20 Useful Tips for Getting Started with your iPad

When you open the sealed pack of a brand new iPad and slowly tear it the real joy of owning an iPad comes to life. After you switch it on for the first time you are greeted by a quick installation and setup process. It’s after this step that you get a first-hand experience of the world’s most advanced iOS operating system. A new iPad comes preloaded with a couple of stock Apple applications and a few gigabytes of storage space to fill it with your own desired content. Even before I start talking about the various tips and tricks hidden inside your iPad you should first take a look at one of our post which lists some of the best apps for beginners.  Anyway, let’s reveal some of the best possible tips for getting started and mastering your iPad skills within minutes. By the time you finish reading all our tips you will feel like a power user and work more efficiently with your tablet.

How to rearrange apps and create folders

One of the first things you should learn is how to rearrange the default app layout and create customized folders for a particular group of application. Here are the steps:
  • Long Press any app you want to rearrange till you see a juggling animation.
  • Press and Hold the app and move it anywhere on the screen. The other icons will shift and rearrange themselves.
  • Drag one app over another to create a Folder. You can change the name of the folder by tapping the greyish looking name bar.
  • You can even drag and remove apps for a particular folder.  Just keep in mind that all your rearranging happens when you enter the Juggle Mode.
iPad Folder and App Arrangement

Use the extra dock space

The static bar situated at the bottom of your iPad screen is called the dock. The specialty of the iPad dock is that it remains fixed even when you swipe from one home screen to the next.  By default you will find four app icons (Mail, Safari, App Store and iTunes) on a new iPad. However you can edit the dock and add up to 6 apps. Drag and rearrange some of your most used applications on the dock because it’s quicker to launch and find them.
iPad Dock

How to close and swipe between different apps

Instead of using the traditional home button to close a particular application on your iPad there are a bunch of multitasking gestures that allows you to navigate quickly between various apps. Follow the instructions carefully.
  • Launch the Settings Panel and make sure that multitasking gestures is set to ON under the general tab.
  • If you want to quickly close any app simply spread out five fingers on the screen and move them inwards towards a centralized location. Please keep in mind that your iPad will still run the app in the background.
  • In case you have multiple apps open, use 4 fingers and swipe left or right to quickly browse through them.
  • If you want to completely exit the apps then bring up the multitasking bar with the four figure swipe and ten enter edit mode (long press any app icon). Now you can tap the red minus button on top of every icon and close those running applications.

How to Lock the Orientation of your iPad

The iPad is preloaded with the setting of auto orientation which means that it changes to either landscape or portrait mode depending on the way in which you are holding the iPad. This can sometimes be frustrating especially if you are reading something on iBooks and relaxing in an awkward position.  Follow the steps for locking the current orientation of your iPad
  • Swipe 4 Fingers up (or press the Home Button twice) to bring the multitasking tray located on the bottom.
  • Swipe right and you shall see a whole bunch of iTunes music buttons.
  • The button on the far left allows you to lock the orientation of the screen. Simply tap it once till you see a lock symbol appearing on top of it.

iPad Quick Controls Bar Explained

How to quickly adjust screen Brightness

There are two ways of accessing brightness settings on your iPad. First, I am going to tell you to quick and easiest way. Swipe 4 fingers up to reveal the multitasking panel. Now swipe right till you see those Music controls again. Here you can access a dedicated slider for changing the brightness of your iPad screen. Secondly, you can access the brightness from Settings > Brightness and Wallpaper. Toggle the slider to switch between manual and automatic brightness settings.

How to delete an iPad App

In case you are not happy with a particular app you can delete it from your iPad in order to free up some space for other interesting stuff. The quickest way to delete is to long press any icon and enter the juggling edit mode. Now you can see a small cross on top of every application. Simply tap the cross for a particular app to delete it from your iPad. There is also another method that allows you to do the same thing from Settings > Genereal > Usage but there is no reason of using the unnecessary long process.
Delete iPad App

Share Multiple Photos

Sometimes you might want to share a bunch of photos with your friends and families. Instead of uploading each one individually there is a better way to share them all at once.
  • Launch Photos and select Edit (Top right hand corner)
  • Tap and select all the photos you want to share.
  • Tap the share button (top left) and you will be presented with a bunch of options for sharing those pictures. If you are using iOS 6 then there is this feature called shared photo streams that can be viewed by anyone you mail it to.

