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, know what the buttons and controls are and how to use the multitouch display. And if you ever catch your iPad behaving badly, check out the five tips to set your iPad back on track.
How to Work the iPad Buttons
Using the Apple iPad is pretty intuitive (Thanks, Apple!) — but to save some 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.)
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. Reason 1: Your iPad is running an older version (version 3) of iOS. Reason 2: Your iPad is running version 4 or higher of iOS and you have selected the Lock Rotation option in the Settings app's General pane.
Reason 1 occurs because iOS 3 treats the switch as a rotation lock, period, with no option for you to use it as a Mute switch. If that's the case, consider connecting your iPad to your computer and using iTunes to upgrade your iPad to the current version. Just click the Check for Updates button on the Summary tab and follow the instructions for updating your iPad.
The current version of iOS (6.0) treats it as a Mute switch by default, but you can change it to a Rotation Lock 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, e-mails, 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, you can swipe left or right with four or five fingers to switch between recently used apps. Or double-tap the Home button to see the icons of recently used apps.
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 e-mail by holding your fingers against the iPad screen to bring up a magnifying glass that 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.
Five 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 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 the Sleep/Wake button while you press and hold 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.
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, right-click your iPad in iTunes sidebar (on the left side) and choose Back Up before you click Restore.