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28 great iPad 2 tips and tricks

Master your iPad 2 with these tips and shortcuts

Apple's iPad 2 was made available in the UK this week The tablet PC might not be as fully featured (or as complicated) as a laptop or desktop PC, but a few neat tricks are stil hidden between the surface. Read on to learn how to secure your iPad, sync your bookmarks, and more.

Don't forget your downloads

You can immediately see if your iTunes account is due for any incoming downloads by opening iTunes on your PC, clicking the Store menu, and selecting Check for available downloads. This trick can come in handy if your download process is interrupted, or if you missed some bonus iTunes content that came with an album you purchased.

Turn on Universal Access

You can enable options such as closed-captioned movies, VoiceOver screen reading, zoom magnification, and inverted white-on-black text by selecting the iPad in iTunes, opening the Summary tab, and clicking Configure Universal Access under the Options heading.

Forget Wi-Fi networks

So you accidentally connected to a network once, and your iPad remembers it for life- whether you like it or not. On your iPad, go to Settings, Wi-Fi, and find the network under the 'Choose a Network' heading. Tap the blue arrow next to the network you want to remove, and tap the button on the top that says Forget this Network.

Specify your Spotlight searches

The iPad uses Spotlight for its built-in search functions, and you can tweak it to your needs in Settings, General, Spotlight Search. If you have a lot of data on your iPad, for example, you can selectively disable search in different categories (Contacts, Applications, Audiobooks, Notes, Events, Mail, and so on) that you don't use so that your desired results show up faster. You can also simply change the order in which the search-result categories display by dragging them up and down, so that your more frequently used search categories show up at the top of the page.

Turn off in-app purchases

Go to Settings, General, Restrictions and tap Enable Restrictions to selectively enable restrictions that apply to your apps, content, Game Center, and more. If you're worried about other people breaking your bank account on in-app purchases, just disable In-App Purchases under the 'Allowed Content' setting.

Switch up the fetching frequency

Your iPad automatically grabs new data, such as incoming email. However, the iPad periodically activates apps that don't support iOS's Push feature so that they can go 'Fetch' new data - which uses the tablet's battery life. You can tweak your Push and Fetch settings in Settings, Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Fetch New Data.

Change your email signature

Don't be one of those people who leave the default 'Sent from my iPad' signature on all their messages. Change it in Settings, Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Signature to...well, anything but that.

Swap the search engine

Too good for Google? You can change Safari's default search engine by going to Settings, Safari, Search Engine. Alas, you can only choose from Google, Bing or Yahoo - no bringing back AltaVista for you.

Take a screenshot of whatever is on the screen

Press Home and the sleep/wake button simultaneously. The screenshot will automatically appear among your photos.

See also: Pictures: Apple iPad 2 unboxing

  1. Quick tips and convenient shortcuts
  2. Toggle data roaming
  3. Don't forget your downloads
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