10 iPad tips & tricks [Updated]

The release of the iPad Air and new iPad mini means that more people than ever will be staring at their device’s super-sharp Retina display with a mix of wonder and worry. Wonder because the tablet experience is nothing if not exciting, but worry because the user interface can at times be somewhat overwhelming.

Well, worry no longer, as we provide 10 tips and tricks that should get you up-and-running with your iPad in no time.

1) Change your wallpaper

iPad Air wallpaper

You can put your own stamp on your iPad by changing its background. You can use any of your own photos for this, while iOS 7 also introduces moving dynamic patterns.

To set your wallpaper tap the Settings app, then tap on Wallpapers and Brightness. Your current lock screen and home screen will be displayed, simply click on either and choose from Dynamic, Still or Camera Roll images.

2) Search your iPad

iPad Air search

New iPads no longer feature a search screen when you scroll all the way to the left-most home screen. Instead you can run a search by simply dragging your finger down on any part of the homescreen.

The search facility will help you find apps and even search through your email correspondence.

3) Control iPad notifications

iPad Air notifications

Your iPad is constantly looking to push information across to you, from your calendar appointments through to the latest tweets. You can control what apps have the authority to send push notifications your way however.

To do so go to Settings, then Notification Centre and scroll down to the Include section. Here you will see a list of apps, and clicking on each will let you adjust how each is seen (or not seen) on both your lock screen and notification screen.

4) Make text easier to read

iPad Air text size

Is the text on your iPad mini just too small? Well, you can always increase the font size. It’s simply a matter of going to Settings, then to General, before tapping on Text Size. This opens a slider that will have you increasing your text size in no time.

5) Take a screenshot

iPad Air screen grab

It’s often pretty handy to be able to take a screenshot of what’s on your iPad’s display. Not least if you have a problem and want to send a visual example of what’s going wrong.

Luckily it’s really easy to do so, simply hold down the Power Button and hit the Home Button (with the Power Button still held down) a split second afterwards. You’ll find the image by tapping the Photos app, and from there you can attach it to an email, for example.

6) Disable in-app purchases

iPad Air in-app purchases

Do you let your kids run wild with your iPad but live in fear of them running up a huge bill by downloading in-app purchases? Well, thankfully Apple has provided a solution.

A quick trip to Settings, then Restrictions presents you with the option to Enable Restrictions. Then you can disallow the download of apps and in-app purchases by moving the relevant sliders to the left.

7) Pull apart your keyboard

iPad Air split keyboard

If you’ve bought an iPad Air or iPad mini with Retina display then you qualify for free access to Apple’s iWork apps – the likes of Pages, Numbers and Keynote.

Pages is a particularly useful word processor, though many feel all at sea when using the on screen keyboard to type on. You can make the experience more akin to typing on a mobile though by splitting the keyboard in half – this is done by dragging one finger to the left, and one to the right across the keyboard itself.

8) Close running apps

iPad Air close apps

Your iPad will keep a surprising number of apps running in the background and this can not only slow your device, but also drain its battery.

First double tap the Home button to bring up a scrolling bar of open apps. Next close any of them by pushing them up until they disappear off screen (and don’t worry, this won’t delete any apps).

9) Create folders

iPad Air folders

Depending on your App Store habits you might be rapidly running out of space on your device’s home screens. It is possible to organise these into folders however.

To create a folder keep your finger pushed down on any app icon until all of the icons on your home screen start to vibrate. Then, again with your finger held against the screen, move one on top of any other. After a second both will be encased in a folder and you can even name it to help you keep track of where your apps live.

10) Have a chat with Siri

iPad Air Siri

Both the iPad Air and iPad mini come preloaded with Siri – Apple’s voice activated artificial assistant. To ‘talk’ to Siri simply hold down the Home button for a few seconds.

You might want to set an alarm: ‘Wake me up tomorrow at 8am’ or search the web: ‘Search the web for Which Technology.’ At least you can tell yourself you’re living in the future.

More on this

10 iPhone tips and tricks – everything you need to know
Is an iPad mini with Retina display worth £319? – watch our video verdict
Best Buy tablets – our top test lab performers

Categories: Apple

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5 replies

  1. Thanks for your very helpful tips.

    As a newcomer to touch-screen devices, I’ve been struggling with quite a number of operations on my iPad Air tablet. I purchased a Tips and Tricks app which has been very useful, but there were still a few things unanswered.

    Your Tech Daily site has filled in several of the gaps, for instance by very clearly describing the method for shutting down apps.

  2. Thank you.
    I found your tips very clearly explained and helpful, even if I did know some of them it never hurts to reread something you do know.
    I agree with the previous comment from David W, I had wondered about the apps running in the background, now I know to turn them off.

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