iPad mini For Dummies (2013)
Part IV. The iPad mini at Work
In Part IV, we look at some of the less-sexy but nonetheless useful features of your iPad. Indeed, we’d venture to say that few people got their iPad mini exclusively for its Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Reminders, Clock, or Game Center apps. And still, having these programs is awfully handy, and we use them every day.
We love going on a shopping spree as much as the next guy. Chapter 11 is all about finding out how to shop in the App Store, an emporium replete with a gaggle of neat little programs and applications. Best of all, unlike most of the stores you shop in, a good number of the items can be had for free.
Then we’ll really get down to business and explore staying on top of your appointments and people with the Calendar and Contacts apps in Chapter 12. In Chapter 13, you discover other useful utilities such as the Reminders, Notes, and Clock apps, Notifications, and the Notification Center. A brief interlude on social media and instructions for using your iPad as an Internet hotspot close out the chapter.
Finally, in Chapter 14, you meet Siri, your (mostly) intelligent assistant. She responds to your voice and can do some amazing things, including sending messages, scheduling appointments and reminders, searching the web, playing a specific song or artist, and so much more.
Chapter 11. Apply Here (To Find Out about iPad mini Apps)
In This Chapter
Getting a handle on the different types of apps
Searching for specific apps
Getting apps onto your iPad
Managing iPad apps
Deleting and reviewing apps
One of the best things about the iPad is that you can download and install apps created by third parties, which is to say apps not created by Apple (the first party) or you (the second party). At the time of this writing, more than 700,000 apps are available in the iTunes App Store. Furthermore, iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad owners have downloaded more than 35,000,000,000 (yes, 35 billion) apps.
Many apps are free, but others cost money; some apps are useful, but others are lame; and most apps are perfectly well-behaved, but others quit unexpectedly (or worse). The point is that among the many apps, some are better than others.
In this chapter, we take a broad look at apps that you can use with your iPad. You discover how to find apps on your computer or your iPad, and you find some basics for managing your apps. Don’t worry: We have plenty to say about specific third-party apps in Chapters 18 and 19.
Tapping the Magic of Apps
Apps enable you to use your iPad as a game console, a streaming Netflix player, a recipe finder, a sketchbook, and much, much more. You can run three categories of apps on your iPad:
Apps made exclusively for the iPad: This is the newest kind, so you find fewer of these than the other two types. These apps won’t run on an iPhone or iPod touch, so you can’t even install them on either device. That said, there are already 275,000 of these puppies, with more arriving every day!
Apps made to work properly on the iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch: This type of app can run on any of the three devices at full resolution. What is the full-screen resolution for each device? Glad you asked. For most iPhones and the iPod touch, it’s 480 x 320 pixels; for the iPhone 4 or later, it’s 960 x 640; for your iPad mini (as well as first- and second-generation iPads,) it’s 1024 x 768 pixels; and the Retina display in the third- and fourth-generation iPads is a whopping 2048 x 1536 pixels.
Apps made for the iPhone and iPod touch: These apps run on your iPad but only at iPhone/iPod touch resolution (480 x 320) rather than at the full resolution of your iPad (1024 x 768).
You can double the size of an iPhone/iPod touch app by tapping the little 2x button in the lower-right corner of the screen; to return the app to its native size, tap the 1x button. Figure 11-1 shows you what this looks like.
Frankly, most iPhone/iPod apps look pretty good at 2x size, but we’ve seen a few that have jagged graphics and don’t look as nice. Still, with 700,000 or more to choose from, we’re sure that you can find a few that make you happy.
You can obtain apps for your iPad in two ways:
On your computer
On your iPad
To use the App Store on your iPad, it must be connected to the Internet. And if you obtain an app on your computer, it isn’t available on your iPad until you either sync the iPad with your computer or download the app from iCloud from the Purchased tab, covered later in this chapter. See Chapter 3 for details about syncing.
After you’ve obtained an app from the App Store on your computer or iPad, you can download it from iCloud to as many as ten iOS devices.
Figure 11-1: iPhone and iPod touch apps run at a smaller size (left), but can be increased to double size (right).
