Clean the screen with a microfiber cloth. Don't use anything else.
Starting our fourth decade: Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously online for 30 years


iPad 101: What newbies need to know

January 5, 2014

By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2014, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2014, The Post-Standard

If grandma didn't get run over by a reindeer and mommy got away with kissing Santa Claus, you may well have an iPad in your family where you had none before. Or -- are we ever a consumer society! -- you have two where you once had one.

Or three where you -- oh, don't get me started.

If you already know how to use that iPad, you can take a break. I'm aiming this week's missive at newcomers. Next week, I'll pick on newbies in the Android world.

I'll be brief.

1. Turn it on and off by touching the little black button near one of the corners. Make it play dead by holding down the button for a long time. Make it come back to life by doing the same thing. (Yup. "Play dead" means it's almost totally off. The iPad's tiny clock keeps running, but that's about all.)

2. Adjust the brightness and other stuff in the settings. A mini version opens when you swipe up from the bottom of the screen. The full Settings app is an icon on your screen.

3. Run an app by touching its icon. Don't poke it. When you want an app you're using to go away, press the Home button.

4. Press the Home button twice to see thumbnails of all the apps that are more or less sleeping. (Surprise! A lot of them might be hiding from you!) To get one of the sleeping apps to come back to life, just touch its thumbnail. To close a sleeping app, swipe its thumbnail up.

5. Did you "buy" a free app that you don't want to keep? Touch the app's icon and hold your finger down until the icon dances. Then touch the "X" button on the icon. Accidentally delete an app you want to keep? Get it again from the App Store. You won't be charged.

6. Clean the screen with a microfiber cloth. Don't use anything else. (Never, ever use a paper towel or a Kleenex-type tissue.) Sprinkle some tiny drops of water on the screen and wipe it dry. You don't need a screen protector.

7. If you don't yet have a case, get one -- but skip any cases (including Apple's) that don't cover the bottom. Your iPad needs that protection.

8. Pads aren't very loud. Get some $5 earbuds from WalMart or Big Lots for much better audio.

9. Don't ever put your iPad on a chair or couch and walk away. Guess what happens when someone sits on it?

10. Charge it up whenever you want to. But don't let the battery drain all the way down if you can help it.