8 essential tips every iPad user needs

Are you using all these iPad features?

Apple, iOS, iPad, iPad Pro, tips
Credit: Apple

Apple’s iPads may be the future of computing, but they already offer an array of tricks to make them even more effective Post PC replacements.


Most iOS users know how to gather apps inside specific folders because doing so makes it much easier to manage large collections. However, some iPad users may not have realized that they can have up to six apps included in the grey pervasive app strip at the bottom of the page – and even fewer will know that you can also include folders full of apps in this place, making them much easier to find. To put a folder containing apps (Work apps, for example), just tap and hold its icon on the Home screen until all the apps begin to shake, then drag & drop it to the strip. Now you’ll be able to get to that collection of apps really easily.

Search the page

You can search for a mention on the contents of a Web page using this tip. When on a page in the search bar type the mention you are looking for but don’t hit Go, instead scroll down the contextual search suggestions window that appears and look for the On This Page section, under which you’ll find the term you seek. Select this and every mention will be highlighted on the page and you’ll be able to navigate through them using a new menu that appears at the bottom of the screen.

Switch between apps fast

You don’t need to return to the Home screen and then find an app you’ve been using. It is so much easier to place four fingers on your display and simply swipe left or right to navigate through all the active apps on your tablet, or swipe up (again with four fingers) get to the App Switcher view (or double click the Home Button) where your iPad will show you all your currently active apps in a carousel view, just flick through to the one you need (or close an app by swiping its window up). #Tip: Or ask Siri to open the app you want to use.

More multitasking

Split screen view and the capacity to run multiple apps sets modern iPads apart.

While using one app you can open another in a sidebar at the edge of the screen by swiping in from the right until the list of compatible apps appear and selecting one of these. Now the app is running you can drag its window leftwards to give it more space, or tap the grey strip at the top of that app’s window to scroll through other active apps. You can also pinch four fingers together (slowly is fun) to close the active app and return to the homescreen

Virtual touchpad

Have you ever been working in a text app and wished you had a cursor on your iPad? You have, but it’s a virtual one and is available to you whenever you have a visible keyboard in an app. When you do simply place two fingers on the on-screen keyboard and the keyboard section of the screen will become blank. Once it does you’ll be able to move that cursor round the text on the screen.

Perhaps the best (and least used) additional feature in this is selection mode, which you get to by placing your two fingers on the on-screen keyboard and keeping them still for a second or two – look at the screen and you’ll see two circles appear top and bottom of the on-screen cursor. Now you can select text with that cursor.

To be honest the process is a little trickier than that – you need to place your cursor at the beginning or end of text you wish to select before entering selection mode, after which you can select the text you want). Once you’ve selected some text you can tap it in the usual way to access edit functions.


Made an error in text entry? You can shake your iPad to undo the mistake, or tap the strange square and left-turning arrow at the left of the auto-correct suggestions bar to get rid of your error.


When you are watching a movie or using FaceTime you can minimize the video window by pressing the home button so you can use apps effectively on screen.

Lost and found

If you use your iPad in a busy home or a crowded office then you should already be using this tip, which lets you get your iPad to make a sound if you happen to bury it under a pile of magazines or papers or something. You achieve this using a function offered by Find My iPhone, which you enable in Settings>iCloud, Toggle Find My iPhone to On (green). You will need to enter your Apple ID and password. Now when you can’t find your iPad you just need to log into iCloud from any computer or device, choose the Find iPhone command, select your device from the drop-down menu at the top of the screen and choose the Play Sound command from the options at the right.

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