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. After you open the box and see what’s inside, 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.
What’s in the iPad Box
You most likely already opened the handsome box that your new Apple iPad came in. But if you didn’t, here’s what you can expect to find inside:
Dock connector-to-USB cable (second and third-generation) or a Lightning connector–to–USB cable (fourth-generation and later and all iPad minis): Use this handy cable to sync or charge your iPad. You can plug the USB connector into your Mac or PC to sync or plug it into the USB power adapter.
If you connect the USB cable to USB ports on your keyboard, USB hub, display, or other external device, or even the USB ports on an older Mac or PC, you may be able to sync but more than likely can’t charge the battery.
For the most part, only your computer’s built-in USB ports (and only recent-vintage computers at that) have enough juice to recharge the battery. If you use an external USB port, you probably see a Not Charging message next to the battery icon at the top of the screen.
A powered USB hub, one that plugs into an AC outlet, will probably recharge your iPad. Some USB hubs don’t provide enough juice to recharge an iPad, but others do. If you have a powered hub, try it. If you see the Not Charging message, your hub’s not juicy enough.
For what it’s worth, as long as it’s sleeping, your iPad will still charge, albeit much more slowly, when you see the Not Charging message.
USB power adapter: Use this adapter to recharge your iPad from a standard AC power outlet. Since this doohickey is made to charge iPads, you’ll never see a Not Charging message when you use it.
*Some Apple logo decals: Of course.
iPad instruction sheet: Unfortunately, this little one-page, two-sided, so-called manual offers precious little useful information beyond referring you to the Apple website.
SIM eject tool (models with 3G or 4G wireless): This little metal doohickey does just what its name implies. Most people go through their entire lives without ever ejecting a SIM card, but at least now you know.
Important Product Information Guide pamphlet: Well, it must be important because it says so right on the cover. You can find basic safety warnings, a bunch of legalese, warranty information, and info on how to dispose of or recycle the iPad. (What! You’re getting rid of it already?)
A few other pieces of advice: Don’t drop the iPad if you can help it, keep the thing dry, and — as with all handheld electronic devices — give full attention to the road while you’re driving (or walking, for that matter).
iPad: You were starting to worry. Yes, the iPad itself is also in the box.
What’s not in the box is a stereo headset. If you want to use a headset for music, video, games, or anything else, you have to find one elsewhere. Consider finding one that includes a built-in microphone. If you have an iPhone or iPod touch, the headset that came with it will do just fine.
Although the iPad doesn’t come with the Voice Memos app that comes with the iPhone and iPod touch, it can record to many of the apps that are available in the App Store, such as the free iTalk Recorder app from Griffin Technology, or the $0.99 Voice Memos for iPad app from KendiTech, Inc.
A headset with a microphone can also serve you well for FaceTime video chats; telephone calls with the free Skype app; providing instruction to Siri; speech-to-text translation, the nifty built-in dictation feature (in third-generation and later iPads); or with the free Dragon Dictation app.
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 (all models)/Touch ID sensor (iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 and 4, iPad Pro): 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, iPad mini 3 or 4, or iPad Pro, 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 but it’s not the best choice for shooting still photos or videos.
Rear camera: iPads have a better camera on the backside than the one in front, 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 rear cameras that are better than the front one and shoot superb HD video at 1080p as well as take very nice stills.
Volume up and volume down buttons: The upper button increases the volume; the lower button decreases it.
Side 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 side 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).
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 across 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.
And if you have a newer iPad (iPad Pro; iPod Air or later; or iPad mini 2 or later) you can also use picture-in-picture by pressing the Home button or tapping the picture-in-picture icon (shown next) while a video is playing:
The movie will scale down to a corner of your display so you can see the Home screen and open other apps. To return to the video, tap in the small video window.
These same (newer) iPads also support slide over (swipe left starting at the right edge of the screen to view a second app; swipe down on the right half of the screen to see all available app icons).
Finally, if you have an iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, or iPad mini 4, you can use split view to work with two apps on screen at the same time. Start by performing a slide over (swipe left starting at the right edge of the screen to view another app; swipe down on the right half of the screen to see all available app icons). Then you can drag the dividing line between them left or right to resize both halves.
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. And double-tapping usually enlarges text, so give it a try.
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 button to the right 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. Ignore the Slide to Power Off slider when it appears; continue to hold down both buttons until your iPad restarts and 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 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.
If you choose to back up to your computer, select the Encrypt Local Backup check box. This allows your account passwords, Health, and HomeKit data to be backed up. You don’t have to bother with the check box if you’re backing up to iCloud because backups to iCloud are automatically encrypted (with your iCloud password).