101 iPad Air Tips & Tricks

Use these iPad tips and tricks to do more with your iPad Air, iPad mini and every other iPad running iOS 8.

This list of over 100 iPad tips and tricks is broken down by tips to help you get started, use the keyboard better, surf the web on the iPad easier, sync your photos, data and calendars as well as get the most out of your iPad with entertainment apps and services.

Whether you just bought an iPad, or you’ve had one for years, these useful iPad tips and tricks will show you new ways to do more with your iPad. Most of these are already built-in to your iPad, but a few will require buying an iPad accessory, iPad apps or signing up for a service.

If you want to get to know how to use the iPad like a pro with useful shortcuts that will have you typing faster, being more productive and enjoying your iPad more, this is what you need to know.

Check out these 101 iPad tips that work on the iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad mini Retina, iPad 4, iPad 3 and iPad 2.

Check out these 101 iPad tips that work on the iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad mini Retina, iPad 4, iPad 3 and iPad 2.

All of these iPad tips and tricks work on all the iPad models Apple sells now, even going far back as the iPad 2. However, you’ll need to be on the latest version of the iPad software for all of these to work, which many users are on.

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If you want to jump to a specific section you can click on the shortcuts below.

  1. iPad Setup Tips
  2. iPad Tips & Tricks for New Users
  3. iPad Keyboard Tips & Tricks
  4. iPad Web Browsing Tips
  5. iPad Camera & Photo Tips
  6. iPad Entertainment Tips
  7. iPad Apps and Organization
  8. Email and FaceTime Tips
  9. Bonus Tips & Tricks

Keep reading to learn how to get the most out of your iPad.

iPad Setup Tips

Watch the video playlist below to see many of these iPad tips and tricks in action.

These iPad tips and tricks will help you setup your new iPad. Forget reading through the iPad user manual, you’ll find everything you need to know right here.

Show iPad Battery Percentage

Set the iPad to show how much battery life is left with a percentage indicator so you know if you have enough power to head out the door or watch another movie. Go to Settings -> General -> Usage -> Battery Percentage -> On.

Use Gestures to Switch Apps & Go to Home Screen

If you want to switch apps, or go to the home screen without hitting the home button, you can use gestures. This lets you pinch in with five fingers from in any app to go to the home screen or swipe with four fingers from left or right to switch between open apps. You can also do a four finger swipe up for multitasking. Turn this on by going to Settings -> General -> Multitasking Gestures -> On.

Quickly Change Settings

You can use Control Center to quickly change many settings like WiFi, Do Not Disturb, Bluetooth and orientation lock. This also lets you launch the calendar, camera and control music. Swipe up from the bottom of any screen, including the lock screen, to change these settings.

Sync Over WiFi

If you don’t want to connect your iPhone to your computer to sync it every time, you can set it up to sync wirelessly to your computer. Plug in and open iTunes -> Click on iPad in the Upper Right -> Click on Sync with this iPad over Wi-Fi and then click Apply. When you are connected to WiFi, and if your computer is awake and your iPad is plugged into power, the iPad will sync.

Change the iPad Wallpaper

You can change the iPad wallpaper to your own photo, or one you find online, to make your iPad easy to identify and personalized. If you have a photo on your iPad go to Photos -> Find the photo you want -> Tap the small box with an arrow pointing up -> Choose Use as Wallpaper -> Choose Lock Screen, Home Screen or Both if you want it to zoom.

Secure the iPad with a Passcode

If you take your iPad out, or just need to keep it secure at home, you should set up a passcode. This is a four digit number that keeps unwanted users from accessing your iPad’s apps and your information. Go to Settings -> Passcode -> Turn Passcode On -> and Enter Passcode twice. If asked you can use it as your iCloud Keychain security code or keep the one you created during that setup.

Manually Change Brightness

Leaving auto brightness on is a good way to keep the iPad battery lasting longer, but if you need to make the screen brighter you can change this with a slider. Pull up the Control Center (swipe from bottom of screen) and move the slider on the right all the way to the right for full brightness, or all the way down for a darker screen that is easier on your eyes.

Make iPad Text Bigger

If the text on the iPad is too small to read easily you can use Accessibility features to make iPad text bigger in most apps. Open Settings -> General -> Text Size -> Drag the slider to make iPad text bigger.

Use these iPad tips and tricks to setup the iPad and connect to your Mac and iPhone.

Use these iPad tips and tricks to setup the iPad and connect to your Mac and iPhone.

Sync with iPhone and Mac

If you want to sync Notes, Reminders and more with your iPhone, Mac and iCloud.com you need to log in to iCloud on the iPad and on your other devices. On the iPad go to Settings -> iCloud -> Login with your Apple ID and password. Make sure Calendars, Reminders, Safari, Notes and more are checked.

Customize Notification Center

Customize your Notification Center on the iPad.

Customize your Notification Center on the iPad.

