- Paper books and Post-It Notes let you spill your thoughts on the margins, and the iBooks app for the iPad makes it easy to do the same thing in your digital books. When you want to make a note in a certain section of an iBook, press your finger down on the iPad screen (or double-tap the words) to summon the Dictionary | Highlight | Note | Search box. Tap Note to pop open a digital sticky note; the iPad keyboard appears so you can type your thought. When you’ve completed your thought, tap the book text behind the note to shrink the note into a small colored square in the margin—where it waits for you to tap it open again whenever you want to review it.
- Need a quick way to see how many megabytes you’ve burned through for the monthly data plan on your AT&T or Verizon 3G iPad? Just tap Settings > General > Usage and look at the numbers on the Cellular Network Data area.
- GarageBand for iPad is one of Apple's most inventive $5 apps for the iPad, but the interface can be a little overwhelming at first. But GarageBand is here to help: just tap the question-mark icon in the upper right corner to see the screen light up with tool tips and hints for using the program. (And GarageBand isn’t just for the iPad 2 — it also runs on the original iPad model.)
- One you get FaceTime addresses assigned to your pals in the iPad’s Contacts app, you can call them and start up a video chat right from the address book. When you have the person’s page open on the Contacts app, tap the FaceTime button at the bottom of the screen. In the menu that pops up, tap the address you’ve assigned for FaceTime to fire up the video camera and start the call.
- When a friend emails you with a date, day or time in the message underlined in blue, press down on the highlighted text. The Create Event box pops up, letting you easily schedule the date right in the iPad’s calendar program. You can also add names and addresses to the Contacts app (or see an address displayed on a map) by pressing down on the information displayed on the iPad screen.
- Need to cut the boring parts from the beginning or end of that video you just shot on your iPad? Open the clip you want to edit and tap the frame-viewer bar at the top of the screen. Press down and drag the end of the bar so that it just encloses the section of the video you want to keep; the border around the video frame-viewer turns yellow to show you’re in editing mode. Once you have the frames you want within the yellow bar, tap the yellow Trim button in the upper-right corner of the screen to lop off the unselected parts. You can make the selected frames a whole new video of their own — which leaves the original video intact — or chop permanently the frames from the original.
- The iPad has a built-in spell-checker that underlines suspicious words in red when you’re typing in Mail, Notes or other text-centric apps. You can disable or enable the feature by tapping Settings > General > Keyboard > Check Spelling and tapping the On or Off button.
- Need to get a bit closer to your subject as you line up a shot with the iPad's camera? Tap the screen to call up the zoom bar and drag your finger along it to digitally zoom in.
- That versatile side switch on iPad’s right side can either be a mute button to hush audio alerts or a lock to stop the iPad’s screen from spinning around and reorienting itself in portrait or landscape mode as you shift around reading in bed. To program your preferred function for the side switch, tap Settings > General > Use Side Switch. Next, tap either Lock Rotation or Mute to set the switch’s function. If you change your mind, you can always return to this screen and choose the other option.
- Need a quick self-portrait for your favorite social-networking profile site? Tap the Photo Booth icon in the iPad’s home screen. If the front camera isn’t on already, tap the Select Camera icon in the lower-right corner of the screen to flip the iPad’s focus to the front camera. Next, tap the Effects button in the lower-left corner to choose one of the wacky Photo Booth filters — or just tap the Normal square if you’re not in a wacky-effects kind of mood. Then say “cheese” and tap the camera shutter button in the bottom toolbar. The resulting picture appears as a thumbnail image on the Photo Booth screen and also lands in your iPad’s Camera Roll album, where you can email it or copy it to the computer when you sync the iPad with iTunes.
Learn more about this topic from iPad 2: The Missing Manual, 2nd Edition.
The iPad is an amazing media device, once you really know how to use it. In this entertaining book, New York Times tech columnist and iPad expert Jude Biersdorfer shows you how to get the most out of this sleek tablet to surf the Web, send and receive email, watch movies and TV shows, read eBooks, listen to music, play games, and even do a little iWork. It's the book that should have been in the box.