Learn how to take delight in your iPad use!

Take Control of
Your iPad

Second Edition
Tonya Engst

Join Take Control editor in chief Tonya Engst on her quest to make the iPad experience more delightful, whether you’re new to the iPad or not making the most of it, thanks to its many buried settings and hidden features. Covers iOS 6 and all the latest iPads! Special two-fer offer: Buy one and share it with an iPad-using friend or relative!

This product has been discontinued.

This book has been relegated Take Control’s Obsolete category because with iOS 7 now available, this book is obsolete. All Apple devices that could run iOS 6 can also run iOS 7, so you should update your device unless you have some extraordinary reason why you would prefer to stick with iOS 6.

Tonya walks you through the entire iPad experience:

  • Understand your iPad: Figure out which iPad you’re working on (in case you’re helping your neighbor with his iPad and he isn’t sure). Learn about the hardware components in each iPad model that make it unique.

  • Power up and down: Beyond finding out how to operate the power switch, learn about turning your iPad off and on when it doesn’t work the way it should and get advice about making the most of its battery life.

  • Setup, setup, setup: Learn how to answer the questions asked by iOS’s Setup Assistant, and get help with important options that the Setup Assistant doesn’t cover, including security, Bluetooth, tethering, backups, and notifications. Find detailed directions for syncing in iTunes 11, as well as advice about integrating an iPad with services such as iCloud, Google Contacts and Calendars, and Microsoft Exchange. (This ebook has solid iCloud coverage, but for full details read Take Control of iCloud.) Also, get help with making folders and handling a big Home screen cleanup.

  • Learn the interface: Read about how to let your fingers do the walking when controlling your iPad, type effectively on the iPad’s virtual keyboard, tell your iPad what to do with Siri, and dictate instead of type. Get help with the many ways to adjust, mute, or otherwise block sound from your iPad. Learn how to copy and paste, mirror with AirPlay, print, wrangle the multitasking bar, and more. (Sorry, Siri and voice dictation don’t work with the iPad 2.)

  • Use Apple’s apps: Take control of your iPad with 90 pages of setup directions and usage tips for Clock, Notes, Reminders, Contacts, Calendar, Mail, Messages, FaceTime, iBooks, Newsstand, Music, iTunes U, Camera, Photos, Videos, Maps, Find My Friends, and Safari. Phew! (And read why you shouldn’t use Apple’s Podcasts app for now, plus find out about Find My iPad and iOS’s Twitter and Facebook integration.) (Although the ebook focuses on Apple’s apps, it does mention areas where independent apps are worth considering.)

  • There’s an app for that! Find real-world advice on locating, purchasing, downloading, configuring, organizing, sharing, and deleting third-party apps.

Tonya Engst

About Tonya Engst

Tonya Engst co-founded the TidBITS online publication in 1990 with Adam Engst. She also co-founded the Take Control Books series with Adam in 2003 and saw the series through its early years, working with many talented authors and editors to add hundreds of titles and to create a process that could easily produce PDF and EPUB/Mobipocket formatted ebooks from the same WYSIWYG manuscript. Tonya was editor-in-chief of the Take Control series from 2003–2017.

What’s New in the Second Edition

This second edition is about taking control of an iPad that’s running Apple’s iOS 6 operating system. The first edition talked about iPads with iOS 5, and before that this ebook had a different name—Take Control of iPad Basics—that discussed the iPad with iOS 3 and iOS 4.

To talk about iOS 6, I kept the same basic outline, but I rewrote huge swaths of text due to the many changes that Apple has introduced with iOS 6. 

You can quickly jump to the most important of the modified topics by clicking a link in the list below:

