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- Working with the iPad touchscreen
- Printing with an iPad
- Syncing data with iCloud
- Using iTunes Match to update media on multiple devices
- Dealing with spam
- Sending Twitter updates from multiple apps
- Connecting an iPad to an external display
- Controlling a computer remotely with an iPad
- Keeping to-do lists synchronized
- Taking pictures and movies
- Preparing audio and video files for the iPad
Skill Level Appropriate for all
You know your iPad can run apps, but it's not limited to those apps that originally shipped with it. Apple's App Store has countless apps, and a hefty hunk of them are worth your time. But how do you find the good ones? That's what this movie is about, making the most of the App Store. Now there are two ways to browse the App Store: on your computer within iTunes and on the iPad itself. And we're going to start with iTunes. Launch iTunes and choose the iTunes Store in iTunes Source pane. Now the iTunes Store's homepage is devoted to music, movies, and TV shows.
We're only after apps, so we're going to click on the App Store link. This takes us to the App Store homepage. Let's check out the top of that page. Apple has a team that seeks out the coolest new apps, and when they find them, they promote them in banners at the top of the page. You'll also find some collections that are based on a particular theme. For example, if it's around the holiday, you may see some kind of holiday theme or a particular kind of gaming that's popular at that time, and they also point out that kind of collection as well.
Move down to New and Noteworthy, and you're going to find apps that Apple also thinks are worth your attention. But if you want to see what's hot with other iOS users, check out a few other areas. Scroll down to What's Hot, for example. These are apps that had been recently released that have been selling pretty well. Now 'recently released' is the key phrase here. These aren't long-time performers, but rather, apps that have been popular for short time. They are worth checking out, but as they haven't been here for a long time, they're not always a sure bet.
One place I do look for better apps are the Top Charts list. There are a couple of them. The first is Paid Apps. These are apps that are selling really well, and of course, they are selling. You have to pay to get these apps. Scroll down and you'll also see the top Free Apps. Again, these are free applications, but are very popular, and this is what people are downloading. If you want to see long-term performers that are doing well, keep going until you get to the Top Grossing area. These are apps that are not only popular, but they've made a lot of money for the people who have developed them.
More often than not, you're going to see a lot of games on here, because, well, games are very popular for the iPad. But also when Apple has released a new application or updated one, you'll often see Apple's apps in here. Now Apple has put together a couple of other lists that you should look at. So we'll click and hold on the App Store link and choose Apps Starter Kit. This is an App Store Essentials collection, and it contains applications that are quite popular and very useful. For example, here Flipboard is a way of looking at stories from the Internet.
iBooks is incredibly popular. It's the way that you look at books on the iPad and other iOS devices, and here's GarageBand, which is one of my favorite music-making apps. If you're just starting out, I strongly suggest that you look at the Starter Kit. And if you're for the creme de la creme, at least as I record this, check out the Hall of Fame. These are apps that are not only popular, but Apple likes them too. Now you can dig down even farther by clicking on the App Store link and looking at one of the category's list.
So let's say, for example, we'll look at Music. This is similar to the regular Apps homepage; however, it's devoted to a specific category. In this case I've chosen Music. So again, you see New and Noteworthy, What's Hot, and then you see a listing of all the apps that are available in this category, also top Free Apps and top Paid Apps. Okay. So let's select an app and look at it in greater depth. So let's choose a free app.
Oh, why not Blaster Tank? I've no idea about this app, but we'll give it try anyway. So here we're on the page for this app, and what you can see, of course, is the title. You see the description. You can learn more about the application by clicking on a More link, right here on the page. You'll see new version information. There are also some screenshots for the iPhone version. When you want to buy the app, you just simply click on the Price area.
In this case, this is a free app. We'll go ahead and buy it, because what the heck, it's not costing us a cent. I click on Free App, and it'll ask my Apple ID and password. Click get, and you can see by this downloads entry that appears, that it is now downloading this app. Let's move farther down the page, because there is some of the important stuff in here. You want to look at Customer Ratings. This is one way to tell if the app is worth it or not.
