How to Use Calendars on an iPad mini

Your iPad mini isn’t all fun and games; it has a serious side. The iPad mini can remind you of appointments and help you keep all your contacts straight.

If you buy a new iPad (or iPhone or iPod touch or Mac) after October 22, 2013, you also receive the iWork suite, which includes Numbers (a first-class spreadsheet), Pages (a terrific word processor), and Keynote (the best presentation program), as well as the iLife suite (iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand).

How to push calendar activities to your iPad mini

If you work for a company that uses Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, calendar entries and meeting invitations from coworkers can be pushed to your device so that they show up on the screen moments after they’re entered, even if they’re entered on computers at work.

Setting up an account to facilitate this pushing of calendar entries to your iPad is a breeze, although you should check with your company’s tech or IT department to make sure that your employer allows it. Then follow these steps:

  1. Tap Settings→Mail, Contacts, Calendars→Add Account.

  2. From the Add Account list, tap Microsoft Exchange.

  3. Fill in the e-mail address, username, password, and description fields, and then tap Next.

  4. If required, enter your server address on the next screen that appears.

    The iPad supports something called the Microsoft Autodiscovery service, which uses your name and password to automatically determine the address of the Exchange server. The rest of the fields should be filled in with the e-mail address, username, password, and description you just entered.

  5. Tap Next.

  6. Tap the switch to turn on each information type that you want to synchronize using Microsoft Exchange.

    The options are Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Reminders. You should be good to go now, although some employers may require you to add passcodes to safeguard company secrets.

If you have a business-issued iPad and it is lost or stolen — or it turns out that you’re a double-agent working for a rival company — your employer’s IT administrators can remotely wipe your device clean.

Calendar entries can also be pushed as part of iCloud.

How to display multiple calendars on your iPad mini

By tapping the Calendars button at the bottom of the yearly, monthly, or daily view, you can choose the calendar or calendars to display on your phone. Merely tap the calendar that you want to include so that a check mark appears next to it.

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You can tap the Hide All Calendars button when you don’t want any calendars to be visible, or conversely tap Show All Calendars when you want your entire schedule to be an open book. You can also turn on Facebook events (in Settings) to display those in your calendar, as well as display birthdays, including those of the people you’ve friended on the social network.

From the Calendars view, tap the i-in-a-circle for even more tricks. You can assign a color to your calendar, share the calendar with a given individual (tap Add Person to do so), make a calendar public (by flipping a switch), or delete the calendar.

How to respond to meeting invitations with the iPad mini calendar

The iPad has one more important button in the Calendar app. It’s the Inbox button, located at the bottom-right corner of the yearly, monthly, and daily views.

If you partake in iCloud, have a Microsoft Exchange account, or have a calendar that adheres to the CalDAV Internet standard, you can send and receive a meeting invitation, though you also need a compatible e-mail application that understands CalDAV and lets you not only receive but also respond to the invitation.

If you have any pending invitations, you’ll see them when you tap the Inbox, which is separated into new invitations and invitations to which you’ve already replied. You can tap any of the items in the list to see more details about the event to which you’ve been invited.

Suppose that a meeting invitation arrives from your boss. You can see who else is attending the shindig, check scheduling conflicts, and more. Tap Accept to let the meeting organizer know you’re attending, tap Decline if you have something better to do (and aren’t worried about upsetting the person who signs your paycheck), or tap Maybe if you’re waiting for a better offer.

You can also invite other folks to attend an event that you yourself are putting together.

Meantime, if you run into a conflict, why not ask Siri to change your schedule? For that matter, you can also call upon Siri to remind you when you have your next appointment.

You can choose to receive an alert every time someone sends you an invitation. In the Calendar settings, tap New Invitation Alerts so that the switch is turned on.

As mentioned, if you take advantage of iCloud, you can keep calendar entries synchronized between your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac or PC. When you make a scheduling change on your iPad, it’s automatically updated on your computer and other devices, and vice versa. Choose iCloud from the Add Account screen to get started, assuming you didn’t turn on iCloud when you first activated your iPad.

How to subscribe to calendars on the iPad mini

You can subscribe to calendars that adhere to the CalDAV and iCalendar (.ics) standards, which are supported by the popular Google and Yahoo! calendars and by the Mac’s Calendar (and iCal). Although you can read entries on the iPad from the calendars you subscribe to, you can’t create entries from the iPad or edit the entries that are already present.

To subscribe to one of these calendars, follow along:

  1. Tap Settings→Mail, Contacts, Calendars→Add Account→Other.

  2. Choose Add CalDAV Account or Add Subscribed Calendar.

  3. Enter the server where the iPad can find the calendar you have in mind.

  4. If need be, enter a username, a password, and an optional description.