You got an iPad Air or an iPad mini this year. Now you’re checking it out, and you want to know how to use it. We’re here to help you. Here are a few basic tips for the new iPad user. These aren’t tips for power-users. They are just meant to help you get started, and to help you become familiar with the basic functions of the iPad.
Folders are extremely helpful in keeping things organized. You can move similar apps into a folder, which makes them easier to find than having to flip through several pages. All you have to do is hold your finger on an icon until all onscreen icons jiggle. Now, you can move it around. If you drag it over another icon, it will create a folder. iOS 7 is pretty smart about naming folders based on the similarities between the apps, but you may want to give it a custom name. One example is we drag the Kindle apps into the iBooks icon and create a folder called “Books” or “Reading.” Another may be dragging Netflix into YouTube and calling it “Entertainment.”
2) Multitasking Gestures
The iPad allows for multitouch gestures. These are useful as little “shortcuts,” if you will. For instance, you can pinch the screen with all five fingers to close an app. If you are within an app, you can swipe left or right with four fingers to switch. Swiping up with four fingers will launch multitasking. You can turn these on or off by going to Settings > General > Multitasking Gestures. You can turn these on or off. Set them to your liking.
Swiping up from the very bottom of the screen will launch ControlCenter. ControlCenter is a simple interface that gives you access to several of the iPad’s features: playback controls, AirPlane Mode, Wifi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb and Mute. It also lets you access the Clock and camera quickly. Volume controls, AirPlay, AirDrop (if applicable) and Brightness settings are also available.
4) Mute/Orientation Lock Switch
The Mute and Orientation Lock Switch are the same button. Actually, it’s a switch. If you go to Settings > General, you can check out “Use Side Switch To:” This option will allow you to change it to “Lock Rotation” or “Mute.” Choose the one that suits you. We like to have it lock the screen orientation/rotation. This is useful for reading in bed. Mute is okay, but it’s not particularly useful, because you can mute the iPad by holding the Volume Down button for a second or two.
5) Hard Reset
Hard reset is only intended to be used if your iPad is locked up or freezes. It’s not often necessary, but you may find yourself having to use it sometimes. All you have to do is hold down the Home Button and the Sleep/Wake button. Do this for several seconds. You will usually see a prompt telling you to swipe to power off (unless it’s totally frozen). Ignore that. The iPad will power off by itself. Hit the Sleep/Wake button again to power on.
6) Passcode Lock
Passcode Lock is useful on an iPhone, but it’s actually a bit annoying on an iPad. This is because the iPad doesn’t often leave the house and it doesn’t often leave your person. It’s not nearly as easy to misplace as an iPhone. iOS 7 may want to default to a Passcode lock. That’s the case in our experience. Just go to Settings > General > Passcode Lock > Turn Passcode Off. This will turn it off, and you no longer have to enter your passcode. Just know that you will have to enter it once to access the option, and once more to turn it off.
Enjoy Your new iPad
The iPad is a fun little device. We’ve had hours of use out of it. We’re sure you will, too. Just explore it and enjoy it. There’s a lot to learn.