APPLE ANNOUNCED THE ORIGINAL iPad on January 27, 2010, and the technology world hasn’t been the same since. Customers rushed to buy the tablet, snapping up more than 300,000 the day it went on sale. Competitors rushed to copy it, with Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Motorola, Amazon, and others creating their own variations on the app-friendly touchscreen device.
In the fall of 2012, Apple released the fourth generation of the iPad and the first version of its smaller sidekick, the iPad Mini. Building on its success with the original iPad, the iPad 2, and the third-gen iPad with Retina display, this latest pair of iPads adds zippier WiFi performance, FaceTime HD cameras for videochats, and the new Lightning connector for charging and syncing.
Apple has now sold more than 100 million iPads. So why has its tablet proven so popular, even as competitors stampede to put their own interpretations in stores? One theory: It’s a mobile world, and a thin Internet-connected device that can expertly handle communications, entertainment, and school/business tasks—and look extremely stylish to boot—is going to be a winner.
You can add to that Apple’s new emphasis on the “post-PC” world, where you don’t have to connect your iPad to your computer to set it up, fill it up, or back it up. The arrival of Apple’s iCloud service in 2011 means that your iPad can be your primary window to the Internet for work, play, and cat videos—no heavy, bulky laptop needed, because you’re living in an airy ecosystem where all your stuff is safely online, Up There if you need it.
And thanks to the 275,000 third-party tablet-specific apps already available, the iPad can move beyond being just a platter that serves up media and Web content. In fact, it can pretty much be whatever you want it to be.
Come to think of it, that’s probably why it’s so popular.
The small card that Apple includes with each iPad is enough to get your tablet up and running, charged, and ready to frolic on the Web. But you probably want to know more about all the great things it can do and where to find its coolest features. This book gives you more iPad info than that wee card. It’s neatly organized by task and topic, and it has nice big color pictures.
Throughout this book, and throughout the Missing Manual series, you’ll find sentences like this one: “Tap Home→Setting→General→iTunes Wi-Fi Sync→Sync Now.” That’s shorthand for a longer series of instructions that go something like this: “From the iPad’s Home screen, tap the Settings icon to go the Settings screen. On the Settings screen, tap iTunes Wi-Fi Sync and then, on the screen that appears, press the Sync Now button.” Our shorthand system keep things more snappy than these long, drawn-out instructions.
You’ll learn how to interact with your iPad using its touchscreen in Chapter 2, but you need to be familiar with a few desktop computer terms and concepts, too, so you can use iTunes, the iPad’s media manager:
Clicking. To click means to point the arrow cursor at something on the screen and then to press and release the button on the mouse (or laptop trackpad). To double-click, of course, means to click twice in rapid succession, again without moving the cursor. To drag means to move the cursor while pressing the button. On the iPad itself, a finger tap functions like a computer mouse click.
When you’re told to Ctrl+click something on a Windows PC, or ⌘-click something on the Mac, you click while pressing the Ctrl or ⌘ key (both of which you can find near each computer’s space bar).
Menus. The menus are the words at the top of your screen: File, Edit, and so on. Click one to make a list of commands appear, as though they’re written on a window shade you just pulled down.
Keyboard shortcuts. Jumping up to menus in iTunes takes time. That’s why you’ll find keyboard quickies that perform the same functions sprinkled throughout this book—Windows shortcuts first, followed by Mac shortcuts in parentheses, like this: “To quickly summon the Preferences box, press Ctrl+comma (⌘-comma).”
If you’ve mastered this much information, you have all the technical background you need to enjoy iPad: The Missing Manual.
This book helps you get the most out of your iPad. As you read through it, you’ll find references to websites that offer additional resources. Each reference includes the site’s URL, but you can save yourself some typing by going to this book’s Missing CD page at http://missingmanuals.com/cds/ipadmm5e/. There, you’ll find clickable links to the sites mentioned in this book.
The Missing CD page also offers corrections and updates to the book. To see them, click the View Errata link. You’re invited to submit corrections and updates yourself by clicking “Submit your own errata” on the same page. To keep this book as up to date and accurate as possible, each time we print more copies, we’ll make any confirmed corrections you’ve suggested.
While you’re online, you can register this book at www.oreilly.com/register. Registering means we can send you updates about the book, and you’ll be eligible for special offers, like discounts on future editions of the iPad Missing Manual.
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