Five Things You Need To Know When You Get a New iPad or iPhone: (part of the) Very Beginner Series

* Occasional posts will contain how-tos and/or hints for VERY new users of iPads, iPhones or Kindles. All new users welcome! Non-tech speak, not terribly detailed, just basic device-enhancing goodness. All part of this Very Beginner Series.

Please share with any beginners (Mom? Dad? Grandma?) in your life.*

Fresh out of the box! If you just got an iPad, but you have an iPhone, then you already have these skills … and vice versa. But everyone has to start sometime, and if this is your first device, here are 5 things to get you started.

photo credit: woodleywonderworks via photo pin cc

1. Go to sleep. (Not you!) This is especially important for the iPhone, so that you don’t find yourself calling someone from your pocket. Both devices will “go to sleep” on their own when they are left idle for a while. But it is important that you know how to do this, yourself. Before you put your phone in your pocket, you should put it to sleep manually. Here is how: On the top right of both the iPad and the iPhone is a long button. Push it once. Your device goes black, and it is safe to put the phone in your pocket. Before long, you’ll do this automatically, without thought. (If you have a Smart Cover on your iPad, you will put your iPad to sleep simply by closing it.)

2. Wake up. Just touch the home button on the screen of your iPhone/iPad. Home button is the round button at the bottom. (If you have a Smart Cover on your iPad, merely opening the cover will wake up your iPad.)

3. Move Your Icons. You will soon be getting lots of apps, and that means lots of icons will be inhabiting your iPhone/iPad screens. It is a good idea to learn right away how to move them, so you can arrange them as you acquire more. Just touch one and hold your finger on it. Suddenly, all the icons will start to wiggle. You can let go and watch them dance for a moment. Once you are done watching the jiggles, touch one of the icons and slide it with your finger. The app will move with you. You can rearrange them this way. As soon as you have more apps than will fit on a screen, you will start another page. Just pull the app to the right of the screen, and the next page will appear. When you are done moving everything around, touch your home button and the dancing will stop.

4. Respect the docking cord. Notice which way the connector attaches to your device. Give it a moment of attention EVERY time you plug it in. If you try to connect with the cord turned upside down, you could do real damage to your iPhone/iPad. Remind yourself to be very careful when you connect for power or syncing. If you have any vision issues, it might be a good idea to make a little mark with a permanent marker on the top of this connector, so that you always insert it properly.

5. Know how to mute. Muting isn’t only for the movies. There are many other situations where it is inappropriate for phones to make noises (or iPads, either). You’ve seen the person fumbling with their phone while it loudly belted strains of GaGa or singing chipmunks. They are not hurrying to answer the call as much as they are trying to silence the noise. The mute button on the iPhone is on the left side, up at the top. Slide it over until you see the little red dash. This means the phone is muted, and you will not bother everyone else at the restaurant if you receive a call. The iPad has a similar switch on the upper right side. Move it down, and you will see the red dot. Muted.

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