Congratulations! You’ve bought your very first iPad. For many new iPad users, simple things like finding /installing /deleting apps, or simply turning off and on an iPad can be difficult. When you first turn on your device, a very simple process will guide you to set up your iPad. After that, your iPad is ready to use. Here’s a simple getting started guide and a few iPad tips that will help you learn the basics of using your iPad.
The iPad is widely-regarded as the best tablet computer on the market. According to Apple, the iPad “is a magical window where nothing comes between you and what you love.” The iPad is controlled by a multi-touch screen and a virtual onscreen keyboard. Most navigation on the iPad is done with simple touch commands, such as launching an app.
How to turn off and on your iPad: You may turn off your iPad by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake button for a few seconds until the red “slide to power off” slider appears, and then use the on-screen Slide feature, and the iPad will shut down. To restart your device simply press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until you see the Apple logo.
How to reset your device: To reset your device, just press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time for at least ten seconds (Ignore the Slide to Power Off bar) until you see the Apple logo. Note that resetting will very rarely be needed. Only hard reset your device if you are having problems with your iOS device (e.g. iPad becomes unresponsive).
The side switch on the iPad can be used to either lock the screen orientation or to mute iPad sounds (music, podcasts, movies, videos, and TV shows are not muted.). The display orientation of the iPad automatically changes with how you hold your phone. Many iPad apps let you view the screen in either portrait or landscape orientation. Rotate the iPad, and the display rotates too, adjusting the view automatically to fit the new screen orientation. However, the automatic landscape-portrait orientation shift can be annoying in certain situations, for instance, when you are reading in bed.
To change the function of the side switch, Tap Settings > General and select Lock Rotation or Mute. If you set this setting to mute, you enable Rotation Lock by double-clicking home button to display recently used apps, then swipe from left to right and tap the Screen Rotation Lock button. If you set it to Lock Rotation, you enable mute by double clicking your home button then tapping the Mute button.
The home button is like a “go home” button and is used to (A) wake the iPad when it is sleeping. (B) return to the home screen when you are in any application (app). (C) bring up the Multitasking Bar and (D) exit when you are deleting/organizing apps.
Apps: What Are Apps – Apps Definition
An application (or app) is software designed to run on iOS devices (such as iPads, iPods, iPhones and Macs). They are available through the Apple App Store. Some apps are free, while others have a price. Paid apps usually fall somewhere within the range of $0.99 – $9.99 price range. Free apps usually contain some advertisement embedded within the program. The iPad comes with various built-in apps including, but not limited to, Safari to browse the Internet, Mail to send and receive emails, Photos to organize your image files, FaceTime to video-call, and Messages to send and receive short messages. Other builds in apps are YouTube, Music, iTunes, App Store, iBooks, Maps, Notes, Calendar, Game Center, Videos, and Camera.
How to find apps
With over 40,000 iPad apps, finding the best one for what you want can be difficult. You can simply do a Google search for finding apps. But Google may not always yield the best results. One other way is by just searching the App Store directly. Simply tap the App Store icon where you can sort and find apps by categories, popularity and user ratings.
To buy/install an app, tap the gray button with the price on it (or where it says Free). After that, your iPad will ask for your Apple ID and password. If you do not have an Apple ID, you may create one here.
Once you have downloaded the app, a new icon for the app will appear on the screen so that you can launch it by tapping the icon.
- The app is not downloading/installing stuck on “Waiting…” or “Loading…”
- App not working: How to troubleshoot your App purchased from the App Store
Multitasking is an iOS feature that allows apps to run in the background while you are using another app. You can switch between apps at any time. To do this, double click your home button and the main screen will slide out of the way to open recently-used apps. Multitasking also means that quitting an app by pressing the home button does not close the app. If you want to fully close an app for various reasons (e.g. app becomes unresponsive), click the Home button twice, then tap and hold an app that you want to close until they jiggle, then tap the minus (-) to close it.
How to delete/organize apps
If you have many apps, you will have multiple screens; you can navigate between screens by swiping your finger across the iPad. You may also want to organize your apps into folders, or only move them for whatever reason. To move apps, touch and hold your finger on the app’s icon you want to move until all of the icons on the screen start jiggling. Then you can move the app icons with your finger, dragging it to your desired location. You can also create folders to house groups of apps (e.g. games, financial, news, etc.). To do this, tap and hold any app; when they jiggle, drag one app icon onto another one to create a folder.
To remove an app from your iPad, simply touch and hold on an app that you want to get rid of until the icons start wiggling; you’ll see a little X. Tap on that X and when prompted, touch Delete. If you do not see the little X, it probably because deleting apps on your iPad is restricted. Also, since removing apps is so easy, you may want to restrict deleting apps, especially if you are sharing your device with your children. Please see this article for more info. Furthermore, you cannot delete built-in apps (they will not have an “x”) that came installed on your iPad; that includes Safari, iTunes, App Store, Photos, etc.
It is also important to mention that once you delete an app, you can still re-download that app later meaning you do not need to re-purchase. Please see this article.
When you finish organizing your iPad apps, stop the jiggling by clicking the home button.
Battery and charging your iPad
A fully charged iPad means about ten hours of use. You can improve your iPad’s battery lifespan and battery life by following simple tips. Please see this article for more info. Also, note that connecting your iPad to your computer via USB may not charge your iPad because your PC may not provide enough power to charge the device unless it has a high-power USB port.
Updating your iOS software
With each iOS release, Apple introduces new features. So you may want to update your iOS software. To do this just tap Settings > General > Software Update. The iPad will check for updates and if there is one available you can download it automatically.
- iPad Troubleshooting, How to fix your iPad problems
- iPad running slow? How to speed up a slow iPad
- How to properly maintain your iOS devices: iPad, iPhone, and iPod
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.