Category Archives: iPad Tips & Tricks

The iPad and the iPad 2 are amazing and powerful devices. To help you do amazing things with it, we offer this collection of tips and tricks and how-to articles.

Some of these are iPad Basics sort of stuff that are helpful for newer users- for instance, how to instantly jump to the top of a web or email page, how to save images from the iPad web browser or email apps. Others are how-to’s that are useful even for iPad power users – things like how to print from the iPad, or the best ways to get photos and videos transferred from an iPhone to the iPad without having to connect to a PC, or how to disable In-App purchases so your kids can’t inadvertently run up your App Store spending.

I hope some of these iPad tips will help you get the most out of your iPad.

How to back up your iPad using iCloud or iTunes

iCloud-backup

Backing up your iPad is the most important habit you should try to keep with regard to routine maintenance of your device.  It’s the first step in your line of defense before ever attempting any trouble-shooting measures.  Furthermore, it is a prudent operation you should take prior to updating to a different device. By backing up your iPad you instantly have a fail-safe to fall back on in the unlikely event that your iPad is lost, stolen, or has to be replaced for other various reasons.  With back-ups you have a snapshot of the information on your device that makes it possible for you to transfer your data to another iPad.

So this then begs the question–how do you back-up your iPad, and which method will work best for you?  Not all back-up are created equal, so it’s important to know the differences between the two methods.

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How to manage accessibility features on your iPad

accessibility-iPad

Accessibility features on iOS are available to any user from the moment you buy your iPad or iPhone.  Simply turn on your device and there are built in gestures that are immediately available to you.  These can be invoked by either (triple) clicking the home button (to turn on VoiceOver) or via simple swipe gestures (double-tap the screen with three fingers to turn zoom off and on).

You can manage a variety of accessibility features on your iPad.  To get started and see which features met you needs and are accessible to you, open the Settings App–> General–> Accessibility.  Here you will find numerous options separated out by feature set.

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How to use VoiceOver to help you better navigate your iPad

accessibility

Over time iOS has developed and matured into the most robust  mobile operating system available today.  With the addition of various accessibility features, Apple has made iOS available to a population that hasn’t previously been represented or adequately provided for. These built-in digital tools are very useful for those needing help with accessibility on their iPad or iPhone.  Unfortunately, though, most iPad owners are unaware they are available, much less know where to look to find them if they wanted to  take advantage of their benefits. Today we are going to focus on VoiceOver, and how this powerful accessibility feature can make navigating your iPad much easier.

How to Access VoiceOver on your iPad

Let’s start with how you can access and turn on VoiceOver.  First, open the Settings app on your iPad and select General–> Accessibility–> VoiceOver.  At this point you have many different options available to you.  Simply turning on VoiceOver makes it possible to speak the items on your screen.  The following, is how you activate this feature…

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How to Prepare your iPad for International Travel

Apple-World-Traveler-Kit

Whether you’re the occasional traveler, or you frequently leave the country for work excursions, even the most seasoned veteran commuters can become flummoxed when it comes to using your iOS device without incurring unexpected charges on your phone bill.  So, what can you do as an iPad owner to ensure that all your available options are explored and checked off before you begin your trip?

Do you have access to Wi-Fi?

Before you use your iPad internationally, the first thing you need to do is to turn data roaming off.  This will keep your iPad from using data altogether, even when connected to a local network. To turn off data roaming, open the Settings App on your iPad and select Cellular–> Turn Data Roaming off–if it isn’t already. When Cellular Data and Data Roaming are off, the cellular-data icon shouldn’t appear in the status bar.

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How to Reduce your iPad screen brightness beyond standard control limits

brightness-up

This is one of those how-to tips that, while very useful to some, will not be for everyone .  For the most part, the ability to dim your iPad or iPhone screen beyond standard control limitations can be a helpful tool.  However, if you are looking to keep your whole room from lighting up in the first place, you might want to reexamine your need to use your device in the dark in the first place.

Having said that, there’s no harm in the quick glance at your device from time to time.  Perhaps you are waiting to get some important information, or you forgot to check an appointment time for early the next day that you wanted to verify.  For me, at night I use my iPad on my bedside table to display a digital clock.  The numbers are big and easy to read, even for my wife from the other side of the bed.  In addition, it keeps me from picking up my iPhone, where I would most certainly would get caught up in notifications and sports scores, and anything else that might distract me form getting back to sleep.

