Home > Articles > Hardware > Upgrading & Repairing

Your First Day With The iPad 2: Customizing and Configuring The Tablet

📄 Contents

  1. Setting Up Your 3G Wireless Internet Account
  2. What Else You'll Need to Get the Most from Your iPad 2
If you've just purchased a brand new Apple iPad 2, you're probably pretty excited. In this article, Jason Rich spells out the initial steps to take in order to get your new tablet up and running within minutes. This process includes setting up a data plan with AT&T Wireless or Verizon if you've purchased an iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G model, as well as transferring apps and data from an original iPad if you're upgrading.
Like this article? We recommend

If you've just purchased a brand new Apple iPad 2, you're probably pretty excited. In this article, you'll discover the initial steps to take in order to get your new tablet up and running within minutes.

These steps include setting up a data plan with AT&T Wireless or Verizon, if you've purchased an iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G model, as well as transferring apps and data from an original iPad, if you're upgrading.

As an early adopter of the iPad 2, you're probably filled with excitement as you hold the sleek white iPad 2 box that Apple's newest tablet device comes in. Inside is one of the most advanced and well-designed tablet devices ever created. It's a tool that can help you become more productive, stay in touch, as well as keep you informed and entertained. It's lightweight, has a long battery life (about 10 hours of continuous use), and can be used any time and just about anywhere.

Before you can begin tapping the vast potential of the iPad 2, and experiencing firsthand all that it's capable of, you'll need to take it out of its box, remove the clear plastic protective wrap that surrounds it, and then configure the tablet for the first time.

Prior to configuring your iPad 2, install the latest version of iTunes onto your Mac or Windows PC. With iTunes running on your computer, access the iTunes pull-down menu that's located in the upper-left corner of the screen and choose the "Check For Updates" command to ensure you have the latest version of the program installed. If you need to download iTunes from scratch, visit http://www.itunes.com/download.

Once your iPad 2 is removed from its packaging, when you turn it on, you'll see an image of a USB cable and the iTunes program logo on the screen with a message that simply says, "iTunes."

At this point, if you're upgrading from the original iPad and want to transfer all your apps and data to the iPad 2, be sure to perform a backup sync of your original iPad.

Otherwise, connect the iPad 2 to your computer using the USB cable that was supplied with your iPad 2. Within a few seconds, the iTunes "Welcome to Your New iPad" screen will appear (as shown in Figure 1).

Figure 1 The Welcome to Your New iPad screen appears when your iPad 2 is first connected to your computer that's running the latest version of iTunes.

From the welcome screen, you have two options: "Register Later" or "Continue." To set up your iPad 2, whether you're upgrading from the original iPad or setting up your new iPad 2 from scratch, click on the "Continue" icon.

When the iPad Software License Agreement screen appears, use the mouse to place a checkmark next to the statement that says "I have read and agree to the iPad Software License Agreement." Next, click on the "Continue" icon that's located in the lower-right corner of the screen (as shown in Figure 2).

Figure 2 The iPad Software License Agreement screen displayed within iTunes when configuring a new iPad 2

When the Apple ID screen appears, you can either enter your existing Apple ID account information, which you would have set up when you first established your iTunes account, or initially set up any other Apple product, such as a Mac, iPod, or iPhone. If you don't yet have an Apple ID, click on the "I do not have an Apple ID" and set one up for free.

The Register Your iPad screen will be displayed next. Enter or confirm your current name, mailing address, email address and phone number; and answer the four questions at the bottom of the screen by selecting responses for their respective pull-down menus. When you've entered all the required information on this screen using your computer's keyboard and mouse, click on the "Submit" icon.

The next configuration screen that appears is an important one. You must determine whether you want to set up the iPad 2 as a new device or import all your data and apps from your original iPad.

As shown in Figure 3, using the mouse, select either "Set up a new iPad" or "Restore from the backup of [existing iPad name]."

Figure 3 The Set Up Your iPad screen

If you choose "Set up a new iPad," you will be asked to enter a name for the device and then use the mouse to customize three menu options (shown in Figure 4). You can make up any device name, as long as you differentiate it from other Apple devices that sync with iTunes.

Figure 4 The second Set Up Your iPad screen

From this screen, choose any or all of the following options:

  • Automatically sync songs and videos to my iPad—This will transfer content you already have saved within iTunes on your computer, including your music and playlists.
  • Automatically add photos to my iPad—This allows you to transfer digital photos stored on your computer to be viewed using the iPad 2's Photos app.
  • Automatically sync apps to my iPad—This will transfer iPhone and/or iPad apps you've downloaded and purchased from the App Store using iTunes on your computer.

Now, when you click the Continue icon, iTunes will perform a sync with your iPad 2. Based on your selections, this process will take anywhere from 15 seconds to several minutes. When the process is complete, the familiar iTunes Device screen, showing the Summary of your iPad 2 will be displayed (as shown in Figure 5).

Figure 5 The iTunes Device Summary Screen for a newly installed iPad 2

If you set up your iPad 2 from scratch and didn't transfer content from your original iPad, when you turn on the new tablet for the first time after the initial installation, you'll see the core set of iPad apps displayed on the device's Home Screen (shown in Figure 6).

