How to Operate the Apple iPad

by Marissa Robert Google

    With only a few buttons and a touch screen user interface, the iPad allows users to do everything from playing video games to controlling home automation systems. Mastering the simple controls of the Apple iPad is an easy task for the new user. All iPads connect to the Internet through a Wi-Fi connection and some also offer optional cellular capabilities. The iPad comes in two sizes, which allows you to choose an iPad Mini that fits in a pocket or the iPad with a larger screen.

    Buttons and Casing

    IPad owners turn on their devices with the Sleep/Wake button at the top edge of the device. You can press the Home button centered under the display to return to the iPad home screen from any app. Volume buttons on the side of the device allow you to adjust the sound. The iPad also has a side switch to mute sound and a microphone, headphone jack, speaker, FaceTime and iSight cameras for communications and photography. The lightning connector through which you charge the iPad is on the bottom edge of the device.

    Touch Screen

    Tapping on the screen with a finger opens an app or presses a button in an app. You can place two fingers on your screen and pinch them to zoom in and zoom out by spreading your fingers apart. Swipe your finger across the screen to move to the next or a previous screen. If you activate the Multitasking Gestures in the Settings app, you can pinch with 4 or 5 fingers to return to the Home screen or swipe up on the screen with 4 or 5 fingers to open the multitasking bar.

    Setting Up Your iPad

    To set up your iPad, you need a wireless Internet connection. The on-screen setup guide walks you through connecting to it. You can manage your iPad content through iTunes on a computer running either Windows XP or later or a Mac with OS X 10.6.8 or later, or you can manage content without a computer using the free iCloud service. If you already have an Apple ID, you will be prompted for it during setup. If not, you have the opportunity to create one. The Apple ID is used for all your app management through the App Store or iTunes, as well as iCloud services. You can also set up your iPad to use as an email client with most email services and with most calendar and contact management systems.

    Included Apps

    The iPad comes with several basic apps preinstalled, including Messages, Calendar, Notes, Reminders, Maps, Videos, Contacts, Game Center, iTunes, the App Store, Newsstand, Clock, Camera, Settings, Safari, Mail, Photos and Music. It also comes with the voice recognition feature Siri. IOS 6 is equipped with Facebook integration, so you can easily share photos, videos and links. To access your news feed, you need to install the free Facebook app. The free iBooks app turns your iPad into an e-reader. Although the built-in apps can handle much of what you may want to to do with your iPad, you can download and install many more apps from Apple and third-party developers through the App Store or iTunes.

    About the Author

    Marissa Robert graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English language and literature. She has extensive experience writing marketing campaigns and business handbooks and manuals, as well as doing freelance writing, proofreading and editing. While living in France she translated manuscripts into English. She has published articles on various websites and also periodically maintains two blogs.

    Photo Credits

    • Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images