The Built-In Apps - Pix, Flix, & Apps - iPad: The Missing Manual (2014)

iPad: The Missing Manual (2014)

Part 2. Pix, Flix, & Apps

Chapter 10. The Built-In Apps

Your Home screen comes already loaded with the icons of about 25 programs. These are the essentials; eventually, of course, you’ll fill that Home screen with apps you install yourself. The starter apps include gateways to the Internet (Safari), communications tools (Messages, Mail, Contacts), visual records of your life (Photos, Camera), shopping centers (iTunes Store, App Store), and entertainment (Music, Videos, Podcasts).

Those core apps get special treatment in the other chapters. This chapter covers the secondary programs, in alphabetical order: Calendar, Clock, Compass, Game Center, Health, iBooks, Maps, Newsstand, Notes, Passbook, Podcasts, Reminders, Stocks, Tips, Voice Memos, and Weather.


No, the iPad does not come with a Calculator app, even though the iPhone does. Weird. Of course, there are thousands of free calculator apps waiting for you in the App Store.


What kind of digital companion would the iPad be if it didn’t have a calendar program? And not only does it have a calendar—it syncs. If you maintain your life’s schedule on a Mac (in Calendar or Entourage) or a PC (in Outlook), then you already have your calendar on your iPad. Make a change in one place, and it changes in the other, every time you sync over the USB cable.

Better yet, if you have an iCloud account or work for a company with an Exchange server (Chapters Chapter 15 and Chapter 16), then your calendar can be synchronized with your computer automatically, wirelessly, over the air.

Or you can use Calendar all by itself.


The Calendar icon on the Home screen shows what looks like one of those paper Page-a-Day calendar pads. But if you look closely, you’ll see a sweet touch: It actually shows today’s day and date.

The Four Views

When you open Calendar, you’re shown today’s schedule on the left half of the screen, broken down by time slot.

Across the top, you see buttons for the Calendar’s four views: Day, Week, Month, and Year. They work pretty much alike, even if you rotate the iPad.

image with no caption

§ Day view. Swipe horizontally across the Day column to see the previous or next day. Tap a date at the top to see another day this week. Swipe across the dates at the top to jump to another week.

§ Week view is the multicolumn layout shown on the facing page. You can swipe sideways to move to earlier or later dates. Swipe up or down to move through the hours of the day.

§ Month view, of course, shows the entire month at a glance. You can scroll the month vertically, thereby scanning the entire year in a few seconds.

§ Year view is a simple, vertically scrolling map of the year’s months. Tap a month block to open it back into Month view.


In all three views—Day, Month, Year—you can tap Today (bottom left) to return to today’s date.

Making an Appointment

The basic calendar is easy to figure out. After all, with the exception of one unfortunate Gregorian incident, we’ve been using calendars successfully for centuries.

Even so, recording an event on this calendar is quite a bit more flexible than entering one on, say, one of those “Hunks of the Midwest Police Stations” paper calendars.

To begin, summon the New Event panel like this:

§ Day View, Week View. In these views, hold your finger down on a time slot to add a new, 1-hour appointment right there.

§ Month View. Hold your finger down on the appropriate Month view square.

§ Year View. Tap in the top-right corner of the screen. (This button actually works in all views, but it requires more steps because you have to specify the date and time manually.)

In each case, the New Event panel pops up, filled with tappable lines of information. Tap one (like Starts/Ends or Repeat) to open a configuration screen for that element.

image with no caption

For example:

§ Title/Location. Name your appointment here. For example, you might type Fly to Phoenix.

The second line, called Location, makes a lot of sense. If you think about it, almost everyone needs to record where a meeting is to take place. You might type a reminder for yourself like My place, a specific address like 212 East 23rd, a contact phone number, or a flight number.

Use the keyboard as usual.

§ Starts/Ends. On this screen, tap Starts, and then indicate the starting time for this appointment, using the four spinning dials at the bottom of the screen. The first sets the date; the second, the hour; the third, the minute; the fourth, AM or PM. If only real alarm clocks were so much fun!

image with no caption

Then tap Ends and repeat the process to schedule the ending time. (The iPad helpfully presets the Ends time to one hour later.)

An All-day event, of course, has no specific time of day: a holiday, a birthday, a book deadline. When you turn this option on, the Starts and Ends times disappear. The event appears at the top of the list for that day.


Calendar can handle multiday appointments, too, like trips away. Turn on All-day—and then use the Starts and Ends controls to specify beginning and ending dates. On the iPad, you’ll see it as a list item that repeats on every day’s square. Back on your computer, you’ll see it as a banner stretching across the Month view.

§ Repeat. (Scroll the New Event pane upward if you don’t see Repeat and the other options.)

Here you get common options for recurring events: every day, every week, and so on. It starts out saying Never.

Once you’ve tapped a selection, you return to the New Event screen. Now you can tap End Repeat to specify when this event should stop repeating. If you leave the setting at Never, then you’re stuck seeing this event repeating on your calendar until the end of time (a good choice for recording, say, your anniversary, especially if your spouse might be consulting the same calendar).

In other situations, you may prefer to tap On Date and spin the three dials (month, day, year) to specify an ending date, which is useful for car and mortgage payments.

Tap New Event to return to the editing screen.

§ Travel Time. If you turn on this switch, you can indicate how long it’ll take you to get to this appointment.

You get six canned choices, from 5 minutes to 2 hours. If you choose one, two things happen. First, the travel time is blocked off on your calendar, so you don’t accidentally schedule things during your driving time. (The travel time is depicted as a dotted extension of the appointment.)

Second, if you’ve set up an alarm reminder, it will go off that much earlier, so you have time to get where you’re going.

§ Calendar. Tap here to specify which color-coded calendar (A category, like Home, Kids, or Work) this appointment belongs to. Turn to The Calendar (Category) Concept for details on the calendar concept.

§ Invitees. If you have an iCloud, Exchange, or CalDAV account, you can invite people to an event—a meeting, a party, whatever—and track their responses, right there on your iPad (or any iCloud gadget). When you tap Invitees, you get an Add Invitees screen, where you can type in the email addresses of your lucky guests. (Or tap to choose them from your Contacts list.)

Later, when you tap Done, the iPad fires off email invitations to those guests. It contains buttons for them to click: Accept, Decline, and Maybe. You get to see their responses right here in the details of your calendar event.

As icing on the cake, your guests will see pop-up reminders on their phones when the time comes for the party to get started.

§ Alert. This screen tells Calendar how to notify you when a certain appointment is about to begin. Calendar can send any of four kinds of flags to get your attention. Tap how much notice you want: 5, 15, or 30 minutes before the big moment (or before the travel time you’ve specified); an hour or two before; a day or two before; a week before; or on the day of the event.


For all-day events like birthdays, you get a smaller but very useful list of choices: “On day of event (9 AM),” “1 day before (9 AM),” “2 days before (9 AM),” and “1 week before.”

When you return to the New Event panel, you see that a new line, called Second Alert, has sprouted up beneath the first Alert line. This line lets you schedule a second warning for your appointment, which can occur either before or after the first one. Think of it as a backup alarm for events of extra urgency.

Once you’ve scheduled these alerts, you’ll see a message appear on the screen at the appointed time(s). (Even if the iPad was asleep, it appears briefly.) You’ll also hear a chirpy alarm sound.


The iPad doesn’t play the sound if you turned off Calendar Alerts in SettingsSounds. It also doesn’t play if your iPad has a mute switch and you’ve turned it on.

§ URL. Here you can record the Web address of some online site that provides more information about this event.

§ Notes. Here’s your chance to customize your calendar event. You can type any text you want in the Notes area—driving directions, contact phone numbers, a call history, or whatever.

When you’ve completed filling in all these blanks, tap Add. Your newly scheduled event now shows up on the calendar.

Editing, Rescheduling, Deleting Events (Long Way)

To examine the details of an appointment in the calendar, tap it once. An Info bubble appears, filled with the essentials of the details you previously established. (In Day view, the right half of the screen shows all of that information.)

If you tap Edit, you return to what looks like a clone of the Add Event screen. Here you can change the name, time, alarm, or any other detail of the event, just the way you set them up to begin with.

This time, there’s a red Delete Event button at the very bottom. That’s the only way to erase an appointment from your calendar. (You can’t edit or erase events created by other people—Facebook birthdays, meetings on shared calendars, and so on—only appointments you created.)

image with no caption

Editing and Rescheduling Events (Fun Way)

In Day or Week views, you can drag an appointment’s block to another time slot or even another day. Just hold your finger down on the appointment’s bubble for about a second—until it darkens—before you start to drag. It’s a lot quicker and more fluid than having to edit in a dialog box.

