5 things you had no idea your iPad could do

11:13 AM, Mar 2, 2014   |    comments
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It doesn't matter how long you've owned your iPad, this über-capable tablet can do so much - it likely has a few tricks up its sleeve to surprise you. Whether it's a new typing technique or a more secure way to browse the web, Apple's tablet can do more than you probably imagined.


The iPad is all about touch, so it can seem a bit out of place to have to press the home button to navigate between apps or back out to the home screen. The iPad's gesture controls let you perform both of these tasks without ever touching that pesky home button.

Using four fingers at a time, you can swipe from left to right, or vice versa, to switch between active apps. You can write an email while surfing the web for info, or play an iPad game while picking the best songs from your playlist, without backing out to the home screen. Of course, if you want to return to the home screen, you can do that by placing four fingers on the screen and pinching them all together.


Web browsing on the iPad is slick and quick, but did you know that you can also enable some of the same privacy and security features you enjoy on your desktop?

Head into the Settings menu and then the Safari tab, and enable the "Do Not Track" feature. This tweak will keep certain advertisers from tracking your web habits for ad purposes. You can also click the page icon in the bottom while browsing and tap the "Private" button to keep your iPad from keeping a history of your browsing habits and form entries.


The web is full of words, and there's a good chance you don't know every single one of them, so if you're stumped by something you read on an email or anywhere on the web, the iPad's built-in dictionary can help you figure it out.

When you see a word that leaves you scratching your head, tap on it and hold your finger until the word is highlighted. Now, a small bar will pop up that will have two options on it: Copy and Define. Click Define and you'll get an up-to-date dictionary definition along with options to search for the word elsewhere. Now you can tackle any text that crosses your path.


Guided Access is one of the most amazing tools for parents of young iPad users, but most people don't even know it's there. First, activate the feature in the Settings menu under General and then Accessibility.

Now, whenever you're in an app, you can lock the phone into that one specific program by triple-clicking the Home button. Once you've locked the tablet into that app, you have to put in a passcode to back out.

So, for example, if you want to make sure your teen is using their tablet for schoolwork rather than YouTube, you can temporarily keep the tablet from doing anything but school-related apps. Once the homework is done, a simple 4-digit code sets the tablet free once more.


The large default keyboard on the iPad isn't exactly the most comfortable to type on. Tapping on the keyboard icon in the bottom right corner of the screen will let you split the keyboard in two, placing one half on either side of the screen.

This lets you type much better while holding both sides of the device, and there's even a secret trick built into this neat feature as well: There are secret, invisible keys in between the two keyboard halves, letting you press some of the keyboard's middle keys with either hand, based on your own personal preference. For example, the "T" key normally appears on the left half of the keyboard, but if you tap to the right of the "Y" key with your right thumb, it will actually produce a "T" even though the key isn't really there.


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