Figure 6 The iPad 2's Home Screen after its very first sync with iTunes

Starting in the upper-left corner of the screen, if you're holding your iPad 2 vertically, you'll see icons for the following core apps:

  • Calendar—A scheduling and calendar app that can sync information with your computer, iPhone, or other devices.
  • Contacts—A useful contact management and address book app for keeping track of names, addresses, phone numbers, and other pertinent information about the people you know. The Contacts app can sync data with your computer, iPhone, or other devices.
  • Notes—A digital notebook, useful for creating, organizing, and emailing short notes or to-do lists, for example.
  • Maps—Tied into Google Maps, this is an interactive mapping application that can be used to obtain directions to a location, for example. To fully utilize this app, it must have access to the Internet via a Wi-Fi or 3G connection.
  • Videos—Used for watching videos you've shot with the camera built into your iPad or downloaded from iTunes, for example.
  • YouTube—Used for watching online-based YouTube videos. This app must have access to the Internet via a Wi-Fi or 3G connection.
  • iTunes—This app is used to purchase and download music, videos, movies, and TV episodes (excluding apps) from the iTunes Store. This app must have access to the Internet, via a Wi-Fi or 3G connection.
  • App Store—Used for browsing, purchasing, and downloading apps from Apple's App Store. Currently, there are more than 350,000 third-party apps available for the iPhone and iPad, and more than 65,000 apps specifically designed for the iPad and iPad 2.
  • Game Center—This is an online community for playing games on your iPad 2, and for communicating with other gamers.
  • FaceTime—With the addition of the cameras built into the iPad 2, your new tablet is capable of video conferencing with other FaceTime users. To use this app, a Wi-Fi internet connection (not a 3G connection) must be available. FaceTime is also available for the Mac, iPod Touch, iPhone 3Gs, and iPhone 4.
  • Camera—This core app is used for snapping digital photos or shooting videos using either of the iPad 2's built-in cameras.
  • Photo Booth—This whimsical app is used to take candid photos with the iPad 2's built-in cameras, and for quickly adding special effects to them. You can then email the images to others or post them online.
  • Settings—By tapping on the Settings icon, you can adjust a wide range of settings that allow you to fully customize your iPad 2, including its appearance and how it operates.

Along the bottom of the screen, you'll see icons for four additional core apps, including:

  • Safari—This is Apple's own web browser. This version is designed specially for surfing the wireless Web via your iPad 2.
  • Mail—Used to read, create, send, and manage email from one or more accounts simultaneously. Before using this app, it must be configured with your email account information.
  • Photos—Used to view and share digital images stored on your iPad 2.
  • iPod—This app simulates the controls of an Apple iPod and allows you to listen to your favorite music on the tablet device using the same interface as you'd experience using a iPod.

By pressing and holding down any of the App icons for three to five seconds, you can reorganize the order or placement of the app icons on the Home Screen once they start to shake. Simply drag each icon, one at a time, to its desired location, and press the Home button when you're done. These core apps cannot be deleted or removed from your iPad 2, but you can add additional apps at anytime.

In order to utilize any app that requires access to the Internet, you must first either turn on your iPad 2's Wi-Fi, or set up a 3G wireless account with AT&T Wireless or Verizon, based on which iPad 2 hardware configuration you've purchased.

Setting Up Your 3G Wireless Internet Account

If you purchased one of the iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G models, at the time of purchase, you chose which wireless service provider you wanted to register with. Your choices were AT&T Wireless or Verizon. Now that you've made this decision, it's not changeable. The hardware configuration for the iPad 2 varies slightly, depending on which service provider you selected, and the two are not compatible.

At any time you can turn on your iPad 2's Wi-Fi and gain access to the Web for free, assuming you're within range of a Wi-Fi Hotspot. Otherwise, if you have an iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, you can rely on a 3G wireless Internet connection.

To set up an account with AT&T Wireless or Verizon for the first time, access the Safari app by tapping on it. A window will appear on your iPad (shown in Figure 7) informing you that you have not yet signed up for a data plan. Click on the "Now" icon to set up an account using a major credit card.

If you previously used an original iPad with AT&T Wireless and signed up for the $30.00-per-month unlimited data plan that is no longer available, you can switch your service to your new device by calling AT&T Wireless directly. Otherwise, you'll need to set up a new account and sign up for a new data plan directly from your iPad 2.

Figure 7 You must set up a Cellular Data Account before you can access the Web via a 3G network from AT&T Wireless or Verizon.

When the "Cellular Data Account" screen appears (shown in Figure 8) on your iPad 2, enter your name, phone number, and email address; and then create a password for the account, as prompted. As you scroll down, you'll have the option to choose which cellular data plan you want to sign up for and then provide your credit card information.

Unlike setting up a cell phone account, there is no long-term contract. What you will be registering for is a month-to-month data plan that can be changed or cancelled at any time with no penalties.

Both AT&T Wireless and Verizon offer slightly different data plan options. Choose which option you want to pay for, based on your anticipated monthly Internet usage, keeping in mind that if you go above and beyond the allocated usage in any given month, additional fees will apply.

Figure 8 The AT&T Wireless Cellular Data Account setup screen

Once your wireless data account is set up, your credit card will be charged on a monthly basis unless you cancel the account. Within minutes after completing the signup process, you will have full wireless access to the Internet via your iPad 2.

If you have questions relating to setting up a wireless Internet account, contact:

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020