Apple designed iOS to be intuitive. There’s no user manual in the box, and I’m sure Apple reps would argue that it doesn’t need one. Most of the device’s functionality is easy to access with a few taps or swipes, once you know how.
Intuition can be unreliable, however, as it works differently with different people. There are a few features on the iPad that aren’t necessarily easy to discover naturally. Here some quick iPad tips that will help new users better understand their new Apple tablet.
Adding, Moving & Deleting Apps
Every iPad app you add to your device will begin its life in the App Store. To download an app, just find it in the store and then tap the button which states the price, be it free or paid and input your password. The app will automatically download and install. Downloading apps from another source isn’t possible unless you jailbreak your iPad.
When you want to move or get rid of an app you can do so by holding your finger on any homescreen icon. After several seconds all the icons will wiggle, at which point you can drag-and-drop to move or tap the cross “X” in the upper left hand corner to delete. Apple’s bundled apps, like Mail and Photos, can be moved but can’t be removed.
To move an app between homescreens drag it to the left or right edge and wait for the screen to advance, providing access to the next screen.
Multitasking iPad Tips
To multitask on the iPad (or any iOS device) simply double-tap the home button. Doing so will make a panel appear at the bottom of the display which lists all recently used apps, which can be re-opened with a tap.
You also can scroll through apps that are open by using a four-finger swipe to the left or right, which will rotate your through apps as if they were photos. The homescreen can be opened by touching the iPad’s screen with all four fingers and your thumb, then closing your hand by “pinching” your fingers across the display. Similarly, the multitask panel can be accessed with a four-finger swipe upwards.
Dragging your finger left will scroll through the list, while dragging your finger right will display quick-settings for display brightness and audio as well as play, rewind and forward buttons for media content running in the background.
Most apps left running in the background should not need to be closed, but sometimes background apps can cause trouble such as those that crash and become unresponsive. To close a background app bring up the multitask panel, then tap and hold an icon for several seconds. All the icons will begin to wiggle and a red close button will appear in the upper left. Tap it to close an app.
Manage App Restrictions
Open the Settings panel, go to General and then go to Restrictions. Tap the Enable Restrictions button at the top to make the window accessible.
When restrictions are on, you can make certain apps unavailable and restrict media content based on the rating of its content. The restrictions menu can also be used to turn off in-app purchases. For the most part, these settings serve as parental controls.
Multiple users aren’t supported by iOS at the moment, so you’ll have to remember to turn restrictions on or off when appropriate. Hopefully multi-user support will be included in the next iOS update.
Change & Toggle Picture Frame Settings
One feature you might stumble upon on accidental is the iPad’s Picture Frame mode. This is activated by tapping the flower icon on the lock screen, but it can only be edited by opening the Settings app and then tapping the Picture Frame section. In this areas you can choose how long you want photos to appear, if they should be shuffled, and specify which album in the Photos app the images should be drawn from.
The picture frame can be a privacy issue because, by default, it activates without the need to enter a passcode. That means anyone with your iPad can view your photos even if you have it locked.
Strangely, the setting to turn off the picture frame is located in a different area of Settings. Instead you will find it located in General underneath the Passcode Lock switch. Turn the iPad Cover Lock setting to off and the picture frame icon will disappear.
Manage app notifications
Notifications can become an annoyance, so you might end up looking for the app settings that disable them – only to find that in-app settings are not where you expected. That’s because notifications are generally handled in the Notifications menu.
You can access this by opening the Settings app, then going to Notifications. You will see a list of apps and the notifications they have permission to use. To disable notifications, tap an app in the Notifications menu and then adjust it to your preferences.
Keep in mind that Alerts are shown on the lock screen, while Banners appear at the top of the display while you’re using the device. Apps that use sound for notification will present the option to turn it off; if you don’t see that option, it’s probably because audio notification is not a feature of that app.
These iPad tips should turn you from iPad newbie to an app consuming, multi-tasking iPad pro. If you’d like to know even more about your tablet, check out some helpful lock-screen tips, information on how to better use the virtual keyboard and our three-part iPhone guide which tackles similar iOS-related content.
Have you recently bought an iPad? Anything else you’re unsure of? Add a comment, below.