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 download apps to your iPad purchased by someone else in your iCloud Family Sharing plan

iCloud Family SharingWhen Apple introduced iCloud Family Sharing with iOS 8 they finally provided us with a method to monitor purchases made with our Apple ID from other devices _before_ they are actually purchased.  These “other” devices were typically used by our children.  With Family Sharing we can manipulate purchase settings so that we are true gate-keepers of any service that needs our our Apple ID for authentication.

Personally, I love using Family Sharing with my oldest son who is now 12.  I appreciate that he can still have his own Apple ID and make his own choices on which apps, songs and books he would like to download to his iPhone.  But in the end, I still get to make the final approval.  That perfect mix of independence for my son, and peace of mind for my wife and I, seems to be working well for now.

One unforeseen benefit from having purchases made by different people in the same Family Sharing plan is that these purchases can be sorted by Family members.  To download only purchases made from a specific member if your Family Plan first launch the App Store app on your iPad.

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How to enable and set-up Speak Selection on your iPad

Restrictions 04-16-15, 9.47.48 PM

With iOS 8 your iPad has enhanced accessibility features that can be very useful for everyone.  One such feature that I find myself using on a regular basis is centered around speech–specifically, reading selected text back to me.  There are countless benefits from such a feature, from reading a how-to aloud while you actively participate in making or fixing something, to catching you up on your RSS reader feed while you wade through your backlog of emails.  I find it particularly helpful to finish reading a post when I need to redirect some of my attention to another task.  Whatever the reason, I’m sure you can find scenario that is beneficial for you, too.

Start with opening the Settings App on your iPad, and select General.  Next, open the Accessibility tab and locate Speech at the bottom of the Vision section.  Here you have three options–Speak Selection, Speak Screen and Speak Auto-text.

Restrictions 04-16-15, 10.35.25 PM

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How to set-up parental controls on your iPad

Restrictions 04-15-15, 6.44.10 PMNow-a-days, kids are far more technologically advanced than most of their parents were at the same age much less now. This is both a blessing and a curse for us as parents, though. I think it’s great that my 7 year old can pick up an iPad and get his reading and math homework done using a touch interface that he is already very comfortable and proficient with. I find it helpful and thoughtful that his school supports a paperless initiative when it comes to the tools he uses for learning.

As a parent, the flip-side of this story is that there will come a time in the very near future—sooner than I probably would like to admit, that he will begin to explore the cyber-world outside of his academic bubble. This scare the hell out of me at times. The internet can be a wonderful learning tool, but it can also be a window to so much more—much of which can be very damaging to children—especially young ones.

I have already experienced a taste of this world with my oldest son who is 12. He is a very trustworthy young man, but he is also at an age of maturity and discovery and is naturally curious about everything else that goes along with growing up.

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How to sort and report junk iMessages with iOS 8.3 on your iPad


Apple update iOS software to version 8.3 yesterday in advance of the Apple Watch launch.  To update your iPad open the Settings app and go to General–> Software Update.  The list of enhancements and updates is quite extensive.  Highlighted by improved performance for

  • App Launch
  • App responsiveness
  • Messages
  • Wi-Fi
  •  Control Center
  • Safari Tabs
  • 3rd-party keyboards
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Simplified Chinese keyboard

and fixes for the following

  • Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
  • Orientation and rotation
  • Family Sharing
  • CarPlay
  • Enterprise
  • Accessibility

Followed up by an extensive number of additional improvements and bug fixes too long to list.

As with most iOS updates, there are always less talked about improvements that are welcomed changes. Sometimes we’re really lucky, and these improvements solve nagging issue that have existed longer than they should have.  This is one of them.  Now we can sort and report junk Messages thanks to iOS 8.3–here’s how.

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How to record your iPad screen using QuickTime Player on your Mac [UPDATED]


While I was surfing around the internet the other day, I came across a procedure that allows you to record the screen of your iOS device using QuickTime Player on your Mac.  As someone who could really benefit from this feature for demonstrative purposes, my curiosity was definitely piqued.  Add to that the fact that it is built into every Mac running Yosemite and that it’s completely free, and I knew that some of you, too, would really appreciate knowing how it works.  Here’s a quick tutorial based upon Aaron Douglas’ Blog post on The Dangling Pointer.

Benefits of using Yosemite & iOS 8 to record your iPad screen

  • QuickTime is already built into your Mac
  • High quality recording since you are hard wired
  • Capable of recording audio

How to record your iPad screen using QuickTime

iPad Screen recording 04-06-15, 10.50.43 PM

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The (5) best ways to maximize battery life on your iPad


Expected battery life has always been one of the most important factors for consumers when they deciding on what mobile devices to buy.  Admittedly, iPad’s have always excelled in this category.  However, we often want and/or demand more out of our iPad’s then they ultimately can deliver–at least for now.  As a result, we routinely try to find ways to extend the battery life of our iPad’s. To that end, here are the (5) best ways to maximize your battery life on your iPad.

1>  Make sure your iPad is running the most up-to-date version of iOS software.  The main reason this is important is because newer software will include the most recent version of energy saving technology.