Multiple Photo Sharing in IOS 6

Take a Screenshot of the current screen

This is a very cool feature that allows you to take a screenshot of any screen that is currently being displayed on your iPad. All you need to do is press and hold the power and home button together till you hear a camera click sound accompanied by a sudden flash on screen. The picture can be accessed from the default photos app.

Change the position of the keyboard

By default your iPad keyboard always pops up from underneath and occupies the lower half of the screen. Sometimes when you want to type for long hours it’s important to get a comfortable grip that doesn’t strain your arms. Follow these steps:
  • Tap and press the keyboard toggle button till you see two options that says Undock and Split.
  • Tap Undock and your keyboard will be detached from its fixed position
  • Now you can move the keyboard by swiping your finger near the lower right hand corner. This will take some practice but it’s easy once you get the hang of it.

Detatch iPad Virtual Keyboard

Silent Mode

In order to stop all sorts of sounds from incoming Facetime calls, notifications, movies, music etc. slide the button situated above the volume rockers. This is a dedicated mute switch. You can also turn your iPad at its side and find a red mark indicating that the silent mode is enabled.

Setup your Email

One of the most fundamental things about your brand new iPad is to set up the mail account. You are probably using Gmail or some other service but the mail app ensures it syncs and sends you push notifications for almost all email services. Please follow our Gmail Push tutorial to learn the proper way of configuration your settings for the first time.

Quickly Post to Twitter and Facebook

If you are using iOS 6 and above then you can easily post status updates to Facebook and Twitter without ever opening their specific apps. First of all go to Settings> Twitter and Settings >Facebook to setup your accounts. You just need to do this once. Now swipe your finger from top to revel the notifications bar. On top you can see two dedicated Buttons that lets you post to these social networks.

Set any image as Wallpaper

In order to set images as wallpaper you need to tap on the image and then select the little share icon on top.  Now select Use as Wallpaper where you can also choose whether to use as home screen or lock screen or both. The other method of changing your wallpaper is to go to Settings > Brightness and Wallpaper.

How to Use Siri

With iOS 6 Apple introduced Siri for iPad. Just tap the home button twice in order to activate Siri. You can ask her any questions you like and get an instantaneous reply.  Sometimes when you are finished with your question, just tap the greyish looking round button to process it. Please keep in mind that Siri required location service which can be activated from Settings> Privacy> Location Services.
Siri on iOS 6

Save Images

I am not going to discuss this in detail but give you a link to one of our articles that explains how to save images on your iPad.

Add safari Pages to Home Screen

The iPad allows you to add different pages from the Safari browser directly on your home screen. These look a lot like app icons but are direct links to a particular URL. In one of our tutorials we used the exact same method and showed you how to add Google Maps on your iPad. This is one handy feature for all you power internet users out there. Follow the steps
  • Launch any webpage using the safari browser
  • Tap the share button and select Add to Home Screen

Airplay Streaming

Airplay is a feature integrated deep within the iOS system that allows you to mirror your screen on other supported devices over Wi-Fi network. Once there is an available connection, you need to bring up the multitasking bar and swipe right. Now you will notice a new AirPlay icon appearing on screen. Tap this icon and select the device you want to connect. That’s it! You are good to go.

Spotlight Search

When you swipe right from your first home screen you enter the Spotlight search area. Here you can search for anything within your iPad. Consider this the Google for your device. Spotlight search is really handy for finding contact information, songs and other useful stuff. You can change the preferences and settings under General > Spotlight Search
Spotlight Search Settings

Download Apps on your iPad

A getting started guide can never be complete without covering the main lifeline that keeps your iPad refreshed for years.  Here are the steps for downloading an application on your iPad:
  • Launch iTunes and browse for any app you like
  • Tap on it and select the Price Tag (upon touching it will turn into green and say Buy Now). If you are downloading a free app then it will just ask whether you want to install it or not.
  • Enter your Apple ID Password and you can see the download progress on your Home Screen. Once the download is complete you will see a blue colored ribbon over the app that says “New”.

Turn Off your iPad

The funny thing about iPad is the fact that there no such software tool to switch of the device. You need to keep pressing the power button on top till you see a red slider that reads “Slide to Switch Off”. Once you slide it the iPad shuts down. You just need to press and hold the same button to start your device.
Power Off iPad
About the Author

I am the creator of The New iPad Blog. I wanted to share some of the best iPad tutorials, authentic reviews and other fruitful information regarding iPad. I love Apple and want to help spread the usefulness of their tablet. Follow me in Google+ to get instant help for any iOS problems. Besides blogging I like travelling and hanging out with my friends.


  1. thanks for this. it really helps me on how to use my iPad properly.

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