Why do I need an iPad?

An iPad allows you to watch movies, read eBooks, email, search the web and Skype with your buddies. Who wouldn’t want one?

About iPad and iPad2 

The iPad has a 9.7 inch (diagonal) LED-backlit widescreen multitouch display with over 1,000 sensors and a screen resolution of 1024-by-768-pixels. The original iPad weighs 680 grams and is 13.4 mm thick. iPad2 weighs 601 grams and is 8.8 mm thick. iPad has built in WiFi and it is available in capacities of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB (flash memory). It’s also available with 3G wireless data connection operating at 7.2 Mbps.

The iPad uses the same operating system, currently iOS 5, as the iPhone and iPod Touch and has Bluetooth for connection to wireless devices. The built-in battery provides up to 10 hours of internet surfing on WiFi, watching video, or listening to music and about nine hours if using a 3G data network. The iPad is managed and synced on a Mac or PC by its USB adapter using the iTunes program, or wirelessly via iCloud. iPad has multi-tasking features to switch and work between open Apps.

What’s on the iPad

  • Safari
  • Mail
  • Photos
  • Music
  • iTunes
  • iBooks
  • YouTube
  • Video
  • Messages


  • Calendar
  • Reminders
  • Maps
  • Contacts
  • Notes
  • Apps Store
  • Newsstand
  • Game Centre

Additional iPad2 Apps

  • FaceTime
  • Video Camera
  • Phone Booth
  • iMovies (optional)

The iPad comes with programs referred to as “Apps”. There are over 140,000 Apps available for the iPad. Apps can be downloaded and purchased through the Apps store and iTunes store.

iOS 5 and iCloud
iOS 5 is Apple’s latest mobile operating system with over 200 new features including iCloud and PC Free. iCloud stores and secures content such as photos, documents, backup data, mail contacts, calendars, music and location requests using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) by encrypting it when sent over the internet, storing it in an encrypted format which requires the use of secure tokens for authentication.

iCloud keeps email, contacts, and calendars up-to-date across iOS 5 devices without the need for syncing. iCloud can be used with Microsoft Outlook to synchronise contacts and calendar. PC Free enables iPad, iPhone or iPod touch devices to be activated, set up and updated wirelessly without the need of a computer. iOS 5 devices can be backed up and restored using iCloud.

iPad2 Features

  • There are two cameras on the iPad2 — one on the front and one on the back.
  • The cameras are designed for FaceTime video calling as you would use a webcam on a computer.
  • When the back camera is on during a video call you can share where you are and what is going on around you.
  • The back camera is high definition and can be used for recording video.
  • Photo Booth is a fun application that can be used to take weird and wacky photos.
  • iMovie is an optional application used by iPad, iPhone and iPod to turn HD video into a movie. The App has been specifically designed for multi-touch screens.

Using the internet – Safari
Safari is Apple’s internet browser. It is uncluttered and easy to use. Web pages can be viewed in portrait or landscape. Text and images can be made larger or smaller by dragging two fingers away or towards each other across the screen. A web page can be printed wirelessly using an AirPrinter.

Mail can be viewed either with a split screen in landscape view which shows both an opened email and the messages in the inbox, or in portrait view to look at a single email which automatically rotates to fill the screen. An onscreen keyboard appears when a new message is composed. The keyboard orients between landscape and portrait views as the iPad is turned. It can also be split to the left and right sides of the iPad to enable thumb typing. Mail converts URLs, phone numbers, email addresses, dates, and street addresses to links.

Photos can be shared using Mail, MobileMe, iCloud or printed using an AirPrint enabled printer. iPad supports standard photo formats such as JPEG, TIFF, GIF, and PNG. Photos can be synced from your computer using iTunes, imported directly from your camera or its SD card using the optional iPad Camera Connection Kit or streamed from another iOS 5 device using iCloud. Photos can also be saved from email to the iPad photo library. A slideshow can be quickly created with music to view photos similar to a digital photo frame.

The iPad uses iTunes on your Mac or PC to copy items from your computer to the device and vice versa. You can select which items to sync from your Apps, Music, Movies, TV Shows, Books and Photo libraries. iCloud can also be used to update and backup data if you do not have a computer.

The Pages App is an excellent word processor with templates and easy to use layouts. It has a spell checker and will insert punctuation for you. Documents are automatically saved and can be emailed as a Pages document, PDF or Microsoft Word document. Pages can be purchased from the iTunes store. A Pages document can be converted into Microsoft Word on your PC and worked on in that program.

The iPad is wonderful to use as an electronic reader for eBooks and audio books. The default App is iBooks however, there are several other eBook applications, eg Kobo. eBooks features enable the reader to change the font and its size and to turn the background on or off for night reading. Books can be read in portrait or landscape views.

Music, podcasts and audio books are added to iPad using iTunes, either directly from the iTunes store, synced from your computer or shared through iCloud. Audio can be listened to using the built-in speaker, or with headphones or wireless Bluetooth headphones. Music can be played using AirPlay on any speaker in the home using AirPort Express which is a device that can run a home Wi-Fi network, including Apple TV.

Videos are purchased or rented from iTunes and can be synced with your computer and iCloud. The Videos App is used to view TV shows, podcasts and music videos. The iPad can be used to show videos on an Apple TV.

Find where you are, where you want to go and how to get there. Using the Maps App lets you find places of interest, cafes and landmarks. You can find the nearest transport to your location as well as using the directions to get you there. You can look at the map in satellite view, terrain view and street view.

FaceTime for iPad enables you to make video calls from your iPad2 to someone else’s iPad2, iPhone 4, iPod touch and Apple Mac over Wi-Fi. FaceTime is similar to Skype which is also available as an App for the iPad and iPad2. iPad2 has two built-in cameras, one on the front above the display and one on the back. You can switch between them anytime during a call.

HD Video Camera
The HD video camera in iPad2 is great for capturing spontaneous moments. Audio can be recorded as you shoot. Clips can be edited to create a video on the iPad. HD movies can be shared via Facebook, YouTube or Mail. The backside illumination sensor enables good quality video capture even in low light, eg candle light or at night time.

Photo Booth
Photo Booth is a fun application for creating wacky and weird photographs. Photo Booth uses the front-facing camera. Before Photo Booth captures your photo, it flashes bright white to add light to your face.

iMovie is a purchased App that helps turn HD video shot on iPad2, iPhone or iPod touch into a mini movie. It has been designed especially for multi-touch devices. iMovie uses Apple-designed themes, titles and transitions to create a movie to which a soundtrack can be added. iMovie can be shared on Facebook and/or YouTube.

AirPrint on iPad makes it easy to print emails, photos, web pages and documents. There is no software to download, no drivers to install and no cables to connect with AirPrint. All the printing takes place in the background, so there is no waiting for the printing to finish. Manufacturers including Hewlett-Packard, Canon and Epson have a range of AirPrinters which are compatible with iPad.

The iPad is a wonderful interactive device. With iOS 5, iPad can in fact replace a computer for those wanting to use it for email and the internet. It has several accessibility options including voice over reading and finger touch zoom. There are few drawbacks, eg the iPad does not have USB ports. There is no antivirus or security software for the iPad.

Published with the kind permission of Teresa Wilson.

To view in presentation format, visit www.ASSCA.org.au