How to get the most out of your iPad: a how-to user guide

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The Independent Tech

Here are some tips about how to get the most out of your tablet device. This guide will teach you what to do before purchasing your device, show you how to use the native apps and some useful finger gesture tricks, give you tips about how to clean your device, and will tell you where to find the best accessories.

Before purchasing
Do your research before purchasing an iPad. As with all first-generation products, there are many features missing from the device (such as a camera, Flash support, GPS, multitasking, and the ability to plug in peripherals without the need of a specialized adapter).

If you decide you can't live without one or all of these features on your tablet, there are many other devices already on the market or launching soon that may be better suited to your needs.

Other options include the full-featured Mac OS X-based Modbook, Neofonie's WePad, HP's Windows 7 Tablet plus a large range of convertible tablet PCs.

Also keep in mind that when the next generation iPad comes out you could pick up a cheap first-generation device on eBay or go for the second-generation iPad which may have some of the omitted features included.

If you are not sure if an iPad is right for you, check out this "Should I Buy an iPad" guide:

If you have already been seduced by the iPad and were one of the first customers to lodge your iPad pre-order then the rest of this guide is for you.

How to use the native apps
Apple has released a series of how-to videos that explain how to use native applications on the iPad. It shows you how to use Safari, Mail, Photos, Videos, iPod, YouTube, the iTunes Store, Keynote, iBooks, Pages, and Numbers.

The videos will teach you how to create bookmarks in Safari, create video slideshows with music and effects, how to browse through your iTunes library, how to connect your iPad to your home stereo system, and how to find and download your favorite TV shows in the App Store.

The video series can be viewed on the Apple website ( or on Apple's YouTube channel (

More than 150,000 iPhone apps in the App Store will play on your iPad out of the box, but finding iPad-native applications will provide you with a much better experience (if you are willing to pay around double the price of their iPhone counterparts).

To find applications specifically designed for the tablet, head to the iPad section of the App Store when it opens.

Some applications that have already been announced for the iPad (and a few others that are rumored to be available in the iPad store when it opens) include: Flight Control HD, Real Racing,, Flick HD Fishing, Twitterrific, Reuters Pro, Plants vs. Zombies HD, Labyrinth 2 HD, Worms HD, Yahoo Entertainment, FileMaker Bento, Omigraffle, OmniGraph Sketcher, Barnes and Noble, and Kindle for iPad.

You can check out some of the leaked screenshots of the applications here:

To see some screenshots of the latest games, have a look at Kotaku's "Ultimate gamer's guide to Apple's iPad" here:

For some exclusive application offers, you can also become a fan of the App Store on Facebook:

eHow has created a how-to tutorial that shows you how to clean your iPad without damaging it. Tips include using a scratch resistant cloth and water instead of harsh chemicals.

One of the most-wanted iPads accessories is Apple's iPad Keyboard Dock. It provides a physical keyboard for those planning to use the iPad to type their thesis or wanting to send emails 24/7.

Other hotly desired accessories include padded bags; carrying cases; protective screen films; external speakers, camera, video and audio connectors; and portable chargers.

Apple has added an iPad accessories page to their website where you can pre-order accessories like the Keyboard Dock, Camera Connection Kit, In-Ear Headphones and iPad Cases.

The Examiner has put together a handy guide to some of the best iPad accessories available on the market that can be viewed here:

You can see ratings and read about what users think of iPad accessories at the iPad Guide's Accessory Guide website:

For those of you looking for a unique iPad carrying case, head over to Etsy where you can find hand-crafted and very original accessories. A few of our Etsy favorites include:

The iPad Maxi Pad

iPad Case Miller Handmade Vintage Fabric iSockit

iPad Cheese-Case

Apple iPad Case Sleeve Bag Cover Padded Zipper Pouch