Level Up Your iPad

It's probably a fair statement to say that most of us have embraced the digital age we are living in. Even if we fought it at first, or wrote it off as too complicated, it’s pretty rare to find someone who don’t use a computer, tablet or smartphone. Thankfully, most manufacturers, like Apple and Samsung, have improved their user-friendly aspects as well as their technology. We all know you can send an email, connect with Face Time, and play games with our iPads, but our beloved iPad can do things you might not even know about. Get the most out of your iPad with these simple tips and tricks. *Most of these tips will work with your iPhone too!

Side-by-Side View

No need to copy and paste a picture, link or selected text to include it in an email or add it to your Notes with side-by-side view. With safari open, drag an app icon from your dock (like Mail, or Notes) onto the outermost edge of your screen. Both apps will open side-by-side and you can now drag and drop from safari into your email or note pad. MacMost.com has an easy to follow tutorial on using two apps at once.

Voice Dictation

If you find typing on a tiny virtual keypad more trouble than it’s worth, you can use Siri as your personal secretary instead. First, open > System Preferences, then click on the Keyboard icon and choose the Dictation option. Activate Enhanced Dictation if you think you’ll use this feature a lot. You’re ready to start dictating! If you are writing an email, tap the microphone key that is just to the left of the spacebar on the keyboard, and start speaking. If you need to capitalize or punctuate, you can use the following commands; new line, new paragraph, no caps, cap, period, comma etc. You can ask Siri to pull up a list of voice dictation commands if you want to know more.

Speaking of Voice Commands

You can launch apps using Siri. Simply say, “Hey Siri, open Candy Crush,” or “Send Text Message to <person’s name>,” or ask her to “Make a note” and she’ll let you dictate a note and save it in the notes app.

Edit Photos

It easier than you think to make your photos look fantastic without special apps or filters. To fix the lighting or brighten colors on your photos, go into the Photos app, choose the photo you want to edit, tap the Edit link at the top of the screen and then tap the magic wand button, which is located either at the bottom of the screen or to the side depending on how you are holding the iPad. You’ll be amazed how just that little tweak will elevate the quality of your photos. If you like the new look, don’t forget to tap the Done button at the top to save the changes.

Download Free Books

If you don’t already have iBook installed, you can get it at the app store. Open iBook and tap the Top Charts button at the bottom of the screen. This brings up two lists: top PAID books and top FREE books. You can tap the Categories button at the top-left corner of the screen to narrow down your search.

Create folders

If your home screen is a chaotic mess loaded with icons, you can clean up your act and bring a little calm into your life with folders. Simply click on an app, hold your finger down and then drag it over another app. When you let go, the two apps will appear in a folder. You can then put the folder in the Dock for fast access to your favorite apps.

Split the Keyboards

If you are a wiz at texting with your thumbs on your iPhone, but have a harder time with the iPad keyboard, you can split the keyboard to put it within easy thumb reach. When you have your keypad open, just drag it apart to the left and right with two fingers. To put it back again just drag it back together.

Let Siri Read to You

I only get car sick if I try to read, and given how much I love to read, this is a very sad thing. If someone knows a cure for this, please leave it in the comment section! Anyway, rather than re-buying my iBook on audible, I can have Siri read it to me while on long road trips. To do this, go into iPad settings and choose General Settings. Tap Accessibility from within the general settings, then choose speech (the last option in the vision block). Turn on Speak Screen, and then you can slide two fingers down from the top of your iBook (or webpage) to have Siri read the entire screen to you. If you are in iBook, it will automatically turn pages and keep reading.

Other Handy Accessibility Features

If your iPad is getting old and the physical buttons like home, sleep or volume aren’t working, you can hold onto that iPad a little longer by creating virtual buttons using AssistiveTouch. To enable AssistiveTouch you can either say “Hey Siri, Turn on AssistiveTouch,” or go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut and turn on AssistiveTouch. When you do so, a button will appear on your screen and you can tap this to open up the AssistiveTouch menu of options.

If you have vision problems, or just can’t find your readers, you can use the Magnifying Glass function on your iPad or iPhone to enlarge type on your pill bottle, see the serial number on your modem or any other fine print. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Magnifier. Once done, you can double-tap the iPad screen with three fingers to make your magnifying glass appear. On an iPhone, triple tap your side button or home button to turn on the magnifier. Make sure your finger isn’t covering your camera!

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