Apple iPad: 10 tips and tricks


If you bought a new iPad yesterday - or even if you have an old one - you might find some useful tips in our guide.

1. Take a screenshot
If you need a screenshot, whether it's to prove your high score in a new game or to send an important chart to the office, taking one is quick and easy. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button (on the top of the iPad, on the right-hand side) and the Home button at the same time. The screenshot will be added to your camera roll.

2. Multi-touch gestures
It won't have escaped your notice that the iPad is a touchscreen device but even those who have mastered swiping, tapping and pinching to zoom often don't know about some of the more complex controls. Turn them on in Settings - General - Multitasking Gestures and then try the following:
- Place four fingers on the screen and swipe upwards to reveal the multitasking bar; swipe down to close it again.
- Swipe left or right with four fingers to switch between apps
- Pinch four fingers together to close the running app and return to the homescreen. Do this very slowly and you can watch the animation as the app fades out and the homescreen fades in. Hours of fun. Probably.

3. Typing tricks
There are several ways to make typing easier on your iPad. Here are a few suggestions:
- Caps Lock: sometimes you need to type all in capitals and hitting Shift before each letter is a pain. Don't worry, Caps Lock is easy: make sure the Caps Lock function is turned on in Settings - General - Keyboard, and then double-tap either shift button whenever you are typing to turn on Caps Lock.
- Hidden punctuation: Apostrophes and speech marks can be fiddly on the iPad's virtual keyboard because they are tucked away on a second keyboard. Or so you would think. In fact, there are shortcuts to both on the main keyboard. Just tap and hold the exclamation mark to get an apostrophe and tap and hold the question mark for speech marks.
- Split the keyboard: It can be hard to type on the iPad when you are holding it in your hands. Apple has an option to make this slightly easier by allowing you to split the keyboard into two. Just place two fingers near the centre of the keyboard and drag them apart. The keyboard will split into two, smaller halves - one on each side of the screen - making it easier to hold the iPad in two hands and type with your thumbsi.
- Shortcuts: If there are certain phrases, names or other terms that you type frequently, you can create shortcuts for them under Settings - General - Keyboard. Type "omw", for example, and the iPad will enter "on my way".

4. Parental controls
Children love iPads and there are some great apps available for children. However, there are plenty of reasons why you might want to control the things your children are able to do with your iPad. You might not want them to have unrestricted access to the web, for example, and it might be irritating if they delete your favourite apps. You certainly don't want to let them loose in the App Store if they're spending on your credit card. All of those things and more can be set within the Settings - General - Restrictions menu. Once set, the Restrictions settings are pin-protected so that only you can change them.

5. Tap titlebar to return to top
Scrolling all the way up to the top of a long page can be irritating. That's why Apple included a shortcut: just tap on the title bar at the top of the screen to automatically jump to the top. This should work across most apps, except for the odd perverse developer who opts to turn it off, thus condemning users to an irritating time swiping screen after screen. I'm looking at you, The New Yorker app.

6. Find text on a page
On a computer CTRL+F is a handy way to find a word or phrase on the page you're reading or in a document. You can do the same thing on an iPad too. Type the word or phrase you are looking for into the search box in the top and if it appears on the page then you will see an 'On This Page' section in the search results. Tap that to see the word highlighted on the page.

7. Conserve battery life
The iPad has pretty impressive battery life: 10 hours should be more than enough between charges for most people. If you are on a very long-haul flight, however, or you need to conserve battery for some other reason, there are a few things you can do. Turning down the brightness (found in the Settings menu) will help, as will switching off 3G, or even going to Airplane mode completely when you don't need any connectivity. If you do need to stay connected, try fetching data less frequently (see Settings: Mail, Contacts and Calendars).

8. Airplay mirroring
One of the best features of the iPad is the ability to mirror the display to a television using AirPlay. You'll need an Apple TV connected to your television for this to work but assuming you have one of those, this is a handy trick for sharing photos with the family or just showing everyone that hilarious video of a skateboarding cat. Here's how it works: first, open the iPad's multitasking menu by swiping upwards with four fingers or double-tapping the home button, then swipe left. You'll see a range of player controls and, if your iPad is on the same WiFi network as an Apple TV, you'll see the AirPlay logo - a rectangle with a black triangle over the bottom edge. Tap that to mirror your screen.

9. Fast app switching
If you have followed the tips above then you will have seen this by now. Switching apps quickly is very easy. It's not necessary to close one app and then scroll through your apps to find the one you want. Just open the iPad's multitasking menu by swiping upwards with four fingers or double-tapping the home button. You'll see all of your recently opened apps. Scroll right and you'll see even more. Just tap the one you want to switch quickly. This is especially useful if you want to copy-and-paste between one app and another. Talking of which...

10. Copy/Paste
This is a tremendously useful feature. If you need to copy text between, say, a document and an email, just tap and hold on the text you want to copy. The word you have tapped will be highlighted and you'll see a bar with a blue circle on it at each end of the word. Drag these bars to select the text you want and then tap 'copy'. Then go to the app you want to paste the text into, tap and hold and then hit 'paste'.

The Telegraph