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How to Use an iPad as Phone (Calls and Texts)

How to Use an iPad as Phone (Calls and Texts)

There are a few ways to use an iPad as a Phone replacement and use it to make calls as well as other tasks you might need.

You can use your iPad Air or iPad Pro as a phone by though allowing phone calls on your iPad. This is done by ‘relaying’ calls from your iPhone alternatively, you can utilizing apps like Skype, Google Voice, and WhatsApp.

Related: Smartphone Alternatives: Best Non Smart Phones

Since iPad’s can’t use cellular data to make phone calls the same exact way an iPhone does, the iPad can only be used as a partial phone replacement.

Certain apps can be used to make and receive calls on an iPad…

However, If you have an iPhone you can alternatively use your iPad as an actual phone rather than just a phone app by enabling a few settings and connecting to Wi-Fi

In this post, I’ll cover how to use an iPad as a Phone as well as every possible alternative and workaround for those who don’t want to relay their iPhones calls to their iPad.

Using an iPad as a phone replacement

Using an iPad as a phone replacement

Using an iPad as a phone replacement is not uncommon and proves to be a great solution in several scenarios. More and more iphone owners are completely replacing their phones with iPads… and for a good reason. Even CEOs of companies are using tablets in place of their phones.

Let’s face it… iPads are essentially iPhones, but on steroids. They include bigger screens, and make everyday tasks significantly more comfortable for web browsing, reading eBooks, GPS navigation, note-taking, presentations.

See our post: 13 Best Online Whiteboards for Teaching, Remote work and Zoom

Ipads are used by many as an iPhone replacement when their mobile device is not powerful enough or when the display is too small. This is possible since the iPad is basically just a larger, stronger iPhone.

Related: Can an iPad Replace a Laptop for a College Student?

“Showing my family and friends a funny video on instagram or facebook just doesn’t work on the iPhone the way it does on a iPad… the iPad has become [unexpectedly] very useful”

But, can you use an iPad for calling and texting without an iPhone? Many are left wondering if there are certain limitations when it comes to your phone carrier.

Related: See the 6 Best Apps to Convert Handwriting to Text on iPad and iPhone

I’ll uncover the answer to these questions, (and many more), throughout this article.

Can I use the iPad as a phone?

Can I use the iPad as a phone_

So, can you use an iPad as a phone and Could an iPad Pro, for example, be your exclusive mobile device?

To use an iPad as a phone, first ensure that your iPad meets the necessary operating system requirements, which is at least iOS 8 or iPadOS or greater.

Then, from your iPhone, go to the settings, select Phone and then turn on “Allow Calls on Other Devices” under “Calls on Other Devices.”

On your iPad, go to settings, then FaceTime and turn on “Calls from iPhone” feature. Now you can make and receive calls on your iPad using your iPhone’s number.

Sure, iPads are certainly more powerful than iPhones, however the biggest issue with using an iPad instead of a phone is that you can’t use your iPad as an actual ‘cellular carrier phone’ and without the use of google voice or skype, you’ll need a real mobile phone to relay text and calls.

Indeed, most people communicate through WhatsApp, emails, Slack, Skype, and other similar apps for voice and video calls. As a user in Reddit says, answering that argument “who really needs to text and call nowadays?”

Related: How to Turn your iPad into a Laptop [Complete Guide]

George, a very good friend of mine argues that: “after exclusively using an iPad tablet, I didn’t have a single missed call or text’. This shows us how insignificant these ‘carrier only’ features have become. Apple has significantly increased the technology amongst their devices.

How to use the iPad as a Phone

How to use the iPad as a Phone

To use the iPad as you would a phone (for a phone call), you would simply utilize Wi-Fi calling by relaying these calls through your actual smartphone.

You’ll be using your existing iPhone to send calls over by activating a few settings. The disadvantage to this is that you’ll need either iPhone or Wi-Fi to use your iPad as a phone since you’ll be using an app or phone relay.

Related: If you plan on drawing, see our post on which Procreate iPad is Best?

Making calls from iPad through using an iPhone

Making calls from iPad through using an iPhone

If you own both an iPhone and an iPad, there are times when using your iPad to make a phone call is more convenient than using your iPhone. For these times, we have created a list of things you have to do to sync your devices and use both of them for calls and messages. 

Here’s how you can use an iPad as a phone

  1. Make sure that your iPad meets the OS requirements: must have at least iOS 8, iPadOS, or greater.
  2. From your iPhone, Go to settings, then Phone, then mCalls on Other Devices.
  3. Next, Turn on ‘Allow Calls‘ on Other Devices.
  4. From your iPad, locate msettings, then FaceTime
  5. Select to turn on Calls from iPhone from iPad

You are all set! When you receive a call into your iPhone, it will automatically ring on your iPad as well. If you want to call someone, just open the Contacts or Facetime app from your iPad and choose the person you want to call.

For those looking for the right protection, see our post on the 11 Best iPad Hand Holders & iPad Cases with a pencil holder.

Can Ipad mini, iPad Air, or iPad Pro make phone calls?

