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iPad 2 Tips and Tricks
By: wubayou
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    Apple brought the tablet market to light with its highly successful release of the iPad. While its initial edition made a splash with consumers, the iPad 2 was released with even more attractive features, such as a dual-core processor, two cameras, FaceTime compatibility, iOS5, and the list goes on.

    With so many features at your disposal, it may be difficult to truly know your iPad 2 inside and out.  This is especially true if you are not too technically savvy.  Luckily, Apple designed the iPad 2 to be user-friendly.  Here are some tips and tricks you can employ to maximize the iPad 2 experience. 

    Hassle-free Wi-Fi

    Wi-Fi is an obvious function that your iPad will use on a day-to-day basis.  With that being said, constant prompts asking you if you want to join a Wi-Fi network can get particularly annoying.  If you have joined certain Wi-Fi networks in the past, there is no reason to continue receiving prompts.  Go to Settings, select Wi-Fi, and set the Ask to Join Networks option to Off.  The next time your iPad 2 needs to join a saved network, it will do so automatically, making the constant dialog boxes a thing of the past.

    The Side Switch is Your Friend

    The side switch on the iPad 2 can be used for quick and useful functionality.  Want to lock your displayís orientation to either portrait or landscape mode?  Use the side switch.  Want to toggle audio notifications?  Use the side switch.  Best of all, the side switchís functionality can be programmed to your liking with ease.  Go to Settings, select the General option, and go to the Use Side Switch section to make your changes.

    Disable Automatic Sync on the Fly

    Automatic sync does have its advantages, but there are times when you donít necessarily need it.  There are a couple ways to disable automatic sync on the fly.  First, after you connect your iPad 2 to your computer and iTunes is up and running, hold down Shift and Control simultaneously.  Mac owners will want to hold down the Command and Option keys instead.  This will prevent automatic sync from happening.  If a sync is already occurring, the other option is to drag the iPad 2ís unlock slider to stop the process.  Donít worry; this wonít cause anything bad to happen.

    Use AutoFill to Your Advantage

    The Web is full of places that ask for information.  Whether itís signing up to be a member of a site, filling out a survey, or making an online purchase, you are going to run into places where information must be entered into forms.  AutoFill can help by remembering your information and entering it into forms automatically.  The Safari browser comes with AutoFill functionality, and it can be enabled by going to Settings, selecting Safari, and toggling the AutoFill option.  From there, you will have additional options on how you want AutoFill to act when forms come up or itís time to enter login credentials.

    App-free PDF Viewing

    If you use your iPad 2 for business purposes, being able to read PDF files on the fly is a must.  There are several apps on the market that helps with PDF viewing, but there is a simpler way to achieve the functionality youíre looking for.  That way is via iBooks.  Itís free, easy to use, and gives you a few options for accessing PDFs. 

    First, if the PDF comes in the form of an email attachment, you can simply elect to open it in iBooks.  Second, you can use Dropbox, GoogleDocs, or iDisk to access your PDF and then store it in iBooks.  Third, you can connect your iPad 2 to your laptop or desktop.  Drag and drop the PDF file in question onto the iPad icon in iTunes, and you should be good to go.

    Take Quick Screenshots

    Screenshots are an easy way to capture photos for a variety of purposes that serve for either business or pleasure.  The iPad 2 makes taking screenshots as simple as can be.  Once you see the image you want to capture on-screen, hold down the Home and Sleep buttons simultaneously.  You will see the display flash and you should hear a shutter sound effect.  Next, go to the Photo app to see your new screenshot.

    Type Faster

    The handy virtual keyboard on the iPad 2 comes in handy when messaging or composing emails.  If time is of the essence, you can use a little trick to make typing that much faster.  As you type a sentence and come to the end, tap the spacebar twice.  This will insert a period and a space automatically so you can continue on to the next sentence.

    Added Protection via Erase Data

    Hereís a tip that can either work for you or against you.  Letís say you accidentally leave your iPad 2 at the library, at work, or at a coffee shop, and it gets into somebody elseís hands.  They might try to login to your iPad 2.  Depending on how well the person knows you, some of their guesses might work.  You can protect yourself from this happening by using the Erase Data function.

    Enabling Erase Data will basically wipe the data off your iPad 2 after somebody enters ten failed passcode attempts.  Of course, this could work against you if you are the person entering the wrong passcodes, but it is still a good option to add to your defense portfolio.  To enable Erase Data, go to Settings, select General, tap Passcode Lock, and select the Erase Data option. 

    Control App Purchases

    Apps are a huge part of the iPad world, and with good reason, as they provide so much in the form of entertainment and productivity.  On the flip side, they are very tempting, so purchases can get out of hand in a hurry.  If you allow other people, particularly youngsters, to use your iPad, some in-app purchases could be made without your consent.  You can disable in-app purchases by going to the General section under Settings.  Once there, select Restrictions and tap Enable Restrictions.  Look for the Allowed Content section.  Slide the In-App Purchases option to Off.  


    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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