You can also change the duration of an appointment in Day and Week views. Hold your finger down on its colored block for about a second; when you let go, small, round handles appear.

You can drag those tiny handles up or down to make the block taller or shorter, in effect making it start or end at a different time.

image with no caption

Whether you drag the whole block, the top edge, or the bottom edge, the iPad thoughtfully displays “:15,” “:30,” or “:45” on the left-side time ruler to let you know where you’ll be when you let go.

The Calendar (Category) Concept

A calendar, in Apple’s somewhat confusing terminology, is a color-coded subset—a category—into which you can place various appointments. They can be anything you like. One person might have calendars called Home, Work, and TV Reminders. Another might have Me, Spouse ’n’ Me, and The Kidz. A small business could have categories called Deductible Travel, R&D, and R&R.

You can create and edit calendar categories right on the iPad, in your desktop calendar program, or (if you’re an iCloud member) at when you’re at your computer; all your categories and color-codings show up on the iPad automatically.

At any time, on the iPad, you can choose which subset of categories you want to see. Just tap Calendars at the bottom of any view. You open up the color-coded list of your categories (facing page, left). As you can see, it’s subdivided according to your accounts: your Gmail categories, your Yahoo categories, your iCloud categories, and so on. There’s even a Facebook option, if you’ve set up your Facebook account, so that you can see your Facebook calendar entries and friends’ birthdays right on the main calendar.

image with no caption

This screen exists partly as a reference, a cheat sheet to help you remember what color goes with which category, and partly as a tappable subset chooser. That is, you can tap a category’s name to hide or show all of its appointments on the calendar. A checkmark means you’re seeing its appointments. (The All [Account Name] button turns on or off all of that account’s categories at once.)

If you tap Edit, then a little > appears next to each calendar’s name. When you tap it, you’re offered a screen where you can change the calendar’s name, color, and list of people who can see it—or scroll all the way down to see the Delete Calendar button.

The Edit Calendars panel also offers an Add Calendar button. It’s the key to creating, naming, and colorizing a new calendar on the iPad. (Whatever changes you make to your calendar categories on the iPad will be synced back to your Mac or PC.)


You can set up real-time, wireless connections to calendars published on the Web in the CalDAV format—notably your Yahoo or Google calendar. Just tap your way to SettingsMail, Contacts, CalendarsAdd Account. Here you can tap iCloud, Exchange, Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, or to set up your account. (You can also tap OtherAdd CalDAV Account to fill in the details of a less well-known calendar server.)

Now you have a two-way synced calendar between your iPad and (in this case) your online calendar. To read about other ways of syncing the iPad with online calendars, including read-only .ics files (like sports-team schedules), download the PDF appendix called “Syncing Calendar with .ics Files” from this book’s “Missing CD” page (which you’ll find at


You can share an iCloud calendar with other iCloud members (previous page, right), which is fantastic for families and small businesses who need to coordinate. Tap Calendars, tap Edit, and then tap the calendar to share. Tap Add Person and enter the person’s name. Your invitees get invitations by email; with one click, they’ve added your appointments to their calendars. They can make changes, too.

You can also share a calendar with anyone (not just iCloud members) in a “Look, don’t touch” condition. Tap Calendars, tap Edit, and then tap the calendar to share. Turn on Public Calendar; tap Share Link to open the Share sheet for sending the link. Most calendar apps understand the calendar link that your iPad sends.


If you tap and type into the search box, you pare down a list of all events from all time; only events whose names match what you’ve typed show up. Tap one to jump to its block on the main calendar.

Next time you’re sure you made an appointment with Harvey but you can’t remember the date, keep this search feature in mind.


The iOS calendar is basic. For more features and power, consider calendar apps like Fantastical or Tempo.


It’s not just a clock—it’s more like a time factory. Hiding behind this single icon on the Home screen are four programs: a world clock, an alarm clock, a stopwatch, and a countdown timer.


The app icon itself is an accurate clock. It shows the time! Isn’t that cute?

World Clock

When you tap World Clock on the Clock screen, you see the current time in several world cities—including Apple’s own Cupertino, California. The color of the clock indicates whether it’s daytime (white) or night (black). A handsome world map below shows the geographic locations of these cities within their time zones.

The result looks like the row of clocks in a hotel lobby, making you seem Swiss and precise.

image with no caption

By checking these clocks, you can avoid calling somebody up at what turns out to be 3 a.m.

To specify which city’s time appears on the clock, tap Add. Scroll to the city you want, or tap its first letter in the index at the right side to save scrolling, or tap in the search box at the top and type the name of a major city. As you type, matching city names appear; tap the one whose time you want to track.

As soon as you tap a city name, you return to the World Clock display, where that city’s clock joins the others.


Tap a clock to make it larger, filling the screen, so you can see it from across the street.

You can scroll the list of clocks. You’re not limited to six, although only that many fit on the screen at once.


Only the world’s major cities are in the iPad’s database. If you’re trying to track the time in Squirrel Cheeks, New Mexico, add a major city in the same time zone instead—like Albuquerque.

To edit the list of clocks, tap Edit. Delete a city clock by tapping and then Delete, or drag clocks up or down using the as a handle. Then tap elsewhere on the screen to close the panel.


If you travel much, this feature could turn out to be one of your iPad’s most useful functions. It’s reliable, it’s programmable, it lets you set up multiple re-usable alarms (say, a 6:30 a.m. alarm for weekdays and an 11:30 a.m. alarm for weekends), and it even wakes the iPad first, if necessary, to wake you.

To set an alarm, tap Alarm at the bottom of the Clock screen. On a map of the week, you see the alarms you’ve already created, even if none are currently set to go off (below). At the top of the screen, in huge numbers, you see the next scheduled alarm—again, even if it’s currently turned off. (Use the switch to the right to turn it on and off.)

To create a new alarm, tap to open the Add Alarm panel.

image with no caption


But really, you should not bother setting alarms using this manual technique. Instead, you’ll save a lot of time and steps by using Siri. Just say, “Set my alarm for 7:30 a.m.” (or whatever time you want).

You have several options here:

§ Time dials. Spin these three vertical wheels—hour, minute, AM/PM—to specify the time you want the alarm to go off.

§ Repeat. Tap to specify what days this alarm rings. You can specify, for example, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays by tapping those three buttons. (Tap a day-of-the-week button again to turn off its checkmark.) Tap Back when you’re done. (If you choose Saturdays and Sundays, iOS is smart enough to call that “Weekends.”)

§ Label. Tap to give this alarm a description, like “Get dressed for wedding.” That message appears on the screen when the alarm goes off.

§ Sound. Choose what sound you want to ring. You can choose from any of the iPad’s ringtone sounds, any you’ve added yourself—or, best of all, Pick a Song. That’s right—you can wake to the music of your choice.

§ Snooze. If this option is on, then at the appointed time the alarm message on the screen offers you a tap to snooze button. Tap it for 10 more minutes of sleep, at which point the iPad tries again to get your attention. (It gives you a countdown in the meantime.)

When you finally tap Save, you return to the Alarm screen, which lists your new alarm. Just tap the on/off switch to cancel an alarm. It stays in the list, though, so you can quickly reactivate it another day. You can tap to set another alarm, if you like.

Now the icon appears in the status bar at the top of the iPad screen. That’s your indicator that the alarm is set.

To delete or edit an alarm, tap Edit. Tap and then Delete to get rid of an alarm completely, or tap the alarm’s name to return to the setup screen, where you can make changes to the time, name, sound, and so on.

So what happens when the alarm goes off? The iPad wakes itself up, if it was asleep. A message appears, identifying the alarm and the time.

And, of course, the sound rings. This alarm is one of the only iPad sounds that you’ll hear even if the mute switch is turned on (if your model has one). Apple figures that if you’ve gone to the trouble of setting an alarm, you probably really want to know about it, even if you forget to turn the ringer back on.

In that case, the screen says slide to stop alarm.

To cut the ringing short, tap OK or Snooze, or press the Sleep switch, or tap a volume button. After the alarm plays (or you cut it short), its on/off switch goes to Off (on the Alarm screen)—unless, of course, you’ve set it up to be an auto-repeating alarm.


You’ve never met a more beautiful stopwatch than this one. Tap Start to begin timing something: a runner, a train, a person who’s arguing with you.

While the digits are flying by, you can tap Lap as often as you like. Each time, the list at the bottom identifies how much time elapsed since the last time you tapped Lap. It’s a way for you to compare, for example, how much time a runner is spending on each lap around a track.

(The tiny digits at the very top measure the current lap.)

