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A Simple Guide to iPad 2
By C. Michael Woodward
Luminis BooksCopyright © 2012 Luminis Books
All rights reserved.
Getting Started with iPad 2
If you're like most people, you wonder if the latest new gizmo or gadget is really worth all the buzz it's getting. Technology advances exponentially almost daily. So what's so special about the iPad 2?
Simple: it's simple! All you need are two fingers and a wireless signal. By applying what it learned from the success of the popular iPhone and the iPod, Apple conceptually took the idea of the "smart" handheld touch-screen device and blew it up, while others in the "tablet" computer world were working feverishly to shrink down a full-sized desktop computer into a smaller, more nimble shell. Apple, in fact, refers to the iPad as a "post-PC" device and not a PC at all.
That conceptual shift has made all the difference in the world. It might sound subtle, but anyone who has seen an iPod, iPhone, or even like-minded Android phones, will know what I mean. A tap here and a pinch there on the iPad and the next thing you know, your design sketches are uploaded to the client, your update to the boss is sent, your Facebook status is updated, your video conference is ready to launch, your alarm clock is set to wake you up to the sound of a rooster crowing, tomorrow morning's exercise video is loaded, the next mystery novel in your queue is ready to read while you're on the train, both the show tickets and the babysitter are confirmed for Saturday, and you're off to slay the next dragon. It does about everything except pack your lunch (although you could use it to order a delivery).
With the second-generation iPad 2 released in March 2011, Apple cranked up their competitive edge by adding new features (like an upgraded processor, faster graphics, a front-facing camera, wireless video streaming, and support for 3G network connectivity) without increasing the price point, which was already hard to beat.
Top Ten Reasons to Use an iPad 2
Reasons and ways to use the iPad 2 are limitless. This Simple Guide focuses on the most commonly used features and is designed to get you quickly "up and running." Here are ten of the top reasons to use iPad 2:
1. Truly all-in-one device for work, school, and leisure.
2. Totally self-contained, smaller than a magazine, and weighs less than a pound.
3. Most advanced device of its type to date — yet cheaper than most.
4. Tons of great built-in tools, with thousands more just a few taps away (many of which are free!).
5. Simple to use regardless of your computer skill.
6. Extremely versatile — supports both the simplest of utility programs and highly technical custom network applications.
7. Easily sync with your main system.
8. Safe, secure, and family-friendly.
9. Wirelessly stream your pictures, music, and videos to any compatible devices in your house including your home theater system.
10. Incredibly fun and downright addicting to use!
Which One Should I Buy?
There are three main models from which to choose, with some additional options to consider.
Because the iPad 2 is so popular, getting exactly which one you want might take some time and effort. At press time, Apple stores around the world only receive a limited number of new iPad 2s in stock each day — in unpredictably different models and options. Customers are given first-come-first-served tickets in the wee morning hours, and the stores are often sold out before the morning shift break. Ordering one online ensures you get what you want, but you might have to wait three to four weeks for delivery, and in most cases you can only order one or two at a time, which can be problematic for some customers.
That said, here's the low-down on the key features.
You'd think choosing between black or white would be simple, but they both look great. I ended up with white. No regrets. (Keep in mind that the color option only applies to the outer front bezel or "frame" of the screen. The rest of the iPad is metallic silver on all models.)
iPad 2's hard drive comes in one of three storage sizes: 16G, 32G, and 64G. Go with the most you can afford; running out of disk space is never fun, and you'll be surprised how much cool stuff you're going to end up downloading. For what it's worth, the apps themselves don't generally take up a lot of space — it's your pictures, videos, music, and other files that eat up hard disk space. Do remember, though, that you can backup and sync everything with your primary computer system if you have one, so it can serve as a much larger storage area for your iPad surplus if needed.
WiFi Only or 3G Combo?
For most users, getting an iPad with or without 3G is not as difficult a question as you might think. All models work can connect to the Internet a WiFi signal, but if you're not within WiFi range, you're out of luck unless you've learned how to tether or jailbreak your iPad. (We'll cover those later in this guide.)
By buying your iPad with 3G capability, you can also connect your iPad to the world via mobile service providers Verizon or AT&T. If you live in a rural area or if you travel frequently, you should seriously consider the 3G capability; otherwise, you can probably get by with simple wireless. If you already use a notebook or laptop computer with a wireless connection and/or a cellular modem, you'll already have a good feel for how much WiFi access you have on a regular basis.
Which 3G Provider — Verizon or AT&T?
It's unfortunate that you have to choose which provider you want to go with before you get your hands on your iPad, but just like cell phones, it's a roadblock at this point in the technology evolution. Data plans can be complicated to understand and guessing wrong could ultimately cost you a lot of money, because going over the allotted monthly amount in your plan is very expensive.
