14 Must-Know iPad Tips & Tricks

This is a discussion on 14 Must-Know iPad Tips & Tricks within the iPad forums, part of the iPod, iPhone, iPad Forum category; Thank u Scott. The black on white is great....

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  1. #11
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    Thank u Scott. The black on white is great.

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    Get Weather on iPad with the Clock App



    iOS 6 brought with it a new feature that lets iPad users finally get weather on the device without downloading a third party apps: the new Clock app. Yup, there’s a new clock app for iPad users only, and it does all the things the iPhone and iPod touch clock app did, plus the ability to get the current temperature:

    Launch Clock, tap on “World Clock” on the bottom
    Enter the location(s) you want the current weather for
    At a glance, World Clock shows the weather and temperature along with the times for each location around the world you specified.




    You can also tap on a specific location to see a larger version of the clock with the current temperature indicated, as shown in the screenshot at top. The Clock app has limitations though, mainly that it will only provide the current temperatures in locations, so you won’t find any forecasting. For that you’ll want to use Siri or a third party app.

    By the way, the full-screen clock makes a great screensaver of sorts for the iPad while it’s sitting around not in use. To have the full screen Clock stay visible, just turn off auto-dimming and screen locking.

    Weather is obviously a fairly minor and subtle feature, but it’s very much appreciated.


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    How do I restore an iPad backup to a new device?



    The first time you connect your new iPad to iTunes, you'll be given the option to restore from a previous backup from the same device class or to establish a new device. Using backup data allows you to restore a new iPhone to the state of your previous unit, or in this case, your new iPad to your old one. If you opt not to restore this way, you can change your mind later by using a simple iTunes feature.

    Select a device from the sources list on the left side of the iTunes screen and right-click (or control-click) that device name. Choose "Restore from Backup..." from the contextual menu then choose a backup to restore from via the pop-up menu. Be aware that device backups from 4.3 installs (like you have) cannot be restored to devices running pre-4.3 software (although you can use a partial workaround if needed).




    You can select which device backup you want to restore from, as well as which backup (they are dated) you desire. Then just click Restore and let iTunes do its thing, which usually takes about 10-30 minutes to perform, depending on the amount of data you need to restore.

    For best results, make sure to back up your device regularly. You can choose "Back Up" from the same contextual menu to manually do so. Synchronizing your device to iTunes will automatically back up your device as well, unless you've changed the iTunes defaults.

    You can manage your backups by opening iTunes > Preferences... (Command-,) > Devices. Here you'll find a list of individual device backups. To delete one, select it from the list and click Delete Backup.

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    iPad 101: Restriction settings



    Those with kids and iPads will notice that the latter find the former irresistible. When connected to the Internet, they provide access to all that the Web and App Store have to offer, some of which is decidedly not for kids. Here's how you can use the iPad's built-in Restrictions settings to limit their access.

    Open the general settings and click Restrictions. You'll have to create a special 4-digit pass code; pick one the kids can't guess. From there you can disable access to Safari, YouTube, iTunes, location notification and the ability to install apps.

    In addition, you can disable in-app purchases and limit TV shows, movies, podcasts and apps by rating or explicit content warning.

    It's not perfect and won't deter determined kids for long, but setting this up will offer some peace of mind.

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    iPad 101: The easy way to get high-def videos onto iPhone or iPad



    Even though the iPad has that HD feel, there are plenty of HD files it can't stomach -- the maximum resolution for videos to sync via iTunes is 720p, and anything higher (1080i or 1080p) simply won't transfer. On the iPhone and iPod touch, the upper limit is even tighter; those devices can only handle 640x480 videos, meaning that a 720p file will stall out. Generally, movies or TV shows purchased from iTunes will arrive with versions tuned for both devices, but for anything you've created independently of the store, you may run into a spot of trouble.

    There's an extensive walkthrough over at Gizmodo covering how to use Handbrake for downsampling your 1080i/p videos to a more manageable resolution, very helpful if you're in a DIY mood -- but there is an easier way. It takes advantage of a feature in an app you're already using: iTunes.

    Just select your movie file(s) and check under the Advanced menu. See those two "Create..." options? The iPod or iPhone version will deliver a resampled video at a resolution the smaller devices can manage; the iPad/Apple TV choice will spit out a 720p file. All you need to do is select your choice and wait for a while... depending on the length of your video and the speed of your Mac, it may take quite a long time, but be patient. You can try out the steps with an Apple-provided sample file, if you like.

    Once the conversion is done, you'll see a second instance of the video in your media list -- then you can sync at will. Note that if the file you're choosing is already adequately low-res, you'll see the dialog box below.