You can work in other apps while the stopwatch is counting. In fact, the timer keeps ticking away even when the iPad is asleep! As a result, you can time long-term events, like how long it takes an ice sculpture to melt, the time it takes for a bean seed to sprout, or the length of a Michael Bay movie.

Tap Stop to freeze the counter; tap Start to resume the timing. If you tap Reset, you reset the counter to zero and erase all the lap times.


The fourth Clock mini-app is a countdown timer. You input a starting time, and it counts down to zero.

Countdown timers are everywhere in life. They measure the periods in sports and games, cooking times in the kitchen, penalties on The Amazing Race. But on the iPad, the timer has an especially handy function: It can turn off the music or video after a specified amount of time. In short, it’s a sleep timer that plays you to sleep and then shuts off to save power.

To set the timer, open the Clock app and then tap Timer. Spin the two dials to specify the number of hours and minutes you want to count down.

Then tap Radar (or whatever it says directly beneath the dials) to choose the sound you want the iPad to play when the timer reaches 0:00. The last one listed, Stop Playing, is the aforementioned sleep timer. It stops audio and video playback at the appointed time, so that you (and the iPad) can go to sleep. Tap Set.

image with no caption

Finally, tap Start. Big clock digits count down toward zero. While it’s in progress, you can do other things on the iPad, change the When Timer Ends settings, or just hit Cancel to forget the whole thing.


It’s much faster and simpler to use Siri to start, pause, and resume the Timer. See Control Center.

Game Center

The iPad is an accomplished gaming device, the equal of Sony’s PlayStation Portable or Nintendo’s DS. iPad features like the accelerometer and touchscreen are perfect for a multitude of games, from first-person shoot-’emups to casual games that require nothing more complicated than dragging a tile across the screen. Game makers have responded to the iPad—on the App Store, the Games category is one of the most active sections, with thousands of games available.

To help fan the flames of iPad gaming, Apple created Game Center as a way for iPadders to compare scores with their friends and to challenge buddies to games.

image with no caption

Getting Started

You have to sign up for Game Center before you can use it, but the process is simple: Just enter your Apple ID and password.

You’ll be asked to create a nickname—“AngriestBird” or “BobSmith2000,” for example. On the next screen, you can make this nickname public, so that it can appear on the leaderboards (scoreboards that show the highest point winners) for iOS games; you can also use this nickname when you play multiplayer apps like Super Stickman Golf against other people.

That public profile includes a photo of you; you can grab one from your photo library or shoot it from within Game Center itself using the iPad’s front-facing camera. You also have space to write a little description of yourself, like the bio line in Twitter.

Once all that’s in place, the Me tab in Game Center displays your nickname, that clever little phrase you wrote, and your picture (above). Beneath that, multicolored spheres display the number of Game Center-compatible games you own, the number of Game Center friends you have, and—perhaps most significantly—the number of points you’ve accrued from your gaming activities.

Points and Achievements

Points play a leading role in Game Center. They’re what you earn from racking up achievements in Game Center–compatible apps. Smash enough blocks in Angry Birds Seasons, or build a certain number of floors in Tiny Tower, and you unlock achievements in those games; those achievements translate to points, which show up in your Game Center profile.

Those points also provide a way to measure yourself against your friends. On Game Center’s Friends tab, you can tap the name of one of your friends. You get a choice of three bubbles: the games your friends play, the names of their friends, and the number of points they’ve tallied. That points view features a side-by-side comparison showing your respective accomplishments in commonly played games, so you can settle once and for all who’s tops at Tiny Wings. (Game Center also shows the points your friends have racked up in games you don’t own, which is Apple’s way of suggesting that maybe you should download more games.)

Making Friends

Of course, before you can compare your scores with your friends, you have to have some friends. Tap the button in the upper-right corner of the Friends panel to open the Friend Request page, where you can invite someone to be your Game Center buddy using his nickname, Facebook account, or email address. (In fact, Game Center thoughtfully offers you a list of Facebook contacts who are already on Game Center.)

But what if you don’t have any existing friends, or at least none that you know are on Game Center? Tap Upload My Contacts. The app sends your address book to Apple’s master computers, so it can match you up with strangers who have the same games you do. Tapping one of those names takes you to a page that shows common friends, if any, and a Send Friend Request button.

You can also find gaming companions through your other Game Center friends. Just tap names in the list of your current friends, and then select the Friends view on their pages to see who they hang out with in Game Center when they’re not matching scores with you.

Finding Games

Game Center can also help you find games to play—specifically, games that are designed to tie in with Game Center. The Recommended section of the Games tab lists suggested games. Game Center bases these recommendations on what you already own, what your friends play, and popular App Store downloads. Selecting a game in the Recommendations list shows you leaderboards, achievements you can unlock, and which of your friends are playing the game. You can download the app right from this screen.

You can also buy games directly from the list of games your friends play within the Friends tab. Tap a game name to see your friends’ rankings, or tap the price tag to download the game directly.

Playing Games

All right. Suppose, then, that you’ve downloaded some games (easy) and you have some friends (it could happen). You’re ready to play!

Tap the Games tab, tap the game you want, and then tap the player you want to challenge.

image with no caption

Or start on the Friends tab. Tap the friend, tap his Games bubble, and then tap the game you want.

Game Center hands you off to the game itself—a different app—so that your online adventure can begin. (Usually you’ll see an option for Network play or Internet play; that’s the one you want.)


iBooks is Apple’s ebook reading program, and one of the iPad’s most natural and useful apps. With iBooks, you can carry around dozens or hundreds of books on your tablet, without adding an ounce of weight to it.

Most people think of iBooks as a reader for books that Apple sells on its iTunes bookstore—bestsellers and current fiction, for example—and it does that very well. But you can also load it up with your own PDF documents, as well as thousands of free, older, out-of-copyright books.


iBooks is very cool and all. But in the interest of fairness, it’s worth noting that Amazon’s free Kindle app, and Barnes & Noble’s free B&N eReader app, are much the same thing—but offer much bigger book libraries at lower prices than Apple’s.

Downloading Books

To shop the iBooks bookstore, open the iBooks app. If this is your first time diving in, you might be offered a selection of free starter books to download right now. Go for it; they’re real, brand-name books by famous authors.

image with no caption

If, at any time, you want to buy another book—it could happen—well, the icons across the bottom are the literary equivalent of the App Store. Tap Featured to see what Apple is plugging this week; NYTimes to see what’s on The New York Times Best Seller list; Top Charts to see what books Apple is selling the most of; Top Authors; and Purchased to see what you’ve bought.


Once you’ve bought a book from Apple, you can download it again on other iPads, iPod Touches, iPhones, and Macs. Buy once, read many times. That’s the purpose of the Not on This iPad tab, which appears when you tap Purchased.

Once you find a book that looks good, you can tap Sample to download a free chapter, read ratings and reviews, or tap the price itself to buy the book and download it straight to the iPad.

PDFs and ePub Files

You can also load up your ebook reader from your computer, feeding it with PDF documents and ePub files.


ePub is the normal iBooks format. It’s a very popular standard for ebook readers, Apple’s and otherwise. The only difference between ePub documents you create and the ones Apple sells is that Apple’s are copy protected.

image with no caption

As usual, your Mac or PC is the most convenient loading dock for files bound for your iPad. If you have a Mac, open the iBooks program. If not, open iTunes, click your iPad’s icon at the top (when it’s connected), and then click Books.

Either way, you now see all the books, PDF documents, and ePub files that you’ve slated for transfer. To add to this set, just drag files off your desktop and directly into this window.

And where are you supposed to get all these files? Well, PDF documents are everywhere—people send them as attachments, and you can turn any document into a PDF file. (For example, on the Mac, in any program, choose FilePrint; in the resulting dialog box, click PDFSave as PDF.)


If you get a PDF document as an email attachment, then adding it to iBooks is even easier. Tap the attachment to open it; now tap Open in iBooks in the corner of the page. (The iPad may not be able to open really huge PDFs, though.)

But free ebooks in ePub format are everywhere, too. There are 33,000 free downloadable books at, for example, and over a million at—oldies, but classic oldies, with lots of Mark Twain, Agatha Christie, Herman Melville, H.G. Wells, and so on. (Lots of these are available in the Free pages of Apple’s own iBook store, too.)


These freebie books usually come with generic-looking covers. But once you’ve dragged them into iTunes, it’s easy to add a good-looking cover. Use to search for the book’s title. Right-click (or Control-click) the cover image in your Web browser; from the shortcut menu, choose Copy Image. In iTunes, in Library mode, choose Books from the top-left pop-up menu. Right-click (or Control-click) the generic book; choose Get Info; click Artwork; and paste the cover you copied. Now that cover will sync over to the iPad along with the book.