First of all, you're going to get Star Ratings. Now these are people that have purchased the app. You can't rate without purchasing. And once people have done this, they can come in and say, yeah, I think this is worth five or four or three or whatever, and then the average out these ratings. Another thing to be careful about is look at the number of ratings that are here. If an app has 3, 4, 5, 6 ratings, it doesn't tell you very much. But if it has lots and lots of ratings, you have an idea that many people have rated the thing, and you're going to get a better and a more accurate idea of how good this thing is.
Also go to the Sort By menu, and choose Most Recent. Then take a look at the ratings. The reason you do this is because it's possible that an update has come out and maybe it's introduced some bugs, or there were bugs before and the update fixes those bugs. By looking at the Recent Reviews, you can see how the very most current version is doing. One other thing to be careful about, particularly with free apps, is read a few of the reviews. Sometimes people get pretty cranky when they rate applications, particularly if they are free ones, because it takes nothing to download the thing. And then if they're in a bad mood or there's just one little thing they don't like, they may write a scathing review that isn't all that helpful.
Read five, six, maybe ten reviews and get an idea of how people really feel about it, instead of just picking one review and saying, oh, well, that guy didn't like it, so clearly it's no good. So now we've seen how the App Store looks on your Mac. One more thing that I'd like to point out is the Apps entry under Library. Select this and you'll see a list of all the apps that are stored in your iTunes Library. What we're specifically looking at here is the Updates entry at the bottom of the window. Click on that and you'll see how many updated apps are available to you.
Now you can choose these things individually. So if you want to just download one of these, simply click on Get Update, and that single app will update. Or you can go to the top of the window and select Download All Updates. Once you purchase an app, the updates are free; however, if they come out with a brand-new version, then yes, you've to pay for it again. We're not going to update the apps on the computer; rather, I'm going to do that on my iPad. And speaking of which, let's now take a look at the iPad. The App Store as seen from the iPad isn't terribly different.
Of course, all the music, movies, and TV shows have been shunted off to a separate iTunes app. So within the App Store app, you'll see nothing but apps. In this case, you navigate through a series of buttons. So by default, you'll see the featured button and you see the featured screen. So, banner at the top, New and Noteworthy, categories below, Staff Favorites, and some Quick Links at the bottom. If you want to see What's Hot, there's a button at the top for that. And you can check apps by release date by tapping that.
We're going to skip Genius for now, but I'll be back to that in a second. Tap Top charts, and again, you can see top paid and free apps. By default, you see ten. If you tap on Show More, you get another ten. Below that are the Top Grossing iPad apps, and again, you can show more of those by tapping Show More. And I'll tap Categories. Just like on your computer, you can go through categories, so we'll look at Entertainment, and here we have a page that has all our entertainment apps on it, and so on.
Now the last button is Updates. On the computer, we saw we had a few updates, and here we have a few updates. To update them all, I will just simply tap Update All. I enter my password, and what happens then is the App Store disappears, and you move to your home screen where you see the apps update. But we're going to return to the app Store, and let's take a look at Genius.
Now this is how Genius works. The App Store knows who you are by your account, and it also knows all the apps that you've downloaded. So what it will do is it will make recommendations based on the apps that you have purchased. That includes free and apps that you've paid for. So this doesn't include just the apps that are on your iPad, but rather everything that you've ever acquired with that account. So it will say, based on app A, we think that you'd like app B. It includes the name of the app and the price.
You can also tap a Not Interested link, and this means, no, please don't recommend something like this to me again. I either have it, or I don't want it. And there are some for iPad apps, and there is also a button for iPad upgrades, and that's how Genius works. It works very much the way that the Genius feature works for music in iTunes, and of course, we cover that kind of information in iTunes Essential Training elsewhere. And that's pretty much it. Familiar territory if you've used the App Store in iTunes, and now you know that you can use it on your iPad and you could obtain these applications over a Wi-Fi network, or over 3G.