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Getting Started with Your iPad

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Find out what’s what and what’s where on the iPad itself—and what you need to do to operate the darned thing!

This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Now that you’ve taken your new iPad out of the box, charged it up, and performed the initial setup, it’s time to start using the thing. To do so, you need to know what’s what and what’s where on the iPad itself—and what you need to do to operate the darned thing!

Getting to Know Your iPad

Your iPad is a large, flat tablet with a screen on one side and a fairly plain back on the other. You can hold it either vertically (with the Home button on the bottom) or horizontally (with the Home button to the left or right side); the screen flips to accommodate how you’re holding it.

There are physical buttons along the top and sides of the iPad, and on the bottom front. Let’s look at these buttons now.


Looking at the iPad from the front, the first thing you see is the screen itself. This is the touchscreen (technically, Apple calls it a Multi-Touch Display), which is how you perform most of the device’s operations—by literally touching the screen with your fingers. We’ll go over all the touch gestures (tapping, swiping, pinching, and more) later in this chapter, but let’s move to everything else you see on the front of the device.

The round button just beneath the screen is the Home button. You press this button to return at any time to the iPad’s Home screen. The Home button also doubles as the Touch ID sensor; if you’ve configured your iPad to unlock with your fingerprint, this is where you press your finger to unlock the device.

Directly above the screen is a small hole. This is the lens for the iPad’s front-facing camera—the one you use to take selfies or conduct video chats. Apple calls this the FaceTime HD camera, and you probably don’t want to cover it up.


There are two important items along the top edge of your iPad. On the left top you find a standard 3.5mm headset jack, for connecting earphones or headphones. On the right top is a small button for turning your iPad on or off, appropriately called the Sleep/Wake button. Press this button to wake your iPad when it’s asleep, or put it to sleep if you’re using it.


If you have an iPad Air or iPad mini, there’s nothing on the left side of the unit. If you have an iPad Pro, however, you’ll see the Smart Connector in the very middle of the left side. The Smart Connector is used to magnetically connect so-called “smart” accessories, such as the iPad Pro Smart Keyboard. (Learn more about these accessories in Chapter 23, “Accessorizing Your iPad.”)

On all iPad models, you find the up and down volume buttons on the right side of the unit. Use these controls to raise and lower the iPad’s volume.

There’s also a small hole located just above the top volume button. This is a microphone, for when you’re using your iPhone for video calls or recording videos.


There are two (actually, three) important items along the bottom edge of your iPad.

In the very middle bottom is a small connector, dubbed the Lightning connector. You use this connector to plug in the cable that came with your iPad; the other end of the cable can connect to either your computer (via USB) or the power adapter that you plug into the wall.

There are also two speakers on the bottom of the iPad, on either side of the Lightning connector. Don’t cover up these speakers or you’ll adversely affect the sounds you hear.


Finally, turn your iPad over and examine the back of the unit. The most obvious thing on the back is the big Apple logo, but that really doesn’t do anything.

Instead, direct your attention to the top-left corner. The big round thing you see there is the main camera. Apple calls this the iSight camera, and you use it to take pictures and videos of others.

Just to the right of the iSight camera is a small hole that contains another microphone. Don’t cover up either the camera or the microphone, or they won’t work.

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