One of the cool features of the App Store is that it makes it easy to gift an app to a friend or family member. Just as a quick example, my wife has been getting more involved with social media at her job recently and Tweetbot is my new favorite Twitter app for the iPad – so I gifted it to her the other day for use on her iPad.
Happily, doing this straight from the iPad is easy and quick. Here’s how:
— Find the app you want to gift in the iPad App Store and tap on its title to go to its App Store page.
— Tap on the Gift This App link near the top right of the page, as shown in the screenshot above. You’ll then see a popup dialog advising that you need to sign in to your App Store account in order to make the gift purchase. Just tap on Continue and then enter your password when prompted.
Notification Center is one of the headline features in iOS 5. It’s a major improvement to how notifications were previously delivered in iOS and it works wonderfully well on the iPad. It lets you see all your notifications in one clear list view, and it’s instantly available with just a quick swipe gesture from anywhere on the iPad.
For those of your who are newer to the iPad or iOS 5, or even just to notifications on the iPad, here are a few handy little tips for working with Notification Center:
How To Open and Close Notification Center on the iPad
— To open Notification Center from any of your home screens or any app that displays the status bar, just swipe down from anywhere on the status bar. If you’re in a full-screen app that doesn’t show the status bar, you swipe down from anywhere at the very top of the page (on the bezel of the iPad) and you’ll see a little set of bars pop up in the middle of the screen at the top – tap and swipe down on those to invoke Notification Center.
— To close Notification Center you look for the same set bars at the bottom center of the Notification Center view, and tap and swipe up
Here’s a very quick basic iPad tip for those of you who would like to be able to always see the percentage of battery left, instead of seeing just the battery icon and having to guess at how much is left.
If you’d like for the percentage of battery remaining to also be displayed in the status bar at the top of the iPad screen, here’s how:
— Open the Settings app
— Tap on General in the left sidebar
— Tap on Usage in the list of sections in the right hand pane
— Under the Battery Usage section at the bottom of the Usage page, tap to turn ‘Battery Percentage’ on
That’s it. Once you’ve done this, you’ll always see the remaining battery percentage alongside the battery icon in the iPad’s status bar.
Here’s a question I see asked quite a lot by newer iPad users: how do you attach a photo to an email? Happily, this is very easy to do. Here’s how to add a photo as an attachment to an email on the iPad:
— Open the Photos app on the iPad (That’s right things work a little backwards in terms of what you’re used to on a deskop PC) and go to the Camera Roll or whichever album has the photo you want to attach.
— Tap to open the photo that you want to add as an attachment to an email.
— Tap on the Share button near the top right of the screen (it’s actually the third one in from the right, the one that looks like a rectangle with a rightward-moving arrow coming out of it).
— Then tap on the first command choice – ‘Email Photo’.
That will open the Mail app with the selected photo attached. Then you just enter in the recipient/s name as normal, add your subject line and body text and hit Send as usual.
Here are a couple more useful things to know about this:
— When you tap the Share button, as you can see in the screenshot above, there are a number of other actions you can take – including assigning the photo to a contact, using it as your iPad wallpaper, adding it to a tweet, printing it, and more.
One of the many new features in iOS 5 for the iPad is the ability to split the on-screen keyboard. When you do this it splits neatly in half, with one half near the bottom left of the screen and the other half near the bottom right.
This can be quite useful at times – for instance, it makes it much easier to thumb type when you’ve got the iPad in landscape mode, as the distance to the keys on each side is much less than with the keyboard in its standard mode.
It’s very easy to make use of this feature. Here’s how:
— From within any app that makes use of the keyboard, tap in a text area to bring up the keyboard.
— Then just place a finger from each hand on the keyboard and tap and pull your fingers outwards. The keyboard will split as soon as you start moving both fingers outwards.
— To put it back together, just make the opposite motion – pushing your fingers inwards.
— You can also tap and hold on the keyboard button at the bottom right of the keyboard to bring up a popup where you can choose to dock/undock and split/merge the keyboard.
That’s it – incredibly easy and often useful. Oh, and you can do this with the iPad in portrait and landscape mode, and on both the original iPad and iPad 2.
OK, seasoned iPad veterans look away – this is another iPad Basics tip, for those who are newer to iPad and iOS.
I was recently asked by a reader how he could archive apps that are not used regularly on his iPad. As in, he wanted to be able to delete some rarely used apps on the iPad itself in order to save storage space and clutter on home screens, without losing those apps forever.
