11 Tips For Mastering Your iPad 2

That’s one mighty powerful tablet you’ve got there. Let’s make sure you know how to get the most out of its spiffiest new toys.

Orientation Lock or Mute?

The internet got mighty upset when Orientation Lock was replaced with Mute on the iPad during the last iOS update. Apple listened, and now you can head to Settings > General to choose between Lock Rotation and Mute.

Passcode Denied…DELETE ALL!

If you’re carrying around sensitive data, you can now enable a feature that’ll erase all the data on the device if someone inputs the incorrect passcode 10 times. Navigate to Settings > General > Passcode Lock > Erase Data.

Home Sharing

First, turn on Home Sharing in iTunes (Advanced menu) and on your iPad (Settings > iPod and enter your Apple ID). Next, launch the iPod app on your iPad. In the left column, find the little house with “Library” next to it. Tap on that and then on one of the Shared Libraries. It might take a few minutes to update, but then you can watch and listen to all of that library’s media on your iPad.

Focus & Meter

In the Camera app, tap on your subject to both focus on and meter the light properly. In this shot, notice how the chair is dark and the boy outside is properly metered. You can reverse that by simply tapping on the chair.

Don’t Zoom—Ever

Just don’t use the 5x digital zoom. The camera’s very low-res as it is, and zooming only makes your shots more cruddy. Either zoom with your feet (walk closer or farther away) or just crop your images in post-processing.

Get a Grip

You’ll probably hold the iPad by its sides, but it’ll rotate to put the shutter button at the bottom, making you wobble when you reach for it. So use the orientation lock to put the shutter where you can easily thumb it, then just rotate your images or videos afterward in an image editor.

Take Charge in FaceTime

Once you’ve started a video call, you can move the picture-in-picture window that shows your image by simply dragging it around with your finger.

iMovie: Precision Editor

To access the notorious “precision editor,” reverse-pinch on the timeline where you see a transition. This will expand the tracks and allow for much more precise cuts and transitions. To make a straight cut without the fancy Cross Dissolve or Theme settings, double-tap the yellow circle between the two clips and set Transition Settings to None.

iMovie: Find Your Audio

Can’t hear the audio from your clips? That’s because iMovie has a nasty little habit of muting clip audio when there are multiple audio tracks. To fix this, simply double-tap a clip. You’ll be presented with three options, including a toggle switch for audio—flip it to return things to normal.

GarageBand: Two Tracks

When recording an additional recording with the same instrument, add a new instrument track and record on that first. When you’re done recording your new part, copy and paste it to the proper track to ensure that you don’t accidentally record over your first track.

GarageBand: Smart Drums

In Smart Drums, you can move rhythm elements around as you record. Holding down on an element will cause it to hover, and as it passes into new sections of the grid, it will record a new rhythm. The drums update in real time, allowing you to record a constantly changing rhythm.

Photo Booth Fun!

Sure, you’re great, but Photo Booth is even more fun if you point it at friends or family. Simply tap the “twirly camera” icon in the bottom right. You can also snap stills by hitting the shutter button, but Photo Booth doesn’t do video.

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