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Must-Haves for Synching and Connecting Your iPad 2

Synching is the process of transferring media from a computer to an iPad. Besides synching, you'll want to connect your iPad 2 to the Internet to take advantage of most of its features.

As an owner of an iPad, you'll soon find that it's helpful to have a computer to download photos, music, or applications from non-Apple online stores, and later transfer them to your iPad through a process called syncing. Also, to register your iPad 2, you'll need a computer.

If you buy your iPad at an Apple Store, an employee will register it for you and you can skip this whole process.

To get the most out of your iPad's features, you should have some kind of Internet access. Can you use iPad if you don’t own a computer and you use public Wi-Fi hotspots to go online (or a 3G connection if you have a 3G model)? Sure.

However, to be able to go online using a Wi-Fi–only iPad and to use many of its built-in features at home, you need to have a home Wi-Fi network available.

So what do you need to use your iPad easily for synching and connecting to the Internet?

  • A Mac or PC with a USB 2.0 port and one of these operating systems:

    • Mac OS X version 10.5.8 or later

    • Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 3 or later

  • iTunes 10.2.1 or later

  • An iTunes Store account

  • Internet access

You'll notice that iTunes is also listed prominently on this list of must-haves. You'll use iTunes to help manage content for your iPad — including movies, music, or photos you’ve downloaded — and specify where to transfer your calendar and contact information from. So be sure to download and install iTunes and set up an account before you register your iPad.

You can choose to have certain items transferred to your iPad from your computer when you sync: music, videos, downloaded applications, contacts, audiobooks, calendars, e-books, podcasts, and browser bookmarks. You can also transfer to your computer any content you download directly to your iPad using the iTunes and App Store apps.

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