You can change what you see in the Notification Center so that it better fits your needs. Go to Settings -> Notification Center. On this screen you can customize what is shown in the today view and if you can use them from the lock screen. You can also choose the order for notifications to show up by tapping Edit in the upper right and dragging the apps up or down.

Better iPad Battery Life

iPad battery life is already pretty good, at 10 hours, but if you need to keep the iPad going longer you can use these iPad battery life tips to keep the iPad going longer. It essentially comes down to controlling brightness, limiting sync and a few other small tips.

Find a Lost iPad

When you set up the iPad you should turn on Find my iPad. If you aren’t sure it’s on, go to Settings -> iCloud -> Find My iPad -> On. This will allow you to use a computer or iPhone to track the iPad’s location when it connects to the Internet. You can also use this to sound an alert on the iPad in case you lose it around the house. There is an option in the Find my iPad app that will let you erase a stolen iPad to keep your data safe.

Backup Your iPad

You can choose to backup the iPad to iCloud or to your local computer. If you have enough storage use the iCloud backup option, as it will backup anytime your iPad is connected to WiFi and power. You can go to Settings -> iCloud -> Storage & Backup -> iCloud Backup -> On.  This is a good option, but not perfect for some users that need more than 5GB of storage and who don’t want to pay Apple for more storage.

If you prefer, you can plug-in to the computer and open iTunes. Click on iPad in the upper right and then in the small collection of options click on Backup Now.

iPad Tips & Tricks for New Users

Watch the video playlist below to see many of these iPad tips and tricks geared for new users.

After you get the iPad set up and ready to use, there is still a lot to learn. We’ll run through nearly 20 iPad tips and tricks for new users. Instead of reading through 100 pages of the iPad manual, you can breeze through these tricks that will show you how to use your iPad better and make getting around common iPad activities much easier.

Jump to the Top of Any App

If you want to quickly go back to the top of a webpage, email, Facebook page or any other app on the iPad, don’t bother scrolling up. Instead just tap where the clock is and the page will automatically jump to the very top of any app.

Turn Settings On and Off With Siri

If you need to turn settings on and off regularly you can use Siri to do it. Just hold your home button for a second or two and then say, “Siri Turn WiFi off” or “Turn Bluetooth on.” There are a variety of iPad settings you can control with your voice.

Switch Between Apps

When you need to switch between apps on the iPad you can pull up the multitasking menu with a double tap of the home button or a four finger swipe up from the middle of the screen. This shows your recently used apps. Slide left or right to see more apps and tap on one to open it.

Quickly Close Multiple Apps

After you double tap the home button and see your recently used apps you can close an app. This is a good way to fix an app that is acting strange, without the need to restart your iPad completely. Swipe up from the app card to close one app. You can also swipe up on multiple apps to close more than one app at a time.

iPad Kids Mode

Apple doesn’t offer an easy to use Kids Mode like some other tablets, but there is a way to lock a user to a single app and restrict access to parts of the screen. You can follow the iPad Kids Mode instructions to lock your kid to one app, and to turn off touch on parts of the screen that would let them tap ads or switch to different movies that they shouldn’t be watching.

Search the iPad in an Instant

Use spotlight to search the iPad quickly.

Use spotlight to search the iPad quickly.

The iPad includes Spotlight, an easy tool that can search the entire iPad from your email and contacts to apps, music and more. On the home screen place your finger on the center of the screen and pull down. This brings up a small search box and the keyboard. Start typing and the iPad will instantly show results that match.

Make the iPad Easier on Your Eyes

The iPad settings include several options to make the device easier to use if you have bad eyesight or just have trouble reading the screen. You can go to Settings -> General -> Accessibility and then tap on options that will help you, such as

  • Larger text
  • Bold text
  • Button Shapes
  • Increased Contrast
  • Reduced Motion
  • Labels On or Off

Turn these on and see if  they make using the iPad easier for you.

These iPad Tips and Tricks for new users will help you use the iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Air and iPad mini models.

These iPad Tips and Tricks for new users will help you use the iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Air and iPad mini models.

Take an iPad Screenshot

If you want to share your screen with someone, you can’t offer a live view, but you can take an iPad screenshot by pressing the home and power button at the same time. This will save whatever is on your screen to your Photo app. From there you can share it on Facebook, by email or as a message.

Send Free Messages to Any iPhone or iPad

The Messages app on the iPad allows users to send a free text message to any iPhone or iPad user. This is like a text, but it is called an iMessage. Right now you can only send this to other Apple devices. The iPad knows if another user has an iPhone, iPad or Mac. You can carry on a conversation on iMessage that syncs between an iPhone, iPad and Mac.

Quickly Mute the iPad

If you need to make the iPad stop playing music or audio from a movie you can hold the volume down button and it will quickly mute the iPad. You can also make the  switch above the volume button act as a silence switch to mute notifications by going to Settings -> General -> Use Side Switch To: Mute.