Once you’ve got books in iTunes, connect the iPad, choose its name at top right, click the Books tab at top, and turn on the checkboxes of the books you want to transfer.

Your Library

Once you’ve supplied your iBooks app with some reading material, the fun begins. When you open the app, its My Books tab shows a sleek bookshelf with your library represented as little book covers. Mostly what you’ll do here is tap a book to open it. But there are other activities waiting for you:

§ Tap , which switches the book-cover view to a more boring (but more compact) list view. Buttons at the top let you sort the list by author, title, category, and so on.

§ Tap Select if you want to delete a book, or a bunch of them. To do that, tap each book thumbnail that you want to target for termination; observe how they sprout marks. Then tap Delete. Of course, deleting a book from the iPad doesn’t delete your copy in iTunes or online.

§ You can reorganize your bookshelf. Hold down your finger on a book until it swells with pride, and then drag it into a new spot. (This trick doesn’t work in the All Books Collection; read on.)

§ Once you’ve tapped Select and then selected a book (or several), the Move button becomes available. It opens the Collections screen shown below. The idea is that you can create subfolders for your books, called collections. You might have one for school, one for work, and a third for somebody who shares your iPad, for example. Tap an existing collection to move the selected titles, or tap New Collection to create and name a new collection.


To switch your bookshelf view among collections, tap the collection’s name. It’s the top-center button, which starts out saying, for example, All Books or PDFs.

image with no caption

§ If you’ve loaded some PDF documents, then you can switch between the Books and PDFs bookshelves by tapping the top-center button to open the Collections panel.

§ The Search bar above the book covers lets you search by author or title—not just your books, but the entire iBooks store.

§ When you first start using a new iPad, iPhone, or Mac, your book covers bear the symbol. It means: “Our records show that you’ve bought this book, but it’s still online, in your great Apple locker in the sky. Tap to download it to your iPad so you can start reading.”


But come on—you’re a reader, not a librarian. Here’s how you read an ebook.

Open the book or PDF by tapping the book cover. Now the book opens, ready for you to read. Looks great, doesn’t it? (If you’re returning to a book you’ve been reading, iBooks remembers your place.)

In iOS 8, if the iPad detects that it’s nighttime (or just dark where you are), the screen appears with white text against a black background. That’s to prevent the bright white light of your iPad from disturbing other people in, for example, the movie theater. (This is the Night theme described below, and you can turn it off.)


Try turning the iPad 90 degrees. In landscape orientation, you see a two-page spread. In portrait orientation, you get a single, bigger page.

Reading is simple. Turn the page by tapping the margin of the page—or swiping your finger across the page. (If you swipe slowly, you can actually see the “paper” bending over—in fact, you can see through to the “ink” on the other side of the page! Amaze your friends.) You can tap or swipe the left edge (to go back a page) or the right edge (to go forward).


This is Lock Rotation’s big moment. When you want to read lying down, you can prevent the text from rotating 90 degrees using Lock Rotation (Cameras).

But if you tap a page, a row of additional controls appears:

§ Library takes you back to the bookshelf view.

§ opens the Table of Contents. The chapter or page names are “live”—you can tap one to jump there.

§ lets you change the look of the page. For example, this panel offers a screen-brightness slider. That’s a nice touch, because the brightness of the screen makes a big difference in the comfort of your reading. (This is the same control you’d find in the Control Center or in Settings.)

A pair of A buttons controls the type size—a huge feature for people with tired or over-40 eyes. And it’s something paper books definitely can’t do. Tap the larger one repeatedly to enlarge the text; tap the smaller one to shrink it.

The same panel offers a Fonts button, where you can choose from seven different typefaces for your book, as well as a Themes button, which lets you specify whether the page itself is White, Night (black page, white text, for nighttime reading), or Sepia (off-white). As promised, there’s an Auto-Night Theme button; if you don’t care for the white-on-black theme in dark environments, then turn off this switch.


New in iOS 8: a Scrolling View switch. In Scrolling View, you don’t turn book “pages” (and in landscape orientation, you see one page instead of two). Instead, the entire book scrolls vertically, as though printed on an infinite roll of Charmin.

image with no caption

§ opens the search box. It lets you search for text within the book you’re reading, which can be extremely useful. As a bonus, there are also Search Web and Search Wikipedia buttons so you can hop online to learn more about something you’ve just read.

§ adds a bookmark to the current page. This isn’t like a physical bookmark, where there’s usually only one in the whole book; you can use it to flag as many pages, for as many reasons, as you like.

§ Chapter slider. At the bottom of the screen, a slider represents the chapters of your book. Tap or drag it to jump around in the book; as you drag, a pop-up indicator shows you what chapter and page number you’re scrolling to. (If you’ve magnified the font size, of course, your book consumes more pages.)


An iBook can include pictures and even videos. Double-tap a picture in a book to zoom in on it.

When you’re reading a PDF document, by the way, you can do something you can’t do when reading regular iBooks: zoom in and out using the usual two-finger pinch-and-spread gestures. Very handy indeed.


On the other hand, here are some features that don’t work in PDF files (only ebooks): font and type-size changes, page-turn animations, sepia or black backgrounds, highlighting, and notes.

Notes, Bookmarks, Highlighting, Dictionary

Here are some more stunts that you’d have trouble pulling off in a printed book. If you double-tap a word, or hold your finger down on a word, you get a bar that offers these options:

§ Copy, of course, copies the selected text so you can paste it somewhere.

§ Define. Opens up a page from iBooks’ built-in dictionary. You know—in the unlikely event that you encounter a word you don’t know.

§ Highlight. Adds tinted, transparent highlighting, or underlining, to the word you tapped. For best results, don’t tap the Highlight button until you’ve first grabbed the blue dot handles and dragged them to enclose the entire passage you want highlighted.

Once you tap Highlight, the buttons change into a special Highlight bar (next page, middle). The first button opens a third row of buttons (bottom), so that you can specify which highlight color you want. (The final button designates underlining.)

The second button () removes highlighting. The third lets you add a note, as described next. The button opens the Share sheet, also described momentarily.

§ Note. This feature creates highlighting on the selected passage and opens an empty colored sticky note, complete with keyboard, so you can type in your own annotations. When you tap outside the note to close it, your note collapses down to a tiny yellow Post-it peeking out from the right edge of the margin. Tap to reopen it.

To delete a note, tap the highlighted text. Tap .

image with no caption

§ Search opens the same search box that you’d get by tapping the icon—except this time, the highlighted word is already filled in, saving you a bit of typing.

§ Share opens the Share sheet (The Share Sheet) so you can send the highlighted material to somebody else by message or email, post it to Facebook or Twitter, or copy it to your Clipboard for pasting into another app.

§ Speak reads the highlighted passage aloud. (This button appears only if you’ve turned on Speak Selection in SettingsGeneralAccessibilitySpeech.) Thank you, Siri!

There are a couple of cool things going on with your bookmarks, notes, and highlighting, by the way. Once you’ve added them to your book, they’re magically and wirelessly synced to any other copies of that book—on other gadgets, like the iPhone or iPod Touch, other iPads, or even Macs running OS X Mavericks or later. Very handy indeed.

Furthermore, if you tap the button to open the Table of Contents, you’ll see the Bookmarks and Notes tabs. Each presents a tidy list of all your bookmarked pages, notes, and highlighted passages. You can tap (and then Share Notes) to print or email your notes, or tap one of the listings to jump to the relevant page.

Books That Read to You

iBooks can actually read to you! It’s a great feature when you’re driving or jogging, when someone’s just learning to read, or when you’re having trouble falling asleep. In iOS 8, there’s even a special control panel just for managing your free audiobook reader.

To get started, open SettingsGeneralAccessibilitySpeech. Turn on Speak Screen.

Then open a book in iBooks. Swipe down the page with two fingers to make the iPad start reading the book to you, out loud, with a synthesized voice. At the same time, a palette appears, offering these speech controls:

image with no caption

After a few seconds, the palette shrinks into a > button at the edge of the screen—and, after that, it becomes transparent, as though trying to make itself as invisible as possible. You can, of course, tap it to reopen it.

Yes, this is exactly the feature that debuted in the Amazon Kindle and was then removed when publishers screamed bloody murder—but, somehow, so far, Apple has gotten away with it.

iBooks Settings

If you’ve embraced the simple joy of reading electronic books on your iPad, then you need to know where to make settings changes: in SettingsiBooks. Here are the options waiting there:

§ Full Justification. Ordinarily, iBooks presents text with fully justified margins (left). Turn this off if you prefer ragged right margins (right).

image with no caption

§ Auto-hyphenation. Sometimes, typesetting looks better if hyphens allow partial words to appear at the right edge of each line. Especially if you’ve also turned on Full Justification.

