When you are first learning about your new iPad, there are many tips and tricks that are overlooked in the beginning. It doesn’t take long, however, before you start wanting to find out what else it can do.
Below is a list of techniques and shortcuts to make working on your Apple device a lot smoother. Use these tips enough and you will become the iPad go-to guy or girl in no time.
- View Shortcuts for Recently Used Apps – You can switch between open apps without having to go back to your main screen. Double-tap your Home button (the round button on the bottom center of your iPad). On the lower portion of your screen, you will see shortcuts to all of your open programs. Swipe your finger from right to left across the icons to see all of them if there are a lot. This is handy for those times when you want to change apps quickly, like jumping from surfing the web to checking your email.
In iOS 7 and above, when you double-tap your Home button, instead of the list showing up on the bottom of your screen, it will fill up the screen. You can scroll through the list in the same way, by scrolling left and right with your finger. Tap any of the apps to open them or tap the Home button to go back where you were.
- Close Running Apps – Closing open apps is a good tip to keep in mind if your iPad ever seems to be running a little slower. Similar to the tip above, you can close apps by double-tapping your Home button to see your recently used apps. With the shortcut list still open, press your finger down on one of the app icons and hold it until they begin to wiggle. When this happens, a red circle with a minus (-) sign will appear on the top left of each icon. Tap the minus sign for each app you don’t use very often.
The shortcut for this in iOS 7 and later versions is to double-tap the Home button to see the list of open apps. However, instead of having to go through as many steps as before, you only have to put your finger on the app you want to close and slide it upwards. Doing this will not only remove it from the shortcut list, but it will also close the app.
This is helpful, too, for those times when you want to restart an app that isn’t working right. Do leave your most used apps here, though, for the convenience of the shortcuts mentioned above.
- Delete Apps from iPad – To delete an app from your iPad altogether, press and hold the app’s icon until it wiggles, then tap the X that will appear on the left top corner of the icon. A box will pop up telling you that removing it will also delete all of its data. Tap Delete.
Hint: Tapping the Home button again will stop the icons from wiggling.
- Copy and Paste – To copy and paste (or cut) on iPad, open the web page, email or document you are wanting to copy, then hold your finger down on the word or words. When you let your finger up, a small menu will pop up to either Select, Select All, Define or it will only say Copy and Define.
In some cases, Select All may not appear. When it does, you can use it to select the entire page or paragraph, then click Copy or Cut. Otherwise, simply tap Select and drag the blue circles on each end to cover the area you’re wanting to copy.
To paste the information, you will need somewhere to place it, such as in the Notes app or in an email. Follow the same instructions as above by holding your finger down and letting it back up in the writing area, then tap Paste.
- Stop Screen from Turning – The “mute” button, which is above the volume button on the right side of your iPad, can be changed to control the rotation of the screen. Go to Settings on the General tab, then scroll down to Use Side Switch. Tap Lock Rotation. Now, when you flip the switch on, you will have the option to lock your screen in either the landscape or portrait position. Flip the switch off to rotate again.
- Turn Volume Off…Fast – Since you turned off the mute button above, you can use your volume control to turn off your sounds. Rather than click, click, clicking the volume down button (on right side of iPad), hold it down and it will zoom to no sound.
- Create App Folders – Making a folder to store and organize your apps is easy. On the home screen, hold your finger down on one of the app icons until they all start to wiggle. When you see them moving, drag an app icon on top of another app icon and it will create a folder. When the folder opens and the icons are still moving, you can change the name of the folder by tapping inside the title area and typing a new name in place of the automated one. Remove a folder by dragging all of the apps out of it. It will automatically disappear.
- Rearrange Apps and Folders – Using the same technique as above, on the main screen of your iPad, press and hold your finger down on an app icon until they begin to wiggle, then rearrange the apps and folders to your preference by dragging them around on the screen. If you want to move an icon from one page to another, drag the icon to the left center and hold it there to go back a page, or drag it to the right center to go forward.