Use Do Not Disturb on the iPad

The iPad features Do Not Disturb mode which allows users to silence notifications and alerts so that they are not an interruption. If the screen is on you will still see notifications, but you can make sure the iPad doesn’t sound a notification even when the screen is on. Turn Do Not Disturb on by pulling up the Control Center (by swiping up from the bottom of the screen) and tapping the moon.

To change settings, go to Settings -> Do Not Disturb -> Scheduled and make it turn on and off at specific times. You can also allow repeated calls and other handy options.

Control Center lets users control Do Not Disturb and Airplane mode.

Control Center lets users control Do Not Disturb and Airplane mode.

Use iPad Airplane Mode

If you fly you will need to turn on Airplane mode, which will turn off the communication part of the iPad. You can manually turn on WiFi later to connect to in flight WiFi if it is available. Pull up the Control Center (by swiping up from the bottom of the screen) and tap on the airplane.

This is also a good way to prevent notifications from interrupting a movie or book you downloaded.

Download an iPad App You Accidentally Deleted

If you download an app and delete it by accident, you can easily re-download it. The fastest way to do this is to search for the app in the app store and tap on the small cloud with an arrow icon to download it. You can also open the App Store, tap on the updates option at the bottom right and then on purchases to look at all your apps, free and paid.

Open a PDF and Save it to Your iPad

You will probably need to open a PDF on the iPad at some point. Just tap on the link to do this from your email or any other app. If you need to save it to the iPad for access later, you will need to open the PDF in Safari, or an app like Dropbox, and click on Open in iBooks to save it locally. Check out this iPad PDF guide for more details.

Get Online Anywhere With your iPhone or Android

If you own a WiFi-only iPad, but you need to get online from almost anywhere, you can connect your iPad to an Android or iPhone on many carriers and share the internet connection. You need to make sure you have a hotspot feature on your plan first. Shared data plans include this on most carriers, and if not you can add a hotspot feature while you travel and turn it off later without changing your contract.

The guides above show you how to use the personal hotspot on popular devices.

Lock the iPad to Landscape or Portrait Orientation

If the iPad keeps switching the screen from portrait to orientation while you are trying to read, game or watch a movie, you can lock the orientation. You can go into Settings -> General and make the switch on the side of the iPad do this or you can swipe up to open the Control Center and tap on the lock with a circular arrow icon.

Add Google Calendar to Your iPad

It is pretty easy to connect iCloud to your iPad, but using your Google Calendar is a still something that you can do. This is great if you also use an Android phone or just really love using Gmail and Google Calendar integration.

Go to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> Add Account -> Tap on Gmail. From here you need to enter your name, email and password. On the next screen make sure the ‘Calendars’ option is checked.

Share Your Calendar with Friends and Family

If you want to share your iCloud calendar with friends and family you can easily do that so you have your iPhones, iPads and Macs all in sync.

Open the Calendar app -> Tap on Calendars at the bottom -> Tap on the i to the left of the iCloud calendar you want to share -> Tap Add Person and enter an email address.

Fix a Frozen iPad

If you are using the iPad and it freezes up, and will not let you use the home button to leave an app or to do anything, you need to reset the iPad. If you were typing an email you may lose that message, but this does not erase your iPad. Hold the power and home button for about 10 seconds to reset a frozen iPad.

iPad Keyboard Tips & Tricks

Watch the video playlist below to see many of these iPad tips and tricksthat will help you type faster on the iPad.

Using the iPad keyboard is as simple as tapping on a letter, but there are several iPad keyboard tips and tricks that will help you type faster, more efficiently and use an external keyboard when you need to type for more than a few minutes. We’ll also show you an easier way to type when you are standing or holding the iPad with two hands.

Split & Undock the iPad Keyboard

If you are standing or holding the iPad while you type, it can be difficult to reach the letters you need to press. You can tap and hold the keyboard icon in bottom right to undock or split the keyboard. If you tap, hold and drag up you’ll undock and split the keyboard, moving it to the middle of the screen and separating it for faster thumb typing. You can also choose to undock only, if you need to move the full size keyboard up the screen.

Use an iPad Bluetooth Keyboard

If you need to type even faster than these iPad keyboard tips and tricks let you, grab a Bluetooth keyboard.

If you need to type even faster than these iPad keyboard tips and tricks let you, grab a Bluetooth keyboard.

For long typing sessions nothing beats a good iPad Bluetooth keyboard. If you own a Bluetooth keyboard for your Mac or Windows computer you can use it with the iPad as well. Go to Settings -> Bluetooth -> Tap on the Device to add it as a keyboard for your iPad. Here are more details on the setup process.

The links above show popular iPad Bluetooth keyboard cases that offer protection, a stand and long battery life.

