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 view your iPad Photo library by Geolocation

Napkin 04-29-15, 10.57.50 PMThere are various ways that you can search, organize and view your photo library on your iPad.  You can choose to view your photos based on when they were taken, or by how you grouped them into albums.  You can even view them based on when and who you shared individual or groups of photos with.  But did you also know you can view your photos based upon where they were taken?  Let me preface this by saying that this will only work if you have allowed the Photos application on your iPad to have access to your location.  To check this setting and/or change it, go to the Settings App–> Privacy–> Location Services–> Photos.  Here you will have two options to choose from–allow the Photos App access only while you are using the app, and not allow at all.

To view your photos based on their geolocation, this feature must be set to “while using the app” or the pictures won’t even have a location to sort them by.  Once you have the setting updated, all of your photos taken on your iPad moving forward will now have a geolocation stamped into the metadata stored within the photo.  Armed with this knowledge, you can now sort and search your photos based upon their location.

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How to get the most out of Control Center on your iPad


In  my opinion, Control Center on the iPad is analogous to a Swiss Army knife, only in electronic format.  Like a Swiss army knife, it is the place to go to get things done.  Control Center is a collection of utilities that you can reply on to solve a multitude of problems and gain access to them quickly and easily.  It’s the control hub of your iPad.

Activating Control Center is simple and intuitive–in one motion, just swipe up from the bottom of the screen.  Here you will find all you need to activate, disarm and adjust various settings and functions on your iPad.  You can also activate Control Center from the lock screen and from within apps with the same swiping motion.  You can turn these settings on and off in the Settings App under Control Center.

Control Center 04-23-15, 1.52.11 AMHighlighted (call-out) Controls starting in the upper left and moving in a clock-wise direction are as follows

  • Wi-Fi.  Tapping this button will allow you to turn your Wi-Fi on or off.  Turning on will let you connect to Wi-FI hot-spots–however, you may still need to enter password information of your iPad detects a hot-spot that you have not previously connected to, or you instructed your iPad to “forget” the hot-spot after the last time you were connected.
  • Bluetooth. This will turn your iPad’s Bluetooth connection on or off allowing your iPad to pair with a Bluetooth device such as a keyboard
  • Do-not-Disturb. A great little utility that you can adjust to mute notifications and calls for pre-set times or on the fly as needed.
  • Screen Lock.  Locks the screen orientation in other portrait or Landscape mode.
  • Airplane Mode. When active, it will turn off cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.  Can be a useful way of saving battery–especially in areas where signal strength is weak and your iPad is looking for a cell tower.

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Typing Comfortably on the iPad 

One of my ongoing missions, despite all of the lovely hardware keyboards available, is to find a way to write comfortably for longer periods of time on the iPad. I’m actually surprised there aren’t more articles out there that acknowledge that the iPad isn’t really a very ergonomic setup for touch typing. I can’t be the only one suffering from occasional pins and needles, or soreness from typing for too long at the tablet.
In fact, a few minutes of typing is usually enough to I start to cause the dreaded finger tingles that signal the return of RSI. However, in the interests of science and my own morbid curiousity, I push onward and try out different sitting and typing positions every once in a while.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my posture while I type and how it distributes the weight and pressure on my wrists. My latest attempt at a more sustainable typing position involves keeping my feet flat on the ground, lower back pressed ups against the chair, and generally reclining while looking down at the iPad. This takes a lot of strain off of my wrists, and because I don’t have to bend them upwards as far, and I’m finding I can type for a good 15-20 minutes in this position before actually feeling uncomfortable.

Another key has been to experiment with keyboards that minimize the numbers of keystrokes I actually need to complete a sentence. I’ve written about Nintype and Fleksy before,but I’m giving SwiftKey another thank due to its more aggressive auto-suggestion algorithm. SwiftKey is much faster the iOS QuickType keyboard at showing corrections and at displaying predictions for what my next word will be, so a lot of my typing can be reduced to simply tapping on the spacebar to confirm the currently suggested word.

I’m also learning to try and type at a slower pace on the iPad. Doing so has reduced the number of typos in my pieces, but also made it a little easier on my hands. My fingers tend to fly on real keyboards because I can feel the he rhythm of a sentence and how much pressure certain keys will respond to, but it’s a very different experience on a touchscreen that doesn’t move. I’m finding a lighter, more deliberate touch just feels better and ends up being more accurate overall.


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How to create a Family Sharing Apple ID for kids on your iPad

Napkin 04-21-15, 12.14.18 AMFamily Sharing is a great utility Apple introduced in iOS 8 that allows family members to share all their purchases across the App Store, iTunes and the iBookstore.  With Family Sharing, though, all participating members need to have their own Apple ID’s.  However, minors under the age of thirteen can’t create an Apple ID on their own.  Luckily parents can give consent and create one for them–and when you do, it will be added to your Family group automatically.

Napkin 04-21-15, 12.09.37 AMApple verifies that you are indeed an adult and can create an Apple ID for your child when you use a credit card as your method of payment in your iTunes account.  Unfortunately for this exercise, though, if your payment method is currently a debit card, you will have to replace it with a credit card because iTunes uses the security information on the credit card to confirm consent for a minor to use the account.

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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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