§ Both Margins Advance. Usually, tapping the right edge of the screen turns to the next page, and tapping the left edge turns back a page. If you turn on this option, then tapping either edge of the screen opens the next page. That can be handy if you’re a lefty, for example.

§ Sync Bookmarks and Notes, Sync Collections. Turn these on if you’d like your bookmarks, notes, and book collections to be synced with your other Apple gadgets.

§ Online Content. A few books contain links to video or audio clips online. This option comes set to Off, because video and audio can eat up your monthly cellular data allotment like a hungry teenager.


Here it is, folks, the feature that made international headlines: the Maps app.

From its birth in 2007, the iPad always came with Google Maps—an excellent mapping and navigation app. (Apple wrote it, but Google provided the maps and navigation data.) But in iOS 6, Apple replaced it with a new mapping system of its own.

Why? Apple says Google was withholding features like spoken turn-by-turn directions and smoothly drawn (vector-based) map images. Furthermore, as the rivalry intensified, Apple no longer wanted to share the super-valuable data generated by all those millions of moving iPads with Google.

Unfortunately, in its initial version, the databases underlying the Maps app had a lot of problems. They didn’t include nearly as many points of interest (buildings, stores, landmarks) as Google. Addresses were sometimes wrong.

Apple promised to keep working on Maps until it was all fixed, but in the meantime, in a remarkable apology letter, CEO Tim Cook recommended using one of its rivals. By far the best one is Google Maps. It’s free; it’s amazingly smart (it knows what address you mean after you type only a few letters); it has public transportation details, live traffic reports, Street View (you can see photos of most addresses, and even “look around” you), and, of course, Google’s far superior maps and data.

All right—you’ve been warned. It may still take some time before Apple Maps is complete and reliable.

But while Apple’s cartographical elves keep working on cleaning up the underlying maps, some of its features are pretty great. And if you have a Mac (running OS X Mavericks or later), you can look up a destination on the Mac and then send the directions wirelessly to your iPad.

Here’s what you have to look forward to.

Meet Maps

The underlying geographical database may need work, but Maps, the app itself, is a thing of beauty.

It lets you type in any address or point of interest in the U.S. or many other countries and see it plotted on a map, with turn-by-turn driving directions, just like a $300 windshield GPS unit. It also gives you a live national Yellow Pages business directory and real-time traffic-jam alerts. You have a choice of a street-map diagram or actual aerial photos, taken by satellite.

And Maps offers Flyover, an amazing aerial, 360-degree 3-D view of major cities.

Maps Basics

When you open Maps, a blue dot represents your current location. Double-tap to zoom in, over and over again, until you’re seeing actual city blocks. You can also pinch or spread two fingers to shrink or magnify the view. Drag or flick to scroll around the map.

To zoom out again, you can use the rare two-finger double-tap.

At any time, you can tap the button in the corner of the screen to open a panel of options. Here you can tap your choice of amazing map views: Standard (street-map illustration), Satellite (stunning aerial photos), or Hybrid (photos superimposed with street names).

There’s no guarantee that the Satellite view provides a very recent photo—different parts of the Maps database use photography taken at different times—but it’s still very cool.

image with no caption


You’ll know when you’ve zoomed in to the resolution limits of Apple’s satellite imagery; it will just stop zooming. Do some two-finger double-taps to back out.

You can twist two fingers to rotate the map. (A compass icon at top right helps you keep your bearings; you can tap it to restore the map’s usual north-is-up orientation.) And if you drag two fingers up the screen, you tilt the map into 3-D view, which makes it look more like you’re surveying the map at an angle instead of straight down.

Finding Yourself

If any tablet can tell you where you are, it’s the iPad. It has not one, not two, but three ways to determine your location.

§ GPS. First, the cellular iPads (not the WiFi-only models) contain a traditional GPS chip, of the sort that’s found in automotive navigation units from Garmin, TomTom, and others. If the iPad has a good view of the sky and isn’t confounded by skyscrapers, then it can do a decent job of consulting the 24 satellites that make up the Global Positioning System and determining its own location.

§ Google’s cellular triangulation system. A cellular iPad can also check its proximity to the cellphone towers around you. Software from Google relies upon its knowledge of cellular towers’ locations. The accuracy isn’t as good as GPS—you’re lucky if it puts you within a block or two of your actual location—but it’s something.

§ Wi-Fi Positioning System. Metropolitan areas today are blanketed by overlapping WiFi signals. At a typical Manhattan intersection, you might be in range of 20 base stations. Each one broadcasts its own name and unique network address (its MAC address—nothing to do with Mac computers) once every second. Although you’d need to be within 150 feet or so to actually get onto the Internet, a laptop or iPad can detect this beacon signal from up to 1,500 feet away.

Imagine if you could correlate all those beacon signals with their physical locations. Why, you’d be able to simulate GPS—without the GPS!

So for years, millions of iPhones have been quietly logging all those WiFi signals, noting their network addresses and locations. (An iPhone never had to connect to these base stations. It was just reading the one-way beacon signals.)

At this point, Apple’s database knows about millions of hotspots—and the precise longitude and latitude of each.

So now you know how the WiFi-only iPad can find out its location, sort of: It sniffs for WiFi base stations.

That accuracy is good to within only 100 feet, and of course the system fails completely when you’re not in any WiFi hotspots. In general, therefore, using Maps as a navigational tool is useful only for the cellular iPad models.


The iPad’s location circuits eat into battery power. To shut them down when you’re not using them, open SettingsPrivacy and turn off Location Services.

All right—now that you know how the iPad gets its location information, here’s how you can use it. Its first trick is to show you where you are.

Tap the at the bottom of the Maps screen. The button turns white, indicating that the iPad is consulting its various references to figure out where you are. You show up as a blue pushpin that moves with you. That’s the iPad saying, “OK, pal, I’ve got you. You’re here.” It keeps tracking until you tap the enough times to turn it off.

Orienting Maps

It’s great to see a blue pin on the map, and all—but the iPad can also show you which way you’re facing.

Just tap the button twice. The map spins so that the direction you’re facing is upward, and the icon points straight up. A “flashlight beam” emanates from your blue dot; its width indicates the iPad’s degree of confidence. (The narrower the beam, the surer it is.)

Searching Maps

You’re not always interested in finding out where you are; often, you know that much perfectly well. Instead, you want to see where something else is.

Now, the following paragraphs guide you through using the search box at the top of Maps. But, frankly, if you use it, you’re a sucker. It’s much quicker to use Siri to specify what you want to find.

You can say, for example, “Show me the map of Detroit” or “Show me the closest Starbucks” or “Give me directions to 200 West 79th Street in New York.” Siri shows you that spot on a map; tap to jump into the Maps app.

If you must use the search box, though, here’s how it works: Tap in the search box to summon the iPad keyboard. (If there’s already something in the box, tap to clear it out.) Here’s what Maps can find for you:

§ An address. You can skip the periods (and usually the commas, too). And you can use abbreviations. Typing 710 w end ave ny ny will find 710 West End Avenue, New York, New York. (In this and any of the other examples, you can type a Zip code instead of a city and a state.)

§ An intersection. Type 57th and lexington, ny ny. Maps will find the spot where East 57th Street crosses Lexington Avenue in New York City.

§ A city. Type chicago il to see that city. You can zoom in from there.

§ A Zip code or a neighborhood. Type 10024 or greenwich village.

§ Latitude and longitude coordinates. Type 40.7484° N, 73.9857° W.

§ A point of interest. Type washington monument or niagara falls.

§ A business type. Type drugstores in albany ny or hospitals in roanoke va.

image with no caption

When Maps finds a specific address, an animated, red-topped pushpin comes flying down onto its precise spot on the map. A bubble identifies the location by name.

Tap outside the bubble to hide it. Tap the map pin to bring the bubble back. Tap the icon for instant driving directions.


Or walking directions. You choose whether you mostly walk or drive (and therefore which Maps suggests) in SettingsMaps.

Tap the to open the Location page; read on.

The Location Page

Once you’ve found something on the map—your current position, say, or something you’ve searched for—you can drop a pin there for future reference. Tap the button; when the page slides up, tap Drop a Pin. A blue pushpin appears. (You can drag the pin to move it, if your aim wasn’t exact.)


You can also drop a pin by holding your finger down on the right spot.

There are also the red pushpins that represent addresses you’ve looked up. And there are the tiny icons that represent restaurants, stores, and other establishments in Apple’s (actually Yelp’s) database.