But before you can use the App Store on your iPad or your computer, you first need an iTunes Store account. If you don’t already have one, we suggest that you launch iTunes on your computer or the App Store or iTunes app on your iPad. Here’s how:
On your computer: Launch iTunes, click Sign In near the upper-right corner of the iTunes window, click Create New Account, and follow the onscreen instructions.
On your iPad: Tap Settings⇒Store⇒Sign In⇒Create New Account and follow the onscreen instructions.
If you don’t have an iTunes Store account, you can’t download a single cool app for your iPad. ’Nuff said.
Using Your Computer to Find Apps
Okay, start by finding cool iPad apps using iTunes on your computer. Follow these steps:
1. Launch iTunes.
2. Click the iTunes Store link in the sidebar on the left.
3. Click the App Store link.
The iTunes App Store appears, as shown in Figure 11-2.
4. (Optional) If you want to look only for apps designed to run at the full resolution of your iPad, click the iPad tab at the top of the window.
Now you’re ready to browse, search, and download apps, as we explain in the following sections.
Figure 11-2: The iTunes App Store, in all its glory (with the iPad tab selected).
Browsing the App Store from your computer
After you have the iTunes App Store on your screen, you have a couple of options for exploring its virtual aisles. Allow us to introduce you to the various “departments” available from the main screen.
The main departments are featured in the middle of the screen, and ancillary departments appear on either side of them. We start with the ones in the middle:
The New and Noteworthy department has 14 visible icons in Figure 11-2. These represent apps that are — what else? — new and noteworthy.
Only 14 icons are visible, but the New and Noteworthy department actually has more than that. Look to the right of the words New and Noteworthy. See the See All link? Click it to see all apps in this department on a single screen. Or you can click and drag the scroll bar to the right to see more icons.
The What’s Hot department displays 14 icons (refer to Figure 11-2), representing apps that are popular with other iPad users. Again, you can see more of these icons by clicking and dragging the scroll bar to the right.
The Staff Favorites department appears below the What’s Hot department and isn’t visible in Figure 11-2.
Apple has a habit of redecorating the iTunes Store every so often, so allow us to apologize in advance if things aren’t exactly as described here when you visit.
You also see display ads for five featured items between the New and Noteworthy department and the What’s Hot department (Games, Cookies, Real Racing 2, Solar Walk, and Education) in Figure 11-2.
Three other departments appear to the right, under the Top Charts heading: Paid Apps; one of our favorite departments, Free Apps; and Top Grossing Apps (which isn’t visible in Figure 11-2). The number-one app in each department displays both its icon and its name; the next nine apps show text links only.
The App Store link near the top of the screen is also a drop-down list (as are most of the other department links to its left and right), as shown in Figure 11-2.
Using the Search field in the iTunes Store
Browsing the screen is helpful, but if you know exactly what you’re looking for, searching is faster. Follow these steps to search for an app:
1. Type a word or phrase into the Search field in the upper-right corner of the main iTunes window. Press Return or Enter to initiate the search.
In Figure 11-3, we searched for flashlight. You see results for the entire iTunes Store, which includes music, television shows, movies, and other stuff in addition to iPad apps.
Figure 11-3: We want to use our iPad as a flashlight, so we searched for flashlight.
2. Among your search results, find the category for iPad Apps (refer to Figure 11-3).
If you search for a common word such as twilight or rat, the screen displays choices from Albums, Songs, Movies, TV Shows, Music Videos, and more, so you might have to scroll down to see the iPad Apps section.
Fortunately, you can also easily filter by media type. Just tap Apps in the Filter by Media Type list near the upper-left corner of the screen, and everything but iPhone and iPad apps disappears from the screen. Sweet!
3. Click the See All link to the right of the words iPad Apps (refer to Figure 11-3).
All the iPad apps that match your search word or phrase appear on a single screen.
One last thing: The little triangle to the right of each item’s price is another drop-down list, as shown for the Flashlight app in Figure 11-3. This drop-down list lets you give this app to someone as a gift, add it to your wish list (selected in Figure 11-3), send an e-mail to a friend with a link to it, copy the link to this product to the Clipboard so that you can paste it elsewhere, or share this item on Facebook or Twitter.
