How to Use iPad: The Basics

The Home Key, which is the circular button below the iPad screen, is the master button. When you press it, you will be returned to the Home screen. When pressed twice rapidly, any apps that are open will be displayed, allowing the act of switching between different apps simple. Dragging apps up, closes out those that no longer need to be used. It is a good habit to frequently close any apps that are not in current use, to preserve the life of the battery.

At the top right corner of the screen, there is the Battery Indicator which reflects the percentage of battery charge that is left on the iPad. At the top center of the screen, you can locate the Clock, and in the upper left corner, the WiFi Indicator. Externally, there is a Headphone Jack on the corner of the upper left edge so you can plug in a headset to listen to your audio and video. A Power/Lock Button is located at the corner on the upper right edge. If you hold this button down for three seconds, your iPad will give you the option to power off by swiping from left to right. If you simply click it, your ipad will lock, disabling its touch functions. Along the upper right edge are the Volume Buttons, which you may control to your preference. At the bottom edge of your iPad, there is a Port where you can insert the cable to Charge your device. It is recommended to allow your Ipad’s battery to die completely, then recharge the battery to maximize the life of the Ipad battery.

The Control Center may be accessed by swiping from bottom to the top, giving quick access to the most utilized settings. When activated, the Airplane Mode suspends the radio-frequency signal transmission by the device, thereby disabling Bluetooth, GPS, and WiFi. The Wifi indicator may be turned on and disabled by tapping it; when the icon is illuminated, this indicates the Wifi Connection is established. The wifi indicator reflects the strength and quality of the current Wifi connection. Low signal may delay video capabilities, whereas good signal will reflect a high signal and provide good video display. The Bluetooth is accessible through the same gestures. If you have no bluetooth devices already set to connect automatically, then you will have to pair your devices with the iPad through Settings.

The Crescent Moon symbol is the Do Not Disturb option. Its function stops notifications, alerts, and calls from making any noise, vibration, or lighting up the iPad screen when the screen is locked. Tap (highlight) the Bell icon to Mute the device, and tap it again to disable the Mute function. The Padlock icon surrounded by an arrow is the Rotation Lock, which allows your iPhone to be locked or "frozen" in portrait mode. When the Rotation Lock is activated, turning your iPhone to the horizontal orientation will not allow the screen to rotate into landscape mode.

The Screen Brightness may be adjusted to your preference by dragging the white dot along the line. The Clock icon directs you to the World Clock, Alarm, Bedtime Stopwatch and timer. Swiping up to return to the Control Center and tapping on the Camera Icon takes you directly to your Camera. The AirPlay Mirroring function is used to share your screen, if you would like to view whatever you are viewing on your iPad onto another screen. The NIght Shift will automatically adjust the brightness to your preference for night viewing when set up in Settings.

Airdrop is a feature which enables the transfer of files between supported Macintosh computers and iOS devices without using mail or a mass storage device. The options of connecting to either ‘contacts only’ or to ‘everyone’ is available. This option should remain off until needed, so there is no accidental sharing of any information, documents, images, etc. If you have an Apple TV, you can use AirPlay to wirelessly stream video to your HDTV from Safari or QuickTime Player, or use your HDTV as a Mac display. Lastly, to exit the Control Center, swipe down instead of double-clicking the Home button.

The settings you will need to customize, particularly WiFi, Mail & Contacts, where you can add a new Wifi and mail account. If you do not already have Wifi, you will need a device called a Router that connects to your cable box (or another source of WiFi signal), which emits a signal that your iPad will receive, once set up properly. Viewing the videos and documents already loaded on your iPad does not require an internet connection. If you need to access your online course site to take an exam or if you want to view or download some information from the web, you will need to be connected to the Internet.

You will see a list in the WiFi section of Settings that shows all the available Wifi Networks located in your immediate area. When you choose a network from the list, a password will need to be entered. This password was either created when you setup your Router or the password was provided by the person who manages the network you are connecting to. Once you enter the correct password, your iPad will remember it and connect automatically. However, each time you move to a new location outside your network, you will need to establish a new Wifi connection with the local network.

Brightness & Wallpaper – you may adjust how bright you want the screen to appear, and select different wallpaper from the choices that are preloaded on your iPad or from your saved Photos. When you choose another image, you will have a choice to assign the image selected for your “Locked Screen,” which is what you see when you open your iPad, or for “Home,” when you return to your home page, or both. If you prefer to change the location of the icon on your home page, press your finger gently on the icon, hold your finger until all the icons begin to jiggle. When the icons jiggle, you may move the icon by dragging it to the preferred location. When you are satisfied with the new placement of the icons, click on the Home button once again to set the icons in place.