More iPad Tips and Tricks

01
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How to Back Up and Restore iPad from Your Computer or iCloud

Hands of a web designer using a digital tablet, he is working with a desktop computer.
Kohei Hara/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Accidents happen. They especially tend to happen with data that's not backed up.

Fortunately, backing up and restoring an iPad's data (or iPhone and iPod Touch, for that matter) is as easy as apple pie. This is especially true not that you have cloud backup in addition to the old method done via a computer connection.

In this tutorial, we’ll detail how to do both.

Backing up via iCloud

Storing via iCloud allows you to access your backups from anywhere as long as you have access to Wi-Fi. The main downside is that you’re limited to just 5GB of storage space for free and you’ll need to pay to get more.

  • To do a backup via iCloud, first, make sure you have a Wi-Fi connection.
  • Go to Settings and scroll down.
  • Tap on iCloud and you’ll open another menu.
  • Scroll down once again and tap Backup.
  • Check to see if iCloud Backup is turned on. Activate it if it’s not.
  • Tap Back Up Now and make sure you stay connected with Wi-Fi until the process is finished.

You can check if the Backup was done properly by going back to your iCloud menu, tapping Storage, then Manage Storage and choosing your device. To restore via iCloud, make sure all of your device setting and info are erased. Go through the setup process until you get to the Apps & Data portion, which will have the option to Restore from iCloud Backup.

Backing up via iTunes

To back up your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch the old-fashioned way, you need to have iTunes installed on your computer. To reduce potential issues, make sure you have the latest version.

  • Open iTunes and connect your device to your computer. You might be asked for a password or whether you want to “Trust This Computer.” Enter your password if you know it and follow the onscreen prompts. If you forgot your password, you can seek help from Apple support.
  • Your iPad or other Apple portable device should now show up in iTunes. Just pick your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch and begin the backup process. If the data includes Health and Activity information, you will be required to encrypt your backup, which will require a password. 

You will know the backup was successful by going to iTunes Preferences and Devices, where you will see the name of your device and the backup date and time. 

To restore via iTunes, just make sure your device is connected again, pick it from inside iTunes and choose Restore Backup.

Want more iPad Tips? Check our iTips Tutorial hub.

NEXT TUTORIAL: Making Your iPad Read Text for You via VoiceOver Text-To-Speech

Jason Hidalgo is About.com’s Portable Electronics expert. Yes, he is easily amused. Follow him on Twitter @jasonhidalgo and be amused, too.

02
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Using iPad VoiceOver: Making Your iPad Read Text for You in Various Languages

Go to the General tab under Settings to activate VoiceOver. Touching lines or paragraphs on iBooks or Web pages will let your iPad read text to you. Illustration by Jason Hidalgo

Reading is fundamental, including on the Apple iPad.

The iPad's VoiceOver function actually allows the device to read out loud icons, menus and even Web articles — quite helpful for people who might have visual impairments that make it tough to read text. Even if you can read text fine, VoiceOver is also kind of cool to just try out. If you're learning another language such as Japanese, for example, VoiceOver can read Japanese Web pages for you. Be warned, though, that VoiceOver does make certain aspects of the interface (e.g. swiping and tapping) a bit more cumbersome.

To activate VoiceOver, tap the Settings app/icon from the main menu. Then tap on the General tab and then Accessibility. At the top of the next menu, tap VoiceOver and turn it on. A confirmation menu typically comes out during the first time you do this. You might need to double tap it a few times to activate.

Once you have VoiceOver activated, you can adjust certain settings to fine tune your VoiceOver experience. Features you can adjust include Speak Hints, Use Phonetics, Use Pitch Change and Typing Feedback. You can also change the speed of the iPad VoiceOver "speech" through the "Speaking Rate" slider, which makes the reading voice slower if you drag it to the left and faster if you drag it to the right. I advise doing this with VoiceOver turned off since it's easier. Otherwise, just swipe up or down anywhere on the screen (while the slider is highlighted) to adjust the speed in 10 percent increments.

