Get started with the iPad and iPad mini

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Get started with your iPad or iPad mini

Those of you who have purchased an iOS device before know the drill, but for those first-timers, here are a few quick pointers for getting acquainted with your device.

Learn how to tap, drag, and multitask: If you’ve never used an iOS device before, check out our primer on Multi-Touch gestures and using the multitasking bar.

Tweak your settings: Most of the underlying system information for your new iPad—network settings, Mail, sounds, messages, restrictions, wallpaper, and more—is kept in the Settings app. As such, it’s a good place to start when you’re first getting acquainted with your device.

Get a data plan: If you purchased an iPad with a cellular connection and plan on using it to browse the internet, you need to sign up for a data plan. You can do so by launching the Settings app and tapping Cellular Data.

Set up iTunes sync: If you didn’t restore from an iOS backup, you won’t have any music, video, podcasts, photos, or books on your iPad. You can remedy that by connecting to your iTunes library: Just plug your device into your computer via its included USB cable. (Once you’ve completed this initial sync, you can also set up wireless local syncing; check out our guide for more information.)

Explore the App Store: Your iPad comes with a bunch of cool built-in apps, but you may want to reach to third-party programs for more interesting fare. The App Store, which you can access on your device or via iTunes on your computer, features more than 250,000 downloadable apps customized for your iPad, and more than 750,000 other apps meant to run on an iPhone but that can work on your iPad, too.

And don’t forget to download your free copy of iBooks, Apple’s ebook reader, either. You can do so by going to the App Store and searching for “iBooks.”

Talk to Siri: If you chose to set up Siri on your iPad during the activation process, you’re just one Home button press away from having your first conversation. Siri can help you book appointments, find restaurants, look up the weather, talk sports, and occasionally whip out snarky quips about robotic AI. To start, press and hold your Home button; the Siri interface will appear, along with a few suggested phrases to get going.

Read more about your iPad Want to learn more about your iPad and its apps, get third-party program suggestions, and get some great troubleshooting tips? Check out Macworld’s iPad Starter Guide and iPad Mini Starter Guide: They’re both ebooks available on the iBookstore, Kindle Store, and Nook Store, and as a PDF.

What to do with your old device

Now that you’ve managed to transfer your old information, set up your new iPad, and start using it, it’s time to figure out what you’d like to do with your old device. If you’re interested in selling, recycling, or passing it along to a friend or family member, Macworld senior writer Lex Friedman whipped up a handy guide that contains the steps you’ll need to take.

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