Prepare For Boarding: Your Seat-Pocket Guide To iPad

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Welcome to the inaugural flight of Apple Airways’ pride and joy, the iPad JumboGizmo.  We hope you have lots of fun and productivity on its maiden voyage.  To familiarize yourself with everything this new iPad is capable of, the flight attendants are directing your attention to the seat pocket in front of you.  See that big, colorful card?  Looks like one of those airline safety cards, doesn’t it?  Well, it’s even better: it’s an easy-to-understand guide to help you get the most out of your ride.  Let’s walk through it, shall we?

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  1. 1. CONTROLS AND ORIENTATION: Admittedly the basics, iPad for Dummies 101.  How to turn it on.  Where the Home key is.  How to raise/lower/mute the volume.  The best way to hold/orient it depending on what you’re doing at the moment.  Gonna read some eBooks, eMagazines, eMenus?  Obviously, hold it upright.  Got something to type, or a movie/TV show/viral video to watch?  Swing it to landscape mode.  Gameplay is going to depend on the game, but the important takeaway here is that how you hold AND move the iPad will affect said gameplay.  Yes, you iPhone/iTouch power users know all this already, but let’s assume that for some iPad users, this is the first time they’ve held ANYTHING like this.
  2. 2. TOUCH TECHNIQUES: It’s not just all the old and new single- and multi-finger tap, swipe, pinch, and drag the iPad brings to the table — like red wine with meat and white wine with fish, it’s the right touch for the right reason.  Apple is already encouraging iPad app coders to make their programs look more like the “real world;” for example, Contacts actually looks like an address book, and the touch interface should manipulate it in as much of the same as possible.  Likewise, the ability to create “bundles” of documents and then interact with them as one unit.
  3. 3. TECHNICAL NOTES: More for the hardcore geek, but still nice to have at your fingertips.
  4. 4. APPLICATIONS: What it comes with standard, and a hint of what can be added from the App Store.    Even things its missing right now (yeah, Flash support, we’re talkin’ to YOU).

There’s no reason why the guide couldn’t co-exist as both a physical copy (stick it right into your iPad’s carry case — or in your belt along with your iPad, a la Stephen Colbert!) and a quick on-screen popup that’s always at your fingertips.

(And remember: in the case of an emergency water landing, the iPad can double as a surfboard…)

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