All these pushpins and nano-icons are tappable. You get a little label that identifies each one. And if you tap the on that label, you open a details screen called the Location page.

Here links let you bookmark the spot, get directions, add it to Contacts, or share it with other people (via AirDrop, email, text message, Facebook, or Twitter). Often, what you’re after are the Directions To Here and Directions From Here links (“here” meaning your current location).

image with no caption

If this is the location for a restaurant or a business, you might strike gold: The Location page might offer several screens full of useful information, courtesy of You’ll see customer reviews, photos, hours of operation, delivery and reservation information, and so on.

The Location screen may also offer the Popular Apps Nearby link. It lists apps that other people have downloaded in the vicinity. Sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason to them, but sometimes you’ll discover a gem that pertains to the place you’re scoping out: a guide app, for example.

Finding Friends and Businesses

Maps is also plugged into your Contacts list, which makes it especially easy to find a friend’s house (or just to see how ritzy his neighborhood is).

Instead of typing an address into the empty search bar, tap inside it; a list of recent searches appears (it’s designed to save you time if you need those directions again). Tap Favorites. You arrive at the Favorites/Recents/Contacts panel, containing three lists that can save you a lot of typing.

Two of them are described in the next section. But if you tap Contacts, you see your master address book (Chapter 4). Tap a name. In a flash, Maps drops a red, animated pushpin onto the map to identify that address.


As you type, the iPad displays a list of matching names. Tap the one you want to find on the map.

That pushpin business also comes into play when you use Maps as a glorified national Yellow Pages. If you type, for example, pharmacy 60609, then those red pushpins show you all the drugstores in that Chicago Zip code. It’s a great way to find a gas station, a cash machine, or a hospital in a pinch. Tap a pushpin to see the name of the corresponding business.

As usual, you can tap the button in the map pin’s label bubble to open a details screen. If you’ve searched for a friend, then you see the corresponding Contacts card. If you’ve searched for a business, then you get a screen containing its phone number, address, Web site, and so on; often, you get a beautiful page of Yelp information (photos, reviews, ratings). Remember that you can tap a Web address to open it.

In both cases, you get two useful buttons, labeled Directions To Here and Directions From Here. You also get a button; on the resulting Share sheet, you have the option to send the address to someone by AirDrop, Message, or Mail (for a restaurant where you’re supposed to meet, for example)—or to bookmark this address for use later (Add to Favorites), as described next.

Favorites and Recents

One nice thing about Maps is the way it tries to eliminate typing at every step. The Favorites/Recents/Contacts screen is a great example.

In iOS 8, you have to tap in the search bar and then tap Favorites to find it. But here they are: three lists that spare you from having to type stuff.

§ Favorites are addresses you’ve flagged for later use by tapping Add to Favorites, an option that appears whenever you tap the on a place’s details screen. For sure you should bookmark your home and workplace. That will make it much easier to request driving directions.

§ Recents are searches you’ve conducted. You’d be surprised at how often you want to call up the same spot again later—and now you can, just by tapping its name in this list. You can also tap Clear to empty the list—if, for example, you intend to elope and don’t want your parents to find out. (This is actually the same list that appears when you tap the empty search box, right there on the screen.)

§ Contacts is your iPad address book. One tap maps out where someone lives.

image with no caption

Tap a destination to see it on the map, or tap anywhere on the map to back out without choosing a destination.


Suppose you’ve just searched for a place (below, top) and then tapped its name. The place’s bubble is open on the screen.

Now you can tap Directions (or the blue car icon next to the place name) for instant directions (below, bottom).

image with no caption

If there’s no identified address yet, tapping Directions produces two search bars, labeled Start and End. Plug in two addresses—the Start address may already say “Current Location”—and let Maps guide you from the first to the second. You can use any of the address shortcuts on Searching Maps, or you can tap one of the recent searches listed here. (Or, after performing any search that produces a pushpin, you can tap the in its label bubble and then tap Directions To Here or Directions From Here on the details screen.)


If you tap , you swap the Start and End points. That’s a great way to find your way back after a trip.

In any case, once you’ve told Maps where you’re going, you can tell it how you’re going. Three buttons say Drive, Walk (yes, walking directions), and Apps. This last button is supposed to make up for Maps’ lack of public-transportation guidance. It presents a page from the App Store that offers train- and bus-schedule apps, relevant to the city of your search, for downloading.

Maps also displays an overview of the route you’re about to drive. In fact, it usually proposes several different routes. They’re labeled with little tags that identify how long each will take you: 3 hrs 37 min, 4 hrs 11 min, and 4 hrs 33 min, for example.

If you tap one of these tags, the bottom of the screen lets you know the distance and estimated time for that option and identifies the main roads you’ll be on.

Tap the Route label you want and then tap Start to see the first driving instruction.

The map zooms into the actual road you’ll be traveling, which looks like it’s been drawn in with blue highlighter, and Navigation mode begins.

Navigation Mode

When the iPad is guiding you to a location, Maps behaves exactly like a windshield GPS unit, but better looking and with less clutter to distract you. You see a simplified map of the world around you, complete with the outlines of buildings, with huge white directional banners that tell you how to turn next, and onto what street. Siri’s familiar voice speaks the same information at the right times, so you don’t even have to look at the screen.

Even if you hit the Sleep switch to lock the iPad, the voice guidance continues. (It also continues even if you switch to another app; return to Maps by tapping the banner at the top of the screen.)

If you do tap the Maps screen, however, a few extra controls appear. The top bar shows your projected arrival time, plus the remaining distance and time. It also offers the End button, which makes the navigation stop. Tap End when you suddenly recognize where you are, for example, and don’t need Siri’s opinion anymore.

The Navigation mode is meant to be a hands-free, distraction-free guidance system only. While Maps is guiding you, you can’t zoom in and out, nor can you pan the map to look ahead at upcoming turns or to inspect alternate routes. (You can twist two fingers to turn the map, but it snaps back as soon as you let go.)

image with no caption

But if you tap Overview in the upper-right corner, your entire planned route shrinks down to fit on a single screen. Now you see your entire route, and you can zoom, turn, and pan. To return to the navigation screen, tap Resume.

At the bottom, these buttons await:

§ 3D. Tap to view the map at an angle. In major cities, you even see 3-D shapes of the buildings.

§ List Steps. Tap to get a written list of turn-by-turn instructions.

§ . You can adjust the volume of Siri’s speaking voice as she gives you driving directions by tapping here. Choose Low, Medium, or Loud Volume, or turn off her voice prompts altogether with No Voice.

Tap the screen to hide these additional controls once again.

Night Mode

If the iPad’s ambient light sensor decides that it’s dark in your car, it switches to a dimmer, grayer version of the map. It wouldn’t want to distract you, after all. When there’s light, it brightens back up again.


How’s this for a cool feature? Free, real-time traffic reporting. Just tap the button (it’s visible whenever you’re not in Navigation mode), and then tap Show Traffic. Now traffic jams appear as dashed red lines on the relevant roads, for your stressing pleasure; less severe slowdowns show up as dashed yellow lines.

Better yet, tiny icons appear, representing accidents and construction sites. Tap the icon to make a quick description tag appear (like “Accident, Park Ave at State St”); tap that tag to read a full-screen account of what’s going on.

If you don’t see any dotted lines, it’s either because traffic is moving fine or because Apple doesn’t have any information for those roads. Usually, you get traffic info only for highways, and only in metropolitan areas.

image with no caption


You don’t need a car to use Flyover, the Maps app’s most dazzling feature; it has nothing to do with navigation, really. You can operate it even while you’re lying on your couch like a slug.

Flyover is a dynamic, interactive, photographic 3-D model of certain major cities. It looks something like an aerial video, except that you control the virtual camera. You can pan around these scenes, looking over and around buildings to see what’s behind them. To create this feature, Apple says, it spent two years filming cities in helicopters.

To try it, you must be in Satellite or Hybrid view (tap to get there). Enter 3-D mode by dragging down the screen with two fingers (or tap , then Show 3D Map).

Wait for a moment as the iPad downloads the photographic models. Now you can go nuts, conducting your own virtual chopper tour of the city using the usual techniques:

image with no caption

§ Drag with one finger to move around the map.

§ Pinch or spread two fingers to zoom in or out.

§ Drag two fingers up or down to change your camera angle relative to the ground.

§ Twist two fingers to turn the world before you.

It’s immersing, completely amazing, and very unlikely to make you airsick.

Flyover Tours

In iOS 8, Apple wasn’t satisfied with letting you pan around virtual 3-D city models using your finger. Now it’s prepared to give you city tours in 3-D.

