TechKnow: iPad Tips (Part 1)

by John Dunker–

Some of you enjoy using iPads, including myself. While I prefer Windows systems for intense digital work, I favor using the iPad for informational purposes because it’s handy. For those requesting iPad tips — here we go.

We’ll start with a tip that helps speed up your ability to maneuver your iPad. Have you ever scrolled down a long list or been at the bottom of a large web page and needed to get back to the top? No need to scroll. You can tap the title bar of the app or web page to return to the beginning. This works with most apps and most web pages, though not every web page is designed to be iPad-friendly.

Skipping the apostrophe while typing is also a great tip. The auto-correct feature on the iPad can sometimes be quite annoying, but at times, it can also really work for you. For example, there’s no need to hunt down the apostrophe for most contractions. Auto Correct will automatically change cant to can’t and wont to won’t. There are some exceptions. It won’t know the difference between well and we’ll, but it works quite well in most instances.

Do you hate scrolling through multiple screens of apps looking for your favorite one? There are a number of tricks for finding apps and organizing them on your iPad.

“Spotlight Search” can find anything from music to videos to contacts to apps on your device, and even suggest websites to visit. You launch Spotlight Search by swiping down with your finger in the middle of the Home Screen, which is the screen with all of your apps on it. Swiping from the very top of the display will open the Notification Center. Type what you’re looking for in the search box and go. Spotlight Search looks through your entire device, so you can even use it to search for a specific text message or email. It will even search through Notes. You can turn on and off different results through the general settings of your iPad under Spotlight Search.

One of the most overlooked tricks is simply docking your favorite app. The dock refers to the final row of apps at the very bottom of the iPad’s display. These apps are always present on the home screen, which means you don’t have to scroll through page after page of apps to find them. And the best part is that you can move any app you want to the dock. The iPad comes with five apps on the dock, but there is space for the sixth app of your choice. You can also move one of the default apps off the dock and put an app in its place. Moving an app to the dock is easier than moving it to a different page of apps. Follow these steps:

· Touch the app you want to move and leave your finger on the screen until the app icons are jiggling. This puts the iPad’s home screen into edit mode, which lets you either move or delete an app.
· Move your finger. The app icon will move with your finger. If you accidentally picked your finger up from the screen, you can still grab it and move your finger without lifting it from the screen. Move the app to the dock. You will want to place it between two existing apps on the dock and wait until those apps move apart to provide space for the app you want on the dock. Now drop the app by lifting your finger
· If you already have six apps on the dock, you will first need to move one of them off the dock before docking the app of your choice. You do this the same way you would put an app on the dock. Simply place your fingertip on the app you want to move off the dock and then (again without lifting your finger from the screen) move it to the page of apps and drop it.
· Exit the home screen edit mode by pressing the home button.

You can also create and move folders, placing them on the dock or a page. This is a great trick if you have a handful of apps that you want easy access. First (in the home screen edit mode) create a folder of apps by moving one app onto another. When the folder is created you can change the name by tapping the name box and typing what you want. Once you’ve moved all the apps you want into the folder, exit the edit mode.

Give your eyes a rest and let your iPad do the reading. The iPad has the ability to speak selected text to you, but first, you will need to turn this feature on in the accessibility settings. Your iPad could read an interesting news article to you while you cook dinner. Follow these steps to turn on the iPad’s Text-to-Speech feature:

· Go into the iPad’s settings.
· Choose General settings from the left-side menu.
· Tap Accessibility from within the General settings.
· From within the Accessibility settings, choose Speech.
· Turn on Speak Selection by tapping the associated slider. This setting will add a new Speak option to the menu that appears when you select text.
· If you turn on Speak Screen, you can slide two fingers down from the top of the display to read the entire screen to you. This doesn’t work so well with web pages where the top of the screen is filled with menus, but it works well with other apps like Mail.
· Adjust the Speaking Rate to have the iPad speak faster or slower as you like.

Now you can go to a readable page or document, select (highlight) the text you want read and tap on Speak from the pop-up menu. This feature works well with iBooks.

Next time, we’ll cover a few other tips I think are useful to help manage an iPad. In the meantime, you can find more useful tips right on your iPad. Swipe from the left edge of the home screen and select Show More in the Tips block.