Basics of the iPad mini’s Dock - dummies

Basics of the iPad mini’s Dock

At the bottom of the iPad mini screen are the final four icons, sitting on a special shelflike area called the Dock. The thing that makes the icons on your Dock special is that they’re available on every Home screen page.

By default, the Dock icons are as follows:

  • Messages: This app provides a unified messaging service dubbed iMessage to iPads, iPhones, iPod touches, and Macs. You can exchange unlimited free text or multimedia messages with any other device running iOS 5 or later (the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch) or Mac OS X Mountain Lion or later.

  • Mail: This application lets you send and receive e-mail with most POP3 and IMAP e-mail systems and, if you work for a company that grants permission, Microsoft Exchange, too.

  • Safari: Safari is your web browser. If you’re a Mac user, you know that already. If you’re a Windows user who hasn’t already discovered the wonderful Safari for Windows, think Internet Explorer on steroids.

  • Music: Last but not least, this icon unleashes all the power of an iPod right on your iPad so that you can listen to music or podcasts.

Apple puts four icons on the Dock, but it can hold up to six. Feel free to add or remove icons from the Dock until it feels right to you. To rearrange, add, or delete icons from the Dock, press and hold the icon until all the icons wiggle. Then drag the icon to where you want it. Press the Home button to save your arrangement.

We’d be remiss not to mention two more things:

  • iOS 5 introduced the totally useful Notification Center, which just keeps getting better and better. Even though it doesn’t have an icon of its own, it is still important. Swipe your iPad screen from top to bottom to make it appear. Then swipe from bottom to top to put it away again.

  • Last but not least, iOS 7 introduces the even more useful Control Center, with quick access to controls for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, audio playback, and more, all available from any screen even when an app is running.

    To access the Control Center put your finger at the very bottom of your iPad screen and swipe upward to check out Control Center (and then swipe downward or tap the Home button to put Control Center away).