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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Power User Tips: 30 Tips for your Apple iPad Mini (Repair by Dr Mobiles Limited, Auckland)

The iPad mini is a great tablet that's easy to pick up and use, but with these 30 tips and tricks, you'll be able to take full control over your Apple device. These range from very basic to advanced, so let's get started. 


1. Take a screen shot: Taking a screen shot can be useful even if you're not a blogger. To do this on the iPad mini, simply hold the power button and home button and a screen shot will be saved to your camera gallery. 

2. Use Siri: Your iPad mini can take advantage of the Siri voice-controlled personal assistant. To use it, simply hold down the home button for about two seconds and the Siri microphone will appear and you can then use it to launch other apps, find sports scores, set reminders and more. 

3. Quickly find content: If you're looking for an app, email or contact, you can do it very quickly on the iPad mini. From your initial home screen, swipe to the left and the Search iPad bar will come up. If your query doesn't match anything on your tablet, you'll be able to search the web from here.  

4. Lock your orientation: Tired of your iPad mini orientation flipping around? You can lock the orientation by tapping the home button twice, the app screen will pop up at the bottom, swipe to the left-most screen and there will be a landscape lock button on the left corner. Tap that to lock and unlock the orientation of your iPad mini.  

5. Quick access to music, brightness: You can also use that method to get quick access to things like brightness, sofware volume and you can even get access to whatever music player or app you have running. 

6. Set up Facebook, Twitter to your system: The iPad mini is powered by iOS 6 and one of the cool new features about it is built-in Facebook access. Along with built-in Twitter, you can easily share pictures, links and other things with your favorite social network. To set this up, go into your Settings, click on the Twitter or Facebook icons and then input your log-in information.

7. Share content via Twitter, Facebook: Ok, you've set up your social networking accounts, now what? To share content with Twitter and Facebook, simply tap the Share button on your photos, web pages or other content. Twitter and Facebook will pop up as options. You can also update those social networks quickly by bringing down your notification bar and hitting the Tap to Tweet or Tap to Post icons. 

8. Change your wallpaper: Want to make the iPad mini your own? Setting a custom lock screen and home screen wallpaper is a great way to do that. To change it, go into your Settings, tap on the Brightness & Wallpaper icon, tap on Wallpaper and then choose a photo. You can choose from photos on your device or from photos on your Photo Stream. 

9. Let Siri do your typing: Want to use your voice to dictate your text? Whenever you see the keyboard, simply tap the microphone button near the space bar and gab away. Be sure to double-check the results, though. 

9. Manage your notifications: The Notification Center is a great way to keep up to date with your apps but some can get annoying. To remove or mute which apps can get in your Notification Center, go into Settings, tap on the Notificatiions button and then tap on each app to determine if it can go in Notification Center, how many notifications it can send, the Alert Style it can use, if it can use a Badge App Icon, if it can make sounds and if it will be present in your Lock Screen. 

10. Tap to scroll to the top: As Marc pointed out, most apps will let you scroll to the top by simply tapping on the Notification Center once. This is especially useful if you're using something like Twitter, Facebook, 9Gag or something with a long news stream.  


11. Set up a passcode: You may have some sensitive data on your iPad mini, so go ahead and put a passcode on it. To do this, go into Settings, tap Passcode Lock and then Turn Passcode On. You'll be able to toggle Siri access when locked and even have the option to erase all data on the iPad mini after 10 unsuccessful attemps. 

12. Find your iPad mini: Like with other iOS devices, a lost or stolen iPad mini can be tracked down. When you're first setting up the iPad mini, enable Find My iPad. This doesn't guarantee that you'll get it back because your device will have to be on WiFi but if you do lose your iPad mini, go to your iCloud account online and you may be able to find it.  

13. Set restrictions: The iPad mini lets you set restrictions on your apps and Siri and this could come in handy if you hand your device to kids or other people often. This will let you do things like require a password to install new apps or accessing the camera. Go into Settings, tap General and then tap Restrictions. Turn this on, input a passcode and then set which apps you want to restrict. 

14. Control location services: Using location services can be great for things like Maps and other apps but not all of us want to broadcast where we are. Luckily, you can control this on your iPad mini. Go into Settings, tap on Privacy and then hit Location Services. You can turn Location Services off entirely or just toggle which apps can access your location. Additionally, the arrow icons will give you a better idea of how apps are using your location. 

