6 hidden iPad features to make your life easier

If you already use an iPad in your role, then you know that they can be incredibly useful tools. You can use them to read and write emails, create documents, explore the internet and access board portals, among many other things. And with apps from the iTunes store, you can do so much more – from balancing your budgets to checking the weather or watching movies. The iPad is an amazing piece of technology, yet it’s possible you’re not aware just how amazing it is. The iPad has a host of features that aren’t always obvious, but that can make your life easier.

1. Multitasking gestures

By turning on a simple switch within your iPad’s settings you’ll unlock a whole new way to control your device. For example, by swiping four fingers across the screen (either left or right) you’ll be able to easily switch between your open applications. No more double tapping the home button and then selecting the other app you want from the taskbar.

Speaking of the task bar, you no longer need to double tap that home button to get to it. Simply pinch outwards with four fingers and voila, your taskbar shall appear.

But maybe you’re just looking to get back to the home screen? In that case, instead of pinching your fingers outwards, pinch them in and home you shall go. It’s almost as useful as a pair of ruby slippers.

To turn on Multitasking Gestures simply select Settings>General and find Multitasking Gestures in the list and toggle it on!


2. Undo with a little shake

It’s entirely possible you’ve come across this feature by accident when jostling your iPad and didn’t have a clue how it appeared on your screen.

Undo buttons are useful little tools that can come in handy. If you find you’ve deleted something in error, perhaps when typing a document or writing an email, then all you need to do is pick up your iPad and give it a little shake. A little box will then appear on your screen asking if you’d like to undo typing. If you then suddenly realize you didn’t want to undo after all, just shake it again, and the box will return asking if you’d like to redo the typing. Fantastic little feature, although beware, it may not work in all your apps.

Undo typing

3. Let Siri read your emails to you

If you don’t feel like staring at the screen to read your latest emails, why not ask Siri to read them to you instead? Simply hold down the home button and say ‘read my emails’ and Siri will tell you the sender, time, date, and subject of the email. She’ll then ask if you want her to read the entire email. Simply say ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Siri mail

4. AutoFill web forms

Tired of typing out all of your details each and every time you need to fill something out online? Safari has your back with its AutoFill feature. Simply go into Settings and select Safari>Passwords & AutoFill. Toggle the switch for ‘Use Contact Info’ and select your personal contact data from your contacts. You can also opt to save passwords and even credit card details, although doing so may pose a security risk if your iPad is ever compromised. If you do plan to store passwords and credit card data, make sure you’ve enabled a passcode on your device, and are running the Find My iPhone app for security. Otherwise it’s possible your sensitive information could end up in the wrong hands.


5. Shortcuts

If you find yourself frequently writing the same phrase in emails and other communications over and over, then you may find great benefit from the Shortcuts feature in iOS. For example, if you find yourself often typing Best Wishes, you can create a shortcut for it in Settings – for example ‘bw’ – and every time you type ‘bw’ iOS will replace that with Best Wishes. To access this feature go to Settings>General>Keyboard. From here select ‘Shortcuts’, then click on the ‘+’ symbol in the top right-hand corner to type out the phrase you want and the shortcut you want to create for it.


6. Find your iPad when you lose it, or wipe it remotely

Losing your iPad can be a disastrous event, particularly if you store important and sensitive information on it. While using a passcode will generally keep your data safe, this is not the only security option available. Apple has a fantastic feature called Find my iPhone (it works for iPads too – and Macbooks), which is linked to your iCloud account. Simply ensure it is enabled in settings on your device by going to Settings>iCloud and toggling the Find My iPad switch. Now if you ever lose your iPad you can log onto iCloud online (or use the Find My iPhone app on another Apple device) and if your device is turned on and connected to 3G or Wi-Fi, you should be able to locate it. From the app you can lock it, if for some reason it isn’t already locked, and if it happens to be in the same room as you, you can make it play a sound. However, if your iPad isn’t recoverable, then you can wipe it remotely to make sure your data is protected. To really take advantage of this feature it’s best to have a device that’s connected to 3G.

Find mu

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