using idevice for pos tethered to an iphone?
July 11, 2018 11:56 AM   Subscribe

Don't want to pay for monthly fee to have a second live idevice on my cell phone account, because I probably will only be using it a little bit here and there. Is using my primary phone as a wifi tether for a second idevice with a pos app like Stripe on it a bad idea?

I am going to sell some stuff at a small art fair, and will be the only person tending my table. I may do more of these in the future, but don't have plans to do a lot of these. I could use my personal phone only for payments, but I feel like it would be better to hand people a device that is not my primary personal phone, in case I dunno, they run off with it? drop it? etc. I feel like I had heard about people having ipads with cell service plans where you could just turn it on for a month, as well, but can't seem to find any right now. Anyway, seems like the most affordable option, that way I just use the data from my primary phone for transactions. Should the second device suffer something catastrophic, I could just switch over to my personal phone.

Suggestions? Thanks mefiters!
posted by bitterkitten to Technology (4 answers total)
Best answer: I sell at markets and craft shows, and use Stripe on my personal phone without any problems so far. (There's not much overlap in the venn diagram of art fair attendees and phone thieves.) An Otterbox or similar sturdy case could minimize the effect of dropping the phone. That said, I guess you could get a wifi-only iPad and set up your phone to act as a mobile hot spot, but why not try one show with just your phone and see how it goes?
posted by Sweetie Darling at 1:04 PM on July 11, 2018

I've used my iPhone as a hot spot for an (Android) tablet running Square at art fairs and not had any problems with that setup, but I already had the tablet. I agree you may not need to buy one just for that.
posted by therewithal at 1:35 PM on July 11, 2018

Best answer: Running Stripe off of a secondary device using your phone's hotspot feature should work fine assuming you have the hotspot functionality turned on in your cell plan, and then you could get something fairly inexpensive like an iPod Touch (yes they still make those) for the actual human interaction part. The hotspot thing just turns your phone into a mini router, so anything that normally works over the Internet should work over it.

You could also get an iPad with cell support or an old/refurb iPhone and get a pre-pay plan from somewhere and just put the SIM card they give you in it. You would have to be careful to make sure you're not getting one that comes pre-attached to a plan and that the pre-pay provider you choose works with that device. (For example, a Verizon iPhone 6 won't work on Sprint.) That way you'd just pay into it whenever you need to.
posted by mrg at 2:54 PM on July 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My experience is that trying to get service for my phone at a show is enough of a hassle already without adding on trying to get the hotspot working as well; sales tended to be far enough apart that I have to reconnect the tablet to the phone the one or two times I tried it because it disconnects after a while with no data. I just plug my Square reader into my phone and use that.

Oh, and take a battery pack for your phone. You’ll be needing it by the end of the day, especially if sales get slow and you start using it to distract yourself.
posted by egypturnash at 1:07 AM on July 12, 2018

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