Do You Need An iPad User Manual?

You’ve got a new iPad. Perhaps it’s a first generation, or a subsequent one. It doesn’t really matter for some, as the basics are pretty much the same. There are always those who want the latest in technology, and thus will buy the newest one on the market. For some, getting a newer version might mean being able to do more with an iPad. Yet there are many people who haven’t recognized all the capabilities of the iPad they already have in hand, and upgrading to a newer version won’t change that. The iPad’s capabilities may remain unrecognized for many, in part, because of something discovered when opening a new iPad – there are no printed instruction manuals included. The iPad user guide is available online, but there is no Apple iPad manual included with a new iPad.

The original expectation from Apple upon the iPad’s release was that the iPad would be self-explanatory. Its ease of use would and how to’s would be obvious, which would mean it transcended the need for a user manual, and there would be no need to print and include an iPad help manual with the iPad. The features and how to use them would be automatically known. Apparently, this was neither true nor the best idea, because in less than two months, an official iPad User Guide was released from Apple.

It was available online, and was very comprehensive and detailed, perfect for someone not technology oriented. An iPad instruction manual, in other words, included all the basic iPad instructions for operating the iPad. Since that time, the iPad user manual has been revised for the newer iPads on the market. Video user guides are also available, as are user generated videos on YouTube and other websites. Plus, books have been written, both in print and downloadable, to also supply user instructions for the Apple iPad.

There are those for whom lack of a user manual is equal to lack of use. They need specific instructions for their apple iPads and included features in order to use them. For those people, and also for those who are adept at figuring out how the iPad works without needing a manual, there are still limits. The limits are not in the iPad itself, but rather in the manuals or in what we’ve learned on our own while using the iPads.

Lots of people think an iPad is great for email, watching videos, checking in with Facebook and other social media sites, and perhaps for doing some online window shopping or buying from online venues. Not to mention keeping up with the news, downloading music, pictures, and videos, as well as taking pictures. All this is explained in the iPad user guide that is currently on the Apple website.

The iPad User Guide for iOS 5.1 software covers the directions for use as well as the basics of the iPad, with chapters ranging from Photos, to YouTube, Videos, the iTunes and App Stores, Email, to Settings and the iPad in Business category. But is there more? Can the iPad and all of its features do more than what is covered in the basic instruction manual?

At this point in iPad history, there are many who have been using one for over two years now. And perhaps you are still trying to find what your iPad is really capable of doing. Something this great, something that started a whole new revolution in mobile internet use, must have potential that has yet to be unlocked. Or, maybe it has been unlocked – and each day, users discover more and more capabilities inherent in their iPads. Let’s take a look at some things you might not have known about that can be done with your iPad and it’s many features.

For instance, you can program it for shorthand – your shorthand. The iOS 5 shortcuts lets you add a new shortcut simply by navigating to Settings, General, Keyboard, and then selecting Add New Shortcut. In the Phrase field, type in the phrase, then, in the Shortcut field, your shorthand version. For example, “See you later” becomes “CUlater”.

Want to go faster? Double tap the space bar when typing to have a period followed by a space appear. Like what you see and want to have it among your photos? Take a screenshot easily by pressing the “Home” and “Sleep/wake” buttons simultaneously. The screenshot you’ve just taken will appear with your photos! If you want to email that photo, or any other, open the Photos App and choose a photo. Press the upper right hand corner button that displays a rectangle with right-facing arrow, select “Email photo” – and it’s off! Giant screenshots can also be done.

On the subject of email, if you are listening to a podcast worth sharing with someone, that’s easy to do. While it’s open, the link can be shared simply by pressing the “email” button. Your friend can now also listen to the podcast.

That switch on the side is very useful for disabling or enabling audio alerts. It can also orient the screen to either landscape or portrait mode. From the home screen, open Settings, then General, then choose which function you want at the moment. By the way, fooling with the audio alerts won’t affect any video or audio playback.

There are printing tools and apps that allow files to be downloaded to the iPad, then sent to a printer. There are also many low cost gadgets that can be used with your iPad to enable your device to do much more than it is already doing, such as supercharging your browser, or use USB keyboards not officially supported by iPad. You can also connect USB audio devices such as speakers or headsets.

Using a real keyboard but want to access the virtual one? No problem if you hit the “eject” key on Apple’s physical keyboard. The virtual one will reappear – the one that disappeared when the Bluetooth keyboard was connected to the iPad.

A little bit of research on the internet can yield many other ideas your iPad is capable of doing. The features can be expanded beyond what they were originally intended for. Most of what the iPad can offer above and beyond what one reads in the iPad instructions is easy to do once you know what to do. In this case, you are learning to think not outside the box, but outside the tablet.