iPad Tips and Tricks
Even a three year old baby can use an iPad at a basic level. It’s designed that way. But even still, there are lots of iPad tips and tricks that you’re just supposed to magically know, but no one ever necessarily tells you about them. So we publish some Ultimate iPad Tips and Tricks to help you.
1. Quick volume mute
When the iPad first launched, there was no dedicated mute button anywhere on the device. However, with iOS 4.2 Apple swapped the rotation-lock button to a mute button. So now you can cut the sound in a hurry if you need to pretend you're doing something serious instead of watching the latest YouTube viral. Simply flip the knob next to the volume controls to the 'down' position.
2. The comma key’s hidden powers
Whether you’re a touch-screen typing savant or a two finger tapper, there’s no denying that iPad typing isn’t as convenient as using a real keyboard - especially when you want to access frequently-used punctuation that isn’t even available on the virtual keyboard’s main screen. A little-known trick can help: swiping up quickly on the Comma key will instantly insert an apostrophe; swiping up on the Period key inserts a quotation mark. That’s one quick swipe, instead of a tap on the punctuation key, and then a second tap on the specific punctuation mark you’re after.
3. Never Forget a Task That's Due
When you open Manage, you're greeted with an interface that's designed to look like a leather notebook. You can move from list to list by swiping the iPad's screen. In landscape mode, the name of the list currently in view appears in a panel with a black background on the left side of the iPad's screen. In portrait mode, the name appears above the list itself. Three tools appear at the bottom of the screen in both modes.
They allow you to create a new list, trash a list or export it as a plain text email message or PDF file. Also at the bottom of the screen is a small faux leather square -- it even has virtual stitching around the borders -- that display tasks that are due for completion. Items from all your lists due for action automatically appear in this Pocket Reminder so you need not worry about hunting through your lists to find out what actions you need completed. Items are listed in chronological order. To scroll through the items, you merely swipe the box with your finger.
4. Use the magnifying glass
You're entering text but you realise 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.
5. 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.
6. Turn Wi-Fi iPad to iPad 3G
laptop or Netbook has traditionally been a 3G USB key–but, of course, lacking a USB port or a way to install the required software, we can‘t use our 3G USB key on the iPad. Smartphone tethering would work also, but if you have an iPad, there‘s a good chance you‘ve also got an iPhone, so no tethering for you unless you jailbreak your phone. The solution is Novatel MiFi, a portable wireless router that takes the 3G signal it receives and broadcasts it as a Wi-Fi signal. Hooking the MiFi up to our non-3G iPad was easy. We powered on the MiFi box, and its signal was immediately recognized by the iPad, and listed in the Network Settings submenu, along with all the other Wi-Fi signals in the area.
Selecting the MiFi connection, we were prompted to enter a password (as one would do for any secure Wi-Fi connection); the password is a string of numbers printed on a sticker on the bottom of the MiFi unit itself. Up to five devices can connect at once, and the device‘s range is about 30 feet. One big advantage of using the MiFi as opposed to an iPad 3G is that we were able to avoid any of the streaming-video content restrictions reported by iPad 3G users. The ABC video player worked fine, as did the Netflix streaming app (an update allowing the ABC app to work on the iPad 3G is reportedly on the way).
7. Reduce or Eliminate Mail & Calendar Checking
If you’ve got a bunch of email, calendar, or contact accounts configured, and they are all being checked and downloading email on a regular basis, you’ll be draining the battery an awful lot faster than you need to. Head into Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> Fetch New Data and change the setting to the least frequent check possible. If you don’t use it often, you can just turn Push off entirely and then manually check when you need to.
8. Copy and Paste Text from One App to Another
Just tap and hold a word, then use your finger to drag to select more text, and then Copy it. Go to the other application, tap and hold in the input box, and then use Paste. Easy! Want to select a whole paragraph the easy way? Just tap it 4 times to highlight the entire paragraph, then use Copy.
9. 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.
10. Launching apps quickly
I have too many apps on my iPad. While I can always find certain apps quickly — I remember which home screen they’re on, and where geographically the icons are located on that screen — there are many more apps that I just can’t find. Instead of paging through home screen after home screen, I use Spotlight as a virtual keyboard launcher.