And happily the answer is that iTunes has us well covered in this area.
iTunes does the ‘archiving’ for us. You can happily delete apps from the iPad itself but the record of your purchase remains on iTunes so at any point that you want to reinstall them it recognizes that you have already purchased them. They also remain in iTunes on the PC as long as you don’t delete them there.
One important thing to be aware of when deleting an app that does not sync its data with a desktop or online partner, is that its data will also be deleted. The same goes for games. This is a good reason to look for apps that have a good sync setup.
In iOS 4.3.5 and iOS 5, which should be released in the next few weeks, there is a new Purchased tab in the App Store on the iPad, which makes all of this even easier. There’s even a section for ‘Not on this iPad’ that shows you only apps you have purchased but do not currently have installed. And of course it’s just a single tap to reinstall any of them from there.
This is another in our occasional iPad Basics tips series – so if you’re a veteran iPad user you’ll want to skip this as you’re very likely to already know this stuff.
For those who are newer to the iPad, or who just haven’t had a need to know this before, this very quick tip let’s you know how to take a screenshot (an image that captures what is currently on the screen) on the iPad and iPad 2.
And happily, it’s very easy to do. You just press the Power (or sleep/wake) button at the top right of the iPad app and the Home button at the same time for just a quick second. When you do you’ll see the screen flash white for a moment and you’ll hear the camera shutter sound.
That’s it. Once you’ve done that, you can go to the Photos app and see your screenshot in the Camera Roll album.
You can do this when the iPad is in portrait or landscape mode, the method is always the same.
One more quick tip on putting screenshots to use on the iPad: you can open an existing photo in your Camera Roll, pinch to zoom to blow up the best portion of the image, then take a screenshot. That will create a new image in the Camera Roll. This can often be a nice way to quickly improve an existing image or just create a nice extra close-up shot.
If you own an iPad or iPad 2 WiFi + 3G model and you need to talk to your carrier about anything involving cellular data, you’ll need to know your Cellular Data Number. It’s one of the first things you’ll be asked for by an AT&T or Verizon rep if you contact them for support or questions relating to your 3G data plan.
Fortunately, it’s very easy to find this number and others that your carrier may want to know on a support call.
As you can see in the screencap above, you will not find your Cellular Data Number in the Cellular Data section of the Settings app. You will find it under the Settings > General > About section, just below the Serial Number item.
Just a few spots down you’ll also see your device’s IMEI number, which the carrier may also need to know.
I realize this is a very basic tip, but it’s also that will save you a little bit of time if you’ve never had to look for the Cellular Data Number before – and any little bit of time savings on a call to AT&T or Verizon is a very good thing in my book.
OK, veteran iPad users look away – this is another of our occasional iPad Basics tips, for those who are newer to the device.
If you’ve ever scrolled way down through an interesting article in the iPad’s Safari web browser app and wished there was a quick way to jump straight back to the top of the page, well … there is. In fact there’s a very simple way to do this. You just tap in the status bar, and you’ll be immediately scrolled back to the top of the page. The status bar is the thin black bar at the very top of the Safari page, with the current time displayed right in the middle of it – as indicated in the screenshot above.
This also works in the built-in Mail, Notes, App Store, and Settings apps, as well as in many 3rd party apps.
In the iPad Mail app, this little feature works particularly well if you are using Mail in landscape view. You can then tap the status bar in the area above the Inbox column on the left to return to the top of the Inbox messages listing, and you can also tap the status bar in the area above the individual message preview to go back to the top of the current message.
Just got a shiny new iPad as a holiday gift? Here’s an easy Getting Started Guide for your magical new tablet friend.
The iPad has been the hit electronic device of 2010, named best gadget of the year by Time Magazine and just about everyone else in end-of-year awards. I’m sure many of you have received a shiny new iPad as a holiday gift this year – and I’m hoping this short guide will give you a good jump-start on getting the most out of your iPad.
I’ve broken this guide up into short sections covering key topics, so you can dive in and out of them as needed for subjects you are interested in. Hit the Read More link to get started …
One of the very first things Steve Jobs mentioned about the iPad when he introduced it is the ability to set custom wallpapers for both the home screen and lock screen. This is a nice, and very easy, way to personalize your iPad – so it seems well worth a quick how to post.