You know that your new iPad will let you easily watch movies, browse the Internet, or play games on the go, but plenty of advanced features hidden beneath the surface of iOS can improve your tablet computing experience even further. To help you become an iPad master, we've compiled a handy list of tips and tricks for new iPad users. Read on if you want to learn how to multitask, take screenshots, encrypt your backups, and more.
Set the iPad to self-destruct in 10 seconds: Okay, not really--but you can set the iPad to erase all data after ten failed passcode entry attempts by checking the Erase Data option under Settings, General, Passcode Lock.
Don't let AutoCorrect mess you up: If you don't like the option AutoCorrect gives you, reject it by finishing the word as you prefer, and then tapping the suggestion. If you want to use AutoCorrect's choice, just type a space or punctuation mark, or tap Return, the moment it pops up.
Create custom shortcuts for common phrases: Make AutoCorrect work for you by teaching iOS to transform shorthand (such as "omw") into common phrases (like "on my way") using iOS 5 shortcuts. Simply navigate to Settings, General, Keyboard, and select Add New Shortcut. Type the phrase you want to shorten in the Phrase field, and then type the shortened version you want to use in the Shortcut field.
Download the free iPad User's Guide: You may have noticed that your iPad didn't come with a big printed manual--that's not Apple's style. However, you can download the PDF version of the iPad User's Guide from Apple's website, or you can read it in iBooks if you have that installed (iBooks is available as a free download in the App Store). Make sure to download the manual for the version of iOS you're currently using!
Use the Side Switch: You can use the switch on the side either to enable and disable audio alerts (this doesn't affect video/audio playback) or to lock the screen's orientation in portrait or landscape mode. You can toggle which function is assigned to the switch by opening Settings from the home screen, selecting General, and choosing the function you want under the 'Use Side Switch to' heading.
Speed up your sentences: Double-tapping the spacebar while typing a message will type a period and a space.
Multitask in iOS: You probably already know that you can press the Home button twice to bring up a list of currently running or suspended apps. However, you can also swipe the multitasking bar left to right to quickly access audio/video playback controls, a shortcut to the iTunes app itself, an AirPlay button that lets you wirelessly mirror the iPad display on an Apple TV, and volume controls. Also, when you choose whether the Side Switch should mute alert sounds or lock the screen orientation (see the tip above), the function you didn't choose will appear in this shortcut bar.
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