Basics of the iPad mini’s Home Screen

If you haven't rearranged your icons on the iPad mini, you will see the following applications on your Home screen, starting at the top left:

  • FaceTime: Use this app to participate in FaceTime video (and audio) chats.

  • Calendar: No matter what calendar program you prefer on your Mac or PC (as long as it's iCal, Calendar, Microsoft Entourage, or Microsoft Outlook or online calendars such as Google or iCloud), you can synchronize events and alerts between your computer and your iPad. Create an event on one device, and the event is automatically synchronized with the other device the next time the two devices are connected.

  • Photos: This application is the iPad's terrific photo manager, which just keeps getting better. It lets you view pictures from a camera or SD card (using the optional Camera Connection Kit), screen shots of your iPad screen, photos synced from your computer, saved from an e-mail or web page, or saved from one of the myriad third-party apps that let you save your handiwork in the Photos app.

    You can zoom in or out, create slide shows, e-mail photos to friends, crop, do a bit of image editing, and much more. And it's where you'll find the Camera Roll album with photos and videos you've taken with your iPad.

  • Camera: This app is for shooting pictures or videos with your iPad's front- or rear-facing camera.

  • Contacts: This handy little app contains information about the people you know. Like the Calendar app, it synchronizes with the Contacts app on your Mac or PC (as long as you keep your contacts in Address Book, Contacts, Microsoft Entourage, or Microsoft Outlook), and you can synchronize contacts between your computer and your iPad.

    If you create a contact on one device, the contact is automatically synchronized with the other device the next time your devices are connected.

  • Maps: This application is among our favorites. View street maps or satellite imagery of locations around the globe, or ask for directions, traffic conditions, or even the location of a nearby pizza joint.

  • Clock: The Clock app includes alarm clocks, timers, and more.

  • Videos: This handy app is the repository for your movies, TV shows, and music videos. You add videos via iTunes on your Mac or PC or by purchasing them from the iTunes Store using the iTunes app on your iPad.

  • Notes: This program enables you to type notes while you're out and about. You can send the notes to yourself or to anyone else through e-mail, or you can just save them on your iPad until you need them.

  • Reminders: This app may be the only To-Do list you ever need. It integrates with iCal, Calendar, Reminders, Outlook, and iCloud, so To-Do items and reminders sync automatically with your other devices, both mobile and desktop.

  • Photo Booth: This one is a lot like those old-time photo booths, but you don't have to feed it money.

  • Game Center: This is the Apple social-networking app for game enthusiasts. Compare achievements, boast of your conquests and high scores, or challenge your friends to battle.

  • Newsstand: This app is where you find iPad editions for magazines and newspapers that you subscribe to. Shop for subscriptions at the aforementioned App Store.

  • iTunes Store: Tap this puppy to purchase music, movies, TV shows, audiobooks, and more.

  • App Store: This icon enables you to connect to and search the iTunes App Store for iPad applications that you can purchase or download for free over a Wi-Fi or cellular data network connection.

  • Settings: This is where you change settings for your iPad and its apps. D'oh! With so many different settings in the Settings app.

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