  • In Understand Your iPad, I’ve removed most of the content about the original iPad, since it can’t be upgraded to iOS 6. The chapter now focuses on the iPads that can run iOS 6: the mini, iPad 2, and 3rd- and 4th-generation iPads. (If you have an original iPad, visit Ebook Extras to access this ebook’s blog, where you can download the previous edition—it covers the original iPad with iOS 5.)
  • I’ve revised all discussion of iTunes to cover iTunes 11, which Apple released in late 2012. If you are using iTunes 10, broadly speaking, this ebook will work for you, but some details may not match.
  • In Storage Capacity, I added a more complete explanation of why your iPad’s self-reported capacity in the Settings app is lower than its advertised capacity.
  • In Notifications, I now explain how send a quick tweet or Facebook posting directly from the Notification Center.
  • Speak Commands with Siri now discusses how to tell your iPad what to do, or ask it questions, using your voice. The Dictate topic is slightly expanded, since I now find it to be less of a novelty and more of a useful feature. Blue tip boxes scattered throughout the text alert you to commands you can issue with Siri.
  • In Type on the Virtual Keyboard, I added information about including an Emoji keyboard in the onscreen keyboard’s repertoire, so that you can spice up your iMessages and other writing with amusing icons.
  • Apple has finally added the Clock app to the iPad. I explain the basics and show you how to set an alarm for every day of the week in a new chapter, Be On Time.
  • In the chapter that’s now called Get Organized, I added a Notes topic and expanded the Reminders topic. An important update is an explanation of how Google Sync has changed.
  • The Stay in Touch chapter has a new bullet item about attaching a photo or video to a message from within the Mail app. 
  • The topics about the various apps are longer than they used to be, with more depth and tips, plus an overall update for iOS 6.

What Was New in Version 1.1

With version 1.1, which I wrote in March 2012 in response to Apple’s introduction of the third-generation iPad and iOS 5.1, the structure of the ebook remains the same, but I’ve made quite a number of changes, both large and small. The more noteworthy changes are these:

  • The ebook now talks less about deciding what to buy and more about understanding which iPad you have and what special hardware features it offers—see Understand Your iPad.
  • The Run the Setup Assistant chapter is revised (and renamed) to offer a faster, smoother path through the procedure. 
  • The Handle More Setup chapter is expanded (and renamed) to include content that was formerly in the Setup Assistant chapter, and to add advice about how to Create a Personal Hotspot.
  • The ebook now discusses voice dictation in Dictate.
  • The chapter about email and other forms of communication is now called Stay in Touch. The sections about Messages, FaceTime, and Twitter are updated and (slightly) expanded.
  • The chapter Read Ebooks, Magazines, and More is generally improved, with better organization and more tips. It also discusses the new .ibooks ebook format and has updated instructions.
  • The chapter Listen to Music, Podcasts, Audiobooks, and More experienced a bit of upheaval to describe the new iTunes U app, detail the new feature that lets you make your own playlist, and to describe the new audio playback controls for voice.

What Was New in the 1.0 Version

This ebook is effectively a new edition of Take Control of iPad Basics, a book that I wrote (and updated thrice!) during the lifespan of iOS 3 and iOS 4. 

This ebook is all about iOS 5, the version of the iPad’s operating system that Apple released in October 2011. iOS 5 has nifty changes that are worth learning about—more gestures, the Notification Center, Find My Friends, a split keyboard, and the wireless iTunes sync. Also in this ebook, since many readers will have read the first edition—or already have iOS experience, I focus less on the basics to make room for more advanced topics. 

Does this ebook talk about the iPhone or iPod touch?

Good question! This ebook is nearly entirely about the iPad. Quite a lot of it applies to the iPhone and iPod touch, but Tonya didn't try to check all the details in the ebook to see if they are the same on those smaller devices, or include screenshots from those devices.

What version of iOS does this ebook cover?

iOS 6.

  • Read Me First
  • Introduction
  • iPad Quick Start
  • Understand Your iPad
  • Power Up & Down
  • Run the Setup Assistant
  • Handle More Setup
  • Learn the Interface
  • Customize the Home Screen
  • Be On Time
  • Get Organized
  • Stay in Touch
  • Read Ebooks & Magazines
  • Listen to Music & More
  • Take & View Photos & Videos
  • Find Yourself, Your Friends & Your iPad
  • Surf the Web with Safari
  • Download & Manage Apps
  • Manage an iTunes Sync
  • About This Book
  • September 18, 2013 -- Alas, I do not plan to update this book to create a new edition for iOS 7. Take Control will offer a few more narrowly focused titles about certain aspects of iOS 7, but I'm taking a break from this broad, one-size-fits-all treatment of iOS. If you're already familiar with iOS, you can get up to speed with my TidBITS article about the first things you should do and learn immediately after installing iOS 7, <a href=http://tidbits.com/article/14117&gt;iOS 7 Pre-flight Checklist</a>.