iPad mini For Dummies
The Apple iPad mini is the combination of an e-book reader, an audio and video iPod, a handheld gaming device, a powerful Internet communications device, and a platform for apps. Here are quick summaries showing how to use your iPad mini, know what the buttons and controls are, and how to use the multitouch display. And if you ever catch your iPad mini behaving badly, check out the five tips to set your iPad mini back on track.
How to Use the iPad mini Buttons
The Apple iPad mini is pretty intuitive — but to save yourself some time, take a look at these iPad mini buttons that you'll use most often:
The On/Off, Sleep/Wake button: You use this button to put your iPad mini’s screen to sleep or wake it up. It’s located on the top of your iPad mini.
Home button: You can press the Home button at any time to display the Home screen on your iPad mini.
Application icons: Each icon shown on the iPad mini touchscreen launches an application. Twenty apps are included with your iPad mini, and you can add more (many are free) by downloading them from the App Store.
Volume Up/Down control: The lower part of the button decreases the volume; the upper part increases it.
Mute switch: When the switch is set to Silent mode — the down position, with an orange dot visible on the switch — your iPad mini doesn't make any sound when you receive new mail or an alert pops up on the screen.
The Mute switch doesn't silence what you think of as "expected" sounds, which are sounds you expect to hear in a particular app. For example, it doesn't mute the iTunes or Videos apps, nor will it silence 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, such as Mail or Messaging, 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 the No Rotation icon appears when you flick the Mute switch, you have selected the Lock Rotation option in the Settings app's General pane.
Note that 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 Use the iPad mini Multitouch Screen
Using the multitouch screen is an easy way to move around on your Apple iPad mini. The iPad mini doesn’t have a mouse, physical keyboard, or keypad buttons; the multitouch screen displays virtual versions of buttons and controls as required for the tasks at hand. Try the following:
Flick a finger on the iPad mini screen to scroll through pictures, music, contacts, e-mails, and more.
Tap against the iPad mini screen to play songs, choose photos, open applications, and so on.
Though it might be small and compact, your iPad mini is a multitasking marvel. While you can have only one app on your screen at a time, you can swipe left or right with your fingers to switch between recently used apps. Or double-tap the Home button to see the icons of recently used apps.
Pinch and unpinch (sometimes called spreading) to enlarge pictures and web pages, 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 towards or away from your thumb to pinch or unpinch accordingly.
Trust the iPad mini virtual keyboard. It makes suggestions and corrects mistakes as you type. Use the little x to reject incorrect suggestions; your iPad mini has a good memory and will get the message and stop making that suggestion.
Tap anywhere in text to select one or more words, or to cut, copy, or paste text to the clipboard.
Correct errors in a note or e-mail by holding your fingers against the iPad mini screen to bring up a magnifying glass that allows you to position the pointer in the precise spot to be edited. Release your finger when the cursor (a vertical line) is in the proper spot.
What to Do When Your iPad mini Acts Up
Your iPad mini behaves itself the majority of the time, but every so often it doesn't. Here's a quick list of five things you can try if your iPad mini 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. Resetting the connection often solves network connectivity issues.
Restart your iPad mini.
Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button, and then slide the red slider to turn it off. After a few seconds, press the Sleep/Wake button to turn on your iPad mini again.
Reset your iPad mini.
Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button while you press and hold the Home button at the same time. This forces your iPad mini to restart. Ignore the Slide to Power Off slider when it appears; continue to hold down both buttons until your iPad mini restarts and you see the Apple logo in the middle of the screen.
Reset your 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 mini.
Connect your iPad mini to your computer as though you were about to sync the two devices. Then select the iPad in the iTunes sidebar and click the Restore button on the Summary tab.
Restoring your iPad mini erases all your media and data, and resets all your settings.
Because your data and media (except calendar events, contacts, 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 mini. You can take extra precaution by right-clicking your iPad mini in the iTunes sidebar (on the left side) and choosing Back Up before you click Restore.