Many people received an iPad as a gift after the holiday season. If you're new to the iPad or this is your first update in a while, you should check out the tips below to get the most out of your new device.

ipad air cyber

Basic Tips for Beginners

If you are new to the iPad, we have some basic articles that will show you how to use the device.

13 Things to Know About Your New iPad

1. Use a Mouse and Keyboard With Your iPad

If you want to use your iPad as a replacement for a Mac, you can use a mouse and keyboard.

As with a Mac, you can connect a keyboard, mouse, or trackpad to your iPad to use them as alternatives to the touch screen. We've got how tos that cover all the ins and outs of using a keyboard and mouse with an iPad

It's even simpler to control your iPad with a single mouse or trackpad if you use it with a Mac.

2. Use App Library to Keep Your Home Screen Clean

Do you own an iPad Home Screen that has a lot of apps? You can get a list of all the apps on your iPad with the App Library.

You can get to it by just touching the end of your Home Screen page. App library organizes your apps into categories.

You can either scroll through the categories or use the search feature to find all the apps listed there.

If you want to rearrange your Home Screen pages in bulk, simply long press on an empty area of the Home Screen and then tap on the row of dots at the bottom of the display. Home Screen pages can be rearranged or deleted by dragging them to rearrange or by tapping on the checkmark.

ipados 15 app pages

3. Drag and Drop Text Between Apps

A drag-and-drop gesture can be used to move text from one app to another on the iPad.

  1. Select the text that you want to move from one app to another by long pressing. Drag the two little bars to get exactly the text you want.
  2. On the highlighted text, press and hold to pull it up from the page. ipados drag and drop 1
  3. Keep your finger on the text while you use another finger or your other hand to open up the app you want to move the text to. ipados drag and drop 2
  4. When the text is situated in the app where you want it to go, release your finger and it will be pasted over. ipados drag and drop 3

In multitasking mode, this drag-and-drop gesture is the easiest to use.

4. Use an Apple Pencil

One of the best accessories that you can get to use with an iPad is the Apple Pencil, which is one of the two models of the device. It's worth considering if you did not get an Apple Pencil with your iPad.

With an Apple Pencil, you can sketch and draw in drawing apps, note-taking apps, and more, but you can also navigate with the Apple Pencil and write in any text field on the iPad, even if you don't have an iPad.

You can use the built-in Notes app to open it and begin writing with the pencil. The same goes for a lot of things.

The model of the Apple Pencil you need depends on which iPad you have. If you want to determine your iPad model, open the settings app, tap on "General" and then tap on "About." There is a model name for your model.

‌Apple Pencil‌ 1 Devices

  • ‌iPad‌ (6th Gen and Later)
  • ‌iPad mini‌ (5th Gen)
  • 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ (1st and 2nd Gen)
  • 10.5-inch ‌iPad Pro‌
  • 9.7-inch ‌iPad Pro‌
  • ‌iPad Air‌ (3rd Gen)

‌Apple Pencil‌ 2 Devices

  • 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ (3rd Gen and Later)
  • 11-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ (All models)
  • ‌iPad Air‌ (4th Gen and later)
  • ‌iPad mini‌ (6th Gen)

In our guide, you can learn more about the Apple Pencil.

Many of Apple's apps and third-party apps come with something called a "Widgets", which you can put on your Home Screen or view in the Today Center to get information at a glance.

There is a way to add awidget to your home screen.

  1. Long press on an empty space on the ‌Home Screen‌ to enter "Jiggle" mode where the icons are wiggling.
  2. Tap on the "+" button in the upper left hand corner of the display. ipados 15 add widget 1
  3. Scroll through the widget suggestions, or search for a specific widget. ipados 15 widgets selection 2
  4. Tap on the widget you want, and then swipe through the the different options. For many widgets, you can choose a size, and for others, you can customize the function. ipados 15 widget selection 3
  5. When you've customized your widget to your satisfaction, tap "Add Widget."
  6. It will be placed on the ‌Home Screen‌, and from there, you can drag it into the position that you want. ios 15 widgets add home screen 4
  7. Tap "Done" when you're finished.

On the iPad, there's a larger-sizedwidget that's not available on the iPhone. If you want to addwidgets to the Today View, you need to go to your first Home Screen page and then use your left or right hand to open the Today View interface.

If you want to add a widget, long press on the display and then tap the "+" button You can rearrange them by dragging and dropping them onto your Home Screen.

6. Use Quick Notes

The Quick Notes feature on the iPad is designed to be used without opening the Notes app. Quick Notes can be used with or without an Apple Pencil and the interface can be accessed with a simple gesture.

ipados 15 quick notes

  1. In any app, or on the ‌Home Screen‌, swipe up diagonally from the right hand corner of the screen.
  2. You can do the diagonal swipe in either portrait or landscape mode - it works the same.
  3. Type your notes or write with the ‌Apple Pencil‌.
  4. Swipe to collapse the Quick Note to the side if you want to hide it temporarily and bring it back to look something up.
  5. Tap "Done" when you're finished.

You can get to Quick Notes through the Control Center if you tap on the Notes icon or use the Globe key. You can use the Apple Pencil to bring up a note on the locked iPad screen.

There is a dedicated Quick Notes how to for more information on how to use the feature.

7. Use Your iPad as a Second Screen

You can use your iPad as a second screen with Apple's Sidecar feature if you have a Mac.