- Try Find My iPad – When you were first setting up your iPad, you may remember being asked if you’d like to use Find My iPad. If not, go to Settings and tap Location Services, or Privacy / Location Services for newer iPads, in the lefthand column. Make sure it is set to ON, then scroll down until you see Find My iPad. If it is off, tap and turn it on.
If you have an iPhone, you can use the Find iPhone app to test this feature. For those who don’t have an iPhone, open a web browser and go to iCloud.com, sign in with your Apple ID and password, then click Find My iPhone (this is for iPad, too). If your iPad is on and connected to the Internet, it will find it and show the general location on a map.
- Search Within Web Page – Most people will be using the Safari browser on iPad, so open Safari and go to any website. Once there, tap inside the Search box, which will be in the top right corner of older devices or the address bar for iPads with iOS 7 and up.
For earlier iOS systems, when the onscreen keyboard pops up, look on top of the keyboard and notice where it says, “Find on Page.” Type any word or phrase in the box next to Find on Page, and it will locate the word every time it was used on the page. Use the arrow keys next to the box to see each time the word was used.
For later iOS systems, when the keyboard appears, type the word or phrase in the address bar, then scroll down below the Google Search list and beneath “On This Page,” tap Find [your word or phrase]. You will be taken back to the page with a bar at the very bottom. Use the arrow keys to see each time the word was used on the page.
This is a good tool for those times when you are searching for something in particular, but the page itself is too large to find it without having to read everything.
- Return to Top – If you are on a long page or email, you can tap the top bar of your iPad (where the time is located), and it will zoom you back to the top without having to scroll back up.
- Take a Screenshot – Have you ever wondered how people are taking screenshots of their iPads or iPhones for articles like this one? Press (don’t hold) your Home button and your Power button at the same time, then you will hear a camera click. Go to your Photos, in Camera Roll if you have more than one album, to see the picture of your screen that you just took.
- Save Photos from Email or the Web – Anytime you want to save a photo from an email or from the Internet, press and hold your finger down on the photo, then select Save Image. It will save it to Camera Roll in your Photos. A word of warning about website images, there are Copyright laws out there, so this should be for personal use only.
- Turn iPad into Digital Photo Frame – You can use your iPad as a digital photo frame by starting a slideshow of your photos. There are two ways to do this.
One, tap the power button to put the iPad to sleep, then tap it again (or your Home button) to wake it back up. Before sliding the button to unlock, notice the little flower icon to the right of your unlock button. See photo below. Tap the flower to start the slideshow. This trick only works on earlier versions of iOS.
For all versions of iOS, the other way to watch a slideshow is to open your Photos, then tap the Slideshow button at top right. Choose your Slideshow Options, then tap Start Slideshow. Stop the slideshow by tapping your screen once.
You can change the options for your slideshows in Settings and tap Picture Frame in lefthand column. In iOS 7 and above, you can change the options in Settings, Photos & Camera, then choose your preferences beneath Slideshow on the right side.
- Make New Album in Photos – To create a new photo album, open Photos and tap Albums at top of screen (bottom of the screen now). From there, click Edit in the top right corner and then New Album in top left corner. (In later versions of iOS, instead of tapping Edit, tap the plus(+) symbol in the top left corner.)
Name it whatever you like, then tap Save and select the photos you want to add to the new album. Tap Done in top right corner when finished.
To add more photos later from Camera Roll (iPad’s main folder to save pictures), open Photos, tap albums and open Camera Roll or whichever album has the photo you want to copy. Don’t open the photo itself, only the album, then click Select or, for early iOS users, the box with the arrow next to Slideshow in top right corner. Select the photo(s) you want to copy, then tap “Add To…” in top right (now left) corner and select Add to Existing Album or Add to New Album (iOS 7+, simply tap the album icon/title). The photos will remain in Camera Roll as well.
- Turn Off Notifications – If you have an app that keeps sending you notifications, go to Settings and click on Notifications or Notification Center. On the right side, if it isn’t already set, change Sort Apps to Manually. Beneath “In Notification Center” or beneath “Include,” find the app that is bugging you and turn it off. Tap the app name and change all of the buttons to None and Off. If an app isn’t bothering you, however, you can leave it on.
