iPad For Dummies
Can't wait to use your new iPad? The Apple iPad neatly combines an audio and video iPod, an e-book reader, a powerful Internet communications device, a handheld gaming device, and a platform for apps. To use your iPad, you need to know about its buttons and controls and how to use the multitouch display. And if you ever catch your iPad behaving badly, check out the five tips for setting your iPad back on track.
How to Work the iPad Buttons
Using the Apple iPad is fairly intuitive, but if you want to save time, have a look at the following iPad buttons that you'll use frequently:
The 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/Touch ID sensor (iPad 2 and iPad mini only): No matter what you're doing, you can press the Home button at any time to display the Home screen on your iPad. If you have an iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3, your Home button doubles as a Touch ID sensor, and you can use your fingerprint (or a passcode) to unlock your phone and authenticate purchases.
App icons: Each icon shown on the touchscreen launches an iPad app. 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. It's not particularly good for taking still photos.
Rear camera: iPads have a better camera (than the one in front) on the backside, just below the sleep/wake button. The iPad 2's rear camera captures decent video at 720p and shoots fair-to-middling stills; all other iPads have better rear cameras that shoot nice HD video at 1080p and very nice stills.
Volume up and volume down buttons: The upper button increases the volume; the lower button decreases it.
Ring/silent 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 ring/silent 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 ring/silent 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 the following little screen orientation icon to the left of the battery icon near the top of your screen:
If you see this icon when you flick the ring/silent switch, you’ve selected the Lock Rotation option in the Settings app’s General pane.
How to Master the iPad Multitouch Screen
To move around on your Apple iPad, use the multitouch screen. The iPad has no mouse and no physical keyboard or keypad buttons; the multitouch screen displays virtual versions of buttons and controls as required for the tasks at hand. Prep your fingers for the following:
Flick a finger on the iPad screen to scroll through music, pictures, emails, contacts, and more.
Tap against the iPad screen to open applications, play songs, choose photos, and so on.
Though it may not look like it, your iPad is a multitasking marvel. While you can have only one app on your screen at a time, swipe left or right with four or five fingers to switch between recently used apps.
Or double-press the Home button to access preview pages with icons just below them for any apps that are already open; swipe to the right or left to see more apps.
Swipe the screen from bottom to top to use the Control Center to enable and disable Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and much more.
Swipe the screen from top to bottom to access the Notification Center.
Pinch and unpinch to enlarge web pages and pictures or to make them smaller. To pinch or unpinch using multitouch, place your thumb and index finger against the iPad screen. Then keeping the thumb in place, drag your index finger to pinch or unpinch accordingly.
Trust the iPad virtual keyboard. It makes suggestions and corrects mistakes on the fly.
Tap anywhere in text to select one or more words.
Correct errors in a note or an email by holding your fingers against the iPad screen to bring up a magnifying glass, which lets you position the pointer in the precise spot that needs to be edited. Lift your finger when the cursor (a vertical line) is in the proper spot.
5 Things to Try When Your iPad Acts Up
Most of the time, your iPad behaves itself, but every so often it doesn't. Here's a quick review of things you can try if your iPad isn't working the way you expect:
Reset your network connection.
If you can’t connect to websites or Apple’s App or other stores, tap the Settings icon on your Home screen and then tap General→Reset→Reset Network Settings, which often cures network connectivity issues.
Restart your iPad.
Press and hold down the sleep/wake button, and then slide the red slider to turn it off. Wait a few seconds. Press the sleep/wake button to turn on the iPad again.
Reset your iPad.
Press and hold down the sleep/wake button while you press and hold down the Home button at the same time. This forces your iPad to restart. Ignore the Slide to Power Off slider when it appears; continue to hold down both buttons until you see the Apple logo in the middle of the screen.
Reset iPad settings.
Tap the Settings icon on your Home screen, and then tap General→Reset→Reset All Settings. Resetting iPad settings won't erase your data, but you'll probably have to redo some settings afterwards.
Restore your iPad.
Connect your iPad to your computer as though you were about to sync. Then select the iPad in the iTunes sidebar and click the Restore button on the Summary tab.
Restoring your iPad erases all your data and media and resets all your settings. However, because your data and media (except contacts, calendar events, and playlists you've created or modified on your iPad since your last sync) still exist on your computer, you shouldn't lose anything.
Your next sync will take longer, and you will have to reset any settings you've changed since you got your iPad. To be safe, connect your iPad to your computer, click its icon to select it in iTunes, and then click Summary in the sidebar on the left. Choose to back up to either This Computer or to iCloud, and then click the Back Up Now button.