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Customer Review

381 of 388 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ***DUMMIES GUIDE TO THE IPAD***, 30 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Apple iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G - Tablet - 16 GB - 9.7" IPS ( 1024 x 768 ) - rear camera + front camera - Wi-Fi, Bluetooth - 3G - black (Personal Computers)
So, you're thinking of buying an iPad however, you're not so sure of what it can do and how it works. So, here is the "Dummies Guide to the iPad" to help you make that decision. "I promise to keep the jargon down to a bare minimum" :

To begin with the iPad must be paired to an existing Laptop or Desktop PC. These can be normal Microsoft Windows or Mac PC's. Once paired you can use the iPad by itself. It only has to be paired once. Although, there is a rumour that the next generation will work straight out of the box.

You will be able to:

-Touch and pinch the screen to type words and move things around
-Send and Receive Emails
-Browse the Internet including Online Banking, Internet Shopping and more...
-Listen to Music, including the Radio when there is a Wireless (Wi-Fi) connection
-Watch Videos and Movies
-Write and Print Letters (see the section on 'Printing' further down)
-Download and Play Games
-Become a Smarter Person (more on this later)
-Display Pictures - it is an electronic Picture Frame too!
-Take Pictures and Movies, if it has the onboard camera (iPad2 and newer)
-Have a chat with the relatives abroad using Video Conferencing technology
-Download THOUSANDS of books into a snazzy Book Reader that you can actually turn pages on the screen with
-There are loads more - I'll leave them as a surprise if you decide to buy one :)

You will NOT be able to:

-Watch a special type of animation or movie using a technology known as 'Flash' - don't worry about this though, you'll hear lots of people complaining about it. It really is no big deal and you'll learn to live without it. Over time, many of the popular web sites will move away from using Flash and use a newer technology that DOES work on iPads.
-Insert a CD (there is no slot and you don't actually need one)
-In fact, there is not much else you can't do with an iPad :


No, not the ones' from Oz! Wizards are helpful programs that magically pop up and automatically configure things like the Internet and Email connections for you. The iPad has more Wizards than you can wave a wand at! When you first switch it on and whenever you need to set something up it will automatically present you with a Wizard. Therefore setting things up is as easy as 1-2-3.

The iPad is also an iPod!! - Loading music is done in one of two ways.

1 - install the free version of iTunes onto your normal PC and follow the Wizards instructions to download your music from the 'iTunes Store' or transfer your music from your favourite CD collection. Then, connect the iPad to your computer using the supplied cable and it will automatically 'Synchronise' your music to the iPad. Yup, you guessed it - using yet another Wizard!

2 - iTunes is a built in application (or App) on the iPad itself. Tap this App to search for and download your music directly to the iPad. You could even download a movie or your favourite episode of 24 too!

Once the music is on there just tap the iPod App to listen to it. Easy-Peasy!


The iPad extensively uses Apps. Apps are downloaded, using Wi-Fi. This is why you don't need a CD drive. These are the icons that are displayed on the screen.

Apps are downloaded from the Internet using yet another App called: "The App Store". Tap this icon to search for or see a list of the most popular Apps available, some are paid for and some are free! Tap the 'Install' button next to the one you'd like, follow the Wizards instructions and the App will automatically download and appear as a new icon on the screen.


These can be loaded onto the iPad using iTunes, Email or the 'Camera Connection Kit' - this is a separate adaptor (£25) that plugs into the bottom of the iPad. Just insert the memory card from your camera into the adaptor and it will automatically load the pictures into the built in Photo App.


When the iPad is locked (by pressing the button on the top-right side) and then back on again, you'll see a little icon in the lower right side corner of the display. Tap this and the Photo App will automatically display your pictures in full screen mode, converting the iPad into a digital Photo frame! It is a great feature. This means that you can leave the ipad on the shelf, literally as part of your rooms decor! You may want to purchase a 'Dock (£25)' to have the iPad tilted and supported at just the right angle.

Tip: if you need a reason to justify buying an iPad to your wife - use the Picture Frame one!!


