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How to Start Using Apps on Your iPad

Apps enable you to use your iPad as a game console, a streaming Netflix player, a recipe finder, a sketchbook, and much, much more. You can run three categories of apps on your iPad:

  • Apps made exclusively for the iPad: These apps won’t run on an iPhone or iPod touch, so you can’t even install them on either device.

  • Apps made to work properly on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch: This type of app can run on any of the three devices at full resolution. What is the full-screen resolution for each device? Glad you asked. For most iPhones and the iPod touch, it’s 480 x 320 pixels; for the iPhone 4 or later, it’s 960 x 640; for the first- and second-generation iPads, it’s 1024 x 768 pixels; and the Retina display in the third-generation iPad is a whopping 2048 x 1536 pixels.

  • Apps made for the iPhone and iPod touch: These apps run on your iPad but only at iPhone/iPod touch resolution (480 x 320) rather than the full resolution of your iPad (1024 x 768 or 2048 x 1536).

    You can double the size of an iPhone/iPod touch app by tapping the little 2x button in the lower-right corner of the screen; to return it to its native size, tap the 1x button.

    Frankly, most iPhone/iPod apps look pretty good at 2x size, but a few have jagged graphics and don’t look as nice. Still, with 550,000 or more to choose from, you can find a few that make you happy.

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You can obtain apps for your iPad in two ways:

  • On your computer

  • On your iPad

To use the App Store on your iPad, it must be connected to the Internet. And, if you obtain an app on your computer, it isn’t available on your iPad until you either sync the iPad with your computer or download the app from the iCloud Purchased tab.

One last thing: After you’ve obtained an app from the App Store on your computer or iPad, you can download it from iCloud to up to 10 iOS devices.

But before you can use the App Store on your iPad or your computer, you first need an iTunes Store account. If you don’t already have one, launch iTunes on your computer or the App Store or iTunes app on your iPad. Here's how:

  • On your computer: Launch iTunes, click Sign In near the upper-right corner of the iTunes window, click Create New Account, and follow the onscreen instructions.

  • On your iPad: Tap Settings→Store→Sign In→Create New Account and follow the onscreen instructions.

If you don’t have an iTunes Store account, you can’t download a single cool app or iBook for your iPad.

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