Use the search box to enter the name of a big city or major landmark. (Some examples: San Francisco, New York, Tokyo, London, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Vancouver, San Jose, Cape Town, Stockholm. Or places like Yosemite National Park, Sydney Opera House, Stonehenge, St. Peter’s Basilica, or the Brooklyn Bridge.)

When you hit Search, a new control appears just beneath the Start box; “3D Flyover Tour.” When you tap Start, you’re in for a crazy treat: a fully automated video tour of that city or place. The San Francisco tour shows you the baseball park, the famous Transamerica Pyramid, the Alcatraz prison island, and so on. It’s slow, soothing, cool, and definitely something that paper maps never did.

image with no caption


Just about every major magazine and newspaper now offers a downloadable electronic version; your iPad can download and “deliver” them in the background automatically. They show up right here, in Newsstand. In fact, you can’t move their icons anywhere else.

Newsstand is the mutant love child of an app and a folder. Like an app, it shows up in the app switcher when you double-press the Home button. Like a folder, when you tap it, you don’t leave the Home screen. Instead, a bookshelf version of a folder opens, showing the icons of your subscriptions. You can’t find Newsstand by searching, either.


You can drag Newsstand into another folder to hide it—a great option if you never use it.

Tap one of these magazine or newspaper icons to open it.

Why is Newsstand a pseudo-folder? Because each magazine or newspaper is different. Some are self-contained apps. Others are just glorified PDF files. Some are nothing more than links to other apps elsewhere on your iPad (like The New York Times, for example).

At least you know where to find them all.

image with no caption

To subscribe to something, tap Store in the corner. You arrive at what should look familiar by now: the usual App Store screen, composed of horizontally scrolling categories. You’re looking at a special corner of the store that’s dedicated to e-publications. Tap the name of one to see sample pages, read a description, peruse reviews from other readers—and, if you like what you see, download it.

Most big-name magazines, by the way, appear to be free. You can download them, view their covers in your Newsstand “folder,” and so on. But you’re really downloading only a shell—a mini-store just for that magazine. When you actually open it, you’re asked to pay $4 or $5 to buy issues within that app.

In the same vein, you don’t see individual issues on your Newsstand bookshelf. You see one cover for each magazine; other issues are inside it. A blue dot appears beneath the cover to let you know that a new issue has arrived.


The Notes app is the closest thing the iPad has to a word processor. It’s nice to be able to jot down—or dictate—lists, reminders, and brainstorms. You can email them to yourself when you’re finished—or sync them right to your Mac or PC. In iOS 8, you can now format your text with bold, italic, or underlining, and you can insert a photo.

The first time you open Notes, you see what looks like a blank white page. Tap to make the keyboard appear so you can begin typing. When you’re finished with a note for now, tap the key to put away the keyboard (or just tap somewhere else).

image with no caption

At all times, a handy row of icons appears at the top of your Notes page. The rundown:

§ . Tap to delete the current note. After you confirm your decision, the note vanishes.

§ . Tap to print your note, copy it, or send it to someone by email, text message, AirDrop, and so on. (See The Share Sheet for more on the sharing options.)

§ starts a new blank note.

The Table of Contents

Notes keeps a handy list of your notes’ first lines—a little table of contents, most recent at the top. When the iPad is in landscape mode, this list is always open at the left side of the screen. In portrait mode, tap Notes at top left to see it.

In any case, this list is the only way to jump from one note to another. To open a note, tap its name. To delete a note, you can swipe across its name in the list, right to left, and then confirm by tapping Delete.

There’s a search box here, too. Tap in it to open the keyboard. You can now search all your notes instantly—not just their titles, but also the text inside them.

Syncing Notes

The real beauty of this app is that it can synchronize your collection of Notes with all kinds of other Apple gear—other iPads, iPhones, iPod Touches, and Mountain Lion or later Macs—so the same notes are waiting for you everywhere you look. Just make sure Notes is turned on inSettingsiCloud on each iPad or tablet, and in System PreferencesiCloud on your Mac. The rest is automatic.

Notes Accounts

Your notes can also sync wirelessly with the Notes modules on Google, Yahoo, AOL, Exchange, or another IMAP email account. To set this up, open SettingsMail, Contacts, Calendars. Tap the account you want (iCloud, Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, or whatever); finally, turn the Notes switchOn.

That should do it. Now your notes are synced nearly instantly, wirelessly, both directions.


One catch: Notes that you create at,, or don’t wind up on the iPad. Those accounts sync wirelessly in one direction only: from the iPad to the Web site, where the notes arrive in a Notes folder. (There’s no problem, however, if you get your AOL or Gmail mail in an email program like Outlook, Entourage, or Apple Mail. Then it’s two-way syncing as usual.)

At this point, a Folders or Accounts button appears at the top-left corner of the Notes list. Tap it to see your note sets from Google, Yahoo, AOL, Exchange, iCloud, or an IMAP email account.

If you’ve created Notes folders in OS X on your Mac (Mountain Lion or later), then you see those folders here, too.

All of this makes life a little more complex, of course. For example, when you create a note, you have to worry about which account it’s about to go into. To do that, be sure to specify an account name (and a folder within it, if necessary) before you create the new note.


In SettingsNotes, you can also specify which of your different Notes accounts you want to be the main one—the one that new notes fall into if you haven’t specified otherwise.

Photo Booth

It may be goofy, it may be pointless, but the Photo Booth app is a bigger time drain than Solitaire, the Web, and Dancing with the Stars put together.

Photo Booth takes your front-facing camera into a world of special visual effects. Some make you look like a pinhead, or bulbous, or like a Siamese twin; others simulate Andy Warhol paintings, fisheye lenses, and charcoal sketches.

When you find an effect that looks appealing (or unappealing, depending on your goals here), tap it. Have fun posing and goofing around.

At any time, you can tap . Snap!—your screen flashes white to add illumination to your face, and the resulting photo’s thumbnail joins the horizontally scrolling collection at the bottom.

Tap one to see it full-screen. At point, you’ll discover that these masterpieces of goofiness and distortion aren’t locked in Photo Booth forever. Tap to share.

Or to delete. Or to start over.

image with no caption

As you set off on your Photo Booth adventures, a note of caution: Keep it away from children. They won’t move from Photo Booth for the next 12 years.


A podcast is a “TV” or “radio” show that’s distributed online.

Lots of podcasts begin life as actual radio and TV shows; most of NPR’s shows are available as podcasts, for example, so you can listen to them whenever and wherever you like.

But thousands more are recorded just for downloading. They range from recordings made by professionals in high-end studios to amateurs talking into their phones. Some have thousands of regular listeners; some have only a handful.

One thing’s for sure: There’s a podcast out there that precisely matches whatever weird, narrow interests you have.

The Podcasts app is designed to help you find, subscribe to, organize, and listen to podcasts. It’s designed just like Apple’s online stores for apps, music, movies, and so on. For example, tap Featured to see scrolling rows of recommended podcasts, or Top Charts to see what the rest of the world seems to be listening to these days. Or use Search to look for something specific.

image with no caption

Don’t miss the Video tab (on the Featured and Top Charts screens), by the way. The most popular videocasts are usually clips from network or cable TV shows, but there are plenty of quirky, offbeat, funny video podcasts that will never be seen except on tablet and phone screens.

In any case, once you find a podcast episode that seems interesting (facing page, bottom), you can listen to it in either of two ways:

§ Stream it. Tap a podcast’s name to play it directly from the Internet. It’s never stored on your iPad and doesn’t take up any space, but it does require an Internet connection. Generally no good for plane rides.

§ Download it. If you tap the next to a podcast’s name, you download it to your iPad. It takes up space there (and podcasts can be big)—but you can play it back anytime, anywhere. And, of course, you can delete it when you’re done.


Most podcasts are series. Their creators crank them out every week or whatever. If you find one you love, subscribe to it, so that your iPad downloads each new episode automatically. Just tap SUBSCRIBE on its details page.

The episodes wind up on the My Podcasts screen. Tap an icon to open the Episodes screen, where you can tap Unplayed (episodes you haven’t heard) or Feed (all episodes). Other buttons include Edit (delete episodes en masse); Settings (for this podcast only, as described next); and (pass along links to this podcast by Messages, Mail, Twitter, Facebook, and so on).


There’s a lot to control when it comes to podcasts. Do you want new episodes downloaded automatically? Do you want them auto-deleted when you’re finished? Do you want to limit how many episodes of each show are stored on your iPad? What playback order—oldest first or newest first?

You make all of these choices in SettingsPodcasts. That’s the global setting for podcasts—but you can also override them for individual podcast shows, using the Settings button described above.


