On an iPad Mini you may want to increase the text size if you find it too small. Go to ‘Settings > General > Accessibility’, then tap the ‘Large Text’ button and choose a font size. Another iPad Mini tip is that the anodised back coating is susceptible to wear (our office iPad Minis already show this), so get a back cover for it. In all other respects, the iPad Mini is identical in function to the bigger iPads, so you can instantly get more out of your device by simply learning these tricks that long-time users have mastered.
If you hold down the comma key, it reveals a single quotation mark (or apostrophe). Hold down the full stop key and it reveals double quotation marks. There’s also a faster way of typing a number. Hold down the number key and drag your finger to a number, let go and you’re back on the main keyboard. On a bigger iPad, split the keyboard. Hold down the keyboard key and choose ‘Split’.
Switch between open apps by swiping left or right with four fingers (‘Multitasking Gestures’ in ‘Settings’). Another is to get back to the home screen by pinching the screen with all five fingers.
Stream your iPad to your TV via Apple TV ($109 media streaming box) and Airplay. Even simpler, use a $59 Digital AV Adapter to connect to an HDMI port on a TV. You can print directly from your iPad with an AirPrint-enabled printer (HP has a range of these). Get a $75 Apple Wireless Keyboard if you miss the desktop experience. Click here for some iPad accessories we've reviewed recently.
Tune your audio
If you listen to lots of music on your iPad, you may want to fine tune the audio to your liking by changing the EQ settings. Go to ‘Settings > Music’ and press ‘EQ’. Then select from the various options, ie. The Bass Booster.
Make it a camera companion
Apple’s camera accessories turn your iPad into a brilliant little camera companion, letting you transfer pictures, edit them, and share the final photos with friends and family without needing a desktop. If you have a fourth generation iPad or iPad Mini, you can choose between the Lightning-to-USB camera adapter together.
The SD card reader is the most convenient because you can use your camera memory card. The USB adapter means you’ll have to hunt down your camera’s USB cable, but the upside is that it works for cameras that don’t use SD card. Once connected, the Photos app will give you an option to import all of the photos or just the ones you’ve selected. You can also edit them or use one of the more advanced photo editing apps such as iPhoto and Snapseed. To share a photo, tap anywhere on the screen to make the toolbar appear and press the arrow button.
Must-have iPad apps
The App Store has around 275,000 apps designed specifically for the iPad. Here are 10 of the top iPad apps:
Consider Flipboard your own personal magazine. You set it up with all of your social media accounts, select the various topics you’re interested in, and it combines all of that content into a beautiful, interactive magazine.
The Foxtel Go app lets you access over 30 live channels from your iPad, including Fox8. There’s also a catch-up section where you can watch the latest episodes of your favourite shows.
Over a million books are available here, including most New York Times Best Sellers. If you have another device with Kindly app installed, it will automatically sync your bookmarks.
Modelled on a cheesy ‘90s game, you jetpack your way to collect as many coins and power boosts as you can, while trying not to get killed. Addictive.
Price: $11.99 per month
Stream millions of tracks to your iPad over a Wi-Fi or internet connections. Create playlists, see what your friends are listening to and set up custom radio stations.
Penultimate turns your iPad into a digital notepad. Choose from different pen colours to create your own stationery and multiple notebooks.
iTunes U offers thousands of free courses from prestigious learning institutions such as Yale and Oxford. Courses include video lectures and podcasts.
This app will keep your kids occupied for hours by turning your iPad into a virtual colouring book. There are 16 pages to colour in, multiple colouring tools and lots of special effects.
The new YouTube app is a lot better than the old one. The slick new layout makes accessing the various features a lot easier and there’s a new home feed that lists videos you’re likely to be interested in, based on videos you’ve watched in the past.
Plex is a powerful media player that lets you stream all of the photos, music and videos stored on your computer directly on your iPad, whether you’re at home or out and about.
Do you have any suggestions for getting the most out of an iPad?