Introduction - iPad mini For Dummies (2013)

iPad mini For Dummies (2013)


As Yogi Berra would say, “It was déjà vu all over again” — front-page treatment, top billing on network TV and cable, and diehards lining up for days in advance to ensure landing a highly lusted-after product from Apple. The product generating the remarkable buzz this time around is the iPad mini, the first iPad that doesn’t sport a 10-inch screen (9.7 inches, to be precise). But this tiny titan packs a heck of a punch with its pocket- (or purse-) friendly 7.9-inch screen and the lowest price ever for an iPad. We hope you bought this book to find out how to get the most out of your remarkable device. Our goal is to deliver that information in a light and breezy fashion. We expect you to have fun using your iPad mini. We equally hope that you have fun spending time with us.

About This Book

We need to get one thing out of the way from the get-go: We think you’re pretty darn smart for buying a For Dummies book. It says to us that you have the confidence and intelligence to know what you don’t know. The For Dummies franchise is built around the core notion that everyone feels insecure about certain topics when tackling them for the first time, especially when those topics have to do with technology.

As with most Apple products, iPads are beautifully designed and intuitive to use. And though our editors may not want us to reveal this dirty little secret (especially on the first page, for goodness’ sake), the truth is that you’ll get pretty far by simply exploring the iPad’s many functions and features on your own, without the help of this (or any other) book.

Okay, now that we’ve spilled the beans, we’ll tell you why you shouldn’t run back to the bookstore and request a refund. This book is chock-full of useful tips, advice, and other nuggets that should make your iPad experience all the more pleasurable. We’d even go so far as to say that you wouldn’t find some of these nuggets anywhere else. So keep this book nearby and consult it often.

Conventions Used in This Book

First, we want to tell you how we go about our business. iPad mini For Dummies makes generous use of numbered steps, bullet lists, and pictures. Web addresses are shown in a special monofont typeface, like this. We also include a few sidebars with information that isn’t required reading (not that any of this book is) but that we hope will provide a richer understanding of certain subjects. Overall, we aim to keep technical jargon to a minimum, under the guiding principle that, with rare exceptions, you need not know what any of it really means.

This book is written for people who use the iPad mini (though most of it applies to most iPad models). To avoid confusion and awkward sentences, though, we mostly refer to the iPad mini as an iPad. If we’re talking about another model, we refer to it as a first-, second-, third-, or fourth-generation iPad, even though those aren’t the official, Apple-sanctioned monikers.

Put another way, when you see the word iPad, we’re talking about the iPad mini unless we say otherwise.

How This Book Is Organized

Here’s something we imagine you’ve heard before: Most books have a beginning, a middle, and an end, and you do well to adhere to that linear structure — unless you’re one of those knuckleheads out to ruin it for the rest of us by revealing that the butler did it.

Fortunately, there’s no ending to spoil in a For Dummies book. Though you may want to digest this book from start to finish (and we hope you do), we don’t penalize you for skipping ahead or jumping around. Having said that, we organized iPad mini For Dummies in the order we think makes the most sense, as follows.

Part I: Getting to Know Your iPad mini

In the introductory chapters of Part I, you tour the iPad mini inside and out, find out what all those buttons and other nonvirtual doodads do, and get some hands-on (or, more precisely, fingers-on) experience with the iPad’s virtual multitouch display. And, of course, you’ll see how easy it is to synchronize stuff on your Mac or PC — over USB or Wi-Fi — with your dynamic device.

Part II: The Internet iPad mini

Part II is all about getting connected with your iPad mini. Along the way, you discover how to surf the web with the Safari web browser, set up mail accounts, send and receive mail and iMessages, and work with maps.

Part III: The Multimedia iPad mini

Part III is where the fun truly begins. You discover how to use your iPad mini for music, video, movies, and photos, as well as how to buy and read iBooks from the iBookstore. It’s also the part where you read all about the tablet’s front and rear cameras.

Part IV: The iPad mini at Work

In this part, all you need to know about buying and using apps from the iTunes App Store is in Chapter 11. Then you’ll get up close and personal with the Calendar and Contacts apps in Chapter 12. In Chapter 13, you spend some quality time with the Notes and Reminders apps as well as the Notification Center with a brief interlude paying tribute to social media. In Chapter 14, you meet Siri, your (mostly) intelligent assistant.

Part V: The Undiscovered iPad mini

In Part V, you find out how to apply your preferences using internal settings on the iPad mini, discover where to go for troubleshooting assistance if your iPad should misbehave, and find out about some must-have accessories you may want to consider.

Part VI: The Part of Tens

The Part of Tens is otherwise known as the For Dummies answer to David Letterman (both of which, as it happens, have close ties to Indianapolis). The lists in Part VI steer you to some of our favorite iPad apps as well as to some handy tips and shortcuts.

Icons Used in This Book

Little round pictures (or icons) appear in the left margins throughout this book. Consider these icons as miniature road signs, telling you something extra about the topic at hand or hammering home a point.

Here’s what the five icons used in this book look like and mean.

tip_4c.epsThese juicy morsels, shortcuts, and recommendations might make the task at hand faster or easier.

remember_4c.epsThis icon emphasizes the stuff we think you ought to retain. You may even jot down a note to yourself on the iPad.

technicalstuff_4c.epsPut on your propeller beanie and insert your pocket protector; this text includes the truly geeky stuff. You can safely ignore this material, but if it weren’t interesting or informative, we wouldn’t have bothered to write it.

warning_4c.epsYou wouldn’t intentionally run a stop sign, would you? In the same fashion, ignoring warnings may be hazardous to your iPad and (by extension) your wallet. There, you now know how these warning icons work, for you have just received your first warning!

new_ipad.epsA New icon sits next to anything that’s new or improved in iOS 6.

Where to Go from Here

Why, go straight to Chapter 1, of course (without passing Go).

In all seriousness, we wrote this book for you, so please let us know what you think. If we screwed up, confused you, left out something, or (heaven forbid) made you angry, drop us a note. If we hit you with one pun too many, it helps to know that also. Because writers are people too (believe it or not), we also encourage positive feedback if you think it’s warranted. Kindly send an e-mail message to Ed at and to Bob at We do our best to respond to reasonably polite e-mail in a timely fashion. Most of all, we thank you for buying our book. Please enjoy it along with your new iPad.

Note: At the time we wrote this book, all the information it contains was accurate for the Wi-Fi iPad mini and the Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad mini, version 6.0 of the iOS (operating system) used by the iPad, and version 10.7 of iTunes. Apple will likely introduce new iPad mini models and new versions of iOS and iTunes between book editions. If you’ve bought a new iPad mini and its hardware or user interface or the version of iTunes on your computer looks a little different, check out what Apple has to say at You’ll no doubt find updates on the company’s latest releases. When a change is substantial, we may add an update or bonus information that you can download at this book’s companion website: