Get more from your tablet with these ideas
To quote a blog I read recently – “Any idiot can use an iPad at a basic level. It’s designed that way. But even still, there are things that you’re just supposed to magically know—things no one ever necessarily tells you.” So I am here to help; along with many friends – over the next few weeks I am going to share with you the most helpful list I found of iPad tips and tricks. I am in love with my iPad (and I was skeptical) but when I saw my product TOPYX play as beautifully as it does, I was hooked. I made very few adjustments to my iPad; the one big app I really like is the “perfect browser” which allows me to use tabs for navigating instead of opening new windows this makes demoing much easier and a strong business tool for me.
So, let’s jump into 25 tips for this week and I will have 25 more next week and so on. This list was compiled by Graham Barlow and John Brandon and I really like that they incorporated visuals for us. I hope you find this as helpful as I did!
Here is there list of favorite iPad tips, and because the iPad runs the same OS as the iPhone you’ll find that many of these tips will work just as well on that device, too.
1. Quick volume mute
Unlike the iPhone, there’s no dedicated mute button on the iPad. However, you can still cut the sound in a hurry if you need to pretend you’re doing something serious instead of watching the latest YouTube viral. Simply keep the ‘Volume down’ button depressed and the sound will mute.
2. Add extra apps to your tray
There are four apps in the iPad’s Dock (the shelf along the bottom of the Home Screen) by default, but you can have up to six apps here for quick access. Press and hold any icon on the Home Screen until the icons start to wobble, then drag two more apps to your Dock.
3. Save time using Spotlight
Instead of wading hopelessly through your music library looking for that one song you want, or endlessly hacking through your Contacts. It’s much quicker to make use of the Spotlight search – it can search both iPod and Contacts. Flick right on the Home screen to access Spotlight search, or press the Home button. It also works for launching apps.
4. Redefine your iPad Home button
Double-clicking the Home button takes you to the home screen by default, but you can redefine its action in General – Home. To help save you time you can set it to bring up Spotlight search or the iPod application.
5. Make use of suggestions
As you type you’ll notice that the iPad guesses at the word you’re typing. To choose this suggestion simply stop typing the word and tap the space bar. If you’re typing a lot of text then this can be a real time saver.
6. Enable Autofill
Save time filling out web forms in Safari by making use of Autofill. In Settings choose Safari – AutoFill, then select Use Contact Info to Autofill information from the Contacts app, or Names & Passwords.
7. Add a web page to the iPad home screen
If you visit a web page frequently then save time ponderously locating it in your Safari bookmarks by adding it as an icon to your Home screen. Tap the + icon in Safari then tap “Add to Home Screen”.
8. Quicker websites
Save time typing web addresses in Safari by using the iPad’s “.com” key when typing in a URL. A little-known timesaver is that if you hold down the .com key you get access to a menu that offers a .co .uk option, too.
9. Turn iPad caps lock on
To type a capital letter on the Onscreen Keyboard you first tap the left or right shift key, then the letter. If you need to type a whole word in caps this can be painful; save time typing in caps by turning the caps lock on, to do this double tap on either shift key.
10. Use the magnifying glass
You’re entering text but you realize you’ve made a mistake a couple of lines back. You either fumble about with your finger trying to get back to the exact place, or you use the magnifying glass. Touch and hold your finger in the right area and the magnifying glass appears, enabling you to fine tune your insertion point.
11. Use a custom wallpaper
Like the iPhone, you can use custom wallpaper. First, use Safari to find the image you want. (Try Interfacelift.com, which has iPad-sized images.)
View the image, then press and hold on the screen and select Save Image. Now, go to Settings, Brightness & Wallpaper. Flick to the right, go to Saved Photos, and select the image. Press the Set Lock Screen or Set Home Screen option, or Both.
12. Control iPad notifications
Have you ever played Tap Tap Revenge on the iPhone? Good, then you know how annoying notifications can be. These messages pop up on the iPad as well, but you can control them. Go to Settings, Notifications, and configure which alerts (and accompanying sounds) will appear.
13. Read iPad books in portrait
You may be tempted to read e-books in landscape mode – with the Apple iBooks app; you’ll have a few more on-screen aids and a book spine. The spine, though, has this fuzzy pattern that actually draws your eyes away from the words and ruins the immersion of the e-book. Go portrait instead.
14. Password protection
You can password-protect apps like iTunes so that a family member can’t buy every U2 record with your credit card. Go to Settings, then General, then Restrictions. Press Enable Restrictions and type a password, then turn on the restrictions you want for the apps available. Note that this password is different from your iTunes password – you’ll need to tap in both.
15. Keep a cloth handy
Despite the iPad’s oleophobic coating to keep smudges from accumulating on the screen, they still build up. Keep a cloth handy to wipe off grime, or use a kit like the one from Griffin.
16. Charge at night
It might seem obvious, but the best way to charge the iPad is overnight – it takes a good four to five hours for a full charge from near empty.
17. Use the Kindle reader
Amazon offers the free Kindle reader for iPad, and it is a welcome addition. All of your Amazon e-book purchases will be available immediately, and Amazon prices are much better than iBooks.
18. Use an Apple keyboard
Any Apple Wireless Keyboard will work with the iPad. In fact, you can prop up the device without the expensive dock, use the Pages app to type up long documents, or reply to emails.
19. Shake Facebook
The Facebook app loads in a 1/8 view, which is lame. But, it works the same as it does on the iPhone: you can shake the iPad (gently) to reload your Facebook page quickly.
20. Go full-screen with ABC
It might not seem possible at first, but the ABC Player app – which lets you watch TV shows on the iPad, but only from that network – starts in a vertical view. Once you play a show, though, you can turn the iPad horizontally and the show will play in full-screen landscape mode.
21. Touch differently
For those used to the iPhone, there is a new art to using the iPad. With the Photos app, for example, you can control your shots in new ways – try pressing with two fingers in the all photos view. You can then spin the photo and slide it around. (This works exactly like a Microsoft Surface table.)
22. Expand your Home
There are 11 home screens available, and you can drag icons to the right of the main Home screen at anytime, not just when you load new apps.
23. Re-install deleted apps
Once you buy an app, you can always re-install it even if you delete it from your device. Just go to the App Store and buy the app again. You will see a prompt that you have already bought this app and an option to re-install it without having to pay for it again.
24. Connect to an HD
You can connect the iPad to your television. You’ll need the Apple iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter, which connects to the 30-pin port on the iPad and to the VGA port on your HD.
25. Use 802.11a for reliable streaming
If you want the most reliable Wi-Fi signal for streaming videos from, say, YouTube.com, use a router that supports 802.11a, which does not have the best range but does not conflict with the 802.11g signal used by microwave ovens, baby monitors, and other wireless devices.
To learn more tips check back next week for Part 2 – iPad Tips & Tricks #26 – 50.
VP, Business Development and Partnership Programs