Getting started with your iPad

Getting started with your iPad

How to connect your iPad to the web and add applications

by Emily Price on December 15, 2010


The iPad is an exceptionally popular gadget that has found its way into the hands of everyone from techies to grandmothers. If you've just bought yourself an iPad or received one as a gift, getting started using the tablet is simple to do.

Setting up
The first thing to do is connect your iPad to a computer using the included USB cable. iTunes will automatically launch on your computer and lead you though the process of registering and setting up your iPad. If you don't have iTunes already installed on your computer, download it for free from Apple's website.

iTunes

Fill 'er up!
Once your iPad is set up, it will show up as an option on the left menu bar of iTunes. Click on the icon for your iPad to bring up a full-screen window, allowing you to customize what is stored on it. Each tab in the center of the iTunes window will control some aspect of what is stored on your iPad. Click the Music tab to customize what music you transfer to your iPad, or click the Movies tab to determine which videos you want to carry along with you.

The App tab not only allows you to select what apps from your computer you sync to your iPad, but it also allows you to drag and drop those apps where you would like them on your iPad's screen to keep them organized.

Buying apps
In order to purchase applications from the app store, you will need to have an iTunes account, something you will be prompted to set up during the iTunes installation process. To purchase and download apps, click the iTunes Store option in the left side menu of iTunes, or the App Store icon on your iPad, and search for applications you want to own. Once you find an application you would like, tap the price of the app to turn that price into a download button, and then tap that button in order to begin the download process.

Get connected
A huge part of the functionality of the iPad is surfing the web. In order to get on the web, however, you'll first have to set up a connection. To do this, tap on the Settings button on the home screen of your iPad to bring up the Settings menu.

Wifi
Tap the Wi-Fi option in the Settings menu and slide the bar a the top of the window to On in order to power on the wifi on your iPad. Your iPad will list all of the wireless networks in range of the device. Tap the wireless network you would like to connect to from the list of options that appear, and enter the password (if needed) in order to connect.

3G
Connecting to the web via 3G is a little more tricky than wifi and requires you set up an account with AT&T. Select the Cellular Network option from the Settings menu, followed by View Account to begin the setup process. Fill in the required fields and select a data plan from the two options available.

If you plan on only using your iPad to occasionally check email, then the 250MB option may be fine for you. If you plan on using your iPad as your primary computer or doing a decent amount of web surfing, then you should probably select the 2GB plan. Enter your payment method (you'll need a credit card) and agree to the terms and conditions in order to complete the setup process.

Set up your email
To set up email on your iPad, tap the Settings button on the home screen followed by Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and then Add Account. Enter in the username and password for your email account in order to link it with your iPad. Once linked, you can tap the mail icon at the bottom of your iPad home screen in order to check your email.

All that should get you started using your new iPad. Want to get more out of your iPad? Check out our iPad App of the Week column for suggestions on great apps to download.

Tecca

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