Unlocking the iPad's Secrets

Darren Murph

The new iPad is setting the stage for what’s to come for Apple, and with that much screen real estate, the only significant limits will be the imaginations of developers who publish programs in the App Store. Now on its third iteration, the iPad has made an indelible mark on society as a whole, with Apple selling nearly 16 million of them in its most recent quarter. (To put that in perspective, RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook sold just 500,000 units in that company’s most recent quarter.) Furthermore, according to IDC's latest findings, the iPad holds nearly 55 per cent of the entire tablet market. In other words, even those that don’t currently own an iPad have probably come into contact with one, and while some pundits have brushed the newest iPad off as being a mere evolutionary leap from the prior generation, the iPad family as a whole is still a force to be reckoned with.

Related: First Thoughts on the New iPad

To that end, I spent the last six months crafting a guide that would impact users of not only the new iPad, but the original model and the iPad 2, as well. There’s no sense in alienating prior buyers, so I didn’t. I expressly went out of my way to provide advice for past iPad buyers who may have found themselves spending less time with their tablets of late. No time like the present to discover all new ways for older iPads to excite, right? So regardless of which iPad one owns, this book applies. It’s all focused on the latest generation of iOS (iOS 5), which can be loaded across the range of iPads.

The book, iPad Secrets, is published by John Wiley & Sons – the same folks who have published the world-renowned guides “For Dummies.” The goal in writing this book was to provide a nuts-and-bolts guide that Apple has never bothered to offer itself. I’ve always said that one of the iPad’s most significant strengths is its ability to be picked up and used immediately by just about anyone. I’ve seen infants and grandmothers alike using the iPad in some form or fashion. But there’s so much more that can be done, and that’s the kind of stuff I dig into in this book.

Related: Will the iPad Kill the Book Industry?

Having poked and prodded every potential nook within the iOS universe, I’ve produced 360 pages of the most useful tricks I’ve found. Facebook over 3G? It’s possible. Recovering an iPad after a failed jailbreak? I can help you there, too. Trying to figure out best practices for arranging icons in a way that’s halfway meaningful? Don’t bother – I did the legwork already. I even dedicate portions of the book to telling you precisely which apps are worth your time, which accessories are worth splurging on, and how to take advantage of Apple’s brand new iCloud service. I’ve included an entire chapter on best practices for using the iPad as an email machine, as well as sections on selecting the best applications the App Store has to offer in categories like games, productivity, and task management. I also delve into the world of media streaming, with tips on squeezing the most out of AirPlay and what accessories can further enable your iPad to be the centre of your digital-media empire.

Most folks understand that their iPad can be used as an e-reader, but few take the time to tap into its true potential. I spend the duration of the book uncovering precisely that. My hope is that folks only loosely familiar with their iPad will learn about dozens of hidden tips and tricks, making their iPad investment even more worthwhile.