Buying Your iPad - Making the iPad Yours - iPad For Seniors For Dummies, 8th Edition (2016)

iPad For Seniors For Dummies, 8th Edition (2016)

Part I. Making the iPad Yours


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Chapter 1. Buying Your iPad

Get ready to …

· Discover What’s New in iOS 9 and the New iPads

· Choose the Right iPad for You

· Decide How Much Memory Is Enough

· Choose Wi-Fi Only or Wi-Fi + Cellular

· Understand What You Need to Use Your iPad

· Know Where to Buy Your iPad

· Consider iPad Accessories

· Explore What’s in the Box

· Take a First Look at the Gadget

You’ve read about it. You’re so intrigued that you’ve decided to get your own iPad to have fun, explore the online world, read e-books, organize your photos, play games, and more.

You’ve made a good decision because the iPad redefines the computing experience in an exciting new way. It’s also an absolutely perfect fit for many seniors.

In this chapter, you discover the different types of iPad models and their relative advantages, as well as where to buy this magical device. After you have one in your hands, I help you explore what’s in the box and give you an overview of the little buttons and slots you’ll encounter; luckily, the iPad has very few of them.

Discover What’s New in iOS 9 and the New iPads

Apple’s iPad gets its features from a combination of hardware and its software operating system (called iOS; the term is short for iPhone Operating System, in case you want to impress your friends). The current operating system is iOS 9, though small updates appear all the time, so by the time you’re reading this book, you might have 9.2, 9.3, or 9.4!

If you’ve seen an older iPad in action, or if you own one, it’s helpful to understand which new features the latest iPad devices bring to the table (all of which are covered in more detail throughout this book).

Three iPads are now being offered: iPad mini 4, iPad Air 2, and iPad Pro. The Pro is the newest addition to the line, with a large 12.9-inch screen, an optional attached keyboard accessory, and an optional stylus with fancy sensors for better control drawing and performing tasks on the screen. iPad Air 2 is left over from last year’s line-up, and iPad mini 4 brings some tweaks to the quality and performance of the iPad mini 3, which is no longer available.

In addition to the features of previous iPads, the latest iPad models offer

· Design: For iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 4, Apple has made them a bit lighter and thinner than earlier models and made improvements to screen and camera quality. iPad mini 4 has a fully laminated display with antireflective coating, just like iPad Air 2 and iPad Pro. iPad Air 2 weighs .96 pounds, iPad mini 4 weighs .65 pounds, and the big brother of them all, iPad Pro, weighs 1.57 pounds, which is still impressive given the overall dimensions of the display.

· An improved chip: The 64-bit A8X processor in the iPad Air 2 increases the processor and graphics speeds accomplished by the A8 chip on the previous-generation iPad Air. The iPad mini 4 has advanced to an A8 processor. iPad Pro sports the best processor of the bunch, an A9X, which makes it the fastest performer of the trio.

· Better Wi-Fi: Two-antennae, dual-channel Wi-Fi and the use of MIMO (multiple-input, multiple output) technology allows for much faster wireless connections. In iPad Air 2, support of the latest Wi-Fi standard, 802.11 ac, ups the ante on Wi-Fi performance. Note that the iPad mini 4 doesn’t support this standard.

· Motion Coprocessor: This coprocessor processes game features like the gyroscope and accelerometer. On iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4, there’s an M8 motion coprocessor. The iPad Pro offers a slightly faster M9 motion coprocessor.

· Photos and Video Recording: Video recording features added to the iPad mini 4 include the addition of Slo-mo mode for video recording and Burst mode for taking and optimizing a series of pictures.

· Touch ID: This security feature is now included on all iPad models (it was missing on iPad mini 2). Essentially, sensors in the Home button allow you to train the iPad to recognize your fingerprint and grant you access to not only your iPad with a finger press, but also allow you to use the Apple Pay feature to buy items without having to enter your payment information every time.

· A barometer sensor: Now on all three iPad models, this sensor makes it possible for your iPad to sense air pressure and weather around you. This one’s especially cool when hiking a mountain where the weather may change as you climb.

· Apple Pencil and 3D Touch: With iPad Pro, some exciting new hardware features include the ability to use the optional Apple Pencil stylus to interact with the screen. In addition, the 3D Touch feature (sometimes referred to as Multi-Touch) allows for three levels of pressure on the screen. For example, the lightest tap on an object selects it; medium pressure displays a preview (called Peek by Apple); the heaviest pressure opens the item (called Pop).

