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What is an iPad-iPad for Dummies-How to use an iPad

Updated on April 20, 2011

What is an iPad?

I have seen all of the hype around Apple's latest product, the iPad. I have watched in bemusement as hundreds if not thousands of people camp outside Apple stores for days on end to get their hand on one of these iPad's. I have sat through countless hours of news bulletins; all singing the praises of this new gadget; the iPad.

What is an iPad?

In this article I am going to share with you what I have found out about this iPad thingy, I will not be reporting on the iPad as a technical genius, giving you the wonderful technological advances in all there glory, oh no that just isn't me. Instead I am writing this information from the point of view of a technological dinosaur and if that's you too then please read on.

It is my intention to see what all of the fuss is about and give you a good honest overview of what an iPad is, what it does and what it can do for you.


Apple iPad

Choose an Apple iPad  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Choose an Apple iPad Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

What does Apple say an iPad is?

Apple themselves describe the iPad as a revolutionary product that gives it's user to best experience of using the web, email on the move, viewing photos , watching movies, reading books and listening to music.

An iPad has a design that is thin, light and very stylish with a 9.7 inch high resolution LED back-lit IPS display and incredibly Multi Touch capability, thin and light enough to take anywhere.

iPad has over 1000 apps (applications) already made for it in the App store with more being developed every day, if that isn't enough iPad can also run nearly 200,000 apps developed for the iPhone.

What does the internet say an iPad is?

The iPad is a tablet computer designed and developed by Apple.

It is particularly marketed for consumption of media such as books and periodicals, movies, music, and games, and for general web and e-mail access.

At around 700 grams its size and weight are intermediate between most contemporary smartphones and laptop computers

What do I think an iPad is now?

By avoiding all of the jargon it seems to me that the Apple iPad is a cross between a laptop computer, phone modem, mp3 player, DVD player and book reader.

The iPad looks rather futuristic; with a clear screen that is large enough to provide an acceptable viewing experience. It is much smaller and lighter than a laptop; which from a practical point of view makes it easier to use when you are out and about but I would question whether I would be watching movies on it.

At this stage in my research I think the iPad is an expensive luxury toy or status symbol for people easily parted with their money. However let's not right it off too soon as millions of people obviously love it, maybe my further investigation will throw up a point I am clearly missing.

I can certainly appreciate the benefit of carrying one gadget rather than 4 or 5.



Choose an iPad  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Choose an iPad Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

What does Apple say an iPad can do?


iPad is the best way to experience the web. View whole pages in portrait or landscape on the large Multi-Touch screen. And let your fingers do the surfing.


There’s nothing like the Mail app on iPad. With a split-screen view and expansive on-screen keyboard, it lets you see and touch your email in ways you never could before.


A vivid LED-backlit IPS display makes viewing photos on iPad extraordinary. Open albums with a tap. Flip through your pictures one by one. Or play a slideshow and share your photos.


The 9.7-inch high-resolution screen makes iPad perfect for watching HD films, TV programmes, podcasts, music videos and more.


With the YouTube app designed specifically for iPad, videos are even easier to find. And on the amazing iPad display, they’re more fun to watch. Especially in HD

See more of your music.

The big, beautiful iPad display lets you browse your music collection by song, artist, album, genre or composer with the touch of a finger. See your music as full-size album art. Flip through all your albums and tap to choose what you want to hear. It’s as natural as flipping through CDs.

Get Genius recommendations.

iPad comes with a musical Genius that automatically creates multiple mixes based on the music you love. Once you’ve added music to your iTunes library, you can put Genius to work while you’re listening. Say iPad is playing a song you really like and you want to hear other tracks like it. Tap Genius. It finds other songs on your iPad that sound great together and makes a Genius playlist for you. Count on Genius to create a mix you wouldn’t have thought of yourself.

Apple iPad

Close up of Apple iPad  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Close up of Apple iPad Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Apple iPad cont.....


Feed your iPad.

It’s easy to fill your iPad with music. Tap iTunes to browse millions of songs in the iTunes Store and download new music directly to your iPad. When you connect iPad to your Mac or PC, the songs you downloaded on the go can sync to the iTunes library on your computer. It works the other way around, too. Everything from iTunes on your computer can sync to iPad. iTunes also syncs your playlists, including On-the-Go playlists, Genius playlists and Genius Mixes. So no song is left behind.

Millions of songs, thousands of films and TV programmes and so much more. Browsing and buying are just a tap away.

App Store

You’ll find almost 200,000 apps on the App Store and iPad can run almost all of them. Including everything from games to productivity apps.


Reading is a joy on iPad. Text looks crisp and bright. Pages turn with a flick. And you can buy new books from the iBookstore. Just download the free iBooks app to get started.


See more of the world with iPad. Find locations easier than ever with street view, satellite view or new terrain view — all using Google services.


With its large display and on-screen keyboard, iPad makes it easy to jot down quick notes and keep important information on hand. You can even email yourself reminders.


The iWork productivity applications that you know and love on the Mac — Keynote, Pages and Numbers — have been completely redesigned for iPad. So you can create great-looking presentations, documents and spreadsheets. All using just your fingers. And while they’re easy to use, they’re also the most powerful productivity apps ever built for a mobile device.

And the list goes on and on. Clearly the iPad is crammed with useful features and applications.

What does the internet say an iPad can do?

Hardly surprising the Internet techies have given the iPad rave reviews.

They have discussed each and every feature to infinity and beyond and everything in between, they love the style, applications, movies, music, wi-fi Internet, book reader, organiser, work applications, 1000's of applications and so on.....

In a nutshell the internet people in the know have been suprised that the iPad isn't just an oversized iPod touch.

It is in fact a very useful entertainment, business, academic, communication tool and does exactly what is say's on the box. 

iPad book reader

Read your favourite book on iPad  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Read your favourite book on iPad Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

What do I think an iPad can do?

It is difficult to dispute that the iPad is quite an impressive machine.

During this research i am beginning to understand how most if not all of these features have their uses.

It is also becoming apparent that the iPad has been designed to be all things to all men(women) and seems to have achieved it.

It is unlikely that every feature or app would be used but without question that is the point I have been missing thus far, the iPad is customisable, you decide what you want it to be then go out and create it until it becomes part of you.

What does Apple say an iPad can do for you?

Apple have spent hundreds of $millions if not $billions in the development of the i range.

iPad being the latest in the pedigree is touted as the only mobile gadget you will ever need, having the affordability and flexibility to meet everyone's needs and wants at a price that makes it available to all.

As we and our needs develop so will the iPad, it is designed to be a platform for the future; a future that is Apple.

What does the internet say an iPad can do for you?

After the initial scepticism prior to the iPads launch they are hailing it as the saviour, that's the saviour of technology, design and mobile entertainment.

Of course there are defectors; there always is. Some people simply can't be pleased but the overall informed opinion is that Apple has stolen the lead on any other multi functional gadget on the market today and for the foreseeable future.

What do I think an iPad can do for me?

At the start of this article my answer to this question was a definate "nothing", now I am not so confident.

i do not fully understand all of the features, I probably don't need too but what I can start to understand and appreciate is that being the proud owner of an iPad would make my daily life less cluttered, more organised and much more entertaining.

I guess the final question should be; will I buy one?

And my answer:

I can't think of a reason why I shouldn't ! 

Apple iPad

Are you going to buy an iPad

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