3 Things People Ask Me About iPads

| Computing with Bifocals

This past weekend I worked with some new iPad owners and I started by asking them what they most wanted to know. Their questions were fairly typical of new users everywhere, so I decided to address three of their questions here.

iPad Tips!

Question 1. When I first got my iPad I went crazy downloading apps. But they are not in any order. Can I put my favorite’s on the first page?

You have two options. You can move the icons between panes, or you can create folders for similar apps, such as a games folder. Either one will take time, but make your life easier in the long run. 

To Make a Folder  

  • Activate the apps on the pane containing the apps you want to include in the folder by holding one down with your finger until all the apps start to wiggle and a black circle with a white x appears in the upper left of each icon.

 

Activated Apps in iPad pane

  • Drag one of the apps you want in the folder over another app you want in the folder, and just like that, a folder will be created. To put more apps in the folder, simply drag them in, too—you can put as many as nine apps in one folder. To stop the icons from wiggling, press the Home Button. The iPad will create a folder name for you, but you can change it if you wish.

A folder has been created for Books

To Move Icons 

Ah, but what if your icons are not on the same pane. In theory it is very easy to move icons from one pane to another. The Home screen actually consists of multiple panes. 

  • Make all the icons wiggle again as described above.
  • To move an icon off one pane and onto another, with your finger on the icon, slide your finger to the left or right of the screen until the other pane appears and then release.
  • Repeat until it works.

I’m here to tell you this is not easy. I’ve had an iPad since the first one came out, and I still have not mastered this skill with any grace. But, I have another way to do this that won’t add a single gray hair or raise anyone’s blood pressure. 

The new iPad comes with four icons on the Dock, but it will hold six. You can use the methods noted above to move others to the Dock. But if you only keep five icons on your iPad Dock, you can use the sixth one as a holding spot when you want to move an icon from one pane to another. Move the icon down to the Dock. Forward to the pane you want to house it, and remove it from the Dock onto that pane.


Move app from one pane to another using the Dock


Question 2. If you could only show us one thing today, what would it be?

That threw me, but I think my favorite tip for the iPad is that when using the Virtual Keyboard, you can double space at the end of a sentence and a period will automatically be added to your sentence.

 

Question 3. I want to use my iPad for more than just reading and playing games, but I don’t really know how to type and get frustrated because it is so slow. Is there any way to dictate stuff? Do I have to learn to use a complicated program?

You can do limited dictation using your iPad, including finding web sites on Safari. As you would expect it is not perfect, but it can certainly save you time. You can purchase more sophisticated applications, but I recommend that you start with the free app and see how you like it. It may be all you really need. When dictating remember to add the punctuation as you dictate. To use voice dictation you must have a 4G or Wi-Fi Internet connection. If you don’t, the Voice Dictation key will not appear.


Voice Activation key in use

Dictating Text

You can use this with Pages, Notes, Mail, or any other text application that you have.

  • Open your application and tap so that the Virtual Keyboard appears.
  • Tap the Voice Dictation key. It will pop up to let you know it is working. The purple bar will move as you speak.
  • Dictate to your iPad. Don’t forget to speak your punctuation. Nothing will show on the page at this point.
  • When you have finished dictating, tap the Voice Dictation key again and after a few moments, your text will appear. At that point you can make any necessary edits. I find it works best if I dictate paragraphs one at a time.

Sample of dictated document

Dictating Searches on Safari

  • Open the Safari app.
  • Tap the Google search field in the upper right corner. The Virtual Keyboard appears.
  • Tap the Voice Dictation key.
  • Say the name of the site you want and tap the Voice Dictation key again. In the following example I said “the mac observer”. The iPad will display the site options for what it thinks you said.

Sample dictated Safari search

That is just cool.

More questions came up, and I will address them in a future column.

Comments

kevinlane

Nancy, what free voicce dictation app were you referring?

haywire

Hi Nancy,

There is a much easier and less time consuming way to put icons into the right windows and folders, if you plug the iPad into a Mac and use iTunes.

1. With the iPad plugged-in, select it in the left column of iTunes.
2. In the iPad window, select Apps at the top.
3. You will now be able to scroll through all the iPhone and iPad apps you have in the left column in the iPad window. You also have a picture on the right of the iPad’s desktop with all the icons for a particular window, usually the 1st window when you start. At the bottom of that picture are thumbnail of each of the windows that have icons in them.
4. What’s cool is you can drag icons around in the top window, and even drag an icon down onto the thumbnail of another window. These actions actually result in moving the icons on the iPad after you apply the Sync button.
5. You can even create folders by dragging an icon to be on top of another.
6. The order of the windows can be changed just by dragging a window thumbnail to where you want it.

Note: An iPad folder can hold up to 16 icons while the iPhone folder only holds the nine you mentioned.

If you don’t have an iTunes connection to do this configurating, you have to put up with the tedious way you mentioned.

Nancy Gravley

Nancy, what free voicce dictation app were you referring?

It’s not a specific app.  If the virtual keyboard on your iPad has the microphone key, then you have access to the dictation capabilities.

Nancy Gravley

There is a much easier and less time consuming way to put icons into the right windows and folders, if you plug the iPad into a Mac and use iTunes.

1. With the iPad plugged-in, select it in the left column of iTunes.
2. In the iPad window, select Apps at the top.
3. You will now be able to scroll through all the iPhone and iPad apps you have in the left column in the iPad window. You also have a picture on the right of the iPad?s desktop with all the icons for a particular window, usually the 1st window when you start. At the bottom of that picture are thumbnail of each of the windows that have icons in them.
4. What?s cool is you can drag icons around in the top window, and even drag an icon down onto the thumbnail of another window. These actions actually result in moving the icons on the iPad after you apply the Sync button.
5. You can even create folders by dragging an icon to be on top of another.
6. The order of the windows can be changed just by dragging a window thumbnail to where you want it.

Note: An iPad folder can hold up to 16 icons while the iPhone folder only holds the nine you mentioned.

If you don?t have an iTunes connection to do this configurating, you have to put up with the tedious way you mentioned.

So your way takes six steps and requires you to be at your Mac to use it, but my suggestion is tedious?  Okey dokey.  If that makes you happy go for it.

earthsaver

Was there previously a 9-app limit on folders? I think the limit in iOS 5 is 20 on iPad and 16 on iPhone.

Also, regarding dictation, it can be turned on in Settings so that the microphone key appears on the keyboard.

spudgeek

I think the keyboard dictation option is only available on the new iPad, i.e. not iPad 1 or 2. I can’t find the setting option to enable it on my iPad 2.

IMO, I agree with haywire that iTunes is easier to organise apps when there’s a lot (pages) of apps to move and categorise. Once the BIG reorg is done, organising on the iOS device is obviously a breeze.

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