· Keyboard options: iPad Pro has a full size onscreen keyboard. Additionally, you can buy an attachable physical keyboard, which you hook up using a Smart Connector connection, making it much easier to get work or complex tasks done.

· Live Photos: Using the 3D Touch feature, you can press harder on a photo on the screen and it “plays” like a short video. Essentially, the Camera app captures 1.5 seconds on either side of the moment when you capture the photo, so anything that moved, such as water flowing in a stream, will seem to move when you press the still photo.

tip Throughout this book, I highlight features that are available only on certain iPad models, so you can probably use much of the information in this book even if you own an earlier version of the iPad.

Almost any iPad device except the original iPad can use most features of iOS 9 if you update the operating system (discussed in detail in Chapter 2); this book is based on version 9 of the iOS. This update to the operating system adds a few new features, including

· The News app: This new app is an intelligent news aggregator, which means that it gathers news stories from various sources in one place. It’s intelligent because it “learns” to present you with stories that are similar to other content you’ve viewed. See Chapter 21 for more about how News works.

· More integrated Notes: The Notes app gets a facelift with iOS 9, with the ability to add photos, maps, and URLs to notes. Additionally, you can create instant checklists and even sketch in your notes. You can also share items to Notes using the Share feature in apps such as Photos. See Chapter 20 for more about Notes.

· Improvements to the Maps app: With iOS 9, Maps gets a Transit view for finding information about public transit in select cities around the world. Also, the Nearby feature provides suggestions of nearby businesses and services, such as restaurants, bank ATMs, and gas stations.

· Improved Siri suggestions and search: Siri, iPhone’s personal assistant feature, can now offer suggestions of items you might be interested in even before you ask. For example, if you read a newspaper the same time every morning, Siri might suggest the publication to you. Siri can even search for a photo or video based on the date and location where you took the photo. See Chapter 19 for details about using Siri.

· Stronger passcodes and two-factor authentication: With iOS 9, longer passcodes provide more security, while two-factor authentication helps your iPad make sure you’re you. With this feature, when you try to access any accounts or information from a new device, you’re asked to retrieve a code from another device via a text message or phone call to sign in, in addition to your account information.

· Car Play: Car Play is a new feature that is largely still on the drawing board, because car manufacturers are only now planning to build it into their car models. If you buy a car down the road with Car Play, it will allow you to control several features, use apps, and play content from your iPad from a graphical screen built into the dashboard.

Choose the Right iPad for You

The most obvious differences among iPad models is their thickness and weight, with the Pro being biggest, then iPad Air 2, and finally the smallest, iPad mini 4 (see Figure 1-1). All three models come in three colors: space gray, silver, or gold.


Figure 1-1

All three models come in Wi-Fi only for accessing a Wi-Fi network, or 3G/4G for connecting to the Internet through a cellular network as your cell phone does. The iPad models also differ slightly in available memory and price based on that memory:

· iPad Pro: $799 for 32 GB and $949 for 128 GB.

· iPad Air 2: $499 for 16 GB; $599 for 64 GB; $699 for 128 GB.

· iPad mini 4: $399 for 16 GB; $499 for 64 GB; $599 for 128 GB. Comparable Wi-Fi plus Cellular models cost about $130 more for each model.

Finally, there are variations in screen quality and resolution, camera quality, and so on. Logically, the bigger the iPad, the bigger the price and higher the quality.

Read on as I explain some of these variations in more detail.

Decide How Much Memory Is Enough

Storage capacity is a measure of how much information — for example, movies, photos, and software applications (or apps) — you can store on a computing device. Capacity can also affect your iPad’s performance when handling tasks such as streaming favorite TV shows from the World Wide Web or downloading music.

tip Streaming refers to watching video content from the web (or from other devices) rather than playing a file stored on your iPad. You can enjoy a lot of material online without ever downloading its full content to your iPad’s memory — and given that every iPad model has a relatively small amount of capacity, that’s not a bad idea. See Chapters 11 and 13 for more about getting your music and movies online.

