iPad For Seniors For Dummies
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iPads cost a pretty penny, especially if you have a Wi-Fi + Cellular model. This is why you should know how to take care of your iPad, troubleshoot any problems it might have, and get Apple support for iPads.

Extend the battery life of your iPad

The iPad is known for its long battery life, but you can do some things to extend it even further. Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Use Airplane Mode. As its name suggests, Airplane Mode is designed to turn off communication features such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular data, which take power because they periodically check in with the network. If you’re using your iPad for purposes that don’t require communication, turn on Airplane Mode by tapping Settings and then tapping the Airplane Mode On/Off button.
    Also, Control Center lets you quickly turn Airplane Mode, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi on and off. Swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen to display Control Center.
    Many airlines now allow the use of Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi during flight, so Airplane Mode may not be as necessary as it once was, but it’s still needed (usually) during take-offs and landings. In addition to its aeronautical uses, Airplane Mode is the simplest way to conserve power, and if you want to concentrate on something, it may be a simple tool to use.
  • Turn off Background App Refresh. You might want to turn off this setting (tap Settings, and then General, and then Background App Refresh) for some of your power-hungry apps if you don’t need them to run in the background. News, for example, routinely checks for updates. If you’re feeling stressed by too much connectivity, try turning off background refresh in some noncritical apps.
  • Keep tabs on remaining battery life. You can estimate the amount of remaining battery life by looking at the Battery icon at the far-right end of the status bar, at the top of your screen.
  • Use standard accessories to charge your iPad most effectively. The most effective way to charge your iPad is to plug it into a wall outlet by using the charging cable and power adapter that come with your iPad. The fastest way to charge the iPad is to turn it off while charging it.
  • Don’t keep your iPad connected. Your battery may lose power if you leave it connected to the USB port on an external keyboard.

Your iPad comes with a USB power adapter. Your best bet is to use the adapter that came with your iPad. If you have another adapter, refer to Apple’s guide, but if it’s an Apple power adapter, you’ll be safe (as long as the cable you use is compatible with the port on your iPad).

If you use a smaller power adapter than the one that came with your iPad, you’ll probably increase the charging time, but you shouldn’t do damage.

What to do if your iPad acts up

Sometimes your iPad refuses to respond. Before you throw it through the window and run to the Apple store, there are a few troubleshooting things you can try. If your iPad goes dead on you, try these solutions:

  • Charge the battery. The problem could be a power issue, so the first thing to do is plug the cable into the power adapter, plug the adapter into a wall outlet, plug the other end of the cable into your iPad, and charge the battery.
  • Quit apps. Sometimes a misbehaving app is the issue, and closing some might help. To close an app, double-tap the Home button or swipe up from the bottom of the screen. Thumbnails of every open app appear. Now swipe up on any apps you would like to quit.
  • Restart the iPad. Rebooting can solve a multitude of ills. To restart your iPad, press the Top button (for iPads with a Home button) or the Top button and one of the Volume buttons (for iPads without a Home button) until a red slider appears, and drag the slider to the right to turn off your iPad. After a few moments, press the Top button to boot up the little guy again.
  • Reset the iPad. If all else has failed, you can try to force a restart of your iPad. To do this for iPads with a Home button, press and hold the Top button and the Home button at the same time until the Apple logo appears onscreen. To do this for iPads without a Home button, quickly press and release the Volume Up button, quickly press and release the Volume Down button, and then press and hold the Top button until the Apple logo appears onscreen. (This reset doesn’t interfere with the data on your iPad.)

Apple offers AppleCare+ for iPads. Ranging from $69–$129 (depending on your model), you get two years of coverage, which protects you even if you drop or spill liquids on your iPad. (Apple covers up to two incidents of accidental damage.) The terms and prices change over time, so check out the upcoming link to find out the current information. See Apple support for more details.

Update your iPad's software

Apple occasionally updates the iPad system software (iOS) to fix problems or offer enhanced features. You can update manually or automatically. To update your software automatically, tap Settings→General→Software Update to update your software.

Apple Support for iPads

Every new iPad comes with a year’s coverage of the hardware and 90 days’ worth of free technical support. Apple Support is known for its helpful customer service, so if you’re stuck, I recommend that you try it. Here are a few options you can explore for getting help:

Apple Store: Go to your local Apple Store (if one is handy) to see what the folks there may know about your problem. It’s best to make an appointment to avoid long lines.

iPad Support website: Visit iPad Support. You can find online manuals, discussion forums, and downloads on this site, and you can use the Apple Expert feature to contact a support person by phone.

iPad User Guide: View the manual for free.


About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Dwight Spivey has been a technical author and editor for over a decade and is currently Educational Technology Administrator at Spring Hill College. His talent for explaining technology to ordinary humans is evident in iPad For Seniors For Dummies, 12th Edition; Home Automation For Dummies; and the previous edition of this book.

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