    Happy squeezing!



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    iPad 101: Customize your wallpaper



    Unlike the iPhone,* the iPad lets you customize wallpapers for, both, the lock screen and the home screen. While the default image is beautiful (unless you think the stars resemble scratches), many users will want to replace it with something personal. Here's how.

    Tap the Settings app and then select Brightness and Wallpaper. There, you'll find two options. First, you can enable auto-brightness, which adjusts the display's brightness by monitoring the environment's ambient light.

    Tap the images below to bring up the wallpaper settings. At the top of the page, you'll find the iPad's default images followed by your own pictures (if you've synchronized photos). Tap any image to bring up the full-screen view. Now, you've got three options: set the lock screen, home screen, or both. You're done!

    There are two things that you should note. The first thing is that your images are sorted by album, events, and then faces, which makes searching easier. Secondly, you can't adjust or re-size an image before setting it as a wallpaper like you can on an iPhone.

    *That's going to change this summer.

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    Open & Manage Up To 24 Browser Tabs in Safari for iPad



    If you use a lot of tabs while browsing the web, you’ll appreciate a subtle change to Safari for iPad that came along with iOS 6. You can now have up to 24 concurrent browser tabs open, a huge increase from the 8 tab limit in prior versions of iOS. While that 8 tab limit still remains for Safari on iPod touch and iPhone, the larger screen on the iPad allows for the tremendous improvement for those of us who hoard web browser tabs like there’s no tomorrow.

    Safari on iPad will show up to 10 tabs across the top if the device is in landscape mode, and to access the other tabs you just have to tap on the >> arrow button on the furthest right tab. That will pull down a menu to access your other tabs.




    Selecting a site from the pulldown list will swap it in place of the currently active tab, it does not close it.

    This is separate from iCloud tabs, which are accessed by from the little cloud icon in Safari toolbar. Speaking of iCloud tabs, because they are accessible from the iPhone and iPod touch, you can use them as a way to sort of get around the 8 tab limit, by accessing tabs stored on other iPhones, iPads, Macs, or whatever else has the same iCloud account.

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    Master the Multitouch Gestures for iPad



    Multitouch gestures are one of the best hidden features of iOS on the iPad, but a surprising amount of iPad users don’t seem to use them. Perhaps it’s because you just don’t know about them, or maybe you haven’t spent the time to learn what they are and why they’re useful. Take a few minutes to learn the gestures and you’ll be doing more with the iPad or iPad mini in no time, because they offer are the fastest way to close apps, get to the home screen, and switch between apps running in iOS.

    Enable the Multitouch (Multitasking) Gestures for iPad

    First things first, let’s be sure the multitouch gestures are enabled. These are usually turned on by default in the newer versions of iOS but it’s easy to check:

    Open Settings app and tap on “General”
    Scroll down to find “Multitasking Gestures” and flip to ON




    With the multitasking gestures turned on, you can now use four or five fingers to perform various tasks that will greatly improve the iPads usability.

    Here are the four multitouch gestures you should be using right now:


    The red arrows indicate finger position and movements, you can use either four or five fingers in any example.

    1: Close Apps and Return to the Home Screen with a Pinch

    Use a four or five fingered pinching motion to close the current app, sending you back to the iPad home screen. This one is so useful it will likely be the most frequently used of the group.




    2: Reveal the Multitasking App Bar with a Swipe Up

    Use a four or five fingered vertical swipe up to open the multitasking app bar. This is the same multitasking bar you see when double-clicking the Home button, and it lets you quickly switch between apps, access brightness controls, play music, and more. Repeating the swipe down closes the multitask bar again.




    3: Switch Apps by Swiping Horizontally

    Using a four or five fingered horizontal swipe will cycle through open apps. Try swiping from right to left, since most likely you’re in the ‘last’ app. If you’re on the ‘end’ of the app list (as determined by the multitask bar), you will see a stretch animation and the currently active window will bounce back into place, rather than switching apps.




    4: Quit Multiple Apps at Once with Four Fingered Taps

    If you need to close multiple apps at the same time, use the upward swipe to reveal the multitask bar, then tap and hold on any icon until they start to jiggle and reveal the red (-) close button. Now use multiple fingers to tap the red close buttons simultaneously to quit multiple apps at the same time. This isn’t an ‘official’ multitouch or multitask gesture, but it’s one we have discovered and it works so well that it’s worth including in this list. Also, this is the only iOS gesture listed here that works on the iPhone and iPod touch too.




    I don’t have the gestures on my iPad, why not?

    If the Multitasking Gestures are not an option for you in Settings, it’s probably because you’re on an older iPad or older version of iOS. iPads running iOS versions before 5.0 will not have the multitouch gesture available to them.