Getting more information about an app in the iTunes Store
After you know how to find apps in the App Store, this section delves a little deeper and shows you how to find out more about an application that interests you.
To find out more about an app, simply click its icon or text link. A detail screen, like the one shown in Figure 11-4, appears.
Figure 11-4: The detail screen for SketchBook Pro, a nifty drawing and painting app for your iPad.
This screen tells you most of what you need to know about the application, such as basic product information and a narrative description, what’s new in this version, the language it’s presented in, and the system requirements to run it. In the following sections, you take a closer look at the various areas on the screen.
Finding the full app description
Notice the blue More link in the lower-right corner of the Description section in Figure 11-4; click it to see a much longer description of the app.
Bear in mind that the application description on this screen was written by the application’s developer and may be somewhat biased. Never fear, gentle reader: In an upcoming section, we show you how to find reviews of the application — written by people who have used it (and, unfortunately, sometimes people who haven’t).
Understanding the app rating
Notice that the SketchBook Pro app is rated 4+, as you can see below the Buy App button in the upper-left corner of the screen (refer to Figure 11-4). The rating indicates that this app contains no objectionable material. Here are the other possible ratings:
9+: May contain mild or infrequent occurrences of cartoon, fantasy, or realistic violence; or infrequent or mild mature, suggestive, or horror-themed content that may not be suitable for children younger than the age of 9.
12+: May contain infrequent mild language; frequent or intense cartoon, fantasy, or realistic violence; mild or infrequent mature or suggestive themes; or simulated gambling that may not be suitable for children younger than the age of 12.
17+: May contain frequent and intense offensive language; frequent and intense cartoon, fantasy, or realistic violence; mature, frequent, and intense mature, suggestive, or horror-themed content; sexual content; nudity; or depictions of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs that may not be suitable for children younger than the age of 17. You must be at least 17 years old to purchase games with this rating.
Following related links
Just below the application description, notice the collection of useful links, such as the Autodesk Inc. Web Site link and the SketchBook Pro for iPad Support link. We urge you to explore these links at your leisure.
Checking requirements and device support for the app
Last but not least, remember the three categories of apps we mention earlier in the chapter, in the section “Tapping the Magic of Apps”? If you look below the rating in Figure 11-4 (Rated 4+), you can see the requirements for this particular app. Because it says Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later and doesn’t mention the iPhone or iPod touch, this app falls into the first category — apps made exclusively for the iPad. Another clue that it falls into the first category is that it says iPad Screenshots above the two pictures shown in Figure 11-4.
If the app belonged to the second or third category — apps made to work properly on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, or apps made for the iPhone or iPod touch — it would say Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad rather than Compatible with iPad.
Now you’re probably wondering how you can tell whether an app falls into the second or third category. The first clue is the little gray plus sign (+) next to the price, which appears for many of the apps shown earlier, in Figure 11-3. Apps with this symbol are universal and run at full resolution on iPhones and iPads. Another clue is to look at the screen shots. If you see two tabs — iPhone and iPad — after Screenshots, the app will work at the full resolution of an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Conversely, if you see only one tab that says iPhone Screenshots, the app will run at iPhone/iPod touch resolution on your iPad.
One way to ensure that you look only for apps that take advantage of your iPad’s big screen is to click the iPad tab on the front page of the App Store (refer to Figure 11-2). All the apps displayed under the iPad tab are of the first or second type and are designed to take advantage of your iPad’s larger screen.
If you scroll down the detail screen, near the bottom you find a series of customer reviews written by users of this app. You can see the first of these in Figure 11-4. Each review includes a star rating, from zero to five. If an app is rated four or higher, as SketchBook Pro is, the app is well-liked by people who use it.
In Figure 11-4, you can see that this application has an average rating for the current version of 41⁄2 stars based on 52 user ratings. Its average rating for all versions is 4 stars based on 2,910 user ratings. That means it’s probably a pretty good app.
You see a few more reviews with star ratings below the review shown in Figure 11-4. If you care to read even more reviews than are shown on the detail page, click the small buttons on the right side of the Customer Reviews section — Back, 1, 2, 3, and Next — to navigate to the second page of comments for this app.
