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How to Work the iPad Buttons

Part of the iPad For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Using the Apple iPad is pretty intuitive — but, if you want to save time, have a look at these iPad buttons that you'll use frequently:

  • The On/Off, Sleep/Wake button: This button is on the top of your iPad, and you use it to put your iPad's screen to sleep or wake it up.

  • Home button: No matter what you're doing, you can press the Home button at any time to display the Home screen on your iPad.

  • Application icons: Each icon shown on the touchscreen launches an iPad application. Twenty apps come with your iPad, and you can add more (many are free) by downloading them from the App Store.

  • Front camera: The front camera comes in handy when you’re FaceTime chatting. (The back camera shows the person you’re talking to what you’re seeing. You can also take pictures with it.)

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  • Volume Up/Down control: The upper part of the button increases the volume; the lower part decreases it.

  • Mute switch: When the switch is set to Silent mode — the down position, with an orange dot visible on the switch — your iPad doesn't make any sound when you receive new mail or an alert pops up on the screen.

    Note that the Mute switch doesn't silence what you think of as "expected" sounds, which are sounds you expect to hear in a particular app. Therefore, it doesn't silence the iTunes or Videos apps, nor will it mute games and other apps that emit noises. About the only thing the Mute switch mutes are "unexpected" sounds, such as those associated with notifications from apps or the iPad operating system (iOS).

    If the switch doesn't mute your notification sounds when engaged (that is, you can see the little orange dot on the switch), look for a little No Rotation icon to the left of the Battery icon near the top of your screen.

    If you see this icon when you flick the Mute switch, there are two possible reasons. The most likely reason is that you’ve selected the Lock Rotation option in the Settings app’s General pane. Another, far less likely reason is that your iPad is running an older version (version 3 or earlier) of iOS.

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