Apple's iPad 2 was made available in the UK this week. The tablet PC might not be as fully featured (or as complicated) as a laptop or desktop PC, but a few neat tricks are still hidden between the surface. Read on to learn how to secure your iPad, sync your bookmarks, and more.

Download the free iPad User's Guide

You may have noticed that your iPad didn't come with a big printed manual - that's not Apple's style. However, you can download the PDF version of the iPad User's Guide from Apple's website, or you can read it in iBooks if you have that installed (iBooks is available as a free download in the App Store). Make sure to download the manual for iOS 4.3.

Take a free guided tour

Apple provides video tours for each of the preinstalled apps, so you can get a good look at how to use them.

Use the Side Switch

You can use that neat switch on the side either to enable and disable audio alerts (this doesn't affect video/audio playback) or to lock the screen's orientation in portrait or landscape mode. You can toggle which function is assigned to the side switch by opening Settings from the Home screen, selecting General, and choosing the function you want under the 'Use Side Switch to' heading.

Multitask in iOS

You probably already know that you can press the Home button twice to bring up a list of currently running or suspended apps. However, you can also swipe the multitasking bar left to right to quickly access audio/video playback controls, a shortcut to the iTunes app itself, and volume controls. Also, when you choose whether the Side Switch should mute alert sounds or lock the screen orientation (see the item above), the function you didn't choose will appear in this shortcut bar.

Speed up your sentences

Double-tapping the spacebar while typing a message will type a full stop and then a space.

Don't let AutoCorrect mess you up

If you don't like the option AutoCorrect gives you, reject it by finishing the word as you prefer, and then tapping the suggestion. If you want to use AutoCorrect's choice, just type a space or punctuation mark, or tap Return, the moment it pops up.

Secure your backups

You can encrypt your iPad's backup data in iTunes. Just open the iPad in iTunes, click the Summary tab, and check Encrypt iPad backup under the Options heading.

Prevent automatic sync once

Sometimes you don't want to sync your iPad when you connect it to your computer. In this case, hold down Shift-Control (or Command-Option, on a Mac) in iTunes while plugging your iPad in, and iTunes will skip the automatic sync just once. Alternatively, you can safely interrupt a sync by dragging the unlock slider while the iPad is midsync.

NEXT PAGE: Toggle data roaming

  1. Quick tips and convenient shortcuts
  2. Toggle data roaming
  3. Don't forget your downloads