Sidecar is as easy to use as accessing the display section of the Control Center on your Mac and sending your screen to your iPad, but we have a detailed guide with instructions below.

  • How to use Sidecar to Turn an iPad Into a Secondary Mac Display

Sidecar works with the following machines.

  • MacBook Pro introduced in 2016 or later
  • MacBook introduced in 2016 or later
  • MacBook Air introduced in 2018 or later
  • iMac introduced in 2017 or later, or ‌iMac‌ (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015)
  • ‌iMac‌ Pro
  • Mac mini introduced in 2018 or later
  • Mac Pro introduced in 2019

To use this feature on your iPad, you need it to be running iPadOS 13 or later, and it needs to be compatible with an Apple Pencil. All iPad Pro models, the sixth- generation iPad or newer, and the third- generation iPad Air are included.

8. Enhance Safari With Extensions

All of the same extensions that you can get on your Mac can be found on the iPad, so you can download extensions for turning all websites to dark mode, password managers, and more.

If you open the settings app, scroll down and tap on Extensions, you can find the Extensions section in the App Store.

There is a handy guide on some useful extensions that you can check out.

9. Multitask with Stage Manager

Stage Manager in iPadOS 16 is meant to be more like Mac multitasking. You can try out Stage Manager if you want to see how it works for you.

Stage Manager can be used with a limited number of iPad models and can be used with up to four apps at the same time.

  • ‌iPad Pro‌ 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later)
  • ‌iPad Pro‌ 11-inch (1st generation and later)
  • ‌iPad Air‌ (5th generation)

Stage Manager can be turned on and off on an iPad.

  1. Swipe down from the right corner of the screen to open up Control Center.
  2. Tap on the ‌Stage Manager‌ button that looks like a rectangle with three squares on the left of it. You can tap it to toggle ‌Stage Manager‌ on or off.

Select Home Screen and Multitasking, and then choose Stage Manager to turn it on or off.

Stage Manager can be used with an external display on select iPad models, and on these models, you can use up to eight apps at the same time.

  • ‌iPad Pro‌ 12.9-inch (5th generation and later)
  • ‌iPad Pro‌ 11-inch (3rd generation and later)
  • ‌iPad Air‌ (5th generation)

10. Find Anything With Spotlight

Spotlight is the best way to find things on your iPad. Go to the Home Screen and use your finger to move it.

The search bar will allow you to find apps you might want to use based on your usage history. If you tap into it, you can find anything. Spotlight can be used for a lot of things.

  • Finding and launching apps you have installed
  • Finding new apps in the ‌App Store‌
  • Rearranging apps (search for an app and then drag it out of Spotlight to the ‌Home Screen‌)
  • Installing apps (after a search, tap on "Get")
  • Deleting apps (long press and choose delete)
  • Looking for photos (search by date, person, or object in the photo)
  • Facts about actors, actresses, and other well-known people
  • Information on contacts
  • Web images (search for [subject] images)
  • Converting measurements
  • Converting currency
  • Simple calculations
  • Find content in Notes, Messages, and other apps

If you swiped down from the Lock Screen on your iPad, you could get to the Spotlight Search interface.

If you would like to learn more about Spotlight Search and how it can be used, we have a guide for you.

11. Use the Freeform App

You can use Freeform after you upgrade to the latest iPadOS 16.2 update. You don't need to do anything else besides open Freeform and try it, it's already installed with iPadOS 16.2.

The app has a number of drawing tools that are similar to those used in the photo editing interface, as well as options to add hundreds of shapes, stickies, photos, scans, documents, and more. All edits and changes are shown in real time when you collaborate on a project with other people.

There is a Freeform guide that walks through all of the features and tools.

12. Try Some Karaoke With Apple Music Sing

If you're an Apple Music subscriber, you can use Apple Music Sing to turn your iPad into a karaoke machine. The Apple Music Sing option lets you sing along with a song with your voice replacing the vocals.

There are settings for duets and vocal volume that can be adjusted in the Apple Music app.

These tablets have Apple Music Sing on them.

  • ‌iPad Pro‌ 12.9-inch (Fifth-generation and later)
  • ‌iPad Pro‌‌ 11-inch (Third-generation and later)
  • ‌iPad Air‌ (Fourth-generation and later)
  • ‌iPad‌‌ (Ninth-generation and later)
  • ‌iPad mini‌ (Sixth-generation)

This is how to use Apple Music.

  1. Open the Music app on your ‌iPad‌ and start playing a track.
  2. With the fullscreen playback controls open, tap the Lyrics button (the quotation mark speech bubble) in the bottom left corner (if it's available for the song).
  3. Tap the Sing button (the mic and stars) on the right, just above the track progress bar. If you don't see it, the Sing feature isn't available for this song.
  4. With the track playing, press and hold the Sing button, then drag the slider up or down to adjust the volume of the vocals.

13. Check the Weather

You can use the Weather app on the iPad to get all the weather information you're used to on your phone.

You can see the weather in your location or location of your choice, with 10-day forecasts, precipitation charts, and other modules that show you in-depth information on metrics like humidity, air quality, wind speed, sunset/ sunrise times, pressure, visibility.

Learn More About Your iPad

Each of the Apple's iPad has a feature rundown.

  • iPad
  • iPad mini
  • iPad Air
  • iPad Pro
  • iPadOS 16

To learn how to use all of the iPad functions introduced with this year's software update, you'll want to check out the iPadOS 16 roundup.