Printing is done wirelessly, however you MUST use one of the wireless printers detailed on the website. Typically, it will not print to anything other than one of those printers. There is one caveat to this statement, it is possible to print to any wireless printer if you pay for and download a third party App that is available via the App Store - use the search keywords 'wireless printing' to find it.

It is also possible to email whatever you'd like to print and pick it up on your normal PC for printing.

Finally, I mentioned that you could become a Smarter Person by using an iPad - in fact this is not a joke. There are thousands of educational Apps including ones' for learning Astronomy through to learning how to read and play music and even Apps that will help you learn a new language. The possibilities are literally right at your finger tips!!

If you're unsure of which size to buy just buy the largest one you can afford. I have a 32GB version and have only used half of its capacity even with some very large Apps installed.

The iPad is many things to many people and the information above is just scratching the surface.

"I hope this review helps you make the right decision and I also hope that I did not use too much confusing jargon."

Good luck!!

*** update 12th October 2011 ***

Apple have released their new Operating System (iOS 5)

Amongst many new and enhanced features there is now the ability to synchronise data across multiple Devices. They call it 'iCloud' - think of iCloud as a 'Virtual Filing Cabinet' to store your Documents, Diary and a record of your downloaded media from iTunes. Always accessible as long as there is an internet connection.

iCloud also allows the iPad to be used without having to 'Pair' it with a computer. It will now work straight out of the box!
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Showing 1-10 of 30 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Oct 2011 11:15:59 BDT
Netta Glover says:
Very helpful to a waverer like me!

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Oct 2011 12:28:06 BDT
Last edited by the author on 16 Nov 2011 19:03:58 GMT
Wayne says:
Thank you Dorothea,

I'm always thrilled to receive positive comments. :))

Posted on 16 Nov 2011 16:13:20 GMT
KP Kent says:
I live abroad and my home internet connection is (confusing!!) I need a password to connect to the router and then a password to connect to the temporary antenna on the roof of my villa. This has never been a problem with my pc but is a problem with my sons PSP as it only asks for one password??? I use a Kindle with 3G, this is fine, so I am guessing that if I have a 3G model it will work?? Any ideas before I buy?
Helpful review by the way :0)

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2011 18:23:43 GMT
Last edited by the author on 16 Nov 2011 18:26:15 GMT
Wayne says:
Hi KP,

Thank you for your comment.

I would suggest contacting your Internet provider about the password prompting; there could be several reasons for this behaviour.

Using an iPad with 3G will work if the 3G signal is strong enough - do bear in mind though, that the 3G on a Kindle is free, on an iPad you will need to pay for the amount of 'data' you use.

The data is the size or quantity of information being received; this will include emails (including the size of any attachments), general Internet browsing and the downloading of Apps, Songs and Videos.

Normally, 3G is used sparingly because of the typical high costs involved. My recommendation is to fix your normal Internet connection and use its wireless capabilities (assuming it is wireless of course) as it sounds like that would be the most cost effective solution for you.

Hope this helps


In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2011 18:27:49 GMT
Supersurfer says:
Ha ha you may be a techi - but what happened to the i before e except after c rule lol!

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2011 19:04:34 GMT
Last edited by the author on 16 Nov 2011 19:07:15 GMT
Wayne says:
Hi Sandi

Good spot! All corrected new :)) only joking ... now

Posted on 8 Dec 2011 11:02:24 GMT
E. Haines says:
The most helpful comment I have ever read!! Thank you!

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Dec 2011 12:28:33 GMT
Wayne says:
Thank you E. Haines


Posted on 28 Dec 2011 16:32:46 GMT
Diane says:
Thanks for help. I now just need how to get best out of it abroad - not sure about £G business.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Dec 2011 19:30:03 GMT
Wayne says:
Thank you Julia (Diane),

Most places abroad these days do have Wi-Fi, in some cases it is free! This is worth checking and if Wi-Fi is available then a 3G option would probably not be necessary. However, if you travel frequently and positively need access to the Internet then perhaps 3G would be worth the additional data costs.

Good luck either way though :)
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