Touching the iPad

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Touching the iPad

The iPad, like Apple's iPhone and iPod touch, has a touch-based interface. You interact with the iPad by touching it, rather than using a keyboard and mouse. These interactions are called gestures, and in this video, I'll show you the iPad's common gestures and how you put them to use. If you are new to the iPad, there may be some things here that are unfamiliar to you. Don't worry about it; we will talk about them later. Right now, we're just concerned about how the iPad's interface works. The first gesture is the tap.

A tap is very much like a mouse click on a computer; you tap things when you want them to do something. For example, I tap the Photos app on the iPad's home screen and the app launches. If I tap an event in the Photos app, it reveals all the pictures within the event. If I then tap a thumbnail picture in an event, the picture expands to fill the screen. There will be times when you need to tap and hold. You routinely do this when tapping text or choosing items to copy. For example, if I tap and hold on this picture, a copy bubble appears.

I can then copy the picture just by tapping Copy. The iPad also pays attention to double-taps. How apps respond to the double-taps differs depending on the app, but a fairly common reaction to a double-tap is a portion of the screen will enlarge or contract. For example, if I double-tap on this image, it zooms in. If I double-tap it again, it returns to its original size. Now, we will click the Home button, and I will open Safari by tapping on it.

In Safari, if I double-tap on a column of text, it will expand. Again, to contract it, double-tap. We will go back to the homepage and launch the Photos app. Flicking is the act of quickly moving your finger across the iPad screen. We will return to the Photos app. Now, I will select an image and then flick to move back and forth through the images in the event.

You also flick to quickly scroll through a page. So once again, I press the Home button, tap Safari. Now, if I want to scroll quickly through this Safari page, I just flick up and flick down, and I move through the page quickly. Dragging is a more deliberate motion where you tap and drag your finger across the screen. So, on this Safari screen, for example, I can more carefully move through the page by dragging my finger, rather than flicking.

Now, let's tap the Home button to return to the home screen to show you another way to use dragging. You can also use the drag motion to rearrange items. For instance, on the home screen, tap and hold on an icon until all the icons start wiggling. You can then move the icon to a different position on the screen, and you will notice that the icons get out of the way to make room for the icon I am dragging. One thing you should note, however: if you drag an icon on top of another icon, you're going to create a folder. And we will do that by dragging Settings on top of App Store.

And you will notice, it goes inside, and suddenly I have the opportunity to name this. I don't want this to happen. If I did that, I would create a folder. It would be called Utilities. I can rename it. We are not going to do that now. We are going to learn that elsewhere in the course. I will take it out of there, put it back on the desktop, and things are back the way they were. To stop all this wiggling, just click on the Home button. Pinching and stretching are two-finger gestures. Using your favorite two fingers, which in my case is the thumb and the index finger, you make a pinching motion on the iPad's screen to make something smaller.

So, let's return to the Photos app. Here is this nice dog. Let's enlarge him by stretching. And now I will bring him back to his regular size by pinching down. So, stretches zooms, and pinching shrinks. There are a few other gestures that are more specialized. When you switch on the iPad's accessibility features, for example, you encounter other two- and three-finger gestures. Within the Photos app, if you tap on an open image or event with two fingers, that item closes.

Now that you're familiar with the iPad's gestures, let's look at its common interface elements. We return to the home screen by pressing the Home button, and we will look at buttons. Tappable buttons are just about everywhere. The icons on the home screen are buttons that launch the apps, photos for example. As you've seen, I tap on Photos, tap on Events here, and I can change what I'm looking at. For example, I can go to my Albums by tapping a button. I can tap Events, and I move to Events and we return to the home screen.

You'll also find something called popover menus. These are the iPad's version of menus that are embedded in apps. For example, I will launch Safari by tapping its icon and I will then tap on its Bookmarks menu, and what you see here is a popover menu. When there are too many items in a popover menu, you can scroll through it just by dragging on it. In this case, ours doesn't have too many items, but you can see if there were by dragging on it, we would see the items that are hidden. And back to the homepage by tapping the Home button.

Selector wheels are another good way to dial in settings. For example, let's open the Calendar app by tapping on it. I will create a new event by tapping the Plus button. Now, we will tap the Start and Ends field, and here is a selector wheel. Using this selector wheel, I can then change the date for my event and move the date in the future, and I can also change the time. Tap down to close that, down again, and back to the home screen. When editing lists of items, you will often see delete buttons and drag handles.

So, I am going to launch the iPad app. I am going to look at a playlist, and we will talk about these later. This is my Jellybricks playlist, and I tap on Edit. What this allows me to do is rearrange items as well as delete items. Now, these little red circles here with a white line through them offer me the opportunity to delete items. All I have to do is tap on that button, and you see that a Delete button appears. I can then delete this button if I like by tapping Delete. Goodbye; you are gone.

And also if you tap something with the idea that you are going to delete it, and decide, maybe I don't want to after all, all you have to do is tap that button again and the Delete button disappears. You will also notice on the far right side of the screen are these three lines. This indicates that you can change the order of the items that are in this list. So, I just tap on a track and I can move it up and down the list just by dragging on the drag handle. And now I've rearranged the order of the playlist. And back to the home screen by tapping the Home button.

The right-pointing bracket is a sign that indicates that there are available submenus for that item. So, let's open Settings. We are in General. And we will look at Sounds, and you will notice the right-pointing bracket. This indicates that there's a submenu. I tap on Sounds and sure enough, here are some options. Now, while we are here, let's observe the On/Off toggle switches. They do exactly what you expect. To turn off an option that's on, just tap on the toggle. To turn it back on, again tap on the toggle and there it is.

To work your way out of a submenu, just look for the left-pointing arrow icon at the top of the screen. Tap it and you move back up the hierarchy. And we will return to the home screen. Now, let's talk about searching the contents of your iPad. To search the contents of the iPad, either swipe your finger across the home screen to the right, until you can swipe no more, or move to the first page of the home screen and press the Home button once. Here, you'll find the Search field and see the iPad's keyboard.

We will cover the keyboard and text entry in another movie, but in the meantime, a blinking cursor in the Search field means that it's ready for your input. Type something that you would like to search for, and a list appears with matching items. These items may include associated applications, notes, email messages, contacts, or calendar events. To view an item in the list of results, all you have to do is tap it. And back to the home screen. You now know how to get around on your iPad and use its basic interface elements, but there's more to come. Elsewhere in this chapter, we will look at the iPad's multitasking bar and text entry.

Touching the iPad
Video duration: 8m 39s 4h 17m Appropriate for all Updated Feb 21, 2013


Touching the iPad provides you with in-depth training on Business. Taught by Christopher Breen as part of the iPad Tips and Tricks (2010)

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