by Ted on June 11, 2012
Every time you get a device that is the first one of its kind that you own, you need to learn to perform the most basic tasks, before moving on to more complicated things. So if the iPad is your first multi-screen device, take it slow and start from the beginning.
Buttons and Switches
The third generation iPad has a Home button, a Volume button, a Wake/Sleep button and a side switch.
From the four buttons and switches the Home button is probably the most important and also the one you will use the most. Every time you are running an application, like iTunes, Safari or Camera you need to press the Home button in order to return to the Home screen, no matter if you want to stop using your device or start another application. If you want to see icons for your other apps and controls for audio or video playback you will have to double press the Home button. This won;t cause you to leave the app you will be running at the time.
If you are wondering about the existence of a Quit button, let me assure you that there is no such thing. Not many applications have the possibility of quitting. Think of it this way: The Home button is also the Quit button in a way, because it pauses your current app and puts it in the background while returning you to the Home screen.
The Wake/Sleep button, which is also called the On/Off button, does exactly what its name says: it puts the iPad to sleep and it also wakes it up. And in case you were wondering, sleep is different than shutting down, in the sense that when your gadget is asleep you can wake it up instantly at the push of a button. Whereas, if you were to shut it down, you’d have to wait a while before being able to use it after starting it. Another way you can wake your iPad up is by pushing the Home button, instead of the Wake/Sleep button.
Shutting down is a good idea if you want to preserve the battery life of your iPad, or if you are planning on not using it for a long period of time. So if you want to turn your device off, press and hold the Wake/Sleep button for a few seconds. You will then be asked to confirm your decision by using the Slide to Power Off button at the top of the screen. When you want to start it up, you will have to press and hold the Wake/Sleep button for a few seconds, until you see something appearing on the screen.
Practically, you don’t have to shut down your iPad ever. You can just put it to sleep, because while in that state it uses a very small amount of power. But if you forget to charge it for a long period of time, it will turn off automatically. So if you want to prevent this from happening, you might want to charge it at night when you are sleeping or anytime you’re not using it.
The iPad’s volume control actually consists of two buttons and not one: one for turning the volume up and the other for turning it down. Believe it or not, your tablet memorizes two different volume settings: one of internal speakers and one for headphones. In other words, if you turn the volume down while using your headphones and then unplug them, the volume will change to the last setting used by the speakers. This is also available the other way around. The iPad indicates volume levels by displaying a Speaker icon and a series of rectangles on the screen.
The switch on the side of your tablet has a double function: you can set it to be either a mute switch or an orientation lock. If you choose to use it as a mute switch, it will mute all sound while in the off position. It will confirm your decision by showing a Speaker icon in the middle of the screen for a brief moment. So if you see a line through the icon it means that you’ve just muted your iPad and by pushing it again you will unmute it. When shipped, your iPad will arrive with the switch configured to mute.
By using the switch as an orientation lock, you will give it an entirely different function. Think of it this way: primarily, your iPad has two screen modes, vertical and horizontal.
There available for almost every application. If, for instance, you come across a web page that is too wide to fit on the screen in the vertical position, you can turn your gadget sideways in order to switch to a horizontal orientation. Now, there will be times when you will want to stop this from happening for some reason. That is where the orientation locked comes in.
Just slide the side switch until you can see the orange dot, in order to stop the screen from changing orientations. This feature might come in handy if you are reading something on the bed or sofa while lying on you side.
So, in conclusion, there are four physical switches on your iPad. But wait, there’s one more: the entire iPad! Allow me to explain. You iPad knows when it is being moved and which was you are pointing it. You can tell by looking at the position of the Home button: if the device is in vertical position the Home button is at the bottom of the screen and if it’s in horizontal orientation it can be found on one of the sides.
This is a vital component for certain applications, especially games, because they need to use the the exact orientation of the iPad in order to guide screen elements and views.