Your storage capacity options are 16, 32, 64, or 128 gigabytes (GB) depending on the model. You must choose the right amount for your needs, because you can’t open the unit and add storage. Additionally, you can’t insert a flash drive (also known as a USB stick) to add backup capacity because the iPad has no USB port — or CD/DVD drive, for that matter. However, Apple has thoughtfully provided iCloud, a service you can use to save space by backing up content to the Internet (you can read more about that in Chapter 3).

tip With an Apple Digital AV Adapter accessory, you can plug into the Lightning Connector slot to attach a MicroSD or USB–enabled device to add an external hard drive for additional storage capacity. ViewSonic offers several HDMI projectors; DVDO offers an HD Travel Kit for smartphones and tablets; and Belkin has introduced a line of tools for HDTV streaming. See Chapter 13 for more about using these AV features.

So how much capacity is enough for your iPad? Here’s a rule of thumb: If you like lots of media, such as movies or TV shows, and you want to store them on your iPad (rather than experiencing or accessing this content online on sites such as Hulu or Netflix), you might need 64GB or 128GB. For most people who manage a reasonable number of photos, download some music, and watch heavy-duty media such as movies online, 64GB is probably sufficient. If you simply want to check email, browse the web, read e-books, and write short notes to yourself, 16GB mightbe enough.

tip Do you have a clue how big a gigabyte (GB) is? Consider this: Just about any computer you buy today comes with a minimum of 250–500GB of storage. Computers have to tackle larger tasks than iPads do, so that number makes sense. The iPad, which uses a technology calledflash for memory storage, is meant (to a great extent) to help you experience online media and email; it doesn’t have to store much and in fact pulls lots of content from online. In the world of memory, 16GB for any kind of storage is puny if you keep lots of content and graphics on the device.

Choose Wi-Fi Only or Wi-Fi + Cellular

Because the iPad is great for browsing online, shopping online, emailing, and so on, having an Internet connection for it is important. One feature that makes the iPad’s price and performance variable is whether your model is Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi + Cellular (3G/4G). Wi-Fi and 3G/4G are used to connect to the Internet.

You use Wi-Fi to connect to a wireless network at home or at locations such as your local coffee shop, a grocery store, or an airport that offers Wi-Fi. This type of network uses short-range radio to connect to the Internet; its range is reasonably limited, so if you leave home or walk out of the coffee shop, you can’t use it anymore. (These limitations may change, however, as some towns are installing communitywide Wi-Fi networks.)

The 3G and 4G cellular technologies allow an iPad to connect to the Internet via a widespread cellular-phone network. You use it in much the same way that you make calls from just about anywhere with your cellphone. 4G may not always be available in every location. You’ll still connect to the Internet via 3G when 4G service isn’t available, but without the advantage of the super-fast 4G technology.

Getting a Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad costs an additional $130, but it also includes GPS, which pinpoints your location so that you can get more accurate driving directions. You have to buy an iPad model that fits your data connection provider — either AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon in the United States.

Also, to use your 3G/4G network, you have to pay a monthly fee (in the U.K., you can connect through EE). The good news is that no carrier requires a long-term contract, which you probably had to have when you bought your cellphone and its service plan. You can pay for a connection during the month you visit your grandkids, for example, and get rid of it when you arrive home. Features, data allowance (which relates to accessing email or downloading items from the Internet, for example), and prices vary by carrier and could change at any time so visit each carrier’s website to see what it offers. Note that if you intend to stream videos (watch them on your iPad from the Internet), you can eat through your data plan allowance quickly.

tip Go to these links for more information about iPad data plans: AT&T is at; Verizon is at; T-Mobile’s address is; and Sprint is at

So how do you choose? If you want to wander around the woods or town — or take long drives with your iPad continually connected to the Internet to get step-by-step navigation info from the Maps app — get Wi-Fi + Cellular and pay the price. If you’ll use your iPad mainly at home or via a Wi-Fi hotspot (a location where Wi-Fi access to the Internet is available, such as an Internet cafe), then don’t bother with 3G/4G. Frankly, you can find lots of hotspots out there, at libraries, restaurants, hotels, airports, and more.

tip If you have a Wi-Fi–only iPad, you can use the hotspot feature on a smartphone, which allows the iPad to use your phone’s 3G or 4G connection to go online if you pay for a higher-data-use plan that supports hotspot use with your phone service carrier. Check out the features of your phone to turn on the hotspot feature.

tip Because 3G and 4G iPads are also GPS (Global Positioning System) devices, they know where you are and can act as a navigation system to get you from here to there. The Wi-Fi–only model uses a digital compass and triangulation method for locating your current position, which is less accurate; with no constant Internet connection, it won’t help you get around town. If getting accurate directions is one iPad feature that excites you, get 3G/4G and then see Chapter 15 for more about the Maps feature.

