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Customer Review

1,059 of 1,078 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 32GB 32 GB 512 MB 9.7 -inch LCD (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/Music 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 151-160 of 182 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 22 Apr 2012 16:52:33 BDT
Who ever told me I need to get an ipad deserves to be shot! I got one a week ago and I cant put it down so nothing else seem to get done!! Thanks for all the info which is a great help as i am still learning.
I already had itunes on my computer but when prompted to upgrade to the later version ,I did so and am now unable to download itunes at all. I will have lost all my library but I suppose I can access it on my ipad in iclouds.The message comes up that I "dont have sufficient privaledges"to download when it gets to the Apple mobile device bit. Any suggestions. I have tried to unblock the pop up and also disabled the avg virus checker. It all seems a bit of a mystery to me!1

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Apr 2012 21:34:59 BDT
Thanks Wayne. Yes my son told silly I am i thought not to have realised that...only plays one at a time tho..not a run of them like in Vevo hd ap..if u haven't got that ...try it..great for music videos
Still think iPad is best thing I ever got..;-)

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Apr 2012 21:54:07 BDT
Well I did for one...! And am still cleaved to it...I got comment to,upgrade iTunes as well but my iTunes are still there and podcasts still download...can you ring a apple store?

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2012 15:48:25 BDT
Somehow I have managed to reload itunes. I dont know how i did it though. Also i have also managed to solve the printer problem so now i can print from my ipad. it took me several attempts. Now i can spend my time playing and learning what to do on the ipad. Any suggestions? (im sure that is a silly question!) cheers. Maureen

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2012 19:34:19 BDT
Hi Maureen, am glad ur bak as want to pass on warning of silly thing I did. I was looking for an old post from u or Wayne today..I decided to buy series one Prime Suspect..irrelevant detail I know it adds to the story! To watch when on holiday.... off I tunes.on Friday pm. Took ages to download to computer then I set about working on how to get it on iPad. Similar synch method to transfer of film. BUT it kept saying this will erase all your videos and music, well I dithered twice over the warning..yes it was a warning and I will heed in future! On the third read I thought ..blow it go for it...thinking well it took phantom opera film no problem...took ages to move over and yes You guess right.sat am no music no phantom no home movies. All still on iTunes tho on computer. First thing I did was delete PS off had gone into what used to be Videos but was then renamec tv shows. Then tried to reload music. Kept saying the apps cannot be determind..then the iPad cannot be found. I was in a right old dither at 10 pm at night! Then found a bit of Ps had sorta got back on the iPad when was trying to synch deleted it altogether off my computer. My wifi kept going off here so that was not a help as it couldn't do anything anyway! rebooted turned everything off, updated 3 apps on computer. Then the ones on iPad. Put it on synch via USB and bingo! Was up till 1230am watching it re download. I was amazed to find it had actually redone it. Let that be a lesson to myself and others.....I have no idea why u can't have films and tv DVDs on pad..what's the point of iTunes selling them? Can't surely be a space issue..I have the 32gb. Wayne do you know? Meanwhile DVD Prime Suspect is sitting in recycle bin until I debate wisdom restoring it to watch on Pc...whilst iPad is safely in another room!
Re learning....I am addicted to draw something like pictionary board game...also scrabble app..u pay for that but I love playing against the computer. I google and look up all sorts of things I just read about. I love google maps especially when you press the red bit on left of pin and it goes to usual uk and abroad .
Can't print from mine u r lucky. Our printer isn't compatable
Enjoy. I tell u I was so upset when I messed up I said well I will just go buy iPad 3 and start again. Hang the exPense.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 May 2012 22:42:14 BDT
After all that I hope you have a good holiday!!!

In reply to an earlier post on 9 May 2012 16:03:15 BDT
can you or Wayne (or anyone) tell me why is it when I turn itunes on on my computer it starts to download all the apps (and programmes) which i have recently added to my ipad. Surely i dont need them on my main computer as well or do i.?
Also can you suggest any that i really really need to get! At the moment i am just getting free one that look interesting.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 May 2012 22:20:15 BDT
Wayne's ur man for the best answer am sure but yes you need them on your computer as well as iPad. They synch with each other when either is connected by Usb or wifi when ur on itunes.. where they are kept as I see it. So if u for eg buy scrabble ap or get Vevo for free on iPad it will synch copy it to the main pc. Likewise aps / books / tunes u may have acquired on Pc get copy/ synced to the pad. U need to keep updating aps they alert u too and those will similarly get synced to Pc. Re depends on your interests. I enjoy playing scrabble so paid for that .I use Vevo for music, But if u don't need or use it ..

Posted on 18 May 2012 15:37:58 BDT
Nearlypastit says:
What a great review.
Can I pick your brains Wayne? I purchased a refurbished iPad1 about 9 months ago. I'm really pleased with it and have been thinking of buying the iPad2 and giving my old one to my wife. I back up my iPad onto my laptop regularly. Will I be able to pick what I want from the back up and install it on the new iPad and leave the rest for my wife to use?
After reading your review I am certainly going to go ahead and buy the iPad2

In reply to an earlier post on 27 May 2012 23:21:35 BDT
Wayne says:
Hi Gillian,

Thank you for your comments and 'keeping the discussion alive!'

There is a setting within iTunes that automatically starts synching and downloading purchases including free ones; when turned on. Its a type of backup mechanism.

In all cases please do perform a search for 'Apple iPad Support' and you'll probably find plenty of resourses for iPad troubleshooting. "there's far more online than I could offer here :)

It can be frustrating sometimes, I know. However, I think this is one of the best ways to learn.

Onwards and Upwards! :))