How to Use Your iPad to Find Apps - dummies

How to Use Your iPad to Find Apps

Finding apps with your iPad is almost as easy as finding them by using iTunes. The only requirement is that you have an Internet connection of some sort — Wi-Fi or wireless data network — so that you can access the iTunes App Store and browse, search, download, and install apps.

Browsing the App Store on your iPad

To get started, tap the App Store icon on your iPad’s Home screen. After you launch the App Store, you see five icons at the bottom of the screen, representing five ways to interact with the store. The first four icons at the bottom of the screen — Featured, Top Charts, Near Me, and Purchased — offer four different ways to browse the virtual shelves of the App Store.


The first four icons are described as follows:

  • The Featured section has five tabs at the top of the screen: All Categories, Games, Kids, Newsstand, and More in portrait mode. In landscape mode, the Newsstand category is missing.

  • The Top Charts section offers lists of the Top Paid iPad apps and the Top Free iPad apps. These are, of course, the most popular apps that either cost money or don’t. The Top Grossing apps also appear here. If you wonder how a free app can appear on this list, the gross includes revenue from in-app purchases.

    In the upper-left corner of the Top Charts screen is a Categories button. Tap it and you see a list of categories such as Books, Education, Games, Music, News, and Productivity, to name a few. Tap one of these categories to see the Top Paid and Top Free iPad apps for that category.

  • The Near Me section is kind of cool. In it you’ll find apps with local content, such as newspaper, television, and public transit apps. It’s nice at home but even more useful when you’re out of town. (Note that you must have Location Services enabled in Settings→Privacy for this to work.)

  • The Purchased section displays all your iPad apps — the ones currently installed on this iPad and any that you’ve purchased that aren’t installed. To the right of each app, you see either Installed or iCloud. To install an uninstalled app, tap its iCloud button and then type your password.

Most pages in the App Store display more apps than can fit on the screen at once. For example, the Best New Apps section shown contains more than the nine apps you can see. A few tools help you navigate the multiple pages of apps:

  • Swipe from right to left to see more apps in a category.

  • Swipe up the screen to see additional categories.

  • Tap the See All link at the top of most sections to (what else?) see all the apps in that section on the same screen.

Using the Search field in the App Store

If you know exactly what you’re looking for (or even approximately what you’re looking for), rather than simply browsing, you can tap the Search field in the upper-right corner of the iPad screen and type a word or phrase; then tap the Search key on the keyboard to initiate the search.

Finding details about an app in the App Store

Now that you know how to find apps in the App Store, the following sections show you how to find out more about a particular app. After tapping an app icon as you browse the store or in a search result, your iPad displays a detail screen like the one shown.


The app description on this screen was written by the developer and may be somewhat biased.

The information you find on the detail tab for an app on your iPad is similar to that info on the iTunes screen on your computer. The links, rating, and requirements simply appear in slightly different places on your iPad screen.

To read reviews from your iPad, tap the Reviews tab. If you scroll to the bottom of the page and see a More Reviews button, tap it to see (what else?) more reviews.

Downloading an app from the App Store

To download an app to your iPad (while using your iPad), follow these steps:

  1. Tap the blue price (or free) button near the top of its detail screen.

    In the figure, it says $6.99. Once tapped, the button transforms into a green Buy button.

  2. Tap the Buy button.

  3. When prompted, type your iTunes Store account password.

    After you do, the App Store closes, and you see the Home screen where the new app’s icon will reside. The new app’s icon is slightly dimmed and has the word Loading beneath it, with a blue progress bar near its bottom to indicate how much of the app remains to be downloaded.

  4. If necessary, if the app is rated 17+, click OK on the warning screen that appears after you type your password to confirm that you’re 17 or older before the app downloads.

The app is now on your iPad, but it isn’t copied to your iTunes Library on your Mac or PC until your next sync unless you’ve enabled automatic downloads. If your iPad suddenly loses its memory (unlikely) or if you delete the app from your iPad before you sync, that app is gone. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that you can download it again from the Purchased tab. Or the app will reappear spontaneously on your iPad if you’ve enabled automatic downloads.