Understand What You Need to Use Your iPad

Before you head off to buy your iPad, you should know what other devices, connections, and accounts you’ll need to work with it optimally.

At a bare minimum, you need to be able to connect to the Internet to take advantage of most iPad features. If you have an Apple ID you also have an iCloud account, Apple’s online storage service, to store and share content online, and you can use a computer to download photos, music, or applications from non-Apple online sources (such as stores, sharing sites, or your local library) and transfer them to your iPad through a process called syncing. You can also use a computer or iCloud to register your iPad the first time you start it, although you can have the folks at the Apple Store handle registration for you if you have an Apple Store nearby.

Can you use your iPad without owning a computer and just use public Wi-Fi hotspots to go online (or a 3G/4G connection, if you have such a model)? Yes. To go online using a Wi-Fi–only iPad and to use many of its built-in features at home, however, you need to have a home Wi-Fi network available. You also need to use iCloud or sync to your computer to get updates for the iPad operating system.

For syncing with a computer, Apple’s iPad User Guide recommends that you have

· A Mac or PC with a USB 2.0 port and one of the following operating systems:

· Mac OS X version 10.6.8 or later

· Windows 10, 8, 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 3 or later

· iTunes 11 or later, available at

· An Apple ID and iTunes Store account

· Internet access

· An iCloud account

Apple has set up its iTunes software and the iCloud service to give you two ways to manage content for your iPad — including movies, music, or photos you’ve downloaded — and specify how to sync your calendar and contact information. There are a lot of tech terms to absorb here (iCloud, iTunes, syncing, and so on). Don’t worry: Chapter 3 covers those settings in more detail.

Know Where to Buy Your iPad

As of this writing, you can buy an iPad at the Apple Store; at brick-and-mortar stores such as Best Buy, Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Target; and at online sites such as You can also buy 3G/4G models (models that require an account with a phone service provider) from Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, as well as at the Apple Store.

Apple Stores aren’t on every corner, so if visiting one isn’t an option (or you just prefer to go it alone), you can go to the Apple Store website ( and order an iPad to be shipped to you — even get it engraved, if you want. Typically, standard shipping is free, and if there’s a problem, Apple’s customer service reps will help you solve the problem or replace your iPad. Additionally, smaller stores that sell electronics can have an Apple Specialist designation that allows them to carry and sell Apple products. Check your local stores for this.

Consider iPad Accessories

At present, Apple offers a few accessories that you may want to check out when you purchase your iPad (or purchase down the road), including

· iPad Smart Case/Smart Cover: Your iPad isn’t cheap, and unlike a laptop computer, it has an exposed screen that can be damaged if you drop or scratch it. Investing in the iPad Smart Case or Smart Cover is a good idea if you intend to take your iPad out of your house — or if you have a cat or grandchildren. The iPad Smart Cover (see Figure 1-2) ranges from $39.95 to $129.95 from third-party sources depending on design and material.

· Printers: There are printers from HP, Brother, Canon, and Epson that support the wireless AirPrint feature. As of this writing, prices range from $129 to $399.

· Smart Keyboard: You can buy an attachable keyboard for your iPad Pro for $169, which will make working with productivity apps much easier. This keyboard connects to your iPad to provide power and transmit data between the devices. Also, a Bluetooth keyboard is available as part of the $99.95 case.

· Apple Pencil: For $99, you can buy the highly sophisticated stylus for use with the iPad Pro. The Apple Pencil makes it easy to draw on your iPad screen or manage complex interactions more precisely.

· Belkin Express Dock: The iPad is light and thin, which is great, but holding it all the time can get tedious. The Belkin Dock lets you prop up the device so that you can view it hands-free and then charge the battery and sync to your computer. At about $60, it’s a good investment for ease and comfort. Be sure to get one that matches your iPad model.

· Apple Digital AV Adapter: To connect devices to output high-definition media, you can buy this adapter for about $40 and use it with an HDMI cable. More and more devices that use this technology are coming out, such as projectors and TVs.

· Stands: Apple offers the Twelve South HoverBar Stand for iPad that costs $99.99 and attaches your iPad to your computer.


