The Home Screen on Your iPad - dummies

By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

Your iPad comes packed with lots of goodies right out of the box. If you haven’t rearranged your icons, you see the following apps on the first Home screen, starting at the top left:

  • FaceTime: Use this app to participate in FaceTime video chats.

  • Calendar: No matter what calendar program you prefer on your Mac or PC (as long as it’s iCal, Calendar, Microsoft Entourage, or Microsoft Outlook or online calendars such as Google or iCloud), you can synchronize events and alerts between your computer and your iPad. Create an event on one device, and the event is automatically synchronized with the other device the next time the two devices are connected. Neat stuff.

  • Photos: This app is the iPad’s terrific photo manager, which just keeps getting better. It lets you view pictures from a camera or SD card (using the optional camera connection kit), screen shots of your iPad screen, photos synced from your computer, saved from an email or web page, or saved from one of the myriad third-party apps that let you save your handiwork in the Photos app.

    You can zoom in or out, create slideshows, email photos to friends, crop, do a bit of image editing, and much more. And it’s where you’ll find the Camera Roll album with photos and videos you’ve taken with your iPad.

  • Camera: You use this app to shoot pictures or videos with your iPad’s front- or rear-facing camera.

  • Contacts: This handy little app contains information about the people you know. Like the Calendar app, it synchronizes with the Contacts app on your Mac or PC (as long as you keep your contacts in Address Book, Contacts, Microsoft Entourage, or Microsoft Outlook), and you can synchronize contacts between your computer and your iPad. If you create a contact on one device, the contact is automatically synchronized with the other device the next time your devices are connected.

  • Clock: The Clock app includes alarm clocks, timers, and more.

  • Maps: This app is among our favorites. View street maps or satellite imagery of locations around the globe, or ask for directions, traffic conditions, or even the location of a nearby pizza joint.

  • Videos: This handy app is the repository for your movies, TV shows, and music videos. You add videos via iTunes on your Mac or PC or by purchasing them from the iTunes Store with the iTunes app on your iPad.

  • Photo Booth: This one is a lot like those old-time photo booths, but you don’t have to feed it money.

  • Notes: This program enables you to type notes while you’re out and about. You can send the notes to yourself or to anyone else through email, or you can just save them on your iPad until you need them.

  • Reminders: This app may be the only to-do list you ever need. It integrates with iCal, Calendar, Outlook, and iCloud, so to-do items and reminders sync automatically with your other devices, both mobile and desktop.

  • News: This app is new in iOS 9; it’s where you’ll find news culled from magazines, newspapers, and websites.

  • iTunes Store: Tap this puppy to purchase music, movies, TV shows, audiobooks, and more

  • App Store: This icon enables you to connect to and search the iTunes App Store for iPad apps that you can purchase or download for free over a Wi-Fi or cellular data network connection.

  • iBooks: If you wanted iBooks under iOS 7, you had to download it (it’s free). iOS 8 corrected this shortcoming, so if you’re running iOS 8 or iOS 9, the latest and greatest version of iOS, you have it already. You use iBooks to read books, which you can buy in the iTunes Store.

  • Settings: Tap this icon to change settings for your iPad and its apps.

Now, swipe from right to left across the first Home screen to make the second Home screen appear. Its icons include the following:

  • Game Center: This app is the Apple social networking app for game enthusiasts. Compare achievements, boast of your conquests and high scores, or challenge your friends to battle.

  • Tips: This app offers tips from Apple on doing more with your iPad. And here’s a tip about Tips: Apple pushes new tips to the app every week, so if you haven’t looked at the app lately, consider doing so to see what’s new.

  • Podcasts: Use the Podcasts app to (d’oh!) listen to your favorite podcasts, which you download and subscribe to (let’s all say it together this time) in the iTunes Store.

  • Find Friends: See the locations of friends and family who opt in.

  • Find iPhone: If your iPad (or iPhone or iPod touch) goes missing, use this app to determine its last known location.

  • iCloud Drive: This app (if enabled in Settings→iCloud→iCloud Drive) contains all documents you’ve saved to your iCloud Drive. Apple apps as well as many third-party apps know how to use it.