15 tricks to get the most out of your iPad

iOS 5Joel Bankhead over at app storm.net sat down earlier this month to write down 42 features of iOS 5 you might have missed. Well, some of those are pretty obvious, but here are 13 features of this list plus 2 features I came up with that are especially relevant for academics.

Multitasking in iOS

Much of the early features on Joel’s list are all about multitasking. You probably already figured out that you can click the home button twice to bring up the multitasking bar (feature 2), but you can also drop the home button completely and go 100% gesture based. Four-finger swipe up shows you the multitasking bar as well (feature 6), four-finger swipe left and right lets you switch between your most recently used apps (feature 7, pretty much Lion like), and four-finger (or five-finger, but I am lazy) pinch will close an app (feature 8).


Then there are some cool typing features. Double tap Space will insert a full-stop (feature 15), and you can access other characters such as my beloved umlauts (feature 16), apostophe (feature 17), and quotation marks (not listed) by holding on the respective letters, the comma sign, or the period sign, respectively.

New for me was the trick to simply swipe your way to a number or a dollar sign (feature 18): just tap the Numbers button, hold, and swipe over to the desired input. The keyboard will immediately switch back to letters. I just wish there was a similar feature for the mathematical symbols!

Phantom keys in the split keyboard

Also worth checking out are features 20 and 21, which talk about how to detach and split the keyboard. The split keyboard gives you some bonus phantom keys, so you don’t have to worry too much whether you want to hit the middle buttons with the left or right side (feature 22).

Another great feature (28 on the list) is Define, which you can select from the context menu that opens when you select a word. Finally I will be able to understand articles published in academic journals (maybe)!

Define words in iOS

One of the last features on Joel’s list  is the shortcut function (41). academiPad readers of course know this feature already from Bryan’s post on TextExpander. If you want to get even more productive in your writing, you can check out that post.

My own trick for you

However, Joel’s list missed the feature that brings the biggest fun to your iPad and iPhone experience. Not happy with what you have typed? Simply shake your iPad or iPhone, and you will be given the option to Undo. iPad virtuosi just shake it off!

Disclaimer: All images by appstorm.net. This post is based on a post written by Joel Bankhead. The summary and the extra two tips have been compiled by Jo. Please consider sharing this article if you found it useful.

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