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How to use an iPad

The iPad (and all tablet computers, for that matter) has transformed the way the average person interacts with machines.  Devices like the iPad have effectively blurred the line between what is considered to be a fully-fledged portable computer and a hand-held device.  Moreover, touchscreen mechanics are the very heart and soul of devices like the iPad, which is quite revolutionary, to say the least.  This focus on touch-based control has also heavily influenced app and software creators, many of which are working feverishly to develop compatible products.  The point is, the iPad represents a shifting point in consumer computer culture, and it certainly cannot be ignored.    In this guide we’re going to cover many of the basic actions and gestures associated with typical iPad use.

First things first, you’re going to need to actually go through the setup process to initialize your iPad and create an Apple ID / account.  This is pretty much self-explanatory; you simply choose your language, region, wi-fi source, etc…

Once that’s done, it’s time to learn how to navigate.

Perhaps the first and foremost thing to know is the function of the “home button” (it’s the button on the bottom of the iPad with a square printed on it).  Simply put, the iPad was designed to be extremely intuitive and rely less on buttons and more on the touchscreen, so to make up for this, the home button is multi-functional.  You can hit it to wake up a hibernating iPad or strike it to exit out of an app / program.  In short, if you want to get back to your desktop, the home button will get you there.

As you might expect, touching or tapping icons opens them.  You can also touch and hold, which allows you to move things around.  Touching and dragging/swiping your finger across the screen in a broad gesture tends to help you perform more dramatic actions, such as closing out task windows, programs or page turning (if you’re reading an e-book, for example).

The next thing you’re going to want to do is to download some apps.  To do this simply visit the app store and begin searching for those programs which most interest you in either a personal or professional capacity.  Be sure to check out what’s hot at any given time, as new apps and games are constantly being released.  To install, simply touch the price button (free apps will be listed as such) and once it turns green as says “Install App”, touch it again.  Once you have several apps that you like it’s time to organize them.  Naturally, you’ll want to place those apps which you plan on using more frequently on the first screen.  If you want to create a folder for two or more apps, all you have to do is touch, drag and drop one app on top of another (the folder will be automatically created).  The iPad will name your folder automatically, but you might want to change it anyway, to do that simply touch the title area and type one in using the pop-up touchscreen keyboard.

An iPad is an extremely powerful tool which can fulfill several technical roles at once.  As always, be creative and stay up-to-date to get the most out of your device.

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