To play a podcast, tap its icon on My Podcasts (facing page), and then tap the episode name. At this point, all the usual audio-playback controls are available (Control Center)—with the handy addition of buttons that speed up or slow down the talking (.5x, 1x, 1.5x, or 2x regular speed). There’s a Sleep Timer, too, so that you can drift off to the sound of a droning podcaster.

You can press the Sleep switch to turn off the screen; the podcast continues playing. And even if the iPad is locked, you can open the Control Center (Control Center) to access the playback controls.


Don’t forget to use Siri! You can say things like “Play ‘Fresh Air’ podcast,” “Play my latest podcasts,” “Play my podcast” (to resume what you listened to last), “Play latest TED podcast,” and so on.


A station is a playlist of podcasts. A smart playlist, actually, because it can update itself according to your specs.

To create one, tap My Stations and then New Station. Name it (“Jogging,” “The drive to work,” whatever) and tap Save.

Now you’re shown a list of your subscriptions. Tap the ones that you want to be part of your station, and then tap Done. That’s it: You’re ready to play! (Any podcast playlists you’ve created on your computer, in iTunes, appear on the My Stations list, too.)

When you tap a station’s name, its page offers a Settings button. Here’s where you can tweak its settings: playback order, grouping (so that episodes of the same show play back together), how many episodes, audio or video podcasts, and so on.


The Reminders app not only records your life’s little tasks, but it also reminds you about them, either when the right time comes or when you come to the right place. For example, it can remind you to water the plants as soon as you get home.

If you have an iCloud account, your reminders sync across all your gadgets. Create or check off a task on your iPad, and you’ll also find it created or checked off on your iPhone, iPod Touch, Mac (thanks to Calendar), PC (thanks to Outlook or Exchange), and so on.


Reminders sync wirelessly with anything your iCloud account knows about: the iCal, Calendar, or BusyCal programs on your Mac, Outlook on the PC, and so on.

Siri and Reminders are a match made in heaven. “Remind me to file the Jenkins report when I get to work.” “Remind me to set the TiVo for tonight at 8.” “Remind me about Timmy’s soccer game a week from Saturday.” “Add waffles to my Groceries list.”

image with no caption

The List of Lists

When you open Reminders, one thing becomes instantly apparent: You can create more than one to-do list, each with its own name: a groceries list, kids’ chores, a running tally of expenses, and so on. It’s a great way to log what you eat if you’re on a diet, or to keep a list of movies people recommend.

They show up as colorful tabs; tap one to see the to-do list within.

If you share an iCloud account with another family member, you might create a different Reminders list for each person. (Of course, now you run the risk that your spouse might sneakily add items to your to-do list!)

If you have an Exchange account, one of your lists can be synced to your corporate Tasks list. It doesn’t offer all the features of the other lists in Reminders, but at least it’s kept tidy and separate.

To delete a list, tap Edit (lower left) and then tap Delete List.


You can use Siri to add things to individual lists by name. You can say, for example, “Add low-fat cottage cheese to the Groceries list.”

Siri can also find these reminders, saving you a lot of navigation later. You can say, “Find my reminder about dosage instructions,” for example.

Once you’ve created some lists, you can easily switch among them. Just tap the title of a different list to open it.

To create a new list, tap Add List. If you have multiple accounts that offer reminders, you’re asked to specify which one will receive this new list (lower right). Now your jobs begin:

image with no caption

1. Enter a name for the list. When you tap the light-gray letters New List, the keyboard appears to help you out.

2. Tap a colored dot. This will be the color of the list’s title font and also of the “checked-off” circles once the list is under way (top right).

3. Tap Done. Now you can tap the first blank line and enter the first item in the list.


After that first line, you can’t create new items in the list by tapping the blank line below the existing items. As you type, tapping the Return key is the only way to move to the next line.

Later, you can assign a task to a different list by tapping List on its Details screen.

The Scheduled List

If you really do wind up using Reminders as a to-do list, you might be gratified to discover that the app also offers a Scheduled list: a consolidated list of every item, from all your lists, to which you’ve given a deadline.

Recording a Reminder

Once you’ve opened a list, here’s how you record a new task the manual way: Tap the blank line beneath your existing reminders. Type your reminder (or dictate it). Tap the to set up the details, described below; tap Done when you’re finished.

As you go through life completing tasks, tap the circle next to each one. A checked-off to-do remains in place until the next time you visit its list. At that point, it disappears. It’s moved into a separate list called Completed.

But when you want to take pride in how much you’ve accomplished, you can tap Show Completed to bring your checked-off tasks back into view.

Other stuff you can do:

§ Delete a to-do item altogether, as though it never existed. Swipe leftward across its name, and then tap Delete to confirm.

§ Delete a bunch of items in a row. Tap Edit. Tap each icon, and then tap Delete to confirm.

§ Rearrange a list so the items appear in a different order. Tap Edit, and then drag the handle up or down.

The Details Screen

If you tap next to an item’s name, you arrive at the Details panel. Here you can set up a reminder that will pop up at a certain time or place, create an auto-repeating schedule, file this item into a different to-do list with its own name, add notes to this item, or delete it. Here are your options, one by one (next page, left):

§ Remind me on a day. Here you can set up the iPad to chime at a certain date and time (tap whatever it says now to bring up the “time wheel”).

Using the Repeat control, you can ask to be reminded about things that recur in your life, like quarterly tax payments, haircuts, and anniversaries.

§ Remind me at a location. If you turn on this amazing feature, then the iPad will use its location circuits to remind you of this item when you arrive at a certain place or leave a certain place. When you tap Location, iPad proposes “Current Location”—wherever you are at the moment. That’s handy if, for example, you’re dropping off your dry cleaning and want to remember to pick it up the next time you’re driving by.

But you can also choose Home or Work (your home or work addresses, as you’ve set them up in Contacts). Or you can use the search box at the top, either to type (or dictate) a street address or to search your own Contacts list.

image with no caption

Once you’ve specified an address, the Location screen shows a map. The diameter of the blue circle shows the area where your presence will trigger the appearance of the reminder on your screen (above, right).


You can adjust the size of this “geofence” by dragging the black handle to adjust the size of the circle. In effect, you’re telling the iPad how close you have to be to the specified address for the reminder to pop up. You can adjust the circle’s radius anywhere from 328 feet (“Remind me when I’m in that store”) to 1,500 miles (“Remind me when I’m in that country”).

The final step here is to tap either When I leave or When I arrive.

Later, the iPad will remind you at the appointed time or as you approach (or leave) the appointed address, which is fairly mind-blowing the first few times it happens.


If you set up both a time reminder and a location reminder, then your iPad uses whichever event happens first. That is, if you ask to be reminded at 3 p.m. today and “When I arrive at the office,” then you’ll get the reminder when you get to the office—or at 3 p.m., if that time rolls around before you make it to work.

§ Priority. Tap one of these buttons to specify whether this item has low, medium, or high priority—or None. In some of the calendar programs that sync with Reminders, you can sort your task list by priority.

§ List. Tap here to assign this to-do to a different reminder list.

§ Notes. Here’s a handy box where you can record freehand notes about this item: an address, a phone number, details of any kind.

To exit the Details screen, tap Done.


Hey, check it out—Apple’s getting into the how-to game!

This new iOS 8 app is designed to show you tips and tricks for getting the most from your iPad. Each screen offers an animated illustration and a paragraph of text explaining one of iOS 8’s marvels. Swipe leftward to see the next tip, and the next, and the next. Or tap to see a list of all the tips in one place.

Tap Like if it’s one of your favorites. Tap to share a tip by text message, email, Twitter, Facebook, or AirDrop.

Over time, Apple will beam you fresh tips to add to this collection. It’s not exactly, you know, a handsome, printed, full-color book, but it’s something.

image with no caption

More Standard Apps

This book describes every app that comes on every iPad. But Apple has another suite of useful programs for you. And they’re free.

To find them, scroll down to Collections on the first page of the App Store. Tap Apps Made by Apple. You’ll find links to these apps:

§ Pages is a word processing/page-layout program.

§ Numbers is Apple’s spreadsheet program.

§ Keynote is Apple’s version of PowerPoint. It lets you make slideshow presentations from your iPad.

§ iMovie. Here’s video-editing program with all the basics: rearranging clips; adding music, crossfades, and credits.

§ GarageBand is a portable music studio.

§ iTunes U is a catalog of 600,000 free courses by professors at colleges, museums, and libraries all over the world. This app lets you browse the catalog, watch and read the course materials.

§ Find My Friends lets you see where your friends and family members are on a map (with their permission, of course).

§ Find My iPhone is useful when you want to find other missing Apple gadgets (Macs, iPhones, iPod Touches).