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12 ways to improve the Apple iPad

How to get the most from Apple's Slate PC

Apple's iPad has only been available in the US for a month, and it hasn't even officially hit UK shelves yet. However, we've managed to discover a number of tips and tricks that will make the device even more versatile and easy to use.

Get the Apple Wireless Keyboard

The iPad's onscreen keyboard is adequate for short bits of typing, but if you really want to enter a lot of text, go with the Wireless Keyboard.

It's a standard Bluetooth keyboard, the same one you'd use with a Mac.

And that's its great strength. I've used portable keyboards for handheld devices in the past. Sometimes they're small, wobbly or otherwise awkward, and it's always a bit of an adjustment to use a strange keyboard I'm not used to.

But the Wireless Keyboard is the standard Apple keyboard, so there was no need for me to get used to it; I just sat down and typed.

Many of the standard Mac keyboard shortcuts work on the Wireless Keyboard: Cmd-C for cut, Cmd-V for paste, and so forth.

Other keyboard shortcuts don't work - for example, Cmd-L, which takes your cursor to the address bar in Safari and other desktop web browsers, doesn't work on the iPad.

If you want to use the onscreen keyboard when your Wireless Keyboard is paired, just tap the eject button on the top-right corner of the Wireless Keyboard.

The onscreen keyboard pops up. Tap the same button again and the onscreen keyboard disappears.

The iPad's auto-suggest feature, where it anticipates what you're typing and suggests words and punctuation, works great as an auto-correct function for typos when you're using a keyboard.

I wrote much of this article on the iPad using the Wireless Keyboard.

Already have a Bluetooth keyboard? Try it with your iPad

You're not tied to just using the Apple Wireless Keyboard. Any standard Bluetooth keyboard will work with the iPad, according to Macworld's Frakes, so if you've got one you're already comfortable with, might as well keep using it.

Novelist Steven Gould, for instance, told me he's been using his Stowaway fold-up Bluetooth keyboard successfully with the iPad.

Skip the Keyboard Dock

It's the standard Apple keyboard, attached to a hardware dock for your iPad.

The benefits of the Keyboard Dock are that it doesn't rely on a wireless connection, it doesn't need batteries, and you can attach it to your computer to sync and power the iPad while you work.

On the downside: It's heavy, it's bulky, and you can't adjust the position of the iPad when you're using it.

Apple's Wireless Keyboard is much more comfortable and portable

NEXT PAGE: Get the iPad Case

  1. Get the most from Apple's Slate PC
  2. Don't worry about battery life
  3. Get the Apple Wireless Keyboard
  4. Get the iPad Case

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