use them for calling, texting friends, taking photos, browsing the internet, playing games, or even making payments.

But what if you don't have a smartphone? And let's say that you are traveling and the only device you have with you is your iPad. How will you be in touch with your family and friends back home? Can your iPad be used as a phone?

If this is you, don't get worked up. This article answers that question and provide you with other related information.

Can your iPad be used as a phone?

Yes, an iPad can be used as a phone. This can be done by connecting your iPad to Wi-Fi and using a third-party Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) calling service app. Another alternative is to use a post-paid phone plan and adjust the settings that allow Wi-Fi calling for other devices on the iPad.

Unlike iPhones, the iPad has no default phone app or protocol. It will help if you use calling apps like Facetime audio which allows you to make calls to other iOS device users. But Facetime has a limited number of people you can call as it's only available to Apple users.

Note: VoIP means Voice over Internet Protocol. This means you make phone calls using the internet instead of cellular data.

Should you carry your phone with your Airpods?
You don’t have to be in the same place as your phone for you to enjoy your Airpods. But for the Apple Airpods to work through a Bluetooth connection, they must be within a certain distance of the phone.

Making calls on an iPad with an iPhone

Your Apple ID connects your iPad and iPhone, but there are some changes you have to make to make this possible. If you have an iPhone, making calls will be easier with your iPad as you can direct the calls from your iPhone to your iPad. Apple explains how you can achieve this by following the steps below:

  • Ensure your iPhone and iPad are signed in with the same Apple ID.
  • Go to SETTINGS on your iPhone and select CELLULAR.
  • Choose which SIM card to use if your iPhone has a dual sim phone.
  • Do either of the following:

Select your iPad and any other device where you'd like to use to make and receive calls. (Provided both devices are signed on the same Apple ID, the iPad will be able to make and receive calls if it is near your iPhone.)


Select Wi-Fi calling and toggle on ADD WIFI CALLING FOR OTHER DEVICES. (Provided both devices are signed on the same Apple ID, the iPad will be able to make and receive calls when your iPhone is not nearby.)

  • Then, Go to the settings app on your iPad and select Facetime.
  • If the option comes up, turn on WIFI CALLING.
  • Open the Facetime app on your iPad.
  • Enter a contact or phone number and dial it.

Other Apps to make calls on the iPad

You should know that an iPad doesn't have a cellular telephone network or MMS/SMS services. So it means you have to make calls through Wi-Fi if you don't want to connect your iPad to your iPhone.

With this method, you will use apps like Skype, Facetime, Ooma, and more, for calling and sending messages online through platforms like Skype, iMessage, Google Hangouts, and so on.

An iPad showing different apps on it

How to use FaceTime

  • Go to your app store and download the Facetime app.
  • Once it's installed, open it.
  • Click on the plus sign to select someone from the contact you want to call. You can include more than one contact if you wish.
  • Once you've selected who you want to call, select either to make a video call or an audio call.
  • Facetime will then call and connect you to the person.

How to text on an iPad with an iPhone

You need to set up the text forwarding message to receive messages from your iPhone on your iPad. This is a straightforward process.

  • Ensure that your iPhone and iPad are logged in to your Apple ID.
  • Go to SETTINGS on your iPhone and tap on MESSAGES.
  • Then, choose your iPad that you also want to receive the text messages on your iPhone.

How to text on an iPad without an iPhone

If you want to send text messages on your iPad but don't have an iPhone, there are two ways you can do this. The two ways still require a Wi-Fi connection.

Using a third-party SMS messaging app

Use the Google Voice app, where you can get a phone number to text for free. You can also use the number given to you to make calls. Remember that Google Voice works for only those living in the United States.

You can also use the Skype app to receive and send messages between Skype users for free. But if you want to message someone without a skype account, you must pay for a monthly subscription.

Although there are many other apps for sending messages on the app store, e.g. Whatsapp (especially for those outside the US), Google Voice, Whatsapp and skype are among the most popular apps to use as some might require you to pay before using.

Using the email to SMA gateway

This method may seem a bit old-fashioned, but it still works fine, and you don't have to pay for a subscription. If you are not with your iPhone and you want to send SMS to people directly to their phone number instead of an app, then this method is for you.

You need to have an email address, a Wi-Fi connection, and the recipient's cell number (the person's contact to whom you want to send the text message). This method is always free to the user, but the person receiving this message might be asked to pay. Here are steps to send SMS through your mail:

  • Go to your email app and click the COMPOSE to compose a new mail.
  • Input the ten-digit phone number in the section you are meant to put in the recipient's email address.
  • Type in the @gateway address of the recipients you send the message to.
  • Your iPad is now ready to send a message without an iPhone.

Other ways to use your iPad as a phone

You can use third-party internet calling apps to make calls on your iPad if you don't want to use the options listed above.


This is one of the most popular platforms you can use to make internet calls. Unlike FaceTime, Skype is not limited to only iOS device users. Making Skype calls on your iPad is easy. Just download and install the Skype app. Skype to Skype calls are free, but you may pay some charges when calling people that are not on Skype.

Talkatone with Google Voice

Talkatone with Google Voice is a nice substitute for making calls on your iPad. This is a calling app that is free to use through Google Voice. You can place free voice calls to anyone in the United States. You will have to download both the Google Voice app and Talkatone app on your iPad for it to work.


Whatsapp is a popular app that allows you to exchange instant messages, make voice and video calls over the internet. Whatsapp is also cross-platform and is not restricted to Apple users. However, you must register the app with a phone number for it to work. Simply use the SIM card that is not in any smart device to register the app for your iPad.

Can Airpods Pro come in different colors?
Airpods Pro comes in one color - white, but due to huge demand, Airpods can be customized to have different colors. They can be painted in various custom colors, including shiny, matte, and bright colors.

Frequently Asked Questions on an iPad being used as a phone

What is the difference between a phone and an iPad?

The major difference between a phone and an iPad is that your phone can make phone calls through a cellular network in addition to other means of making calls. The iPad cannot make direct cellular phone calls but can use Wi-Fi connections and apps to use workarounds to make calls.

Can I use my iPad as a phone with my SIM card?

No, iPads do not come with SIM cards (except iPad Cellular models). Though, you can use your iPad as a phone with FaceTime, Google Voice, Skype, etc. You can also make calls on them through Wi-Fi calling even if your iPhone isn't close by.

Can I use an iPad (Wi-Fi + Cellular) as a cellphone?

A. Yes, iPad cellular models have SIM slots, allowing the pad to act like a cell phone. It can also use its Wi-Fi connection to carry out other types of calls.

Wrap up

Even if you don't have a smartphone because you hate the idea of being connected at all times, or perhaps you just can't afford one at this time, that doesn't mean you can't stay connected to everyone in your life. Other devices allow you to keep in touch with those who matter most to you without needing a smartphone.

This article explains everything you need to know about an iPad used as a phone. If you have any questions, kindly leave them in the comments section below. Thanks for reading.

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