Figure 1-2

tip Several companies produce iPad accessories, such as cases, and more will undoubtedly pop up, so feel free to do an online search for different items and prices.

tip Don’t bother buying a wireless mouse to connect with your iPad via Bluetooth; the iPad recognizes your finger as its primary input device, and mice need not apply. However, you can use a stylus to tap your input.

Explore What’s in the Box

After you fork over your hard-earned money for your iPad, you’ll be holding one box. Besides your iPad and a small documentation package, here’s a rundown of what you’ll find when you take off the shrink wrap and open the box:

· iPad: Your iPad is covered in a thick plastic sleeve-thingie that you can take off and toss (unless you think there’s a chance that you’ll return the device, in which case you may want to keep all packaging for 14 days — Apple’s standard return period).

· Documentation (and I use the term loosely): Notice, under the iPad itself, a small, white envelope about the size of a half-dozen index cards. Open it and you’ll find

· A single sheet titled iPad Info: This pamphlet is essentially small print (that you mostly don’t need to read) from agencies like the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

· A label sheet: This sheet has two white Apple logos on it. (Apple has provided these for years with its products as a form of cheap advertising when users place stickers on places like their computers or car rear windows.)

· A small card: This card displays a picture of the iPad and callouts to its buttons on one side, and the other side contains brief instructions for setting it up and information about where to find out more.

· A Lightning-to-USB cable (fourth-generation iPad and later and all iPad mini models) or Dock Connector-to-USB cable (all earlier iPad models): Use this cord (see Figure 1-3) to connect the iPad to your computer, or use it with the last item in the box: the USB Power Adapter.

· 10W USB Power Adapter: The power adapter (refer to Figure 1-3) attaches to the Lightning-to-USB cable so that you can plug it into the wall and charge the battery.


Figure 1-3

That’s it. That’s all you’ll find in the box. It’s kind of a study in Zen-like simplicity.

Take a First Look at the Gadget

The little card contained in the documentation that comes with your iPad gives you a picture of the iPad with callouts to the buttons you’ll find on it. In this task, I give you a bit more information about those buttons and other physical features of the iPad. Figure 1-4 shows you where each of these items is located on an iPad Air 2. The Pro model also has a Smart Connector slot in addition to items shown here.


Figure 1-4

Here’s the rundown on what the various hardware features are and what they do:

· (The all-important) Home/Touch ID button: On the iPad, press this button to go back to the Home screen to find just about anything. The Home screen displays all your installed and preinstalled apps and gives you access to your iPad settings. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, press the Home button, and you’re back at home base. You can also double-press the Home button to pull up a scrolling list of apps so you can quickly move from one app to another. (Apple refers to this as multitasking.) If you press and hold the Home button, you open Siri, the iPhone voice assistant. Finally, on the newest iPads, the Home button contains a fingerprint reader used with the Touch ID feature.

· Sleep/Wake button: You can use this button (whose functionality I cover in more detail in Chapter 2) to power up your iPad, put it in Sleep mode, wake it up, or power it down.

· Lightning Connector slot: Plug in the Lightning connector at the USB end to the power adapter to charge your battery or use it without the power adapter to sync your iPad with your computer (which you find out more about in Chapter 3).

· Cameras: iPads (except for the original iPad) offer front- and rear-facing cameras, which you can use to shoot photos or video. The rear one is on the top-right corner (if you’re looking at the front of the iPad), and you need to be careful not to put your thumb over it when taking shots. (I have several very nice photos of my fingers already.)

· (Tiny, mighty) Speakers: One nice surprise when I first got my iPad was hearing what a great little stereo sound system it has and how much sound can come from these tiny speakers. The speakers are located along one side of the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4. With iPad Pro, you get four speakers, two on either side, which provide the best sound of all the models.

· Volume: Tap the volume switch, called a rocker, up for more volume and down for less. You can use this rocker as a camera shutter button when the camera is activated.

· Headphone jack and microphone: If you want to listen to your music in private, you can plug in a 3.5mm mini-jack headphone (including an iPhone headset, if you have one, which gives you bidirectional sound). A tiny microphone makes it possible to speak into your iPad to deliver commands or enter content using the Siri personal-assistant feature. Using Siri, you can do things such as make phone calls using the Internet, use video-calling services, dictate your keyboard input, or work with other apps that accept audio input.