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iPad for n00bs

ipadSo you’ve joined the mewling masses and gotten an iPad. Now what? There are some very basic suggestions and apps that I think every iPad user needs to have/do.

  2. Download and install Find iPhone
  3. Download and install Dropbox (free)
  4. Purchase and install DocstoGo
  5. Purchase and install Angry Birds (kidding! sort of)


First and foremost, you need to set a password. This can be a simple 4 number PIN or can be as complicated as alphanumeric and special characters if you’re concerned having very sensitive information on your device (or you’re Jason Balge).

How to do this? Go to settings->General->Passcode Lock. Once into the configuration screen, set a simple PIN number as a passcode or move slider into the “off” position for “simple passcode.” This will allow for either numeric or alphanumeric passcodes not constrained by the 4 digit limit of the simple passcode. For extra protection, you can turn on the feature that wipes all your data (after all, you do sync your device to your PC regularly, right? RIGHT?) after 10 failed login attempts. Careful with this if you have small children…


Works with both iPhone and iPad, this app is free and, in conjunction with MobileMe, can be used to locate, send a message or remotely wipe the data on your device. You will need an email address that is registered to your iTunes account and you will need to register to MobileMe. This is a free service so don’t sign up for the $99 annual cost of MobileMe (unless you like the extra features that service provides).

Here is a step-by-step (with pictures!) guide from Apple: http://www.apple.com/iphone/find-my-iphone-setup/


Dropbox is a cloudbased service that synchronizes your files across multiple platforms. A must when going to meetings and working on files on multiple PCs and devices.

This is a tiered service where the first 2 GB worth of storage is free then there is an additional fee for larger capacities. This services stores your data in the cloud and synchronizes it with folders on every device you have a client. Since I have two PC’s at work and one at home, as well as an iPhone, iPad, Xoom and Galaxy tab, I’ve dowloaded the clients/apps for all the devices (on different operating systems – iOS, Win 7, Snow Leopard, and Android) and am able to access the same files on every device. Another nice feature is the integration with Documents to Go so you can open up the documents in Dropbox directly in the Documents to Go app. On the desktop, the files will open up in the default program (usually MS Office).


This app gets more use than any other app on my tablet. The ease of use and the native Microsoft Office support makes it ideal for business use. When used in conjunction with Dropbox and Email, one could do most things on the iPad that you would normally use a laptop for at a fraction of the weight and size.


C’mon. You know you want to. It’s fun flinging flightless birds at poorly constructed edifices containing limbless egg-stealing pigs. Hours of mindless fun and frustration.

  1. Sam
    August 16, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    I have written a complemental article with screenshots on how to install Dropbox on your iPad, that may extend the reading value of this article. Spanish version at http://www.respuestafacil.com/instalar-dropbox-ipad.html

    • Ody
      August 16, 2011 at 9:26 pm

      Thanks! It will hopefully get you some page views.

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