- Turn Off Push Notifications – Push notifications “push” new data from the server to your iPad. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing with iCloud, but mostly it just uses up battery life by checking and rechecking your email, as well as iCloud. Turn it off or change the frequency by going to Settings and tapping on Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Tap Fetch New Data on the right screen, then change to your preference.
- Turn Off Bluetooth and Auto-Brightness – A couple more tips to preserve battery life is to disable Bluetooth if you’re not using it and the auto-brightness feature. Go to Settings, General, and tap Bluetooth (or straight to Settings, Bluetooth) to turn it on or off. While still in Settings, tap Wallpapers & Brightness, then switch Auto-Brightness to OFF. You can adjust the screen’s normal brightness with the slider while you are there. Lowering the brightness also uses less battery.
- Use Caps Lock – When typing, there might be times when you will want to lock your caps. Double-tap the Shift button (it will become either blue or gray) and you will type in all capital letters. Tap it again once to turn it back off.
- Type Apostrophe and Quotes Without Changing Keyboard – Tired of having to tap the “.?123” button to type an apostrophe or a quotation mark? Press and hold the comma key, then release it; for later iOS, press, hold and slide upwards. An apostrophe will appear. Do the same with the period key to add a quote (the period key is now the .com key below). Other keys (e, y, u, i, o, a, s, l, z, c, and n) use the same technique with multinational symbols.
- Your .com Key Has More Options – Like the apostrophe and quotes above, you can press and hold the .com key (it will be on your keyboard when you are typing a website address in Safari or another browser), then slide your finger rather than tap to .net, .org, .com, .us, or .edu.
Note: This key no longer exists in the newer iOS versions. It has been changed to the period/question mark key. Press, hold and slide your finger upwards on the period key, then select your choice of .us, .edu, .com, .net, or .org by sliding your finger left or right and releasing.
- Split Keyboard for “Thumb Typing” – For those who prefer to type with your thumbs, you can split your iPad’s onscreen keyboard by pulling it apart from the center. Place your thumbs on the center of the keyboard and drag them out toward the edges of the iPad. Do the opposite to return it to full keyboard; simply drag it back together from the center.
- Use X in Place of Delete Key – When typing in an address box, a search or title box, an easier way to delete the address or words is to click the X located to the right of that same box. This will delete everything, rather than using the back button on the keyboard, which will only delete one letter or character at a time.
- Zoom In, Zoom Out – If the writing on a webpage or email seems small, you can pinch the screen to make it bigger. Put your thumb and forefinger together on the screen, then spread them outward. Return it back to its normal size by doing the same thing backwards; place your open thumb and forefinger on the screen, then drag them back to each other.
- Battery Drained, Now iPad Won’t Charge – Don’t panic reading this one.
It’s actually good to drain your iPad battery. It helps it to last longer over time.(We have since learned it doesn’t help your battery to let it drain all the way down.) When you plug it back in to charge, however, it will seem like it is dead. It isn’t. Just leave it plugged, and in a few minutes, you will see the Apple icon appear. All is well. It simply needs a little extra time to start back up.
- Frozen iPad Screen – Hopefully, it will only be a rare occasion, if ever, that your iPad screen will freeze. But if it does, you can perform a Soft Reset by holding down your Home button and the Power button at the same time. Your iPad will restart, and you’ll be back in working order.
- Change Apple ID (email address) or Credit Card – If you ever change your email address and need to update your Apple ID, you can do this along with changing your payment information in Settings. Scroll down the list on the left and tap Store (now iTunes & App Store), then tap Apple ID:email@example.com. From there, tap View Apple ID on the box that pops up, type in your password, then tap either Apple ID or Payment Information to edit your email or credit card. Tap Done when done.
This list doesn’t come close to covering everything on your iPad, but it can help in learning a few new tricks that you can share with others and refer back to when needed.