15. Do Not Disturb: One cool new feature of iOS 6 is the option to set up a Do Not Disturb function on your iPad mini. Sometimes, you just want to play Angry Birds Space without being annoyed by email notifications or messages. To turn this on, go into your Settings and tap the Do Not Disturb icon. 

16. Syncing your iPad mini: The iPad mini is pretty simple to sync with iTunes, as you simply plug in the tablet to your computer and then launch iTunes. Once you're in the iTunes interface, you can even enable WiFi Syncing with your iPad mini and you won't have to plug it in again. 

17. Reset your iPad mini: If you're selling your iPad mini already or giving it to someone for a while, make sure you delete all the data on there. You can do this by going into Settings, tapping General, and then scrolling down to Reset. From here you have these options: Reset All Settings, Erase All Content and Settings, Reset Network Settings, Reset Keyboard Dictionary, Reset Home Screen Layout, Reset Location & Privacy.


18. Bring up recent apps, kill apps: You don't have to go to the home screen every time you want to switch apps, just simply double tap the home button and the apps will pop up from the bottom. Tap on the app you want to run next.

You don't really have to stop apps from running in iOS but if you want to, bring up the app-switching tray, long press on an app and then hit the red minus sign which appears. 

19. Download and update apps: This one's pretty simple: Use the App Store. Go into the App Store icon to discover some new apps. If you have an app which needs updating, you'll see a badge on the bottom right on the Updates tab. You can update the apps individually or you can hit the Update All button at the upper left corner. 

20. Pause app downloads: Your apps will start to download on the home screen and you'll get a progress bar underneath it. Sometimes, you may want to pause one app from downloading to let another download first (a large game may be a good example of this). To pause an app download, simply tap on the app icon and it will pause. To resume the download, tap on it again. 

21. Create app folders: You can organize your apps into groups fairly easily on the iPad mini. Grab an app with your finger and drag it on another app and a folder will be created. You can rename it too. 

Protip: If you're like me, you change your home screen a lot from the default and it's tough to do it one app at a time. Figure out which apps you want on your main home screen, put them in a folder, drag that folder into the status bar at the bottom and then move that app folder onto your main home screen. 

23. Change your main app tray apps: The iPad mini lets you put six apps on the bottom tray and you don't have to stick with the default ones. To change these apps, long press on the app you want in the tray, the apps will start jiggling and you can then drag that app into the main bar. 


24. Get more camera shooting options: The iPad mini packs a respectable 5-megapixel iSight camera and the portable size means it's not that ridiculous to take shots with it. Launch your camera app and then click on Options for the ability to shoot with Grids.

25. Edit your photos: Once you've taken your photos, you can edit them on the device. Go into your Camera Roll, tap on a photo and then hit Edit. From here, you'll be able to Rotate, Enhance, Red-Eye and Crop. You can always use apps like iPhoto, BeFunky, Instagram, Camera+ and more to enhance your photos. 

26. Be a better photographer: Of course, this one's easier said than done but we got your back. Marc has been writing a series on Smartphone Photography and many of these can be used with the iPad mini camera. Go ahead and read composition tricks, an exposure intro and more.


27. Jailbreak your iPad mini: The iPad mini is pretty great but I know some of you just want more out of it. For example, you can't put widgets on it. If you jailbreak your iPad mini, you'll get a host of new features. Be aware that this comes with a lot of risks though. For more details on jailbreaking your device, please read this post

28. Update your software: Apple is never done improving its iOS software and it will be pushing out software update for the iPad mini for years to come. To check for updates, go into Settings, tap on Software Update and it will see if there's something new to download. You can download over the air or you can download to your computer and then transfer via a Lightning cable. 

29. Use four and five finger gestures: One trick about the iPad mini is that it can use four and five finger gestures. Pinch with your whole hand and you'll go back to the home screen. Swipe with four or more finger upward and the app tray will pop up. You can also swipe between apps by going left and right with four or five fingers. 

If you dont' want these available, go into Settings, tap General and then slide Multitasking Gestures to Off. 

30. Get the best mobile news on your iPad mini: This one's simple. Just keep reading Know Your Cell. Folow us on Twitter @drmobilesnz

This post is sponsored by:

Dr Mobiles Limited (Map)
1, Huron Street, Takapuna, Auckland 0622
Tel: (09) 551-5344, Mob: (021) 264-0000
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New Lynn Branch (Map):
3069, Great North Road, New Lynn, 0622
Tel: (09) 5555-344, Mob: (021) 374-007

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Mt Albert, Auckland 1025
Tel: (09) 550-8422
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