Apr 13, 2011

Ten iPad tips From the Manual


Tip #1 – There's a Manual?

I found it hard to believe that the iPad doesn't come with a manual. Not so much that it didn't include a manual made from dead trees but it didn't include one made from dead ones and zeros. Why? Got me, probably for the same reason they didn't preinstall the iBook app.  You don't have to read the rest of the tips if you follow this one.  Go read the manual.  There are in fact many versions of the iPad User Guide. Apple keeps updating it when a new iOS arrives or a new iPad arrives. You can  get the one for the iPad2 iOS 4.3, which is the latest as I write this.   If you want to read it on the iPad (and why wouldn't you), put it in the iTunes book section and sync. Of course you have to have downloaded the free iBook app from Apple. Alternately if you already have the iBook app go to your Library, click the Store icon and do a search for "iPad". The list should include the free Apple manual.

Tip #2 Scroll within a frame on Safari

While on vacation I tried to use my email based web client but could only see part of any message. That's because I kept trying to scroll the window with one finger. Giving your iPad the finger is good if you want to scroll an entire page. If you want to scroll within a frame you have to use TWO FINGERS. Thanks Gabrielle.

Tip #3 – Take a screenshot

When you're trying to explain to someone how to do something on the iPad screenshots can really help. Hold the sleep/wake button (that's what the button on the top edge on the right side is called), and while holding it down (don't release it), press the "Home" button (the button in the middle of the bottom). Don't take too long because holding down the sleep wake button has another function (see tip #6) If you have the volume turned up you'll hear a snapshot sound and the screen will flash and the picture will be put in the iPhoto app.

Tip #4 – Click a Lot

Try double clicking in multiple places. Try it when you wake the iPad and it's still on the lock screen showing the slider. Try it from inside apps, try it from the home page. In fact if you want to get back to the home page try triple-clicking.

Tip #5 – Save the battery, adjust the brightness

If you want a fast way to adjust the brightness you can double-click while in an app, the bottom of the screen will change to show you the most recently used applications. Swipe from left to right and you get a useful menu that allows you to adjust volume and brightness as well as some other audio controls.  This is particularly useful if you wake up in the middle of the night and need to read a book to get back to sleep. (Don't you wish you had a sleep button).

Tip #6 – Save the battery, turn it off

Remember how I said the little button in the upper right is the sleep/wake button? That means it's not an "off" button. If you actually want to turn off the iPad you have to hold the sleep/wake button down for a few seconds. Then the screen will give you a slider that lets you turn it off. Hold it back down for a second to power it back up. It will take 30 seconds or so to fully boot so this isn't something you want to do all the time. I  suspect this may be a good way to reclaim free memory that has been leaked by the plethora of poorly written apps out there.

Tip #7 Spotlight Searching

imageFrom the Home screen hit the home button or swipe right to get to the spotlight search page. Searching here searches your entire iPad. If you have a lot of music you may get a lot of results you don't want. You can specify which apps Spotlight searches from the Settings, General, Spotlight Search option.


Tip #8 Turn your iPad into an expensive Picture Frame

SNAGHTML152b26b1Under Settings->Picture Frame you can set up the options you want for using the iPad as a picture frame. Then press the wake/sleep button to get to the lock screen. See that little icon of the flower? Didn't you wonder what that did? Hit it and find out.

Tip #9 Set Custom Wallpaperimage

Use the iPhoto app, select your favorite photo, tap the screen to bring up the menu bar. Tap the image button and select the use as wallpaper option.

Tip #10 Learn to Play Drums (shameless self-promotion)

Launch the youtube app,  and go to http://www.youtube.com/user/ScoopDeville04 (or just search on scoopdeville04 (that's a zero before the 4), set your iPad up next to your drumset, plug in those headphones and work your way through the lessons.


Tip #11 (OK it's a baker's 10) – Using the compass

imageI was reading some complaints about there not being a built-in way to see the compass. Not quite true. Launch the Maps app. Click the arrow icon in the top center. It should turn blue and the map will show you your current location. Now tap it again and it will change into a new icon and a compass will show up on the map like shown in the image.

About Me

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Tod Gentille (@todgentille) is now a Curriculum Director for Pluralsight. He's been programming professionally since well before you were born and was a software consultant for most of his career. He's also a father, husband, drummer, and windsurfer. He wants to be a guitar player but he just hasn't got the chops for it.