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How to set-up two step verification for your Apple ID on your iPad

2-Step ID 03-30-15, 8.39.47 PMCyber security is an ever increasing challenge that we face on a daily basis with growing concern. Not a week goes by that when we don’t hear about a new hack, or virus, or commercial security breach that exposes are most important personal data. Data that criminals use to steal from us for there own selfish gains. We might never ever truly be completely safe and secure. However, there are steps that we can take to, at the very least, make our own data harder to obtain.

One of the steps we can take is two implement two-step verification of our Apple ID. We use our Apple ID to sign into iCloud and the App Store and the Mac App store, so by taking this extra step we can provide added security to the majority of the Apple services we use most often. Two-step verification is achieved by entering our password to verify our account on one of our additional Apple devices. Now, even if someone has your password, they would still need to go through the extra step up verifying your identity on one of your other known devices.

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How to configure each of your app’s settings on your iPad at the same time


With iOS 8 we have more control over the settings of our apps then ever before.  Sometimes individual app settings are easy to find, and sometimes they are buried deep within the app, several layers in.  To find what you’re looking for, it could take you several tries, no to mention the time you spend researching on the internet.  It doesn’t have t be this way–not anymore.  Apple has actually made it rather simple to adjust settings for each app all in one place.

Start by opening the Settings App.  As you scroll down the side-bar menu on the left side of the page, you will eventually se a running list of all of your installed apps.  Opening/selecting any one of your apps from the side-bar will display all the settings that you can interact with and adjust.  Not all of your apps are going to display the same settings.  That’s because not all apps are capable of providing the same services.  As a result, there will be a wide variety of changes that you can make to each app.

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How to monitor and restrict cellular data usage on your iPad


If you have an iPad with cellular data/LTE capabilities it can be a real life saver at times.  I know I use my iPad as a personal hotspot more often then I ever thought I would.  Sometimes I just want to save my iPhone battery for the rest of the day.  Sometimes I might rather have that larger screen to view videos, or check email or surf the internet–or whatever else I’m in the mood for on any given day.  If you have a shared family data plan, like many of us do now-a-days, then the device you use to consume the data isn’t as big of a concern as it once was.

However, one thing I have noticed as of late, is that I have been using my iPad to tether to my computer much more often that I thought I was.  What’s even more concerning is that sometimes I’m tethering without even realizing it at first.   When I’m away from home, or working at my day job, I often have my laptop with me.  In addition, I never turn Wi-Fi off in the computer settings.  If I forget to turn my personal hot-spot off on my iPad my computer automatically connects and begins sharing the cellular connection.  I might not be aware of this at first since I am using the computer and not looking at the iPad.  Tethering is a great convenience.  However, in times like these I need to be more aware and sensible about how I use it.  If I’m not careful I will end up exceeding my monthly data limits and incur additional data charges.

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The Benefits Of Reading List On My iPad

Reading List > Instapaper

I used to be a really loyal Instapaper user because I loved the reading experience inside of the app. I still do,

And it’s still great, but I find myself slowly preferring Safari’s Reading List more. If you’re not familiar with Instapaper, it’s a read-later service for storing articles (like this one) for reading later on, at your leisure. Throwing something into Instapaper is different than just bookmarking, because each article has a read status, and you can archive articles you’ve already read. In addition, Instapaper crawls the page for just the content, and strips it away from the website’s UI, providing a clean and consistent reading experience. Instapaper can also intelligently save your content intermittently in the background, so it’s available for reading even without an Internet connection.

In comparison, Reading List is a feature that lives within the Safari browser. A quick tap on the bookmark icon and another tap on the glasses icon will get you to your Reading List. Adding links is as easy as tapping and holding them within any app that detects hyperlinks.

I find myself using fewer and fewer apps these days, and one of the reasons that Reading List is appealing is because it lives right inside of Safari. It also mimics (Sherlocked?) many of Instapaper’s features, right down to the offline reading, “Reader view”, and read vs. unread status. The big difference is that Reading List can cache an entire webpage for offline reading, which means that I can see a 1:1 version of the article in the way that the author wanted me to see it — pictures, themes, and all. I like this because it’s a great way to see sites I don’t normally follow, and I know the article layout is as it should be. Instapaper has refined its text crawling over the years, but it still has occasional hiccups with captions. Some image captions can read like they’re paragraphs, and some sites (like the New York Times) actively work against services like Instapaper.

I haven’t had to change my habits much in adjusting to Reading List. It’s available most anywhere that I can tap and hold on a link, and it’s available on all of my iOS and OS X devices, just like Instapaper. One of the noticeable tradeoffs has been that Instapaper remembers where you left off in a longer article, whereas Reading List does not. However, seeing as I don’t read long form New Yorker articles every week, this hasn’t affected me too much.

Instapaper is still awesome, but I’m really surprised how useful Reading List has turned out to be. I’d recommend it as a great, lightweight alternative to the dedicated Read-Later apps on the App Store.

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How to connect to and use your iPad as a personal hotspot


There are more and more free Wi-Fi hot spots available to us than ever before.  However, for the most part, coverage is generally spotty and/or intermittent on free public Wi-Fi networks.  In addition, there can be privacy concerns, not to mention overloaded networks that easily become more trouble than they’re worth in the first place.  In situations like these what options do you have if you want to surf the internet on your iPad and you’re away from your fast, secure and reliable home network?  For the sake of argument, we are going to assume that your iPad is a Wi-Fi only version, but the process is the same regardless which iPad you own.


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