It's been nearly a year since I won my iPad2 at Web 2.0, and I have to say, it's been quite a ride. The timing on this was true "cyber karma," so to speak, as the video card on my Mac had fizzled after 6 years, and I jumped at the iPad as a possible replacement for a full computer.
That being said, I have found I can perform nearly every task I did before on a full computer, with some exceptions I'll go into in a future post. In a nutshell, blogging like I am right now using Blogsy works well. as My enews program, Constant Contact, has only a limited app which allows you to update your contact list, but has no layout features...maybe this will be forthcoming.
So, each day I'm learning more and more about the iPad's functions and capabilities. Here are a few tips In the meantime, particularly in light of the recent IOS5 upgrade.
1. Loss of sound after Cloud upgrade.
You may find that after updating your iPad to the Cloud (IOS5), you have lost your sound functionality-- specifically the alerts and ringtones you had set up for sent email, alerts, etc. In other words, it's as if you have your system set up on Mute, even though it's Unmuted. Yipes. I Googled this little problem and found some other folks had experienced it as well, although there was no universal solution cited anywhere. So, I kept checking my Settings under Sound to determine what the problem was, and finally over the weekend brought my iPad to a nearby Apple store, where two assistants on the floor took a look, and also were stumped. They did the right thing, however, and set up an appointment right away at the Genius bar, where I waited under a minute for them to call my name, even amidst early holiday frenzy at the mall. Yes!
So here's the fix. Double click on the Home button, and a new menu opens up at the bottom of your screen that shows all the applications you've used recently, as shown in this screenshot. Voila! A hidden menu. If you scroll all the way to the left, you'll find an additional volume control icon. Just go ahead and unmute it by clicking on it, and you're good to go. With this menu, you can also:
*Lock the screen orientation
*Adjust the screen brightness
*Adjust the volume
*Control your music playback
2. Video playback sticks and buffer is slow.
We all know that Flash isn't an option for viewing video on the iPad, so that mainly leaves YouTube as the platform of choice. If you find the video playback sluggish, chances are it has more to do with your internet setup then any hardware problem. If you have a slower DSL connection, your videos won't play back smoothly.
Try This. Try playing videos in different locations and see if they run better. An Apple store is a great testing environment, since the Wifi is optimized. That way at least you can confirm that it's a connection issue. There's also a cool app you can download for free called Speedtest.net, pictured in the screenshot above, that automatically runs a diagnostic on your connection speed. My results ended up nowhere near the optimal red range, (under 3M is not great), so I have my work cut out for me trying to maximize my wifi. (See cool Yahoo article, "How to Extend Your Wifi Range.") The results, by the way, are measured in "MBPS," or Megabits Per Second.
3. Screen attracts smudges and fingerprints.
There isn't much you can do to avoid the inevitable screen smudges, but here are a few suggestions.
Try this. I picked up a microfiber, lint- free cloth from Best Buy for about $7, and it works well. Don't use any water, just rub the dry cloth over the screen. Also, here is how Apple suggests cleaning the iPad: