Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Beginner's Guide to Your New iPad

There’s nothing like that first euphoric moment just after unboxing your new iPad Air or Retina iPad mini.What usually follows is five to 10 minutes of marveling over the care and consideration Apple design chief Jony Ive put into the packaging. That includes playing with those tiny plastic doodads you’ll inevitably have to discard at some point.But that was all just a tease leading up to the good stuff. Finally, after all the highfalutin commercial spots, media hype about supply shortages and unsuccessful attempts by competitors to sully the iPad's image, you finally have one of your very own. Now you’re just wondering how to harness all that pencil-thin tablet power sitting in your hands.Rest assured, we have several suggestions designed to get you successfully up and running with the most popular tablet on the market.The good news: Aside from certain size-dependent apps, the setup and experience for the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini are almost identical. To keep things simple, we’ll focus on those with a Wi-Fi version of the device.After selecting your language and country preferences, pick a Wi-Fi network and enable your location services. Then, you’ll be prompted to either sign up for iCloud (Apple’s online backup storage service) or sign into your existing iCloud account. Of course, you also have the option of simply ignoring this prompt, after which you can immediately begin using your iPad.

Apple’s iOS 7 comes with a wealth of preinstalled services, including iWork and iLife, which offer a wide array of productivity and communication tools. But when it comes to apps, everyone has a different idea of "essential." We suggest the following if you truly want to boost the functionality of your new tablet.Google Maps: Yes, Apple has its own maps app, which is quite beautiful. But let’s be honest, when you’re on the go,wheel balancer you don’t have time for "good enough" — you want the best. Google Maps (free in the Apple app store) is one of the top mobile map solutions for iOS.Twitter: Just a few years ago,MB STAR it would have been a stretch to call Twitter an essential app. But with this free app, the 24/7 news cycle is just a tap away, and it's an easy way to share your story if you find yourself a witness to a major event.tire changer (Personally, I prefer Tweetbot ($2.99), which offers more functionality, but either will serve your tweeting needs just fine.)GoodReader: Using the iPad like a traditional laptop or desktop can be frustrating due to its mobile-first operating system, which doesn’t offer a robust file management system. GoodReader ($4.99) stores PDFs, books, images and a wide range of text documents in a file system similar to that of a traditional desktop or laptop operating system. If you’re managing serious text and documents on the iPad, especially if you aren’t using a cloud service, GoodReader can be a lifesaver.Lookout: Apple packed a lot of power into the iPad’s svelte design, making it one of the most powerful, light and thin tablets on the market. Unfortunately, that enhanced portability also means that the iPad is pretty easy to lose while traveling or commuting. Lookout is a free app that helps you find a lost device by sounding an alarm and automatically backing up your contacts.

Apple also offers Find My iPhone, another useful security app. However, Apple’s app requires the use of iCloud, a stipulation that could hold back users uninterested in opting into Apple’s cloud storage system.Now that we have the essentials out of the way, it's time time to have some fun. Of the over 350,000 native iPad apps in Apple's App Store, you'll never run out new games, productivity tools and utility apps to try on your own, but before you dive in, we recommend that you give these popular apps a try first.YouTube: Like Google Maps, YouTube is no longer a native part of iOS, but it's still one of the best ways to watch and share videos on your iPad. The iOS 7 version of the free app is extremely slick and shows off just how much work Google put into streamlining its suite of apps.Skype: Walking around with the thin slab in your hands and talking to someone on the other side of the world is like holding a magic mirror. It’s a free download, so you have no excuse for not experimenting with the video messaging app.

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