How to Use an iPad

How to Use an iPad

How to Use an iPad

When the iPad project was first announced, the biggest question on Apple fan’s minds was “How will it work?”

What they were concerned about was the visual interface of the iPad, the visual side of the iPad operating system. Would it be similar to the iPhone? Would it be something entirely different?

The iPad operating system can be best understood as a step up from the iPhone’s simple interface. That means that Apps are the highlight of the iPad experience, and the “tray” at the bottom of the iPhone (with basic functions, home key, etc) is around for the iPad itself. In fact, if you know how to use an iPhone, you can easily use an iPad.

iPad Basics

The iPad is just one inch thick and weighs about a pound and a half, so it is easily portable. Unfortunately, you can’t just slip the iPad in your pocket like you can an iPhone. In the time of iPhones, the definition of “portable” is different — people seem to expect to be able to carry their Apple devices around with ease, and at a pound and a half, the iPad isn’t exactly lightweight compared to the tiny iPhone. The advertised battery life of the iPad is ten hours of video playback, and up to a full month while on standby mode. Different users found they had different battery life lengths, mostly due to differences in settings and usage.

Many people want to know how well the iPad keyboard works — there’s still lots of confusion about the multi-touch screen, even though most people have seen how well the iPhone’s touch system works. The iPad keyboard is basically a copy of the iPhone system again only larger. The “keyboard” of the iPad takes up the bottom half of the screen display. People are used to typing with their thumbs on portable devices, but no such luck here — you “type” on the iPad keyboard the same way you type on your physical keyboard.

You can purchase a keyboard dock, a device that lets you type on a standard sized keyboard and still use your iPad screen, but it isn’t exactly portable. Bringing your keyboard dock along with your iPad basically guarantees you’ll need a hefty laptop bag, and how is that any more convenient than what people already have? The concern over the iPad keyboard is legitimate, and if Apple came out with a solution between the keyboard dock and the touch screen, they may have a huge seller on their hands.

When it comes to surfing the Internet, the pages appear just like they do on a traditional web browser, featuring navigation and options buttons along the top of the display. One big downside for the iPad is the lack of Flash or Java support, so your Internet experience is slightly limited.

How to Use the iPad Interface

When you want to access the screen, simply slide to unlock just like on an iPhone. The display of an iPad is basically identical except the iPad interface is bigger. There’s still the familiar Home button at the bottom of the iPad. Also, you access Apps the same way you do on an iPhone, by simply selecting them with your finger. The Apps automatically load on your iPad screen. You can also use the classic iPhone “swipe method” to move through pictures and other page lists, just like you do with an iPhone.

The iPad doesn’t support third-party App multitasking, so you can pretty much only run one App at a time. This is similar to older generation iPhones, but the latest iPhone model does support multitasking, leading to rumors of future multitasking capability on future iPad models.

In general, using the iPad is pretty much like using a giant iPhone. The multitouch features and App arrangements that made the iPhone revolutionary have just been copied into a larger version on the iPad, and you don’t even get cell phone capabilities on the iPad like you do with an iPhone.

So how can you use your new iPad? Here’s 6 great ideas for ways to make your iPad do what you need it to do.

1. GPS

If you don’t have an iPhone or other smartphone, you’ll be amazed at the possibilities of the GPS system in the iPad. The iPad 3G combines powerful 3G service with an awesome GPS program and a data connection — this is basically like having an electronic navigator and search engine rolled into one. The GPS on your iPad can help you see where you’re going, find addresses, and even find shopping destinations like gas stations, restaurants, and shopping centers, all in palm of your hand(s).

2. eReader

The Amazon Kindle is easier on the eyes, to be sure, but it doesn’t have all the functions that an iPad offers.

3. Business functions

Apple’s iWork software is available on the iPad, so you can use your new toy for work as well as for play. iWork offers a word processor as well as standard spreadsheet and presentation software for the iPad.

4. Texting, Tweeting, etc.

You can use all the cool web-based features available on an iPhone on your iPad, including checking IMDB in the middle of a movie, right from the comfort of your couch.

5. Watch portable TV

Portable TVs are a great idea, but the reception is always awful and they interface was never quite perfected. You can hook up your iPad to various “TV on the go” programs like Sling Box. This turns your iPad 3G into an on the go television player.

6. Buy movies and TV episodes from iTunes.

The iPhone works as a video player, but it only does an average job of it. The tiny screen pretty much ruins the experience. The iPad’s larger visual display makes it great for late-night video watching — how much easier is it to curl up with the iPad than with your bulky laptop? iTunes has tons of TV episodes and movies from $1.99 up to $4.

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