    Got a Mac too? Don’t miss this list of multitouch gestures available in OS X for a variety of apps, they’ll work with any Mac that has a trackpad or Magic Mouse.

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    Convert a Movie to iPad Format for Free with QuickTime



    Want to watch a video that is sitting on your computer on an iPad instead? That’s simple, and for most video files you can just copy them right over and watch instantly through the Videos app. On the other hand, if you’ve ever tried to copy a movie over to an iPad and discovered an error message like this, it’s almost always because the existing video format is incompatible with playback on the iPad:

    “Movie name” was not copied to the iPad because it cannot be played on this iPad

    No reason to fret, and certainly no reason to shell out cash for any paid video converter apps, because you can usually remedy that error and convert a video to iPad format completely for free, all you need is a few minutes and QuickTime Player. Anything that opens within QuickTime Player will convert, and it’s extremely simple to do, and because QuickTime Player is bundled on every Mac and is also a free download for Windows users, the entire conversion process is free.

    We’re obviously focusing on the iPad here, but movies converted through QuickTime will also be viewable on an iPhone, iPod touch, Apple TV, and all other iOS devices. The only possible limitation is the output format, since older devices may struggle with high resolution video files like 1080p and 720p, thus if you are converting a movie for an older device like an iPad 1 or older iPhone, you would want to consider saving the video at a lower resolution such as 480p.

    Converting a Video for iPad with QuickTime Player

    Launch the movie to convert into QuickTime Player
    Pull down the “File” menu and choose “Export”
    From the Format submenu, select “iPad” as the format option – it will be exported as 720p video – then choose “Save”




    You can choose 1080p from the pulldown and it will typically works well since .mov files will also play on an iPad, but for maximum compatibility and best playback performance choose the “iPad, iPhone, and Apple TV” option, despite being a reduced resolution of 720p. Only the newer retina iPads will even notice the 720p resolution difference, and even then it can be minimal if noticeable at all. On the other hand, standard display iPad won’t notice the difference in quality whatsoever. For old iOS devices, 480p may be the best format to use instead.

    Let the conversion take place, you will see a progress bar like so:




    Larger videos and movies will take longer to convert, shorter videos can be very quick.

    Once the movie is in the new iOS compatible format, simply transfer it back to the iPad (or iPhone/iPod) and the original error message will be gone. Once a video has been copied over to the iPad it is watchable through the Videos app.

    Alternate Conversion Utilities & Methods

    For obscure video formats, the popular Handbrake utility will do the job, and it also covers many options that QuickTime does as well. Handbrake is also free, but unless you’re working with a particularly obscure video format it’s not usually necessary just to turn a video into an iOS-viewable format.

    For MKV conversion, considering using the free tool called Subler, which relies on Perian to function but it will take an MKV file and turn it into an iOS compatible m4v rather quickly, you can read more about using Subler to convert MKV here.

    Finally, for Mac users running OS X 10.7 and later, there is also an excellent option to convert videos directly in the Finder by using the built-in encoder tools, which can be accessed by the right-click menu with any compatible video or audio file selected.


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    Repairing your iPad’s network connection



    After using my iPad for a short time this morning it suddenly wouldn’t recognise my AirPort network, even after I switched it off and on. I picked up my iPhone and it sees the network perfectly well so I don’t think it’s a network problem. What should I do?

    There are a variety of things you can try and they work with any router. The first (and the one most likely to meet with success) is to shut off your iPad, pull the power plug on your AirPort base station to power it down, wait half a minute or so, plug the base station back in, wait for its green light to shine and then switch on the iPad. This can clear out some funk in the routing portion of the base station, which allows your iPad’s network connection to return.

    If this doesn’t work because the iPad’s the funky character in this passion play, you can fiddle with a couple of its settings. First, go to Settings > Wi-Fi and toggle the Wi-Fi switch Off and then back on again.

    No success? Tap the blue dot icon to the right of your network’s name in this same Wi-Fi pane and tap Forget This Network. Move back to the Wi-Fi page, tap your network’s name, enter its password and hope that this time it takes.

    Still no? Travel to the General setting, swipe down to the bottom of the screen, tap Reset, and tap Reset Network Settings. Confirm your choice by tapping Reset in the window that appears. Your iPad will reboot. Once it has, return to the Wi-Fi setting, tap on your network’s name, enter its password and join in.

    And then there are the more esoteric fixes – changing the channel on your router and switching the router’s security scheme. But given that your iPhone sees the network I’ll guess with a strong sense of confidence that you won’t need to go that far.


    4-9-13

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