Can iPad be used as a Phone?

It's not that simple.

Can iPad be used as a Phone

Since the genesis of iPads, the tablet segment has flourished.

Sitting powerfully between a phone and a laptop, tablets are known to be provocative beasts.

The above statement can start a debate as many argue whether iPads could replace laptops.

I have a Dell XPS 15 and an M1 11″ iPad Pro. I can say that the latter cannot replace the former device as I have tried to do so but in vain.

Apple’s groundbreaking iPad was launched in 2010, but now the tablet sector has grown, evident from the various devices launched by manufacturers.

Many people wonder whether or not iPads can be used as a phone?

There’s no simple answer to that, so this article will help you figure out whether an iPad will be perfect for you or should you stick with an iPhone.

There are many aspects you need to look into if you want to climb this mountain and the purpose of this article is to do just that.

Can iPad be used as a Phone?

The answer lies in your needs. What do you want to use your iPad as! But, the major hurdle is calling. More on that below.

Get the basics right

Before you think of using an iPad as a Phone, you need to know some basics that might affect your decision.

Keep in mind that you only hope to use a cellular iPad as a phone, so Wi-Fi-only devices aren’t applicable.

Moreover, many apps still aren’t supported by iPadOS. They include WhatsApp, proper Instagram app, and many more. If you are a content creator, ensure that you search for essential apps on the App Store.

There are many such limitations one would face while using an iPad as a phone, but one major thing is that iPads don’t work with Apple Watch. Yes, you read that right.

Also, you need to have a working iPhone, and both the devices must be signed in with the same Apple ID.

But one thing that iPad has that iPhone doesn’t is Apple Pencil support.

Allow phone calls on your iPad from your iPhone

Before you begin, you should sign in with the same Apple ID on both devices and set up FaceTime on your iPhone and your iPad.

Also, turn on Wi-Fi calling on.

To use FaceTime on both devices, go to Settings > FaceTime, > Turn on FaceTime and Calls from iPhone on your iPad.

After you set up Wi-Fi Calling on your iPhone and iPad, you will be able to make and receive phone calls on iPad.

Placing calls

The simplest way to place calls with your iPad is to use the built-in FaceTime app. It is an audi0+video conferencing app that uses your Apple ID to place phone calls to anyone with an Apple ID and an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or MacBook.

FaceTime app

The easiest way to make phone calls with your iPad is by using the video conferencing software called FaceTime. It comes with your iPad and uses your Apple ID to place phone calls to anyone who also has an Apple ID, anyone who owns an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Mac computer.

All the calls you make from FaceTime are free. You can also receive calls on FaceTime by having people contact the email address associated with your Apple ID. These devices should be running iOS 10 and later.

Here’s how to take advantage of FaceTime.

  • Launch FaceTime app. If it isn’t already on your iPad, you can download it from the App Store for free.
  • Tap the plus sign (+) to call someone from your contacts. You can include multiple contacts in your call and type the contact name on the search box.
  • When you have selected everyone you want to call, press on an Audio to make voice-only calls or Video calls.
  • FaceTime will now place the call.

You can also make FaceTime calls to your contacts through Apple’s Messages app, and you can only call people whose Apple IDs connect to their phone numbers.

But, you will have to use different methods for those who aren’t Apple users.

Place Calls with your iPhone’s Cellular Number

Allow phone calls on your iPad from your iPhone

If you have an iPhone but still want to use your iPad as a primary calling device, you can do so.

You can place “iPhone calls” on your iPad as an alternative to FaceTime. This feature lets your iPad and iPhone identify and receive calls on your tablet as if they were your phone.

Keep in mind that these calls are routed through your iPhone, so you can place calls to anyone, even if they don’t have an Apple ID. So, you need to have an iPhone.

Ensure that your iPhone and iPad are connected to the same Wi-Fi network and that you’re signed in to both using the same Apple ID.

  • Launch Settings on your phone.
  • Find the ‘Phone’ settings.
  • Click on the ‘Calls on Other Devices.’ Flip the switch to on/green at the top of the next screen.
  • When the list of devices shows up, enable the ones you want to route calls to. Other iPads, iPhones, and Macs are supported. With this setting being active, you can make and receive calls on any device you’re signed in to with your Apple ID.

Other Ways to place a call on your iPad


One of the most popular ways to place internet calls, Skype, isn’t limited to people using an iOS device. Setting up Skype on the iPad is a simple process, and you need to download the app from the App Store.

But unlike FaceTime, you would be asked to pay some fees to place calls through Skype, but Skype-to-Skype calls are free. So, you’ll be only paying for calling people who don’t have Skype on their device.

Talkatone with Google Voice:

Skype and FaceTime are great alternatives, but the one-time charge is a fee. But, which service should you opt for to place free calls to anyone in the US?

Talkatone with Google Voice is a fantastic substitute.

iPad Mini as a replacement as a smartphone

Many people would suggest you use an iPad Mini or the latest version (iPad Mini 6) as it is pocketable compared to other giant iPads.

It has 5G data functionality but can’t make phone calls, it doesn’t work with an Apple Watch, and it can’t run apps that require a phone number, like WhatsApp.

But, the iPad Mini 6 is equivalent to an iPhone in fundamental ways. For instance, it’s powered by the same A15 Bionic system-on-chip processor used in the 2021 iPhone 13 line-up, and it has excellent battery life.

The iPad Mini can run both iPhone and iPad apps along with support for the Apple Pencil.

The last segment highlights how the iPad Mini 6 is the next-best alternative to a phone.

Explainer Video

YouTube channel Mac Address recently uploaded a video called “I tried using an iPad Mini as a phone.” Watch the video below.

In the video, Jonathan explains that using the iPad Mini as a pocketable iPhone is possible but still a far-fetched dream.

Even though the iPad Mini is cheaper than an iPhone, the camera differences are perceptible. But, an iPad remains a tablet.

The video also beautifully explains the hurdles you might face if you use an iPad Mini or an iPad Pro as a phone.


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

Unfortunately, an iPad, even though cellular, can’t be used as a carrier cellphone. If you have opted for enough data, you can make calls via Skype or Google Voice. It is called ‘over the Internet.’

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

You can use your iPad as a cellular device with FaceTime, Skype, or even Google Voice. You can also use Wi-Fi Calling on these devices, even though your iPhone isn’t on the same Wi-Fi network.

What is the difference between an iPhone and iPad?

The main operational difference between the iPhone and the iPad is that the former is more mobile and can make phone calls over a cellular network. In contrast, the iPad is a chunky device compared to an iPhone and can’t make phone calls.

Wrapping it up

Now that you know not all iPads can be used as a cellphone, an iPad Mini is a perfect choice if you want to use an iPad as a phone.

The iPad Mini 6 is currently the best small tablet on the market and is competitively priced.

But if you have a regular iPad or an iPad Pro, then best use it as a productivity or media-consumption device as carrying that huge form factor won’t be easy for you.

Not just iPads, people carry their Samsung and tablets of other brands as a work phone, but what matters is that if you are ready to keep that weight on you.


I am an ambivert, an avid reader, a movie buff, a tea connoisseur, and a staunch fan of Priyanka Chopra Jonas. I like to give my insights through words, which come naturally to me. They also help me to express the myriads of emotions I go through. When not working, I'm either watching the latest tech videos or flipping through pages.