Tips & Tricks: Getting More Out of Your Apple iPad
The iPad is a great device, combining the features of a laptop, phone and media player, all in one portable unit. Here are a few tricks and hints to make sure you’re optimizing the use of your iPad.
Set up a password
Before getting started, it’s a great idea to set up a
passcode for your device to protect from any unwanted intrusions.
Setting up a password can be done in a few simple steps. One tip: it’s a good idea to do a backup on iTunes first. That way, you can easily save your data and restore your device if you forget your code. Once a password is set, if you forget what it is, you’ll have to restore your entire device and you’ll basically be starting from scratch.
When your backup is complete, just follow these steps:
- Open the Settings menu from your home screen and choose the General tab. Additional options will display on the right. Select Passcode Lock (option number seven)
- Select a four-digit number to be your password. Make this something meaningful and unique (and, importantly, something you won’t forget). You’ll be prompted to enter it again to confirm.
You can stop here and your password will be ready to go. If you want to tinker with your settings further however, keep following on.
- Once your passcode is set, you’ll be presented with the Require Passcode option on the right of your screen. Adjusting these settings will change the time where you can use your iPad without needing to enter a password. Your options range anywhere from ‘Immediately’ to four hours.
- To the right, you’ll also find the ‘Erase Data’ option. If this is selected, your iPad will completely erase your data after 10 unsuccessful password attempts.
You can switch your passcode off at any time using the slider or change your password using the ‘Change Passcode’ option.
Redeem a Promo or Gift
So your family’s finally listened and you’ve received an iTunes voucher or a promo card for your birthday this year. The good news is that you can redeem it from your device in minutes, without needing to go near a computer.
To do this, open up the App Store and go straight to the bottom of the screen. Hit ‘Redeem’ button and type in your code. Once it’s confirmed, you’re free to use your gift when and how you’d like. If your gift is for a particular app, it’ll start downloading automatically.
Which brings us to our next point…
Get started with Apps
Just as it’s the clothes that make the man, it’s the apps that make the iPad. The App Store has thousands of apps available for pretty much anything you’d ever need.
Choosing a category
When you open the App Store from your home screen, you’ll see options down the bottom of different categories of apps.
- The Featured tab will take you what’s new and notable on the store.
- Under Top Charts, you can see what’s hot among users, divided into paid apps, free apps and he highest grossing. Click the ‘Show More’ button to see all the top apps within a category (we bet that free apps are going to be a favourite).
- In the Categories section you’ll see – you guessed it – apps sorted by category. You can pick a topic you’re interested in (such as health, utilities, news etc.) and browse for top-rated apps.
- Finally, the Update screen will notify you if any of your existing apps need to download an update.
Downloading an app
As noted above, apps are available for free as well as paid.
To download a free app, simply tap the ‘GET’ button and it’ll transform into ‘INSTALL APP’. Click again to start the download. For paid apps, you’ll see the price displayed instead of the ‘GET’ button. You can pay for apps using your iTunes account or you can nominate a different credit card by scrolling to the bottom of the main App Store page and selecting ‘Account’.
To see details on any app, simply click the title and you’ll be taken to another screen. Here you can read a detailed description, see screenshots and read user reviews.
When the app starts downloading, you’ll see an icon on your home screen with a progress status. Once the button appears in full color, it’s ready to go.
Move or Delete Apps
Say you’ve changed your mind on your latest app or you just want to move it to a different spot. Deleting and rearranging apps is simple.
Using any app on your home screen, press the icon and hold it down. After a while, the app buttons will shake and an ‘X’ will be displayed in the top right-hand corner.
If you want to move an app, simply tap and drag it to its new location. Your other apps will rearrange to adjust. You can move an app within the screen or you can drag it across multiple pages of your display.
To remove an app, simply click the ‘X’ and hit yes when asked to confirm if you want to delete it.
Once your screen is how you like it, press the Home button to complete the process.
Snap a Screenshot
Screenshots are a great way to capture information, save using your data and much more. You might be aware of the screenshot feature of your iPhone, but what you may not know is that it works for your iPad as well.
Taking a screenshot is simple – just hold the power/lock button at the top your device at the same time as the ‘Home’ button (the main button below the screen). Once the screen flickers, you’ll know that the shot has been captured successfully.
Open up the Photos app and your image should be the first on the camera roll.
Get Better with your Cursor
One of the few disadvantages of a touchscreen is reduction in the accuracy that you’d find with a mouse or a keyboard. Getting a cursor where you want can be difficult, but there’s a simple trick to help you along the way.
If you’re trying to accurately place your cursor, simply touch a spot on the screen and hold it down. A magnifying glass will pop up, allowing you to see and precisely move your cursor.
Back to Basics: Copy, Cut and Paste
Even the least computer literate of users are probably familiar with the copy, cut and paste functions in any platform.
To use these features on your iPad, simply tap and hold down a word or image on the screen. The magnifying glass will appear (as noted above). Once you let go, the text or image will be highlighted and handles will display on either side. These can be held down and dragged to select more or less.
When you’ve made your selection, you can choose ‘Cut’ or ‘Copy’ from the black menu box displayed.
From there, you can paste anywhere you can enter text (such as the search bar of Safari or a new email) or display pictures. You’ll need to click once to make the keyboard appear, then you can double tap and select ‘Paste’.
Just like copy and paste, the iPad also comes with the more basic option to undo or redo, all without using a keyboard.
Shaking your iPad will work, just like it does with an iPhone. If this feels a bit reckless however, you can just use the keyboard on screen.
Activate the keyboard and then hit the ‘.?123’ icon. This will display the second set of keyboard options, amongst which will be an ‘Undo’ option. To redo, select ‘#+-‘ and the option will appear.
Hook up a USB
Don’t throw away your USB-based devices just yet. While the iPad doesn’t have a USB port as such, there is a way to navigate this issue and connect your gadgets.
For the price of about $29, you can pickup a camera connection kit from the Apple store. While this was originally intended to connect cameras only, it will also accommodate most USBs. This includes keyboards, speakers and microphones.
As this isn’t the primary purpose of the kit, you may find that not all your devices are compatible. It’s still worth investing however, as you may be surprised what works.
If the worst happens and your iPad freezes or starts misbehaving, you may find that a ‘hard reset’ solves your woes.
To do this, hold down the Power button at the same time as the Home button, just like you would for a screenshot. This time however, don’t let go until the Apple logo displays (which should be around 10 seconds).
After a while, your iPad should reboot and be back in action.