Now that all Sherwood and Oak teachers have an iPad to use, it's time we shared a list of some of the important tips and tricks that everyone should know about. They are all pretty simple and do not require advanced knowledge. We don't have the newest iPad model to test, but we think all of these tips and tricks are true for both the new iPad and the iPad 2, as long as they are running the most updated software (iOS 5) which they all should be.
1. Rearrange and delete appsAs you install apps, you will want to either move the apps to a different screen or delete an app that you no longer use. In order to do this, touch any app on the screen and hold your finger down. After about one second, you will notice all apps start to wiggle around around. Most of the apps have a little "x" in the upper left corner of the app icon. Clicking on the "x" will delete that app from your iPad. Native apps that come installed such as the calendar, mail, and Safari apps cannot be deleted. While the icons are wiggling, you can click on any icon and drag it to a different location. If you drag it to the side of the screen, it will let you move it to a different screen.
2. Organize apps into folders
As you install more and more apps, you will most likely want to organize apps and place them into folders. To do this, follow the steps above and press/hold on one app to make them all wiggle. Then, click and drag one app onto another app, and a folder will pop up with these two apps inside. Based on the apps, it will give a default name for the folder such as "Science" or "Games" but you can rename the folder. You can store up to 20 apps in each folder. Once you are done organizing apps into different folders, you can move those folders on to the screen you want. Then, like before, click the home button to save the current settings.
3. Close apps running in the background
The iPad is quite the multitasking tool and can run a LOT of apps in the background. Whenever you use an app and close out of it, that application is likely still running in the background without you knowing it. If you have too many apps running, it can slow down the iPad. To see all apps that are open and running, double click on the Home button. The bottom tray will lift up to expose all apps still running. If you want to close one of these apps, it is similar to how you would normally delete an app. Press and hold on onto it until it wiggles. Instead of an "x" in the upper left corner, there will be a red (-) sign. Click on that (-) sign to close the app. It's probably a good idea to close all apps running in the background from time to time to keep the iPad running smoothly.
4. Notification Center
New to iOS 5, iPads now come with a Notification Center. It notifies you of calendar events, friend requests, breaking news, the weather, messages, and anything else you choose to be notified about. In order to see a summary of the current notifications, click on the date at the very top of the screen and drag down. In the iPad's Settings, you can choose which apps you want to send you notifications such as Mail, Calendar, Reminders, and Facebook.
5. Swiping gestures
While everyone can intuitively figure out how to move their finger across an iPad to make pages and screens move around, not many know that there are multiple "gestures" you can do on the iPad. Please read about all of them here. Some are pretty cool! My favorite one is the "Four or Five Finger Pinch".
6. Find my iPad (or iPhone or iPod)
Under the iPad settings, you have the option of turning on the "Find My iPad" feature. In order for this to work, Location Services must be "On" and the iPad must be connected to Wi-Fi. Once it is turned on, you can log into https://www.icloud.com/ to find where your iPad (or iPhone) is located on a map. It is usually VERY accurate. You can also have the iPad play a sound and display a text message such as "Please return this iPad to room 311". In case you think the iPad has been stolen, you can also do a remote lock or remote wipe of the iPad which will delete everything.
7. Maximize battery life
Even though the iPad has a very long battery life, there are reports some of the new iPads do not last as long as the iPad 2. Even if it does last a solid ten hours, it is always helpful to know what you can do to extend the battery life even longer.
Read this article from "How-To Geek" with some great suggestions. There is one tip that does not apply to you though because it suggests you use Wi-Fi when possible instead of 3G. These iPads only work on Wi-Fi, but it is a good tip for all iPhone users out there.
Other Tips and Tricks?
This is a good list to get people rolling. Hopefully everyone learned at least one new trick. If you have questions about how to do anything mentioned in this post, please send us an email or stop by our rooms (310 and 311), and we will show you. On the other hand, if you know of any "must know" tips and tricks for the iPad, please leave a comment!