Blog by an Apple Certified Tech

Tips and Tricks on iPad

Lock down

Are you afraid that the contents of your iPad might fall into the wrong hands if it’s stolen or lost? You’re not alone.

As a simple security measure, you can set a passcode that must be entered in order to unlock the machine.

Go to the Settings page, open the Passcode Lock section, and tap Turn Passcode On at the top of the page. Type in the four-digit code you want to use, type it in again, and you’re set. The downside is that you’ll need to enter the passcode every time you wake up your iPad—but at least your data will be more secure.

To be doubly safe, you can turn on the Erase Data switch (located on the same page) so that the system will erase its entire contents after 10 unsuccessful attempts to enter the passcode. Just make sure you have a good backup on your host computer to rebuild your iPad if its contents do get erased.

Multiple mailboxes

The iPad can accommodate multiple Web-based and server-based e-mail accounts.

Let’s say you want to keep your business e-mail account and add a Gmail account. Open the Settings page, tap on Mail, Contacts and Calendars and then tap Add Account. There’ll be a list of six choices, from Microsoft Exchange to AOL. After typing in the account particulars, tap Save and it should now be in the e-mail accounts section below the first one you set up. If you have another account to add, do the same to get the iPad to start working with it.

Shortcuts

The iPad’s on-screen keyboard is adequate for most short typing needs, like e-mail or Web addresses, but it can’t compare to a good old mechanical keyboard for lengthier pieces. Still, it has a few shortcuts that can make on-screen typing a little easier, including these:

  • Hit the space bar twice at the end of a sentence to add a period and a space before starting on the next sentence.
  • Hold down a letter key to get any special characters that are available for that letter. You could use this feature to, for example, add an accent mark to a letter.
  • Need the euro (€) symbol? Press the dollar-sign key for a few seconds, and the iPad will give you a choice of five international currency symbols.
  • You can hold down the iPad’s .com button to get .edu, .net or .org instead.

The app remover

With so many apps available at the iTunes App Store, it’s easy to overwhelm yourself and your iPad with software. You can get rid of an app that you aren’t using by holding a finger on the app’s icon. It’ll wiggle and a small X will appear in the icon’s corner. Tap on the X and click Delete to get rid of it. Be sure to delete the app from iTunes on the host system as well, or it will be reinstalled the next time you synchronize your iPad.

New signature

Out of the box, the iPad’s default e-mail signature is “Sent from my iPad.” That obnoxious declaration will appear at the bottom of every message that you send from the device. Once you’ve gotten over your new-iPad-owner’s enthusiasm, I suggest that you might want to think about changing that.

Go to the Settings page and click on Mail, Contacts and Calendars and then go to Signature at the bottom of the page. You can type in whatever you want to use as your signature, or you can leave it blank if you want to remain anonymous.

Quiet!

If you get as annoyed as I do with a computer that beeps when new e-mail arrives or clicks when you use the keyboard, you deserve silence to preserve your sanity.

Go to the Settings page, click on General and then Sounds. There you can turn off the sounds that play when you send or receive e-mail, get a calendar alert or lock your iPad. You can even turn off the especially annoying keyboard clicks. If you don’t want to turn off the sounds completely, you can at least turn down the volume.

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