12 iPad tips and tricks
Get the most from Apple's new tablet
Computerworld - Apple's iPad is comfortable, like your favorite shoes or an old T-shirt. You can use it at a desk or table, or curl up with it on the couch. It's a flexible device that fits into your life. It doesn't really let you do anything you weren't doing before, but you can do those things more easily and with less effort.
In my time using the iPad, I've found some tips and tricks for making the device even more versatile and easy to use, including accessories to buy, avoid, and re-use; tricks for writing on the iPad; and at least one really bad gotcha to avoid. Read on to find out, and don't forget to share your own tips in the comments.
[Also see: The 8 best iPad apps -- so far]
If you haven't bought one yet, hold out for the 3G model. Impatient early adopters (like me) had to have the first available iPad when it went on sale April 3. That model only supports Wi-Fi connectivity. If you've held out this long, hold out a little longer for the 3G model, which Apple says is due out at the end of the month.
The iPad Wi-Fi + 3G is priced starting at $629, which is $130 more than the least expensive Wi-Fi-only model. That's not really a big premium, considering you've already committed to spend a minimum of $499 on the Wi-Fi-only model.
Here's the beauty part: You don't have to sign up for a data plan to use the 3G service. It's not like a smartphone data plan, where you have to sign a contract to pay a monthly fee for one or more years. AT&T's 3G plans for the iPad are pay-as-you-go, starting at $14.99 per month.
You may think you'll never need the 3G service, but how sure are you? Planning to do any traveling? How extensive is the Wi-Fi coverage where you're going? Think of the 3G iPad as having connectivity insurance.
"Not Charging?" No problem. The iPad has some problems charging from the low-powered USB ports found on older desktops and some USB hubs. You might see a "Not Charging" message on the iPad when it's connected.
In many cases, the iPad does actually charge from these connectors, but only when the display is off -- which means you can't see the icon that tells you the iPad is charging. "It's the modern-day 'Does the refrigerator light stay on when I close the door?' mystery," quipped Macworld's Dan Frakes.
If you're getting the "Not Charging" message, try leaving your iPad plugged in anyway, and see if the charge is greater when you return.
Keep the iPad out of direct light. No, it's not going to turn into a nasty gremlin; it's just that the screen is pretty reflective and the glare makes it hard to see.
Tilt it any which way. There's no right-side-up for the iPad. You can hold it in any direction and it works. However, the iPad is often more useful in landscape (wide) rather than portrait (tall) mode. The onscreen keyboard, for instance, is larger and thus easier to type on in landscape mode, and text is often larger and more readable.
Many apps change mode from portrait to landscape; for example, in landscape mode, the Mail app shows your mailbox along with a particular message you're focused on, while in portrait mode you just see the message. Similarly, in iBooks, you get a single page in portrait mode, and two pages side by side in landscape.
- Office for iPad apps ring up 27M downloads
- Apple plays hardball with iPad Mini reveal
- Apple breezes to PC sales' top spot as Windows share decays
- Analyst tallies perks of September launch of new iPhone, iPad
- Analyst predicts stellar iPad sales in next week's Apple earnings
- Nexus 7 holds up better than iPad in drop, water-dunk tests
- With iPad Mini, Apple would remain tablet king through '16, says IDC
- Apple demands ipad3.com domain
- Chrome for iOS snatches top spot on App Store
- iPad in the Enterprise: IT Must Stay Ahead of the Curve
- Mobile First: Securing Information Sprawl Learn how the partnership between Box and MobileIron can help you execute a "mobile first" strategy that manages and secures both mobile apps...
- AIIM Trendscape: The New Mobile Reality This AIIM Trendscape report shares data, expert opinions, and a unique perspective on the impact of cloud and mobility in the enterprise, surfacing...
- Empowering Your Mobile Workers A modern mobile IT strategy is no longer an option, it is an absolute necessity. Here's how some of the nation's most progressive...
- Mobile Content, Collaboration & IDC's 3rd IT Platform: The Next Frontier for the Mobile Enterprise IDC focuses this article on talks about the new IT platform. This 3rd IT Platform will be the new wave for about the...
- On Demand: Mastering the Art of Mobile Content Management Mobile device usage in the enterprise has skyrocketed, and it continues to escalate. IT must answer to users who demand access to their...
- Why do you need an enterprise mobile platform? Today companies must offer great apps that run on a range of devices, and connect to an exploding set of backend data. Appcelerator... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts