If you’ve ever been to an Apple store in the US or elsewhere, you’ll have seen the Genius Bar where you can talk to an Apple Genius about whatever ails your device. As you’re waiting to be summoned, you might find your eyes wandering to the screens behind the bar that often display tips and tricks useful to anyone who owns an iPad, an iPhone or any other Apple technology.
You may be surprised to learn what your iPad can do, so here are 10 tips that will help you get the most out of your device.
1. Orientation lock or mute?
Orientation Lock got replaced with Mute on the iPad during the last iOS update, meaning that the switch on the outside of your iPad that use to lock its orientation changed to a toggle for muting the sound. Users were unhappy with the change, so now you can head to Settings > General to choose between Lock Rotation and Mute.
2. Secure your data
If you’re carrying around sensitive data, you can now enable a feature that will erase all the data on your iPad if someone inputs the incorrect passcode 10 times. Go to Settings > General > Passcode Lock > Erase Data. Just make sure you don’t forget your password yourself, or you may find yourself in a pickle. P.S. Back up your iPad.
3. Specify your iPad notifications
By going to Settings > Notifications, you can decide which apps can pop up alerts, which have notifications at the top of the screen, and which appear in Notification Centre. If you’re one of those users who keeps receiving noisy or irritating alerts, this will help you separate the important ones from the unimportant.
4. VPN is available
The iPad supports a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection. To configure it, go to Settings, then General > Network. Select the VPN and move the slider to On, then add a VPN configuration with your server and account details.
There are many VPN options available on the web giving you access to international IP addresses. Why would this be useful? Have you ever tried to watch content on sites like Hulu, only to be told that it’s not available in your country? Using a VPN will change that.
5. Reset, reboot, whatever you want to call it
If your iPad locks up or seems to be performing more slowly than usual, you can “reboot” it by holding down the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time. Do so until the Apple symbol pops up on your screen, then let go of both buttons. This should get you back on track.
6. Take an iPad screenshot
You can take a screenshot on your iPad by pressing Home and then the Sleep/Wake button quickly. The screen will flash and you’ll hear a click, indicating that a photo has been taken. Your screen shots are saved automatically in your Photos gallery where you can view them or email them. Note that this even works with the original iPad – you don’t have to have a built-in camera for it to work.
7. Add a Google Calendar
Adding your Google Calendar to the iPad’s Calendar app is very simple. In Settings, open Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Add an account and tap on Other. Tap on Add CalDAV Account and enter your Google Account credentials (the Server is www.google.com). Exit the Settings app and tap on the Calendar app and all your events should appear. By default, all calendars are displayed, but you can tap on the Calendars button to choose which ones are shown.
8. Find My iPhone (or iPad)
Apple’s Find My iPad works for all iCloud users. In Settings > iCloud, enter your Apple ID and then turn Find My iPad on near the bottom of the screen. Now if you lose your iPad, you can go to icloud.com or use Find My iPhone on another device to locate the iPad. If you have a Wi-Fi-only model, it will need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network for this to work.
9. Keyboard tips
This is a great tip for any app, such as Notes, Pages or Mail, where you use the iPad’s virtual keyboard. Rather than having to go to the second screen of the keyboard every time you want to type an apostrophe, just tap and hold on the “!” key and a hidden apostrophe option will appear. All you have to do is just slide your finger up to access it.
You don’t have to change to the iPad’s second keyboard screen to enter a quotation mark either. Simply tap and hold over the “?” key and a quotation symbol appears, which you can select by moving your finger upwards.
Another great keyboard tip for typing in apps such as Pages, Notes or Mail is to double tap the space bar at the end of a sentence. This adds a full stop and a space for you, which can be enormously time-saving when you’re writing long articles.
10. Clear browsing history in Safari
If you want to cover your tracks online, you can delete your Safari browser history in a flash. Just open the Settings app, then tap Safari and tap on Clear History. Note you can also wipe your Cookies and clear your Cache here too. There’s also a Private Browsing mode you can turn on, so your history won’t be tracked. Turn this on in Settings > Safari.