So how much data will you use? According to CNN Money, 1GB will let you visit about 6,500 Web pages, view 2,000 photos, download 300 songs, watch 65 YouTube videos, or enjoy 3-6 hours of movies on Netflix. Your mileage may vary depending on how you use your iPad.
CNN's analysis of the many 3G options is the best I found for advice on choosing a provider for your iPad. You can read their article online and decide for yourself: http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/11/technology/ ipad_plan_cost/index.htm. Remember, though, chances are you'll use WiFi much more often than you'll need 3G to connect, unless you're usually out of WiFi range.
Noteworthy Apple Accessories
The iPad accessory market is large enough to need a book of its own, so I'll just focus on the ones from Apple that you'll probably want to pick up at the same time you buy the iPad 2.
If you were disappointed by only having black and white options, you'll be happy to know that the iPad 2's new Smart Covers offer a broad choice of colors. Better than that, though, the iPad Smart Cover fits perfectly without any straps, belts, or buckles; it automatically puts the iPad to sleep when you add the cover and wakes it up when you peel it back; easily folds to serve as a typing display stand; and it works on keeping the screen clean for you while it sleeps. A Smart Cover will cost you an extra $39 plus tax, but it's worth the investment for the screen protection alone. (You still have to be careful, though — the screen is protected by the Smart Cover, but the rest of the machine is not.)
One of the most awesome features of the iPad 2 is that you can mirror exactly what is on your iPad 2 on a TV or other HDMI device. Imagine the possibilities here. Not only can you download or stream video from the Internet to your TV, but you can use this feature to show anything that's happening on your iPad on another (presumably larger) screen: a sales demonstration, a video chat with the family, even a classroom exercise.
It's important to note that Apple offers other adapters if you don't have an HDMI TV, but be aware that only the HDMI adapter gives you the ability to mirror the whole iPad 2. Other adapters, such as the Component Adapter, only work with certain applications.
I tend to take the "Be prepared!" approach when it comes to accessories, so I always buy an extra AC power supply for my briefcase (to avoid crawling under my desk every time I want to take the power cord with me) as well as an adapter for the car. Despite the respectable 10-hour battery, you'll no doubt find you've run out of juice just when you need it the most (like movie suddenly stops playing in the back seat just as the kids are falling asleep).
Using the iPad 2 for Work or School
While all these bells and whistles make the iPad 2 sound more like an overgrown toy, don't let the whimsy fool you: it's a real work horse. Especially considering the number of third-party applications available, the iPad is fast becoming an indispensible tool for students, educators, and professionals everywhere.
* Hospitals and doctors' offices are using iPads to collect patient history and keep patient records up-to-date. Doctors can pull up a patient's complete record right in the hospital room, view x-ray images, test results, recovery progress, and other vital information instantly.
* Educators call the iPad a "game changer" in the classroom. Teachers can walk students through complicated concepts by mirroring what they're doing on one iPad 2 to the whole class. Students can create and collaborate on projects in ways never before possible.
* Always loyal to the arts, the iPad extends all kinds of new possibilities to artists, musicians, writers, and the like. The $4.99 Garage Band app, for example, turns anyone's living room into an eight-track digital recording studio.
No matter what you do (or plan to do) for a living, chances are an iPad 2 can help you do it faster, easier, or more efficiently.CHAPTER 2
Navigating the iPad 2
Even if you haven't spent a lot of time using computers, it won't take you long to learn your way around the iPad 2. The interface is intuitive, and it's easy to find what you're looking for and to tell the iPad 2 what you want to do next.
If you need more details than I have room to provide here, I highly recommend taking a look at the iPad 2 User Guide, which you can download from Apple's web site:
Starting Up for the First Time
Chances are, your friendly Apple Store staff helped you set up your iPad 2 when you bought it — assuming you got it at an Apple Store. For everyone else (or if you need to completely start over from scratch for some reason), getting the machine up and running will only take a few minutes.
Before You Hit the Power Button
You do need to be able to connect your iPad 2 to a PC or Mac of some sort the first time. The only requirements of that computer are as follows:
* Your computer must be running one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X version 10.5.8 or later; Windows 7; Windows Vista; Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 3 or later. (No noted problems with Windows 7 64-bit, if you're wondering.)
* The computer must have an active internet connection and an available USB port.
* A current copy of iTunes must be installed. You can download it from www.itunes.com/download.
It also helps if you already have an Apple ID (your account for using the Apple store) but if not, you can set one up during this process. If you don't already have an Apple ID, you'll need to provide a credit card number for the Apple Store. (More on that later, but don't worry--there are no hidden setup charges.)
