The iPad, as the new flashy kid at school, has people scrambling on how to maximize its special features. Part iPhone, part laptop, the iPad seems to exist in a middle earth of its own design. In this way much of its technology seems mythological to new users. Here are a few practical tips for those who have just picket up the first round of iPads are are looking to get it off the shelf.
The first thing that you have to note about the iPad is how many of the things that are the same from the iPhone and iPod Touch. You can reset the iPad the same way as with the iPhone, and the soft reset comes from simply hit the top button and the Home button with a few seconds of hold. The copy and paste functions, screenshots, keyboard functions, and basic built in applications all really work the same. The main thing that you have to look for on the iPad is items that are going to be fundamentally different from the iPhone.
Watching video content on your iPad is one of the most solid reasons to own it, but this is also one of the main places that you are given limitations. Not only are you basically prevented from watching videos from online websites, but you also have a limitation in what you can watch in the regular video section. If you have videos that are in 1080P you are not going to find them compatible for your iPad. The best tip to follow for remedy this is to use video conversion software to bring it down to 720P. You can find this easy to do in video programs like Compressor or Handbreak, and there are dozens of freeware ones dotting the internet.
You may want to take extra control over the bottom bar of the iPad and make it so that your constant tray holds a little more than the four previously allowed. This is easy to do by simply selecting and dragging two other applications down into the bottom tray. There is nothing restricting this so you can do it just as easily as you would when moving around iPad applications on the regular desktop. A good tip to follow is to continue to focus on only allowing built in applications down there as you are going to always want to be able to get at them with ease.
Since the iPad does take some of the regular laptop functions you will likely want to forgo the simple built in keyboard and use an attachable one for actual typing. What you have to note is that this will actually eliminate access to the standard iPad keyboard, which is the same as the one that has been a staple of the iPhone. If you want to get the regular iPad keyboard back you simply have to eject the attachable bluetooth keyboard.
One of the defining applications for the iPad is iBooks, a free iPad application that you get from the iTunes' App Store. This is an e-book reader that acts as a main competitor to the Amazon Kindle, but within this complete gadget. iBooks acts as both a store and a reader, but what it does well is actually conforms itself to the specifications of the iBooks user. The iBooks reader starts by just looking at a single page with the iPad held vertically, but if you want to look at two pages as a time you can just turn it horizontally. Changing the text size and font it relatively standard, but for those with any type of vision problems this can be an issue. If this is the case it is best to maintain a san serif font that is easier to read on the iPad.
Though you can buy books from iBooks, and definitely get some of the free books that Apple offers, the iPad is also a serious e-book reader that allows you to import content independently in the same way that it does with audio and video. You can find e-books independently, but note that the iPad only supports the ePub format.
One of the large selling points for the iPad has been its use in looking at photos. It has the Photo features that are standard on the iPhone and iPod Touch, such as the slideshow. What makes the iPad even more accessible for these needs is the ability for you to turn it in to a digital photo frame. A digital photo frame often takes the appearance of a classic frame that you would insert a picture into, but instead has an LCD screen that shuffles through pictures that you attached on a digital storage device. When you first start up the iPad you will notice that there is a Photo button to the right of the Slide to Unlock opener. When you hit this a slideshow of your photos will begin in full screen. This is best done when the iPad is on its side and in an adjustable stand for easy viewing. If you want to adjust the speeds you can do this in the normal iPad Photo Settings area, which is mainly defined by selecting the speed you want the photos to go through.
Besides iBooks, iWork may be the other defining feature of the iPad. It is here that the actual laptop functions from Apple are being worked in, even if there are slight compared to a fully functional Macbook Pro. iWork, though very much simplified, can be a little involved for use on the iPad. The best way to approach this is with constant syncs to your home computer. Here you can arrange everything you need for presentation ahead of time and do not have to slide around the touch screen getting things ready. Some things are great to do on the iPad, such as adding video effects, but you want to make sure that anything that is to be used as part of a complete presentation is not arranged there exclusively. The best way this can be done is by using Keynote to import Power Point files. If a presentation is arranged on Power Point ahead of time you will have more control. You can also easily create presentation in Keynote from your iPad and send them off, especially as a PDF. This is not going to give you as much in depth control as with Power Point, but if you are already doing it on your iPad then that may not be what you're looking for.