When I bought my iPad 2 a bit over a year ago, I found Wallace Wang’s “My New iPad 2: A Users Guide a very uuseful and informative reference to help me get up to speed with the the tablet’s hardware features and the iOS. I had skipped the iPad 1, so using an iPad in earnest was new to me. It’s one thing to play around with someone else’s machine for a few minutes at a time, quite another to live with it on a day to day basis yourself.
My first inclination whenever I bring home a new device, whether it be a computer, a lawn mower, or an electric drill, is to “Read The Fine Manual,” but with the iPad, as with Apple’s other hardware products, there essentially isn’t one Consequently, Mr. Wang’s user’s guide was exactly what I needed to help me get my new iPad to up and running and me up to speed with using it and the iOS efficiently, while avoiding slowdowns and pitfalls that would be inevitable had I tried to bootstrap the orientation using just Apple’s pathetic hard copy documentation, which amounts to a handful of tiny, sketchy loose-leaf notes.
The iPad 2 is of course still being sold, and selling well reportedly, with a price cut to $399 for the now lone 16 GB model. However the third generation Apple compuslab — the New iPad with Retina display, is now the star of the iPad lineup, and it has enough new features that third edition of Wallace Wang’s user’s guide was in order, now simply called “My New iPad,” reflecting the third-generation machine’s official name, and also the fact that a lot of users’ personal new iPads are still iPad 2s, and for that matter, there are plenty of first-generation iPads out there that are being sold to or handed down to users for whom they’re “new” iPads. Which is a somewhat convoluted way of saying that My New iPad 3rd Edition covers all three generations and the plethora of iPad. configurations. Another major change since My New iPad 2 was published last year, “is iOS 5, and more recently iOS 5.1, which represent a major advance in operating system features and sophistication,, such as enhanced application switching efficiency that Apple insists on calling “multitasking” (which it isn’t).
It can be tricky to learn the proverbial ropes of any new piece of technology, and in this instance even for those of us who are veterans of years on Macs and Windows PCs. Updated for the New iPad, “My New iPad 2″ (No Starch Press, June 2012, 312 pp., $24.95, 4C, ISBN ISBN: 9781593274290) is intended to guide the user through the business of setting up and running the iPad to for either personal or business use or both. This latest edition covers hardware changes like the Retina display and the New iPad’s higher resolution camera, connecting to 4G networks with the New iPad’s 4G support, using voice dictation, and also explains how to use new features introduced in iOS 5. It’s not a narrative that one would read from front to back, but rather a true reference volume full of good, practical advice in which you can browse through the six parts containing cumulatively 32 relatively short chapters, themselves broken into multiple sub-topics. That’s up from 30 chapters in the second edition.
My New iPad, 3rd Edition is, like its antecedent volumes, task-based and written more for average users than for geeks, in a popular prose style book that endeavors to demystify its subject in acknowledgment of the fact that notwithstanding a niche customer cohort of computer veteran iPad users like me, most people don’t buy an iPad because they want a work production tool, but to play and socialize, and shop online, and they don’t want a lot of fuss.
Wallace Wang offers new iPad owners hands-on, straightforward instructions for getting organized with the Notes, Reminders, Calendar, and Contacts apps; set up email; browse the web; set parental controls (there’s a lot of bad stuff out there); use a secret passcode; and encrypt backups.
“This is a get things done and don’t feel dumb with your iPad book,” says No Starch Press founder Bill Pollock. “For everyone struggling with their first tablet, this book promises to make things a lot easier.”
For example, My New iPad, readers will learn how to:
• Find their way using the Maps app and the iPad’s compass
• Use dictation and keyboard shortcuts to save time typing
• Listen to music, read ebooks and magazines, and take photos and videos
• Use FaceTime to talk face-to-face with distant friends and relatives
• Shop iTunes and the App Store for the best new music, apps, movies, games, magazines, and books
• Each chapter presents a new project, making it easy to pick and choose the most interesting ones. New iPad owners will find that help is close at hand with My New iPad.
Naturally, because it now covers three generations of the iPad instead of two or just one, the book has grown a bit between the second and third editions, but Mr. Wang has commendably avoided text-growth bloat, and edition three is still a modest 287 pages (with index – officially 312) to the second edition’s 261, My New iPad is comfortably trade paperback sized and not a candidate for doorstop duty, but still manages to cover pretty much all the bases and then some for new iPad users, while not overwhelming with painstaking detail. The many, mostly screenshot illustrations are all rendered in full color, as they were with the second edition.
My New iPad’s six part categories include Basic Training, Making The Most Of Your iPad, Getting On The Internet, vIdeo, Music, Photos, And E-books, Organizing Yourself, and Additional Tips.
Basic Training is just that; explaining the rudiments of iPad use, such as how to turn the machine on and off, charging and power conservation, using the physical and virtual controls, controlling the iPad user interface, and using the virtual keyboard.
Making The Most Of Your iPad gets into more involved functions like customizing the Home screen, using Parental Controls, protecting your privacy, setting up an Internet connection, and app. installs/uninstalls.
Getting On The Internet carries on with pointers on browsing with Safari, using Safari bookmarks, setting up an email account, and sending and receiving email.
Part Four covers video, music, photos, and e-books, explaining how to transfer songs, videos, and other content to the iPad; shopping at iTunes and the iBook store, listening to music and other audio files, watching video, reading e-books, making, organizing, and viewing photos and videos, and using FaceTime.
Part 5, Organizing Yourself, tells you how to jot down notes, keep contact information, use the calendar and maps, and searching the iPod using Spotlight.
Part Six, Additional Tips, includes information on making data on your iPad more accessible, using foreign languages, the author’s take on the best iPad apps, and a section on troubleshooting.
Criticisms? Well, there aren’t many. Some schematics of the controls, both hardware and software, would be helpful in the Basic Training section.
Should you buy this book? If you have the previous edition and are still using an iPad 2 or original iPad, probably you’re OK, unless you’re interested in the iOS 5 information included in the third edition. However, if don’t have the second edition and you’re a new iPad user, whether of a New iPad or an iPad 2 or original iPad that’s new to you, My New iPad: A User’s Guide is an excellent value at ($24.95 ($25.95 Canadian) that should be well worth its modest cost in time saved and inconvenience averted. It’s also a great little reference for any iPad owner. Newbie or “seasoned” iPad/iOS veteran, if you have an iPad you want this book.
My New iPad, 3rd Edition
Publisher: No Starch Press
By Wallace Wang
June 2012, 312 pp.
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