Once VoiceOver is activated, the iPad will read everything — and I mean everything — you highlight. These include App names, menus and whatever you tap. Page reading is automatic with iBooks (i.e. like after flipping a page), although you can highlight individual sentences, too. For Web pages, tapping anywhere within a paragraph will make the iPad read that particular paragraph.

VoiceOver admittedly sounds a bit robotic but is still understandable. It also has a few quirks, such as stopping mid-sentence when reading a paragraph that has a hyperlink in it. VoiceOver also changes the touch interface, which can take a while to get used to. Instead of just tapping an icon or tab once, for example, you'll need to tap it several times — once to highlight it, followed by a double tap anywhere on the screen to confirm. Swiping also requires three fingers instead of just one with VoiceOver on.

One neat thing about VoiceOver is it reads stuff like foreign Web sites for you even if you don't change your iPad's language. Naturally, VoiceOver does best with iPad-supported languages. I tried reading using it on Filipino pages (which has a pretty similar alphabet to English), for example, but the accent was so out of whack, it's hard to understand. You'll also need to change your iPad's system language through the General settings tab if you want VoiceOver to read menus in that language. The iPad supports nine languages including English, Japanese, French, Spanish and Russian.

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03
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Setting and Removing Boomarks on iBooks Pages When Using the iPad

Setting and removing bookmarks in iBooks is only a few taps away. Illustration by Jason Hidalgo

Business cards. Torn pieces of paper. Photographs. Tissue. Toilet paper. Leaves.

Now before you get any weird ideas, no, I'm not reciting a list of things I've, um, "used in a pinch" when nature calls. Instead, those are just some of the wonderful things your guide has personally used as bookmarks when reading his sophisticated, pinkie-raising collection of published works.

Fortunately for iPad owners, you don't need to, like, tape a leaf on your touchscreen to remember a page you want to get back to when using iBooks (though you're certainly more than welcome to try). All it really takes is a simple touch.

To set a bookmark, simply tap on the bookmark icon on the top right of the eBook (or is it iBook?) page you want to remember. Seriously, that's it. Also note that the iPad automatically remembers where you leave off when reading. But being able to set bookmarks certainly helps when you want to remember multiple pages, like, say, all the parts that mention the word "intoxicating" in your favorite romance novel.

To find your bookmarks, just tap on the top left icon right next to the Library icon. This will let you access the Table of Contents and all your bookmarks.

Like your greatest hits of face-palming relationship snafus, however, there are also times when it's better to forget stuff. To make your iPad forget or remove a bookmark, just tap on the bookmark icon again. Now if only it was that easy to forget the suit you wore on your prom night...

Back to the iTips: iPad Tutorials page.

04
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iPad Folder Tutorial: How to Create Folders for Apps On Your Apple iPad

Making an iPad folder is as easy as a simple swipe. Photo © Apple

The Apple iPad's menu screen is neat and all. But if you've downloaded a buttload of apps, then your menu screen likely looks like, well, butt.

Fortunately, the arrival of iOS 4.2 means you can now start sorting your beloved apps into folders. Just don't tell Steve Jobs that it makes his beloved magical device feel like Windows lest you want the El Jobso verbal claws to come out.

Anywho, creating an app folder is pretty easy. Start by doing the same thing you do when you want to move an app — just touch and hold it. Once your app icon starts jiggling like Jell-O, drag it to another app that you want to group it with. Voila! You've got a new folder.

Since Apple always knows what's best for you, it'll set up a recommended name for your folder. Folks who don't want to get with the program and be told what to do, however, can still pick their own name, like "YouAintTheBossOfMe." No, I haven't tried that as a folder name but you're certainly more than welcome to if you wish.

Naturally, you can also create folders via iTunes, but that's for another tutorial. Forgot which folder you've stored an app in? Then make sure to check my tutorial on how to search quickly for one of your apps.

Back to the iTips: iPad Tutorials page.

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