Even with the ability to dim the clock through a third party clock app in addition to using the controls on the iPad, I would still prefer to have the display brightness cranked down a level or two.  Our room is pretty much pitch dark, and the glow from the iPad can be a little unsettling when you first wake up.  Luckily there’s an easy process to tweak the brightness of your iOS device a little father than the default control settings available through your device–and here’s how.

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How to manage ad tracking on your iPad

iAdsAds, a necessary perceived evil that are the compilation  of information collected anonymously about us and our behavior while using our iOS devices.  This information is gathered by countless entities that include everything from search engines, to hardware and software companies, to websites that provide services, often free of charge in exchange for your personal information.  The way in which they gather information about you and your usage habits range from full disclosure to any number of ninja-like behind the scenes farming, to completely anonymous exchanges of information.  Regardless of the tactic or process used to collect your information, it is important to know what options you may have, if any, and how you can best protect yourself and your personal information.

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How to manage background activity on your iPad

background app refresh

When you’re looking to find ways to extend the battery life of your iPad, one of the easiest ways to chip away at battery drain is to examine background activity–process that are going on behind the scenes and aren’t forward facing.  By managing the background activity you will be better prepared to understand how your battery life is adversely affected by what’s going on behind the scenes.  Every time you launch an app on your iPad, you begin the process of draining the battery.  In addition, many apps continue to run in the background.  Luckily, iOS has a process where you can manage this background activity, and selectively reduce the amount each app is allowed to utilize.

No matter how small the activity might seem to be, a reduction is a reduction.  In turn the background activity will ultimately decline as well.  So where do you begin to access this information you can manage the background activity on your iPad?

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How to control which apps and System Services have access to your personal information on your iPad

Privacy-Setting-on-iPad

One of the most important things we can do to keep us safer in this day and age is to actively take a responsible role in controlling the information we share on our  electronic devices.  Apple has made this somewhat easier for us by adjusting many of the iPad’s default settings to safer modes out of the box.  Safeguards like this force us to have to give permission to apps the first time they require information that would generally be considered private.

The category at the top of the list when it comes to privacy is the often debated, Location Services.  This is because apps that are compatible with Location Services can potentially gather and use your information as data points indicating your location. One way this information can be translated is via local Wi-Fi networks, when activated on your iPad.  However the data collected by Apple is completely anonymous and does not identify you or your location in a way that personally identifies you. Furthermore, you will always be able to tell when an app is currently using your location because there will be an icon of an arrow next to it in the Location Services portion of the Settings App.

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How to sign up for cellular service on your iPad

Wi-fI + Cellular iPad Proimage: credit

From time to time, if you use your iPad away from home with enough regularity you will most likely come across more than one occasion when you might need to use cellular service to complete an important task.  Using your iPad in this manner can only happen if your iPad is LTE enabled.  In the last few years Wi-Fi Hot-Spots have proliferated through the places we frequent most often while away from our home base.  This has directly reduced the need to use  our iPads over a data connection.  Furthermore, the US cellular carriers have expanded Family Sharing plans to the extent that many of us, myself included, simply tether our iPad to our iPhones or other mobile devices to share data as needed.

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How to control when apps refresh in the background on your iPad

Background-App-Refresh-on-iPad

One of the more convenient features of iOS is called background app refresh.  The process pretty much works like it sounds  Apps can refresh their content in the background when on Wi-Fi or cellular.  While this can be very helpful, because apps in this state will run for a short amount of time before they enter a suspended state in which they aren’t actively being used.  Turning on Background App Refresh will use additional battery capacity despite the fact that they aren’t open or running, because they can still update new content in the background.  While this might not be a deal breaker for the most part, there have been some apps that have been known to continue to run in the background and use more than their fair share of power.

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Troubleshooting iOS 9.3 activation on your iPad

iOS9.3-update

When Apple released iOS 9.3 there have been some notable bugs that have created issues for some users after they installed the latest update.  The main issue was with iPad Air and earlier models required entering the Apple ID and password to used to set-up the device to complete the software installation.  If for some reason, iPad owners couldn’t remember their password, their devices were stuck in an inactivated state until they could either recall the password or were able to reset it.  As a result, Apple temporarily disabled updates for the older iPads (and iPhones older the the 5s) until they could release an updated version of iOS 9.3 that didn’t create the same issues.  Apple has created a support document for those iPad owners who are currently stuck in the activation state.

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