Finally, just above these icons is a pop-up Sort By menu that says Most Helpful in Figure 11-4. This menu lets you sort the customer reviews by your choice of Most Helpful, Most Favorable, Most Critical, or Most Recent.
Don’t believe everything you read in reviews. Some people buy an app without reading its description or try to use it without following the included instructions. Then when the app doesn’t do what they expected, they give it a low rating. The point is, take the ratings and reviews with a grain of salt.
Downloading an app from the iTunes Store
This part is simple. When you find an app you want to try while browsing the App Store on your computer, simply click the app’s Free App or Buy App button. When you do so, you have to log on to your iTunes Store account, even if the app is free.
After you log on, the app begins downloading. When it’s finished, it appears in the Apps section of your iTunes library, as shown in Figure 11-5.
If an app costs money, you’ll get a receipt for it via e-mail, usually within 24 hours.
Downloading an app to your iTunes library is only the first half of getting it onto your iPad. After you download an app, you can sync your iPad so that the app will be available on it. Chapter 3 covers syncing in detail. You can also get the app via the App Store’s Purchased tab (described later in this chapter) or by enabling automatic downloads on the Settings app’s Store pane or the iTunes Preferences Store tab on your computer.
Figure 11-5: Apps that you download appear in the Apps section of your iTunes library.
If you want apps to download to your iPad automatically regardless of which device you used to purchase the app, you can set that up:
On a computer: Connect your iPad via either USB cable or Wi-Fi. Launch iTunes and click your iPad’s name in the sidebar on the left. Click the Apps tab and select the Automatically Sync New Apps check box.
On your iPad: Tap Settings⇒Store. Then turn on the switch for Apps in the Automatic Downloads section.
You can enable Automatic Downloads for Music and Books on your iPad (but not in iTunes).
By the way, if your iTunes App library doesn’t look like ours (with big icons in a grid pattern), click the third icon from the left in the quartet of icons to the left of the Search field, near the top of the iTunes window. Just so you know, the leftmost icon displays your apps in a list; the next one shows them in a list with icons; the third one displays them as a grid; and the rightmost icon displays your apps in Cover Flow view.
Updating an app from the iTunes Store
Every so often, the developer of an iPad app releases an update. Sometimes these updates add new features to the app, sometimes they squash bugs, and sometimes they do both. In any event, updates are usually good for you and your iPad, so it makes sense to check for them every so often.
To do this in iTunes, try any of the following methods:
Click the Check for Updates link near the lower-right corner of the Apps screen. Note that if any updates are available, this link tells you how many (eight updates are available in Figure 11-5) instead of Check for Updates.
Look at the little number in a circle next to the Apps item in the iTunes sidebar (which is 8 in Figure 11-5).
Check the App Store icon on your iPad — it sprouts a little number in a circle in its upper-right corner when updates are waiting.
To grab any available updates, either click the Download All Free Updates button or click the Get Update button next to each individual app. After you download an update this way, it replaces the older version on your iPad automatically the next time you sync. Or if you’ve enabled automatic downloads for apps as described earlier in this chapter, the new app replaces the old app automatically.
If you click the Get More Apps link, shown in the lower-right corner of Figure 11-5, next to the Check for Updates link, you find yourself back at the main screen of the iTunes App Store (refer to Figure 11-2).
Using Your iPad to Find Apps
Finding apps with your iPad is almost as easy as finding them by using iTunes. The only requirement is that you have an Internet connection of some sort — Wi-Fi or cellular data network — so that you can access the iTunes App Store and browse, search, download, and install apps.
Browsing the App Store on your iPad
To get started, tap the App Store icon on your iPad’s Home screen. After you launch the App Store, you see five icons at the bottom of the screen, representing five ways to interact with the store, as shown in Figure 11-6. The first four icons at the bottom of the screen — Featured, Genius, Top Charts, and Purchased — offer four different ways to browse the virtual shelves of the App Store. (The fifth icon we cover a little later, in the section “Updating an app from the App Store.”)
Figure 11-6: The icons across the bottom represent the five sections of the App Store.
The first four icons are described in this list:
The Featured section has five tabs at the top of the screen: All Categories, Games, Education, Newsstand, and More (refer to Figure 11-6) in portrait mode. In landscape mode, the Newsstand category is missing.