Can Ipad mini, iPad Air, or iPad Pro make phone calls_

You should have in mind that all iPads (iPad mini, iPad, iPad Air, and iPad Pro) have the same features concerning offline calls and texts. You have the option to purchase a cellular iPad, which means that the iPad has a SIM slot and thus can connect to a cellular data network, just like your phone.

If you’re using an iPhone and want to add a SD Card slot, then see our post: Does iPhone have an SD Card slot? (How to add one)

Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that you will be able to make calls and send texts, but you won’t need a WiFi network to connect to the internet. Thus, to make or receive cellular calls through iPads, you will need to either relay phone calls using an iPhone or use workaround apps like Google Voice or Skype, for your iPad to work as a phone.

Also see: iPad vs Laptop Pros and Cons: Replacing a Laptop with iPad

Can I use my iPad to make phone calls without an iPhone?

Can I use my iPad to make phone calls without an iPhone_

So, let’s say you are in the middle of a situation where your phone just died or you forgot to bring it with you on a trip, and you have to make a phone call. You have a look at the board of your car, and you see your iPad giving you instructions as a GPS device.

Can you make a phone call through it, now that you can’t use your iPhone? The answer is yes, you can do it if you have internet access.

Related: Can an iPad Replace a Laptop for a College Student?

How to use iPad Mini as a Cell Phone

How to use iPad Mini as a Cell Phone

There are plenty of ways you can make a phone call with your iPad mini, but it won’t replace a dedicated phone because the mechanism that smartphones use to make voice calls & connect to your contacts is designed only to work on a cell phone. As mentioned there’s app to make this happen on the iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro.

If you make sure that the iPad has access to the web, then calling someone will be simple if you’re able to utilize a popular phone app online or a texting service that also allows this like WhatsApp.

As far as battery length goes, the iPad mini as a cell phone works well. For more on the iPhone battery in general, see our post: How to Fix iPhone Battery Draining Overnight

How to make calls from iPad without iPhone

How to make calls from iPad without iPhone

Calling and texting through your iPad without depending on your iPhone is now easier than ever before. There are applications like Skype and Facetime (between Apple users) that allow you to place free internet calls and messages and the only thing you have to do is download them from the App Store and sign up.

Talkatone is also a great alternative, which offers you a way of calling or texting anyone in the U.S when combined with Google Voice. Talkatone extends the service of Google Voice and allows you to make free calls by providing you a phone number. When you obtain this number, outgoing or incoming calls and messages will show on your iPad, just like it would be with a phone.

Related: See the 7 Best iPad Air Stylus for Drawing and Note Taking (Top Pens)

How to use your iPad as a document camera for video conferencing and remote learning

How to use your iPad as a document camera for video conferencing and remote learning

If you need to use your iPad as a second, document camera while having a presentation in Zoom or Google meet, you should know that it is feasible, just by following several super-easy steps. Let’s have a quick look at everything you have to do to get your iPad set up as a document camera.

However, to use your iPad as a document camera, the first thing you need to do, no matter which meeting app you use, is to find something for your device to rest on while used as a document camera. Although there are many reliable stands on the market for you to choose from, most people use random boxes for this purpose.

Related: How to Make a DIY Tablet Stand in 1 Minute or Less

Once you have your stand ready to go, follow the steps below for Zoom and Google Meet:

Using an iPad for business meetings in Zoom:

  • Open Zoom Application
  • Start or join a meeting
  • Click the Share Screen control (you can find that in the middle of Zoom’s hub)
  • Click iPad via Cable
  • Connect your iPad to your computer and press Trust
  • Place your iPad on the stand and make sure the camera faces the document.
  • You are ready to go. Your iPad’s camera should be now functioning as a document camera.

Using an iPad for remote learning in Google meet:

  • Start a meeting from another device (PC or Laptop).
  • Join the meeting through your iPad as well.
  • Turn off the iPad’s volume and microphone.
  • Click the top-right menu of your iPad (3 dots) and switch the camera to rear-facing.
  • Place your iPad on the stand and make sure the camera faces the document.
  • All done. You are now able to use your iPad’s camera as a document as a secondary camera for your presentation.

If you’re using a document camera on iPad or iPhone for remote learning, see our post on the 7 Best iPad Document Camera Stands in 2021 (iPhone & iPad)


You can use an iPad as a phone, but it won’t behave exactly like your iPhone or smartphone will regarding the use of voice calling.

There are a few different ways to replace your phone with your iPad, the most popular being relaying your iPhone incoming calls to your iPad and using your iPad to make calls. The second method is to use a phone app like WhatsApp or Skype to use your iPad as a phone replacement.

Whichever route you choose, there will be work around methods that are effective as mentioned, but for voice calling the standard smartphone is still the most simple and straightforward way to make calls.

About the author:

Photo of Paul Michael, Founder of MediaPeanut

Paul Michael

Paul Michael is a media and technology expert whose research reveals how technology and media are being used in the world today. He has expertise on computers, the internet, streaming, Roku, electronics, and education. He also enjoys graphic design & digital art. Paul has his Bachelors of Arts and Science(s) from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