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Smartphones & Tablets

Can I bring a smartphone to campus?

Yes. Either an iPhone or an Android phone will work with our wireless network and email. We do not recommend that students bring a Windows Phone 8 smartphone, since we use Gmail For Education for our email and Windows Phone 8 has difficulties connecting to Gmail.

Does Bethany provide a smartphone for students?

No. Students are welcome to bring their own.

What kind of smartphone should I get?

We recommend either an iPhone or an Android smartphone.

The advantages of an iPhone are its light weight, excellent screen, and vast library of available applications. Additionally, an iPhone will work with Bethany Gmail. The disadvantages of an iPhone are the inability to remove its battery, lack of expandable storage, and single screen size – no smaller or larger screens are available.

There is a vast array of different Android smartphones, with a variety of different options – removable batteries, expandable storage, physical keyboards, and screen sizes ranging from three inches to six inches and larger. Additionally, an Android phone will work seamlessly with Bethany Gmail, since Google develops both Gmail and Android. The disadvantage of an Android smartphone is that it may take some research to find a model that you like and is supported by your wireless carrier.

Generally, we have had the best results with the Samsung Galaxy S line of phones, the HTC One, and the Motorola Droid phones.

What carrier should I get?

This depends on your budget and data needs. If you are already a member of a family plan, it may be more economical to stay with that family plan. Purchasing a plan and a smartphone through a major national carrier like Verizon or Sprint generally means you can buy a smartphone as a subsidized price, and have access to technical and customer support if your phone breaks. The downside is that you will likely pay a higher monthly fee. If you are purchasing your own phone/data plan, you might want to consider a prepaid plan like Net10 or Tracfone. These plans generally offer unlimited talk and data for a lower cost per month, though there are usually hidden caps that come into play after a certain amount of data consumption. The downside is that prepaid plans usually have poor to nonexistent customer support, and the smartphones are not subsidized, which means you will have to pay a higher initial cost for your phone.

Do I need to worry about viruses on my smartphone?

For the most part, iPhones and Android smartphones are generally secure from viruses. The most likely way to get a virus on your iPhone is to “root” the phone and install applications from a third-party source. For Android, it is easier to get a virus, but it also takes some work. Most Android viruses come from sketchy apps in the Google Play store (pornographic apps are often malware vectors, as are third-party knock-offs of popular apps) or from third-party app stores on the Internet.

Generally, so long as you obtain apps from the iTunes Store or the Google Play store (and avoided pornographic and pirated apps), you shouldn’t have to worry about viruses on your smartphone.

Can I bring a tablet to campus?

Yes. Either an iPad or an Android tablet will work with our network, though we currently do not support  printing from tablets.

Does Bethany provide a tablet for students?

No. Students are welcome to bring their own.

What size of tablet should I get?

Generally, tablets tend to come in two sizes – small tablets that have a screen size of seven to eight inches, and larger tablets that have screens ranging from 9.7 to 10.6 inches. The advantage of a smaller tablet is that the battery life is typically better, due to the smaller screen, and that smaller tablets are usually cheaper than larger models. The disadvantage is that the smaller screen is harder to type on, and harder to read due to the small size. The advantage of a larger tablet is that the larger screen can display more information. Additionally, with a Bluetooth keyboard or a keyboard case, a larger tablet can sometimes act as a substitute for a laptop. The disadvantage is that a larger tablet has worse battery life, due to the necessity of powerful a screen. Additionally, larger tablets are usually more expensive than a smaller device.

What kind of tablet should I get?

Either an iPad or an Android tablet.

An iPad or an iPad Mini offers several advantages. Both the screen quality and the battery life are good, and the iPad has access to a vast library of tablet apps via the iTunes Store. Additionally, with a Bluetooth keyboard or a keyboard case, an iPad can act as a laptop substitute. The chief disadvantage of the iPad is its cost – an iPad or an iPad Mini can cost substantially more than a comparable Android tablet.

Android tablets come in a wide variety of sizes, with 7 inch and 10 inch screens being the most common. Android tablets are usually cheaper than a comparable iPad, and often have a slot for a microSD card, allowing you to store more data than an iPad. As with the iPad, an Android tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard or a keyboard case can sometimes act as a laptop substitute. The disadvantage of the Android tablets is that there are so many models and sizes that it can take some research to find one that meets your needs.

Generally, we have had the best results with the Samsung Galaxy line of tablets, the ASUS Transformer tablets, and the Google Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets.

Do I need to worry about viruses on my tablet?

For the most part, iPads and Android tablets are generally secure from viruses. The most likely way to get a virus on your iPad is to “root” the tablet and install applications from a third-party source.

For Android, it is easier to get a virus, but it also takes some work. Most Android viruses come from sketchy apps in the Google Play store (pornographic apps are often malware vectors, as are third-party knock-offs of popular apps) or from third-party app stores on the Internet.

Generally, so long as you obtain apps from the iTunes Store or the Google Play store (and avoid pornographic and pirated apps), you shouldn’t have to worry about viruses on your tablet.