The Charts section offers lists of the Top Paid iPad apps and the Top Free iPad apps. These are, of course, the most popular apps that either cost money or don’t.
In the upper-left corner of the Charts screen is a Categories button. Tap it and you see a list of categories such as Books, Education, Games, Music, News, and Productivity, to name a few. Tap one of these categories to see the Top Paid and Top Free iPad apps for that category.
The Genius section has two tabs at the top: The iPad Apps tab displays the Genius’s app recommendations based on the apps you already own. The iPad Upgrades tab has upgrades to the iPad version of your iPhone apps. Tap the Categories button in the upper-left corner to restrict the results on either tab to a particular category.
The Purchased section displays all your iPad apps — the ones currently installed on this iPad and any that you’ve purchased that aren’t installed. To the right of each app, you see either Installed or iCloud (as shown in the margin). To install an uninstalled app, tap its iCloud button and then type your password.
Most pages in the App Store display more apps than can fit on the screen at once. For example, the New and Noteworthy section in Figure 11-6 contains more than the nine apps you can see. A few tools help you navigate the multiple pages of apps:
Swipe from right to left to see more apps in a category, such as New and Noteworthy.
Swipe up the screen to see additional categories.
Tap the See All link (top right of most sections) to see all the apps in that section on a single screen.
Using the Search field in the App Store
If you know exactly what you’re looking for (or even approximately what you’re looking for), rather than simply browse, you can tap the Search field in the upper-right corner of the iPad screen and type a word or phrase; then tap the Search key on the keyboard to initiate the search.
Finding details about an app in the App Store
Now that you know how to find apps in the App Store, the following sections show you how to find out more about a particular application. After tapping an app icon as you browse the store or in a search result, your iPad displays a detail screen, like the one shown in Figure 11-7.
The app description on this screen was written by the developer and may be somewhat biased.
The information you find on the detail tab for an app on your iPad is similar to that info on the iTunes screen on your computer. The links, rating, and requirements simply appear in slightly different places on your iPad screen. (See the section “Getting more information about an app in the iTunes Store,” earlier in this chapter, for explanations of the main onscreen items.)
The Ratings and Reviews section differs most from the computer version. To read reviews from your iPad, tap the Ratings and Reviews button. If you scroll to the bottom of the page and see a More Reviews button, tap it to see (what else?) more reviews.
Figure 11-7: Dark Legends is an awesome, free, 3D Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) for the iPad.
Downloading an app from the App Store
To download an app to your iPad (while using your iPad), follow these steps:
1. Tap the price button near the top of its detail screen.
In Figure 11-7, it’s the gray Free button. The button is replaced by a green Install App button.
2. Tap the Install App button.
3. When prompted, type your iTunes Store account password.
After you do, the App Store closes, and you see the Home screen where the new app’s icon will reside. The new app’s icon is slightly dimmed and has the word Loading beneath it, with a blue progress bar near its bottom to indicate how much of the app remains to be downloaded, as shown in the margin.
Downloading other content on your iPad
You may have noticed that the App Store app on your iPad offers nothing but apps. iTunes on your computer, on the other hand, includes sections for music, movies, TV shows, books, podcasts, and iTunes U.
On your iPad, you obtain music, movies, and TV shows with the iTunes app, and books and magazines with the Newsstand app, which are both included with your iPad. To download podcasts or iTunes U content, however, you’ll need the Podcasts or iTunes U apps, which (curiously) are not included with your iPad out of the box.
The good news is that both apps are free in the App Store, so if you want to shop for Podcasts or iTunes U content on your iPad, you should probably go download one or both apps now.
All these apps work much the same, so when you understand how to navigate the App Store app, you also know how to use all of the store apps.
4. If necessary, if the app is rated 17+, click OK on the warning screen that appears after you type your password — to confirm that you’re 17 or older — before the app downloads.
The app is now on your iPad, but it isn’t copied to your iTunes library on your Mac or PC until your next sync unless you’ve enabled automatic downloads. If your iPad suddenly loses its memory (unlikely) or if you delete the app from your iPad before you sync (as we describe later in this chapter, in the section “Deleting an app”), that app is gone. That’s the bad news. The good news is that you can download it again from the Purchased tab, as described earlier in this chapter. Or the app will reappear spontaneously on your iPad if you’ve enabled automatic downloads.
Updating an app from the App Store
As we mention earlier in this chapter, every so often the developer of an iPad application releases an update. If an update awaits you, a little number in a circle appears on the Updates icon at the bottom of the iPad screen. (That number happens to be 2 in Figures 11-6 and 11-7.) Follow these steps to update your apps from your iPad:
1. Tap the Updates icon if any of your apps needs updating.
If you tap the Updates button and see (in the middle of the screen) a message that says All Apps Are Up to Date, none of the apps on your iPad requires an update at this time. If apps need updating, they appear with Update buttons next to them.
2. Tap the Update button that appears next to any app to update it.
If more than one app needs updating, you can update them all at one time by tapping the Update All button in the upper-right corner of the screen.
If you try to update an app purchased from any iTunes Store account except your own, you’re prompted for that account’s ID and password. If you can’t provide them, you can’t download the update.
Working with Apps
Most of what you need to know about apps involves simply installing third-party apps on your iPad. However, you might find it helpful to know how to delete and review an app.
Deleting an app
The 20 apps that came with your iPad can’t be removed, but you have two ways to delete any other app: in iTunes on your computer or directly from your iPad.
To delete an app in iTunes (that is, from your computer), click Apps in the sidebar and then do one of the following:
Click the app to select it and press the Delete or Backspace key on the keyboard.
Click the app to select it and then choose Edit⇒Delete.
Right-click the app and choose Delete.
After taking any of the actions in this list, you see a dialog that asks whether you’re sure that you want to remove the selected app. If you click the Remove button, the app is removed from your iTunes library as well as from any iPad that syncs with your iTunes library.
Here’s how to delete an app on your iPad:
1. Press and hold any icon until all the icons begin to wiggle.
2. Tap the little x in the upper-left corner of the app that you want to delete.
A dialog appears, informing you that deleting this app also deletes all its data, as shown in Figure 11-8.
Figure 11-8: Tap an app’s little x, and then tap Delete to remove the app from your iPad.
3. Tap the Delete button.
You can’t delete any of the bundled apps that came with your iPad.
4. To stop the icons from wiggling, press the Home or Sleep/Wake button.
You also make icons wiggle to move them around on the screen or move them from page to page. To rearrange wiggling icons, press and drag them one at a time. If you drag an icon to the left or right edge of the screen, it moves to the next or previous Home screen. You can also drag two additional icons to the Dock (where Safari, Mail, Videos, and Music live) and have six apps available in the Dock that appear on all of your Home screens.
Friendly reminder: Rearranging your icons in iTunes is faster and easier than making them wiggle and move on the iPad. See Chapter 3 to find out how.
Writing an app review
Sometimes you love or hate an app so much that you want to tell the world about it. In that case, you should write a review. You can do this in two ways: in iTunes on your computer or directly from your iPad.
To write a review using iTunes on your computer, follow these steps:
1. Navigate to the detail page for the app in the iTunes App Store.
2. Tap the Ratings and Reviews button and then click the Write a Review button.
You may or may not have to type your iTunes Store password.
3. Click the button for the star rating (1 to 5) you want to give the app.
4. In the Title field, type a title for your review, and in the Review field, type your review.
5. Click the Submit button when you’re finished.
The Preview screen appears. If the review looks good to you, you’re done. If you want to change something, click the Edit button.
To write a review from your iPad, follow these steps:
1. Tap the App Store icon to launch the App Store.
2. Navigate to the detail screen for the app.
3. Scroll down the page and tap the Write a Review link.
You probably have to type your iTunes Store password.
4. Tap one to five of the stars at the top of the Write a Review screen to rate the app.
5. In the Title field, type a title for your review, and in the Review field, type your review.
6. Tap the Submit button in the upper-right corner of the screen.
Whichever way you submit your review, Apple reviews your submission. As long as the review doesn’t violate the (unpublished) rules of conduct for app reviews, it appears in a day or two in the App Store, in the Reviews section for the particular app.