10 Great iPad Shortcuts to Make Your Life Easier

The iPad doesn't come with a manual, although you can download one from Apple's website.  But how many of us actually did that?  The iPad has always been a very easy device to simply pick up and use, but especially as it has matured over the last few years, it's become packed with cool features.  This includes a hidden control panel for controlling your music and a virtual touchpad that will make you forget all about your mouse.  

Man using ipad
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The easiest shortcut isn't always the most obvious, and that is true for the iPad. Did you know you can squeeze up to six apps on the dock at the bottom of the screen? This makes for a great shortcut, allowing you to quickly launch the app no matter where you are at on your iPad. You can even put a folder on the dock, which can really come in handy if you have a lot of apps you use on a regular basis. More »

Speaking of launching apps, did you know you can quickly find an app without hunting through pages and pages of an icon? The Spotlight Search, which can be accessed by sliding your finger down while on the home screen, will help you find and launch an app no matter where it is located on your iPad. Simply type in the name, and then tap the app's icon when it appears in the results list.  More »

Did you know there is a hidden control panel with access to some of the most common settings?  You can access the control panel by swiping up from the very bottom edge of the iPad where the screen meets the bevel. When you start from this edge and move your finger up, the control panel will reveal itself.

The most popular controls on this panel are the music settings, which let you raise or lower the volume as well as skip songs.   You can also use these controls to toggle Bluetooth on or off, change the iPad's brightness or lock the rotation among other settings. More »

One of the best additions to the iPad's operating system in the last few years was the virtual touchpad.  The iPad has always been a little clumsy when dealing with the cursor, which is the position you are at in a block of text.  This is especially true when you need to go all the way to the left or right edge of the screen.

The virtual touchpad solves these problems by allowing the iPad's on-screen keyboard to act as a touchpad when you have two fingers down on it.  This makes it easy to move the cursor to an exact position in the text or to quickly highlight a section of text.    More »

Sometimes, the auto-correct feature can get in your way when you are typing on the iPad. But did you know you can put it to work for you? In the iPad settings under General and Keyboard is a button that allows you to add your own shortcut. This feature will let you type in a shortcut, such as your initials, and have that shortcut replaced with a phrase, such as your full name. More »

Shake to Undo

Speaking of typing, did you know there's an easy way to undo a mistake you've made? Just like PCs have an edit-undo feature, the iPad also allows you to undo the last bit of typing. Simply shake your iPad, and it will prompt you to confirm whether or not you want to undo the typing.

Split the Keyboard in Two

If you are better typing with your thumbs than your fingers, you might find the iPad's onscreen keyboard to be a little too big. Luckily, there's an option in the settings to split the iPad's keyboard in two, allowing easier access for your thumbs. But you don't need to hunt through your iPad settings to find this particular feature. You can activate it by pinching out with your fingers when you have the keyboard displayed, which splits the keyboard into two halves on your screen.

Read More  About Keyboard Settings.

Open Safari Links in a New Tab

I am a habitual tab-opener. When I am searching Google or reading an article, I always like to open interesting links in a new tab so I can continue with my reading or my search. The easy way to do this is to simply hold your finger down on the link until the context menu pops up and then choose to open the link in a new tab.

Tap a Word to Get the Definition

Speaking of reading articles on the web, did you know you can quickly look up a word's definition on your iPad? Simply tap and hold until the magnifying glass pops up, and then lift your finger. A menu will pop up asking if you want to copy the text to the clipboard or define the text. Choosing define will give you the full definition of the word. This feature also works in other apps like iBooks.

Have you ever deleted an app and then decided you really wanted it? Not only will the iPad let you download previously purchased apps for free, but the app store actually makes the process quite easy. Rather than search for the individual app within the app store, you can choose the 'Purchased' tab at the bottom of the app store to browse through all of the apps you have bought. There's even a "Not On This iPad" tab at the top of the screen that will narrow it down to apps you have deleted. More »