Use Shortcuts for Common Phrases

If you need to say the same thing over and over in messages or emails you can set up shortcuts to turn an abbreviation into a full phrase or sentence. It’s perfect for your email address, physical address, phone number and common responses. Go to Settings -> General -> Keyboard -> Add New Shortcut. After you enter the phrase and the shortcut you can type the shortcut in any text field. Hit space and it should enter the full text.

Faster Access to Punctuation and Numbers

Instead of tapping on the .?123 and then tapping on the number or punctuation you need, you can tap, hold and slide to character you need. This is faster than the tap and hunt method, and once you teach yourself to do this you will be able to type faster on the iPad.

Use Emoji on iPad

If you want to add emoticons or emoji on iPad devices, you can go to Settings -> General -> Keyboard -> Keyboards -> Add New Keyboard -> Emoji. This will allow you to tap on a small globe icon on the keyboard and see a range of Emoji characters that you can type into almost any text field.

Quick Apostrophe

If you want to enter an apostrophe without using the punctuation keys, you can tap and hold on the ! and slide up to access an apostrophe. Perfect for those times that autocorrect doesn’t know you need one.

Check out these iPad tips for the keyboard.

Check out these iPad tips for the keyboard.

Select the Text You Want

If you need to select text to copy, or to write on top of, you can tap and hold on one word. The iPad will select that word and then you can drag the small lines with dots to the right and left to select the text you need. If you select a single word you can copy or define it with a dictionary lookup. You can also copy a line or block of text to use in another app or field.

Put the Cursor Right Where You Need it

Getting the iPad cursor right where you need it is tough if you are just tapping and hoping. If you tap and hold it will show you a small magnifying glass and allow you to drag across the text until the cursor is where you need it.

Use Caps Lock on iPad

Instead of hitting the shift key for every capital letter you need to type on the iPad, you can use caps lock. To turn on caps lock on the iPad double tap the shift key. When you are done, tap the shift key again and you’ll go back to lowercase.

Turn Off Keyboard Sounds

If you are driving yourself, and others around you, crazy with keyboard sounds every time you type something on the iPad you can turn off the constant clicking noises without silencing your iPad. Go to Settings -> Sounds -> Keyboard Clicks -> Off. Silent typing can now begin.

Add a Period and a Space Fast

When you need to end a sentence and start a new one you don’t need to tap on the period and then on the space bar. A double tap on the space bar should automatically enter a period and a space. If it doesn’t go to Settings -> General -> Keyboard -> “.” Shortcut -> On. 

Enter .com and More In a Second

If you need to enter the .com or similar part of a web address you can save yourself from typing it by pressing and holding the ‘.’ on the keyboard. This will open a list of .com, .net, .org, .edu and .us addresses. For .com just let go, for the others slide over to the word and then let go.

Shake to Undo Typing

If you enter text that you don’t want in that text box you can shake the iPad to delete the text. This can delete a lot of text, so don’t use it in a long email or document. It’s better for status updates and messages. After you shake it will ask if you want to undo typing, so you don’t need to worry about accidental shakes wiping a document clean.

Hide the Keyboard

If the keyboard is in the way when you are trying to fill a form on the iPad, or use an app or webpage, you can tap on the small keyboard icon in the lower right to hide the keyboard from the screen. Tap on any text box to bring it back.

iPad Web Browsing Tips

Watch the video playlist below to see iPad tips and tricks for Safari.

Safari is how most users browse the web on the iPad, and this collection of iPad web browsing tips will walk you through using Safari smarter on the iPad.

Save a Website to your Desktop

If you want to go to a website frequently you can add it to your iPad home screen, just like an app. This will not save a local copy to your iPad, but it does make opening your favorite website easier. Go to the website you want to save -> Tap on the small box with an arrow at the top of the screen -> Tap on Add to Home Screen in the lower part of options. Enter the name for the website and tap on Add.

Use Gestures in Safari

When you are in Safari on the iPad you can swipe from the left side of the screen to the right and go back one screen. This is on by default, so you can just swipe with one finger and it will take you back one page.

Sync Your Passwords with iPhone or Mac

If you use iCloud Keychain you can sync passwords between Safari on your Mac, iPhone and iPad. This is a nice way to use strong passwords, and avoid typing in a 14 character password all the time. Go to Settings -> iCloud -> iCloud KeyChain On. You may need to verify your account through a notification on your other devices. Once this is set up you will get notifications about saving your password when you are in Safari. To see what is stored and what all you can do go to Settings > Safari -> Passwords & Autofill. This can also let you save a credit card to be entered into online shopping. Make sure you use a passcode on your iPad with this feature enabled.

Use iCloud and iCloud Keychain to sync passwords across Mac, iPad and iPhone.

Use iCloud and iCloud Keychain to sync passwords across Mac, iPad and iPhone.

Use an iPad VPN Service

You may need to use a VPN to bypass blackout restrictions in a streaming service or to connect to a work network. Whatever the reason you can go to Settings -> General -> VPN and then enter the information provided by a VPN service to get connected. The second part of this article walks through the rest of the setup.

Open Tabs from Mac or iPhone on the iPad

If you use Safari to browse the web you can open up tabs from your Mac or iPhone while using your iPad. Open Safari and then tap on the cloud to the right of the address bar. This will show tabs open on your iPhone, Mac or other iPads on your account. Tap on any of these pages to load a copy on your iPad. The same icon lets you pick up on your iPad tabs on other devices.

Read Popular Links from Twitter

If you use Twitter and link your account to the iPad you can easily find links shared by people you follow. This is a nice way of avoiding all the conversations and simply diving in to see the links people are sharing. In Safari tap on the bookmarks icon to the right of the address bar. Then tap on the ‘@’ symbol to the right of that section. Here you will see tweets containing links and can load them in Safari with a tap.

Use these iPad Tips and tricks to master web surfing in Safari on the iPad.

Use these iPad Tips and tricks to master web surfing in Safari on the iPad.

Find Your Bookmarks and Reading List

Instead of tapping on the @ symbol you can use the Bookmarks icon to access your favorites from the iPad, iPhone and Mac as well as quickly access your Reading List. When you see a link you want to read later you can add it to the Reading List from any of your devices. When you scroll all the way to the bottom of something on your reading list you can keep scrolling through to the next item.

iPad Private Browsing Mode

If you need to go into private mode on the iPad you can hide your activity from the iPad history and from other users on your iPad. This can be to hide a website you enjoy but don’t want to share, or even to hide your browsing for someone’s birthday gift. In Safari tap on the ‘+’ in the upper right. Then tap on Private in the lower left corner. Make sure you close this tab when you are done.

Search with Bing or Yahoo

The iPad searches with Google by default, but you can change it to Bing or Yahoo if you prefer to use either of those search engines. Go to Settings -> Safari -> Search Engine -> pick your search engine.

Block Adult Websites on the iPad

If you want to block adult websites on the iPad, and other questionable sites, you can do this in the settings. This will work for every user of the iPad, even when the iPad is connected to another network. Go to Settings -> General -> Restrictions -> Enter passcode. Don’t use the same passcode you use to unlock the iPad. Scroll down and tap on Websites and choose Limit Adult content. If you want to restrict things further you can limit users to specific webpages only.

Search a Webpage for Text

If you land on a long webpage and need to search it for a specific word you can tap on the address bar and type the word you want to search the page for. Instead of tapping on the search options, scroll to the bottom and it will show you that word On This Page. Tap on Find “word” and you can then use arrows to scroll back and forth between the search results on the page.

iPad Camera & Photo Tips

Watch the video playlist below to see iPad tips and tricks to take better photos.

The iPad isn’t the best camera you’ll carry if you also own an iPhone or another smartphone, but if you want to use it to take photos here are some tips and tricks you can use. Just make sure you don’t block someone’s view with the big display when you hold it up to take a picture. This will also help you get all of your photos on the iPad, even the ones you take on your iPhone or Android.

Use Headphones to Take a Photo

If the iPad is sitting on a table and you need to take a photo without touching the iPad’s screen, you can press the volume up button on a pair of Apple headphones. This also works on some Bluetooth headphones as a wireless shutter.

Automatically Sync iPhone Photos to the iPad

If you take a lot of photos on the iPhone, make sure Photo Stream is turned on and the photos will show up on your iPad after you take them on the iPhone. Go to Settings -> iCloud -> Photo Stream -> On to make this work on your iPhone and iPad. After it is set up you can go to Photos and tap on Albums and then on My Photo Stream.

Use the iPad as a Digital Picture Frame

You can make a slideshow of any photo album on your iPad. Open Photos and then tap on the album you want to use. Tap on Slideshow at the top of the screen. Choose a transition and music, then tap Start Slideshow. This will keep the iPad cycling through photos until it gets to the end of that album. If you pair it with a nice stand you have a handy photo frame to put up when you don’t need the iPad in your hand.

Take Better Looking Photos with the iPad

You can use HDR mode to take better looking photos on the iPad. This will take several photos at different exposures and then combine them into one photo that offers a better range of light. In the camera app tap on HDR On to turn the feature on. This won’t magically make your photos look like a masterpiece, but it is a handy way to take better looking iPad photos.

Take a better looking photo with the iPad.

Take a better looking photo with the iPad.

Save a Photo to Your Camera Roll

If you want to save a photo from the web to send in a text message, or post to Facebook, you can tap and hold on the image in Safari. After a second or two an option will appear to let you Save Image or Copy. If you just want to paste it into a message you can copy, but if you want to post it or keep it for a background tap on Save Image.

Tap to Set Focus and Exposure

When you are taking a photo you can tap on the screen to set the focus point and exposure. This will help you focus on the person or object you want and pick the lighting you need for a good photo. If you tap and hold on a spot the box will expand three times and then lock the exposure and focus in one spot so it won’t change as you move the camera around. Tap anywhere else to unlock the exposure and focus.

Connect a Camera or SD Card to the iPad to Import Photos

If you buy the Lightning to USB adapter or Lightning to SD Card adapter for new iPads you can connect a camera or an SD card to the device. From there you can see your photos on the bigger display, import them, edit with iPad apps, share on Facebook and Twitter or more. This is an easy way to bring your photos and videos from a camera to the iPad without a computer in the mix. For the iPad 2 and iPad 3, Apple sells an iPad Camera Connection kit with both included.

iPad Entertainment Tips

The iPad is a great companion for watching movies, listening to music and playing games. Here are a collection of great iPad tips and tricks for optimizing your downtime.

Headphone Music and Movie Controls

Apple headphones, and others, come with volume and a button allow users to control music and movies. You can always move the volume up and down, but that’s not all. When listening to music, press the middle button to play or pause a song. You can double tap it to skip tracks. While watching a movie you can use these controls to pause and play as well. This works in dedicated movie apps like Netflix and many others.

Connect Your iPad to a HDTV (iPad to HDMI)

If you want to use your iPad to watch movies, and more, on a bigger screen, you can buy a Lighting to HDMI adapter that lets you plug in to an HDMI cable and then into a monitor, projector or HDTV. This is handy if you are traveling and want to use a hotel HDTV to watch Netflix, or if you just need to watch a movie on a spare TV at home.

Mirror the iPad to an Apple TV

If you don’t want to use a wired connection you can use AirPlay to mirror the iPad’s screen, or video content, to an Apple TV with no wires. You need an Apple TV connected to WiFi and an HDTV. Once the iPad is on the same WiFi network you can hit the small Box with an arrow icon that is normally in the bottom right of your iPad and choose Apple TV from the selection. That’s how you do it for a movie or video. If you want to show the entire iPad screen you can swipe up from the bottom of the screen top, open Control Center and then tap on AirPlay and Apple TV.

Turn on Captions

If you want to see captions while you are watching movies you can go to Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> Subtitles & Captioning -> Closed Captions + SDH -> On. This turns captions on in movies from iTunes and in apps that can detect this setting.  Turning this on also enabled captions in Netflix in our test.

Control Apple TV With an iPad

If you own an Apple TV you can download the Remote iPad app and use the iPad as a giant touchscreen remote control. It will only control your Apple TV, but it makes typing in any passwords or searching for programs way easier than using an old-fashioned remote. Just download the Remote app, open it and you can control it instantly.

Rent Movies on iPad Cheaper, and for Longer

This is a better way to rent movies on the iPad.

This is a better way to rent movies on the iPad.

If you don’t want to use iTunes to rent movies on the iPad you can also use Google Play and Amazon Videos. Both of these services offer a 48 hour rental for most movies, a full day longer than Apple gives users. There are also often sales on these stores that can help you save a few bucks here and there.

Download the apps above and sign in to your Amazon or Google account. You’ll need to rent the video in Safari or on your computer browser, but after you pay for it, the video will show up. Play Movies only offers streaming, but Amazon will let you download a rental to watch offline.

Custom EQ for Better Music

You can change the Equalizer on the iPhone to make your music sound better, or at least sound how you want it to. Go to Settings -> Music => EQ and then you can pick a setting that you like.

Watch YouTube Videos & Upload to YouTube

You can watch YouTube videos in your browser, but they will look a lot better in the YouTube app, and you can also upload videos to YouTube.

Download the YouTube iPad app and you can sign in to see your YouTube channels, rentals that stream from YouTube, popular YouTube videos and more.

Download the free YouTube Capture app to take videos on the iPad and upload them to your YouTube channel with streamlined titles, tags and uploading.

Use Bluetooth Headphones with the iPad

An iPad is a pain to carry around while you listen to music and you may not want to use a speaker to go wireless. Instead, a good pair of Bluetooth headphones allow you to walk around the house or yard without wires or carrying the iPad with you. When you turn Bluetooth headphones on for the first time they will attempt to pair. Go to Settings -> Bluetooth and tap on the name of the headphones to connect them.

Read Magazines on the iPad

If you want to read magazines on the iPad, Apple makes it easy with the NewsStand and many apps that allow you to register your paper magazine subscription and download a digital version to take with you.

If you want to use the Newsstand to subscribe to magazines on the iPad you need to open the App Store -> Tap on Newsstand at the top of the screen and then on a category or the main screen to see magazines. Most offer a sample subscription so you can see if you like reading magazines on the iPad before you buy.

If you need a specific magazine you can search the app store for that name, and if it is a popular magazine it may have its own app.

Watch Live TV on iPad

If you pay for Cable TV you can probably watch live TV on your iPad and iPad mini. You’ll need to know the login information for your cable or satellite company and you’ll also need to download one of these Live TV iPad Apps.  After you download the app, login and look for the live TV option. Some may include restrictions to only watch at home, but others will allow you to watch from anywhere.

Watch Your DVDs on the iPad

If you already own a lot of movies on DVD, and want to be able to watch them on your iPad, you will need to convert the DVD to an iPad playable file. You will need a DVD drive on your computer, a few cheap or free apps and storage space.

Follow this guide to save a DVD to your Mac and then convert it to one you can play on your iPad. After you rip a DVD to your hard drive you can import it to iTunes and transfer it to your iPad to watch later.

Read eBooks from Amazon Kindle

iBooks is a popular place to buy ebooks for the iPad, but if you may leave the iPad at some time, or need to also sync your books to your Windows computer, Android or other device, you can use the Kindle App to read ebooks you buy in the browser from Amazon.

Download Kindle for iPad and then go to your browser to buy books. Any purchases can show up in the device and you can add a book to your wishlist from the Kindle app, but you cannot buy from inside the Kindle iPad app.

iPad Apps and Organization

Learn how to use Siri better and to take control of iPad apps.

Learn how to use Siri better and to take control of iPad apps.

Apps make the iPad great. Here are seven ways to organize your apps, do more with popular iPad apps and use Siri on your iPad.

Open an App With Siri

If you want to open an app on the iPad you can use Siri to do this without searching all over for the app. Just hold down the home button for about two seconds and then say, “Open App Name” to quickly open an app you already have installed. Unfortunately, you can’t use Siri inside apps like Spotify or Netflix, but at least you can open the app.

Get Walking Directions By Default

If you use Apple Maps to get around, and normally use walking directions, you can make the device give you those by default. Go to Settings -> Maps -> Preferred Directions – Walking. After this, you’ll get directions for walking instead of driving.

Save Maps for Offline Use Google Maps

If you want to take a map offline to use when you aren’t on WiFi you’ll need to download the Google Maps app for the iPad. Zoom to get the city or neighborhood you want to save to the iPad and then tap on the search bar. Type in OK Maps. You’ll see an option to Save the offline map in the upper left and then an option to name it. After you do this, you’ll have maps available when you are not connected to WiFi. The map is only saved for 30 days, and sadly does not include the option to search for places while offline. You can refer to it, but directions are not incredibly useful. Here’s more on using offline maps.

Ask Siri for Directions

Hold the home button to activate Siri and say “I need directions” and say the street address or a place. Siri will search for the place and then open it up in Apple Maps with route options available. Tap Start to get going.

Automatically Download Music, Apps Books and Data

If you frequently download apps, music and books on your iPhone or Mac, you can tell the iPad to automatically download them so that you don’t need to wait when you are ready to use the app on your iPad later. Go to Settings -> iTunes & App Store -> Automatic Downloads -> choose the items you want to automatically download.

Edit Microsoft Office Word and more

Apple offers a collection of office style apps, but if you use the iPad for work you’ll want to download the Office for iPad apps to work on documents that co-workers and clients share. here is a review of Office for iPad to help you understand what it can do.

You need an Office 365 subscription, which retails for $99, but you can order a code on Amazon for $72 if you want to save and can wait for the delivery.

Put Six Apps in the iPad Dock

The iPad dock comes with four apps on it, just like the iPhone. But you can add two more apps to it. Tap and hold on an app until they all start to wiggle. While holding, drag the app to the dock and let go.  You can use this method to move other apps to the dock and to remove an item from the dock. You can also add a folder of icons to the dock.

Email and FaceTime Tips

The iPad is a great way to communicate with your friends, family and even you boss or co-workers. Here are seven tips to use the iPad for productivity and communication.

Make a FaceTime Audio Call

If you want to use the iPad as a phone, you can do pretty much that if you are calling an iPad, iPhone or Mac. You can make a FaceTime Audio call which uses WiFi or LTE to call someone using the FaceTime app, without the hassle of video.

Open the FaceTime app, find a contact you want to call with FaceTime Audio. Tap on the contact and then on the small phone next to FaceTime. You can also do this from inside messages or anywhere you see the contact info for most users.

Set Favorite Contacts

If you routinely FaceTime with a contact you can add them to your Favorites. This will make it easy to find them, and allow FaceTime calls to come through while the iPad is in Do Not Disturb, if you choose.

Open the FaceTime app -> Tap on Favorites -> tap the ‘+’ at the top of the screen ->Tap on a contact -> Choose FaceTime Audio or FaceTime for the option. Once the person is added you can call them faster from the Favorites menu.

Set Mail VIPS

If you want to get notifications for email from specific users, but not for every email you can add a Mail VIP. Open the Mail App -> Go to Mailboxes on the left side of the screen -> Tap on the ‘i’ to the right of VIP. Tap on Add VIP and pick the contacts you want alerts for.

After you add your Mail VIPs, tap on the VIP alerts and the app will transfer you to Notification Settings. Tap on Mail and then VIP. Pick the sounds, and types of alerts and you are good to go.

Check out these iPad tips to FaceTime and email like a pro.

Check out these iPad tips to FaceTime and email like a pro.

Check your Email

If you want to check your email on the iPad you will need to add an account. It is easy to add your personal account.

Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars – > Add Account -> Tap on the account you want to add. 

From there it is as simple as entering your username and password for most email addresses. If you need to connect your work email that is using Exchange you will need to ask IT for instructions. Sometimes this requires a stronger password on the iPad.

Change your Email Signature

Skip the “Sent from my iPad” signature and add your name, title and contact info instead. To change the email signature in Mail on the iPad go to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Then Tap on Signature and enter a new signature.

You can make one for all accounts or create a different one for each of your email accounts.

Make a Video Call on the iPad

If you want to call someone with a Mac, iPhone or iPad you can use the built-in FaceTime app to do that. Open FaceTime, tap on a Contact and tap on the camera icon next to FaceTime.

If they have an Android device or a Windows computer, and use Gmail, you can download Hangouts for the iPad. This free app lets you make video calls to other Gmail users for free. Just tap on their name and then on the camera icon to start a Hangout video call.

See more of your Email

If you want to see more of your email in a preview you can change the settings to show up to five lines. Go to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> Preview -> Choose up to five lines of text for preview. This will show fewer messages on-screen at a time, but more info on each message so you can decide if it is important without opening it.

Bonus Tips & Tricks

In addition to everything we’ve already shown you, here are several bonus iPad tips and tricks that will help you enjoy your iPad even more.

Share Files Wirelessly with AirDrop

Use AirDrop to wirelessly share a file from iPad to iPhone or another iPad.

Use AirDrop to wirelessly share a file from iPad to iPhone or another iPad.

You can wirelessly share files from your iPad to the iPhone, or from iPhone to iPad, using AirDrop. When two devices are near each other you will see an option to share via AirDrop. This is normally available for photos and webpages, but you’ll also see it from the small share box in other places.

Tap on a photo you want to share in the Photos app -> Tap share in the lower left -> You should see an icon under Airdrop if there is a compatible device nearby. Tap on the user to share. This only works with the iPad 4, iPad Air, iPad mini and iPad mini Retina, as well as with the iPod touch 5th gen, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s.

Tweet or Update Facebook with Siri

If you have your twitter and Facebook accounts connected to the iPad you can hold the home button and say “post to Facebook” or “Post to Twitter.” Siri will then ask what you want to say, and you can dictate the message you want to share.

Use the iPad with Hearing Aids

There are seven types of iPad hearing aids that are designed to work with the iPhone and iPad. If you own one of these brands you can pair them to the iPad like a Bluetooth headphone and then control the volume for each ear. You can even set the device in front of someone for a live listen feature that helps you hear what someone is saying. Check out more about the Made for iPhone and iPad hearing aids.

This iPad tip turns the iPad into a second display for your Mac or Windows notebook or desktop.

This iPad tip turns the iPad into a second display for your Mac or Windows notebook or desktop.

Use the iPad as a Second Display for your Mac or PC

If you want to add a second monitor to your Mac or PC you can download Air Display 2, a $10 app that turns the iPad into a second display.

After you download the app for the iPad, you need to run a program on your Mac or PC that will connect the two devices and you can then use the iPad as a wireless monitor for your Mac or PC. Avatron includes more details on setup and any troubleshooting, but in our experience it is pretty easy to use.

Connect to Twitter and Facebook

If you want to share to Facebook or twitter from the iPad you should connect the accounts to your iPad. This is essential to sharing photos from the photos app and asking Siri to update your social network statuses.

Go to Settings -> Twitter or Settings -> Facebook and login with your email or username and password.

This is a good idea to do, even if you use another app like Tweetbot for Twitter, as it simplifies sharing photos and web pages.

Charge the iPad Faster

if you want to charge the iPad faster you should turn on airplane mode. This will help it charge slightly faster than it will with all radios running. You won’t notice a dramatic change in speed, but if you are pressed for time it will help. You should also make sure you charge it with the adapter that it came with, not just any USB adapter, since Apple provides one that can supply more energy than a typical USB charger.

Find Your Friends

If you install the Find My Friends app you can use the iPad to track down your fiends and family members, as long as they give you permission to track them. Download the Find My Friends App and log in with iCloud. Tap on Add -> Friends -> enter names, email addresses or phone numbers. They need to use an iPhone or iPad and they will need to grant you permission.

After you have permission you can look at the map to see where people are, or you can ask Siri, “Where is my wife?” for a faster lookup.

Add Storage to the iPad

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If you need more storage to carry your movies and photos with you on the iPad you can buy a wireless hard drive that connects to the iPad and streams your movies, iTunes rentals and photos to the iPad even when you are driving down the highway. You can go with an option like MobileLite or pick up a LaCie Fuel to really add the storage you want to the iPad.

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