This article was originally written for iOS 6. However, most of these tips still work in exactly the same way.
Even though you can pick up an iPad and start using it immediately, without instruction, there are tips and tricks that will make you much more productive. This short article shows you 10 Power User Tips for the iPad.
1) TURN ON MULTI-TASKING GESTURES
If you don’t have multi-tasking enabled on your iPad, stop reading and enable it right now!
Tap the Settings icon, then go to General in the left hand pane. Scroll almost to the bottom in the right hand pane and slide the Multitasking Gestures switch to “On.”
This will enable a series of very useful gestures and functions.
2) PINCH TO CLOSE
Of course you can always return to the Home screen by clicking the Home button. But sometimes it is easier to just do it with a pinch gesture.
Open your hand wide, placing the thumb at the bottom of the screen and your other four fingers at the top. Now bring all five fingers together in the pinch gesture.
Whatever app is open will close and you’ll be returned to the Home screen.
3) SWIPE UP TO REVEAL THE MULTI-TASKING BAR
Use all four fingers (no thumb) to quickly swipe from the bottom to the top of the Home screen. The Multi-Tasking Toolbar will open along the bottom of the screen, showing the apps you have used most recently. Tap any app to open it. Scroll left to see more apps, scroll right to see basic settings and a media player. (Double tapping the Home button also opens the Multitasking toolbar.)
4) TAKE SCREENSHOTS
Sometimes you just can’t explain things with words. Luckily, the ability to capture a screenshot is built right into the iPad. Press the Home button and the Power button at the same time. When you release them, you’ll hear a click and your screen will flash. You can find the screenshot in your Camera Roll.
5) ADD EMOTICONS & CLIPART WITH THE EMOJI KEYBOARD
In Settings go to Keyboard. The select International Keyboard and then Add New Keyboard. Scroll down to the Emoji keyboard and tap on it.
Next time you use the on screen keyboard, look for the globe icon in the lower left. Tap it to bring up the Emoji keyboard. Tap the various icons on the bottom row to switch styles and layouts in the keyboard.
To return to the traditional keyboard, tap on the globe icon again.
Of course, you can add real international characters to your documents as well by enabling other international keyboards such as French or Spanish.
6) SPLIT YOUR KEYBOARD FOR EASIER TYPING WITH YOUR THUMBS
If you are used to using only your thumbs for typing quick messages, you can literally split the iPad’s keyboard, pulling it into two parts, one on either edge of the screen.
Go to Settings | General | Keyboard | Split Keyboard. Slide the switch to On.
Now just tap and hold with both thumbs on either side of the on screen keyboard and pull it apart. Tap, hold, and slide it back together the return to the full screen layout.
7) TAP TO RETURN TO THE TOP
When you read through a web page – or any long document – it can be annoying to scroll, and scroll, and scroll up again to return to the top. In the Apple apps such as Safari or Contacts, etc., as well as many third party apps you can immediately return to the top by tapping the top of the screen where the time is displayed.
8) CREATE A DESKTOP SHORTCUT FOR FAVORITE WEB PAGES
If you visit the same web page frequently, you can launch it directly from a desktop shortcut. When you are on the page in Safari, click on the Open With icon on the left hand side next to the address bar. A menu with several options including Add Bookmark, Email This Page, and Tweet will appear. Click Add To Home Screen to create a direct launch shortcut.
9) ADD A PERIOD & SPACE QUICKLY
At the end of a sentence, you can quickly add a period and trailing space to start a new sentence by just double tapping the spacebar.
10) TURN ON HOME SHARING IN ITUNES TO SHARE PURCHASED APPS AMONG ALL YOUR IOS DEVICES
Some apps are “universal,” meaning they will work on both the iPad and the iPhone. Some apps are designed only for the iPhone or the iPad. If you have multiple iOS devices, or if you live with someone who also has one or more iOS devices (it can be another iPad or an iPhone – duplication doesn’t matter), you can turn on Home Sharing in iTunes and only buy one copy of an app and use it on multiple devices. All devices must be synced to the same iTunes account. There is no need to buy a separate app for each device – which can be quite a money saver.