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32 iPad tips and tricks

Alex Wawro | March 20, 2012
You know that your new iPad will let you easily watch movies, browse the Internet, or play games on the go, but plenty of advanced features hidden beneath the surface of iOS can improve your tablet computing experience even further. To help you become an iPad master, we've compiled a handy list of tips and tricks for new iPad users. Read on if you want to learn how to multitask, take screenshots, encrypt your backups, and more.

Test your Web links: You can check a linked word's actual destination URL by touching and holding down on the link--it's a perfect way to sniff out phishy links.

Choose an app for email attachments: You can open a file attached to an email message by tapping the attachment in Mail, but if the default app isn't the one you want to use, simply press and hold and wait for a menu that lets you select an app.

Use the iPad as a picture frame: Not for physical photographs, silly. You can press the Picture icon in the lower-right corner of the lock screen to have the iPad display your photo stream as a slideshow.

Show traffic conditions: Open Maps, press the dog-eared page icon in the lower right, and then turn the Traffic overlay on. If your iPad has an Internet connection, Maps will show real-time traffic conditions in the displayed area. Green means traffic is going at the posted speed limit, yellow means traffic is slower than the posted speed limit, and red means traffic is stop-and-go.

Share podcasts with friends: Listening to a podcast that you think a friend would like? You can share the link while you're listening to it by pressing the Email button while it's open.

Don't forget your downloads: You can immediately see if your iTunes account is due for incoming downloads by opening iTunes on your PC, clicking the Store menu, and selecting Check for available downloads. This trick can come in handy if your download process is interrupted, or if you missed some bonus iTunes content that came with an album you purchased.

Turn on Universal Access: You can enable options such as closed-captioned movies, VoiceOver screen reading, zoom magnification, and inverted white-on-black text by selecting the iPad in iTunes, opening the Summary tab, and clicking Configure Universal Access under the Options heading.

Forget Wi-Fi networks: So you accidentally connected to a network once, and your iPad remembers it for life--whether you like it or not. On your iPad, go to Settings, Wi-Fi, and find the network under the 'Choose a Network' heading. Tap the blue arrow next to the network you want to remove, and tap the button on the top that says Forget this Network.

Customize your Spotlight searches: The iPad uses Spotlight for its built-in search functions, and you can tweak it to your needs under Settings, General, Spotlight Search. If you have a lot of data on your iPad, for example, you can selectively disable search in different categories (Contacts, Applications, Audiobooks, Notes, Events, Mail, and so on) that you don't use so that your desired results show up faster. You can also simply change the order in which the search-result categories display by dragging them up and down, so that your more frequently used search categories appear at the top of the page.

 

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