Cheat Sheet

iPad For Seniors For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From IPad For Seniors For Dummies, 9th Edition

By Jesse Feiler

iPads cost a pretty penny, especially if you have a Wi-Fi + Cellular model with phone equipment subsidies and two-year contracts disappearing. This is why you should know how to take care of your iPad and troubleshoot any problems it might have.

Extending Your iPad’s Battery Life

The much-touted ten-hour battery life of the iPad is a wonderful feature, but you can do some things to extend it even further. Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Use Airplane Mode.
    As its name suggests, Airplane Mode is designed to turn off communication features such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular data, which take power because they periodically check in with the network. If you’re using your iPad for purposes that don’t require communication, turn on Airplane Mode by tapping Settings and then tapping the Airplane Mode on/off button.
    Also, Control Center lets you quickly turn Airplane Mode, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi on and off. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to display Control Center.

    ipad-srs-control-center
    Control Center lets you quickly turn Airplane Mode, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi on and off.

    Many airlines now allow the use of Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi during flight so Airplane Mode may not be as necessary as it once was, but it’s still needed (usually) during take-offs and landings. In addition to its aeronautical uses, Airplane Mode is the simplest way to conserve power, and if you want to concentrate on something, it may be a simple tool to use.

  • Turn off Background App Refresh.
    You might want to turn off this setting (tap Settings→General→Background App Refresh) for some of your power-hungry apps if you don’t need them to run in the background. News, for example, routinely checks for updates. If you’re feeling stressed by too much connectivity, try turning off background refresh in some noncritical apps.
  • Keep tabs on remaining battery life.
    You can estimate the amount of remaining battery life by looking at the Battery icon at the far-right end of the status bar, at the top of your screen as you see in the figure.
  • Use standard accessories to charge your iPad most effectively.
    The most effective way to charge your iPad is to plug it into a wall outlet by using the Lightning-to-USB cable and the 10 W or 12 W USB Power Adapter that comes with your iPad.
    The fastest way to charge the iPad is to turn it off while charging it.
  • Don’t keep your iPad connected.
    Your battery may lose power if you leave it connected to the USB port on an external keyboard.

Your iPad comes with a USB Power Adapter. With the variety of devices, Apple now has a guide to adapters here Apple.com. Your best bet is to use the adapter that came with your iPad. If you have another adapter, refer to Apple’s page cited here, but if it’s an Apple power adapter, you’ll be safe. If you use a smaller power adapter than the one that came with your iPad, you’ll probably increase the charging time, but you shouldn’t do damage.

What to Do with an Unresponsive iPad

Sometimes your iPad refuses to respond. Before you throw it through the window and run to the Apple store, there are a few troubleshooting things you can try. If your iPad goes dead on you, try these solutions:

  • Charge the battery. The problem is most likely to be a power issue, so the first thing to do is plug the Lightning-to-USB cable into the 10 W or 12 W USB Power Adapter, plug the adapter into a wall outlet, plug the other end of the Lightning-to-USB cable into your iPad, and charge the battery.
  • Quit apps. If you believe that an app is hanging up the iPad, press the Sleep/Wake button for a couple of seconds; then press and hold the Home button. The apps you were using should close.
  • Restart the iPad. You can always try the tried-and-true reboot procedure. Press the Sleep/Wake button until a red slider appears, and drag the slider to the right to turn off your iPad. After a few moments, press the Sleep/Wake button to boot up the little guy again.
  • Reset the iPad. If the situation seems to be drastic and none of these ideas works, try to reset your iPad. To do this, press the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time until the Apple logo appears onscreen. (This reset doesn’t interfere with the data on your iPad.)

Apple offers AppleCare+. For $99, you get two years of coverage, which protects you even if you drop or spill liquids on your iPad. (Apple covers up to two incidents of accidental damage.) The terms and prices change over time so checkout the link here to find out the current information. See Apple support for more details.

Updating Your iPad’s Software

Apple occasionally updates the iPad system software (iOS) to fix problems or offer enhanced features. You can update manually or automatically. To update your software automatically, tap Settings→General→Software Update to update your software.

If you prefer to download updates yourself, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your iPad to your computer with the USB-to-Lightning cable that came with your iPad.
  2. Open iTunes on your computer.

    If you don’t have iTunes installed, you can download it for free at iTunes.

  3. Select your iPad in the Devices list in iTunes.
  4. Click the Summary tab.
  5. Click the Check for Update button. iTunes displays a message telling you whether a new update is available.
  6. Click the Update button to install the newest version.

If you’re having problems with your iPad, you can use the Update feature to restore the current version of the software. Follow the preceding steps, but click Restore instead of Update in Step 6.

Getting Support for Your iPad

Every new iPad comes with a year’s coverage of the hardware and 90 days’ worth of free technical support. Apple is known for its helpful customer support, so if you’re stuck, I recommend that you try it. Here are a few options you can explore for getting help:

  • Apple Store
    Go to your local Apple Store (if one is handy) to see what the folks there may know about your problem. It’s best to make an appointment to avoid long lines.
  • Apple’s support website
    Visit iPad Support. You can find online manuals, discussion forums, and downloads on this site, and you can use the Apple Expert feature to contact a support person by phone.
  • iPad User Guide for iOS 10
    Download the manual for free.

Back Up Your iPad to iCloud

Backing up your iPad is important. If you have an existing iCloud account, you can back up your iPad to iCloud. Here’s how to back up your iPad:

  1. Tap Settings→iCloud to display the iCloud screen.
  2. Tap Backup. (You may have to scroll down to the find it.)
  3. From the Backup screen, do one of the following:
    • To enable automatic backups, tap the iCloud Backup on/off button.
    • To perform a manual backup, tap Back Up Now. A progress bar shows how your backup is moving along.