After the initial set up, you'll only need to physically connect to a computer when you want to sync files or back up your iPad. (And even some of that can be done via your wireless connection.)
To start using your iPad 2, just follow these simple steps:
1. Before you connect the iPad 2, turn on your computer and let it finish all of its start-up routines (including connecting to the internet). Go ahead and start iTunes, too. (If you don't, you'll have to do so in step 4.)
2. Take the iPad 2's cover off first, if it has one. Then connect the iPad 2 to the computer using the included USB cable. Each end of the cable will only fit into its matching slot, so there's little chance you will confuse which end is which. (I recommend you connect the iPad 2 end first, then plug into the computer.)
3. As soon as the iPad is connected, the computer recognizes it and installs a driver so it can communicate with the iPad. You may get a success message from your PC when it's done, something like the one in Figure 2-1.
4. You'll see the iPad come to life and say it is syncing with iTunes (or it suggests you start iTunes, if you didn't in step 2). After a moment, it will present the Slide to unlock button. Go ahead and do that: press on the screen where the button appears. As you press, slide your finger across the screen in the direction of the arrow. (Welcome to touch-screen computing!)
5. iTunes will check to see if the iPad's software is up to date. There may have been bug fixes, security updates, or other patches released since your iPad left the factory. You'll want to download any updates that iTunes or the iPad suggest unless you have a compelling reason not to. (It might take a few minutes, and it might want to restart itself. That's fine.)
6. If the screen goes dark, it probably just means the iPad 2 is done updating and is sleeping while it waits for your next command. Press the Home button, which is the small indentation on the front face, just below the bottom of the screen (or on the side if you're in landscape mode. The iPad 2 should wake up and present to you the Desktop. Ta-dah! You're in. You can unplug the iPad from the computer and get ready to rumble. Keep the cable handy; you'll need it later to recharge the battery.
iPad 2 Quick Tour
Your iPad 2 might look like the one in Figure 2-2, or it might have a black frame. In either case, they work the same. If you position the iPad 2 like the one in the picture, the Home button (an indented circle, next to the USB cable plug) is on the left. You're going to become good friends with the Home button, so remember where it is. The black dot on the right is the front camera. More on that later.
At the top of the iPad 2, you'll see the magnetic hinges from the cover peeking out. (The rest of the cover is curled up under the iPad 2, serving as a tilt stand.) If you buy a cover, it takes a while to remember to which side the hinge connects, so maybe it will help to note that it goes to the left if the Home button is at the bottom (or from the top if the Home button is on the left).
Unless it's locked in place, you can turn the iPad in any-which direction and the screen will flip to stay "facing" you. When the pad is oriented left-to-right (called landscape view), you get a wider viewing area for photos and videos as well as a bigger keyboard when you need to type something. If you hold it vertically with the Home key at the bottom (in portrait view), it is easier to see more stuff on the screen without as much scrolling--when reading an iBook, for example.
Locking the Screen Orientation
You'll find both views useful for different tasks, but if you want the screen to stay put and not follow you (for example, if you want to lie down and watch a movie), you can temporarily lock the orientation. There're two ways to do that, depending on how the options are set:
* You can use the switch on the back of the iPad 2 (see Figure 2-3) to lock the orientation.
* You can turn on the lock via the General section on the Settings control panel. You only need to do this if the orientation is no longer controlled by the switch, as you'll see in the next section.
Speaking of the switch on the back of the iPad 2, you can use it for one of two things. Most people use it to lock the screen orientation, but you can change the switch to instead act as a Mute button.
Allow me to demonstrate. Tap once on the Settings icon on the Home page. This opens the Settings control panel, starting at the General settings category. Near the bottom of the screen, look for the Use Side Switch to: option. The Lock Rotation option is most likely checked. If so, that means, obviously, that you can use the switch to prevent the screen from flipping.
This option works like a toggle switch. When it is set to Lock Rotation, you have to use the iPad Controls bar to mute the iPad 2's sound. Likewise, the reverse is also true: if you set the switch to be the Mute button, then you can only control the screen orientation from the iPad Controls bar.
So where is the iPad Controls bar? It's hiding! To get there from the Home screen, tap twice on the Home button. Slick! The iPad 2 slides open a new band at the bottom called the Multitasking status bar. This bar shows all the apps you currently have running. Now, touch somewhere on that band where there are no icons and drag quickly to the right. The row of icons disappears and is replaced by some system control buttons, as shown in Figure 2-4. Find the icon at the far left (either a speaker (Mute) or a circular arrow (Lock Orientation). Tap it once to turn on or off that feature. Press the Home button again to close the panel and return to the Home screen.
Excerpted from A Simple Guide to iPad 2 by C. Michael Woodward. Copyright © 2012 Luminis Books. Excerpted by permission of Luminis Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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