1. Take a screenshot
If you need a screenshot, whether it’s to prove your high score in a new game or to send an important chart to the office, taking one is quick and easy. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button (on the top of the iPad, on the right-hand side) and the Home button at the same time. The screenshot will be added to your camera roll.
2. Multi-touch gestures
It won’t have escaped your notice that the iPad is a touchscreen device but even those who have mastered swiping, tapping and pinching to zoom often don’t know about some of the more complex controls. Turn them on in Settings – General – Multitasking Gestures and then try the following:
– Place four fingers on the screen and swipe upwards to reveal the multitasking bar; swipe down to close it again.
– Swipe left or right with four fingers to switch between apps
– Pinch four fingers together to close the running app and return to the homescreen. Do this very slowly and you can watch the animation as the app fades out and the homescreen fades in. Hours of fun. Probably.
3. Typing tricks
There are several ways to make typing easier on your iPad. Here are a few suggestions:
– Caps Lock: sometimes you need to type all in capitals and hitting Shift before each letter is a pain. Don’t worry, Caps Lock is easy: make sure the Caps Lock function is turned on in Settings – General – Keyboard, and then double-tap either shift button whenever you are typing to turn on Caps Lock.
– Hidden punctuation: Apostrophes and speech marks can be fiddly on the iPad’s virtual keyboard because they are tucked away on a second keyboard. Or so you would think. In fact, there are shortcuts to both on the main keyboard. Just tap and hold the exclamation mark to get an apostrophe and tap and hold the question mark for speech marks.
– Split the keyboard: It can be hard to type on the iPad when you are holding it in your hands. Apple has an option to make this slightly easier by allowing you to split the keyboard into two. Just place two fingers near the centre of the keyboard and drag them apart. The keyboard will split into two, smaller halves – one on each side of the screen – making it easier to hold the iPad in two hands and type with your thumbsi.
– Shortcuts: If there are certain phrases, names or other terms that you type frequently, you can create shortcuts for them under Settings – General – Keyboard. Type “omw”, for example, and the iPad will enter “on my way”.
4. Parental controls
Children love iPads and there are some great apps available for children. However, there are plenty of reasons why you might want to control the things your children are able to do with your iPad. You might not want them to have unrestricted access to the web, for example, and it might be irritating if they delete your favourite apps. You certainly don’t want to let them loose in the App Store if they’re spending on your credit card. All of those things and more can be set within the Settings – General – Restrictions menu. Once set, the Restrictions settings are pin-protected so that only you can change them.
5. Tap titlebar to return to top
Scrolling all the way up to the top of a long page can be irritating. That’s why Apple included a shortcut: just tap on the title bar at the top of the screen to automatically jump to the top. This should work across most apps, except for the odd perverse developer who opts to turn it off, thus condemning users to an irritating time swiping screen after screen. I’m looking at you, The New Yorker app.